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Double carbs - or carbs with a carb filling... is that wrong?

I tried this unusual combination awhile ago, and really liked it. In short, it's Sardinian ravioli - pasta with a filling of mashed potato, cheese and mint.


I thought it was GREAT (not to mention a traditional dish) - but my partner was all like: "you can't have carbs with a carb filling, that's just wrong"... and he's actually a bit of a carb fiend, so... *shrugs*

Well, I don't know. I've never heard of this "rule"... or is it common sense? Is it nonsense? Is it just the Atkins influence? I have no idea. Do you have an opinion?

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  1. Introduce your friend to the many eaters of Pierogis. Have him tell them they're wrong. They don't use mint, but the rest is pretty much the same.

    There's no rule. It's not even remotely related to common sense. Just your friend's notion of what foods are "right" vs. "wrong".

    1. I have never thought of food, or food choices, in terms of right or wrong.

      1. And once your partner has acclimated to the existence of pierogi, you can bring him to meet the knish.

        8 Replies
        1. re: small h

          And then move on to the cheese, potato & onion pie.

          The mother in law makes a really tasty one, although her pastry making skill is.....erm.....to stay on the polite side of things, let's just say it's piss poor.

          That said, I do actually prefer it with just the cheese and onion

            1. re: small h

              Indeed. I'd thought it perhaps a bit too esoteric for a mainly "foreign" readership.

              Cheap, supermarket white bread or, better, a barmcake. Buttering it is culturally optionally. Chip shop chips - homemade will be too well made and crispy. Plenty of malt vinegar.

              However, I'll see your chip butty and raise you a meat and potato pie. Similar to the cheese one, except the MiL doesnt cook this so it's all edible.

          1. re: small h

            And then samosas!

            As for is it wrong - cuisines around the world probably aren't wrong. I'm sure every culture has a version of carbs in carbs. It's just not something I would call a balanced meal and be done with it and would serve a salad and another vegetable or two to balance it out (though I have had just pierogi for dinner on numerous occasions).

            1. re: amishangst

              And empanadas--often call for beef and potatoes in the filling.

              1. re: nothingswrong

                And after all that, you have an aloo paratha, which is an Indian flatbread stuffed with spiced mashed potato, cooked with some butter or ghee on a griddle.

                1. re: nothingswrong

                  Which reminds me of the Cornish Pasty.

                1. You are describing culingiones, Sardinian ravioli with a potato filling. They are absolutely delicious. "Wrong" would be not to approach them with an open mind. Next try Roman pizza con le patate, a standard pizza al taglio. And pasta e patate, pasta and potatoes in broth.

                  1. Don't forget the chip butte. And there's also the bolani.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: chowser

                      I lovelovelovelove bolani!! Best i have ever had was at the davis farmers market in ca, my favorite of the many i ate was pumpkin.....

                      1. Not a rule I know. Italians also put breadcrumbs on pasta, for instance...

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: tatamagouche

                          Yeah, I think he'd baulk at that too.

                          1. re: tatamagouche

                            By an amazing coincidence, there's an article about pasta with breadcrumbs in today's New York Times food section!

                          2. Oh no! I better stop eating bean burritos and potato tacos.

                            4 Replies
                            1. re: seamunky

                              Especially those bean burritos with rice.

                              1. re: seamunky

                                Heh. Exactly. We eat lots of Mexican and Tex-Mex. Potato stuffed items are the norm and we love them. Empanandas, quasadillas, burritos, tacos, arepas...And to make it worse (better?) we probably started with a bowl of chips and salsa.

                                  1. re: nothingswrong

                                    I was reading and waiting for someone to bring up potato tacos. And breakfast burritos (w/hash browns)


                                1. I agree that you are correct and your partner wrong. However, I do limit carbs through portion control. A small amount of your delicious-sounding pasta and a big helping of salad, grilled vegetables, etc.

                                  1. It's not a rule, I've never heard of it. The comment reminds me of many my mother makes that I'm pretty sure she just makes up like - "chili? you can't chili, it's above 68F"

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: fldhkybnva

                                      Funny, I'm actually wondering if this originates from his mother! She has some funny ideas.

                                      1. re: ursy_ten

                                        My parents had strange rules about what things you could eat together. I served them chili with cornbread once, and they were very upset. Evidently, EVERYONE knows that cornbread is served with ham and beans, and chili is accompanied by "soda" crackers....DUH!

                                    2. In my younger days I would slurp down a bowl of ramen, then mix in some rice in the leftover soup and polish it off...

                                      Ah, the good 'ol days.

                                      1. While stuffing one carb with another is not 'wrong'..... it's not exactly catching fire either. Eastern European food like pierogies and knishes are being enjoyed by fewer and fewer people. Open up a restaurant like that (as if!) and hardly anyone will show up. It certainly will not become a trend.

                                        Recently there was a thread asking about travel-food destinations, and there were Western Europe or Asia or Mexico responses, but I'm pretty sure I was the only one to say Poland or anything Eastern or Central European.

                                        Manhattan has lost most of its Eastern Europen places. I remember the days when I could stroll down First or Second avenue and was able to hit quite a few Polish, Czech, Russian, or Hungarian places. The Greenpoint section of Brooklyn is not regularly touted as a Chow destination, and Milan's (Slovokian) will mostly draw Slovokian customers from the tri-state region, but few others.

                                        The fact is that it is rarely anyone's favorite food, and if I were to do a search on the various Chowhound boards about pierogies or knishes, I am wondering if I will get as many responses as.... sushi.

                                        Stuffing carbs with other carbs is on a thirty year downward trend. That's why your partner never heard of it.

                                        5 Replies
                                        1. re: Steve

                                          Pierogies are stil pretty popular in Pennsylvania -- last time I was there, they were being served in airport bars!

                                          Me, I love my chicken and noodles on mashed potatoes.

                                          1. re: DebinIndiana

                                            They are clearly popular in Baltimore...I drove by this sign this morning

                                          2. re: Steve

                                            I wonder if stuffing carb into carb is related to wealth. It makes a far more filling meal at a much lower cost than stuffing carb with meat or meat with meat.

                                            1. re: Steve

                                              Nobody shows up for pierogies? Glad you sent word from the front---here in the backwaters of Chicago we don't know that yet. The only time we're not eating pierogies here is when we're eating kolachkys.

                                            2. Has he never eaten garlic bread with spaghetti or lasagna?

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. Eldest daughter and wife love a mashed potato sandwich on a potato roll
                                                Bar in New Haven makes great Mashed potato Pizza.

                                                My paternal grandmother only cooked three meals during my lifetime that I was invited to attend. All were brithday celebrations for my grandfather. She made his favorite, roast duck served with boiled potatoes rolled in white rice, then crisped in a broiler.

                                                I've had Italian rice balls that are then dipped in batter and fried.

                                                and what would be the opinion of either meatballs made with bread or breadcrumbs served with spaghetti, or a meatloaf (again bread or breadcrumb extender) sandwich.

                                                Eggplant, veal or chicken grinders...all breaded or batter dipped and fried and then served on italian bread are quite common.

                                                I think your partner hasn't really thought this out in real world terms

                                                1. Another carb-on-carb lover (pierogis, bean burritos, potatoe-leek pies...bring em on).

                                                  I thought this was why running was invented? If your run 70 miles or more per week you can pretty much handle all the carbs you can stuff in your mouth.

                                                  1. Triple Layer Chocolate Cake anyone?

                                                    1. This reminds me of my college roommate who told me the only Chinese food they'd ever had was a chow mein sandwich, fried noodles on a hamburger bun.

                                                      1. Thanks for all the insights everyone! He was just so emphatic about it. Next time I want to make Sardinian ravioli I will either show him this topic, or let him fend for himself :)

                                                        2 Replies
                                                        1. re: ursy_ten

                                                          Just serve a large salad with it. It's a fact that a salad negates any of the wrongness of carb with carb meal. And remind him that potatoes are vegetables and that it is wrong to judge them by the colour of their flesh.

                                                          But what do I know, I've been known to dip my fries in mashed potatoes and call it a meal.

                                                          1. re: viperlush

                                                            I make potato sandwiches. Potato tacos. Potato nachos. Pasta with potatoes.

                                                            Potatoes are full of nutrition; they just happen to be white inside and DELICIOUS so people hate on them too much.

                                                        2. It's not wrong*.

                                                          *I'm a carb fiend.

                                                          1. Just to add to the multicultural nature of carb-in-carb, there is the Indian dosa, a think pancake wrapped around (often) potato. Delicous!

                                                            I have to admit, the first time I saw pasta on a pizza (in New Jersey- never seen it up here in MA) I found that really strange. I mean, not just a tortellini here and there, but like covered with Ziti.

                                                            1. Love Pie Hole's Mac n' Cheese empanada topped with crunchy parmesan cheese bits.

                                                              1. IDK, isn't this just a whole carb-a-licious dish? For some folks, this would be their entire meal. Others might need more protein in their meal.
                                                                As for me, the potato/cheese/mint combination sounds good :) Sort of like peroghie.

                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. re: KarenDW

                                                                  It was very good - I thought it was a keeper!

                                                                2. south americans often pair rice and potatoes in the same meal - a la, "bistek a lo pobre". yum. or even better, milanesa - BREADED steak - with rice and potatoes.

                                                                  damn, i am making myself very hungry.

                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                  1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                    I think the "a lo pobre" part is very telling. I can't/don't eat them anymore, but my great aunt Fayge made killer potato onion pierogies. My father's family was from very modest beginnings. And endings, too, a lot of them.

                                                                  2. in japan, potato salad, pasta salad, and yakisoba are all popular sandwich fillings. potato on pizza is pretty good; in many ways, you could accuse a shepherd's or cottage pie of being carb on carb (a crust with potato filling), or even breadcrumbs topping a baked pasta or rice casserole.

                                                                    for that matter, corn is a carb, and it's often served as a veggie. same for squash and beans. bread with pasta. aloo ghobi. ultimately, the point is: who cares?! if your diet is balanced overall, it's not like carbs are "evil". just food, part of a healthy (big picture) diet. eat up!

                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                    1. re: chartreauxx

                                                                      It's all about balance. I ate culingiones in Sardinia. The serving was three large dumplings in a small amount of sauce. My husband and I shared them, along with salad and a meat dish. We noted that it was a carb bomb, but a very delicious one. We also noted that we were sad that we had to split the third culingione. A fourth would have been welcome. ;-)

                                                                    2. The first time we visited our favorite Peruvian restaurant I was surprised by the double carb combo in many of the dishes- stir fried meat and french fries over rice. It seemed like too much of a good thing, then I tasted it. Good stuff!

                                                                      1. I remember when I was young and carbs were referred to as 'Starches". My mother insisted we never have two starches at the same meal.
                                                                        sooooo. being the thorn in her side I always was, I pointed out to her that mashed potatoes were a starch, and that creamed corn was a starch, and had learned to enjoy my creamed corn on top of my mashed potatoes at her table.

                                                                        I don't eat creamed corn on mashed potatoes any more.

                                                                        1. All this reminded me of my last trip to Ireland in 2006.

                                                                          My friends and I stopped at a carvery for Sunday Lunch. I had the roast lamb, carrots, and when the server heard me say "just the roasted" (meaning the roasted potatoes), he looked at me aghast because I *wasn't* also going to take the mashed potatoes.

                                                                          6 Replies
                                                                          1. re: mcsheridan

                                                                            My Irish-born mom served mash and roast potatoes with our Sunday roast dinners. And when the roast was beef there would be Yorkshire puddings as well.

                                                                            1. re: EM23

                                                                              Exactly! I was the odd man out here. And I like mashed potatoes.

                                                                            2. re: mcsheridan

                                                                              My father still likes to tell about the time when we were travelling in Denmark on a budget and he was served a plate that held not one, not two, but THREE different forms of potato (boiled, fried and mashed). But serving different carbs on the same plate is not the same as stuffing them.

                                                                              1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                I think he might have trouble with that concept too, somehow.

                                                                                1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                  For my 25th birthday, my father took me to a very fancy restaurant in Beverly Hills. Sole reasoning: They had some 8 types of potatoes on the menu.

                                                                                  For dinner, he ordered us drinks and every potato dish, nothing more.

                                                                                  We had mashed, roasted, and fried in various iterations (including delectable steak, seasoned, and shoestring fries).

                                                                                  After the meal, a server brought out a baked potato with candles in it.

                                                                                  The whole thing was ridiculously awesome. My dad won father of the year for that one.

                                                                                  1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                    Ha ha - wonder how my partner would have handled it!

                                                                              2. So you partner has never had a burrito?

                                                                                Also, he appears to be thinking of starches rather than sugary carbs, because there are many foods that are carb shells or bases with carb fillings (yummm, jelly doughnuts!).

                                                                                6 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                    "Also, he appears to be thinking of starches rather than sugary carbs"

                                                                                    And how about vegetables and fruit? Those are carbs too.

                                                                                    How would he feel about spinach ravioli? That's carbs inside carbs.

                                                                                    Or fruit pie?
                                                                                    Or rice stuffed peppers?

                                                                                    1. re: Sooeygun

                                                                                      Yeah, I don't know when carbs became synonymous with starches but so many people think of them as the same these days. I had someone tell me he cut out all carbs but snacks endlessly on grapes. I'm assuming the OP means starches, not carbs.

                                                                                      I wonder how he'd feel about Vietnamese summer rolls--rice wrapped in rice. That's starch wrapped in the same starch. I don't think anything else mentioned in this thread is.

                                                                                      1. re: Sooeygun

                                                                                        According to nutritional values I looked up:

                                                                                        100g of potato contains 46 carbs
                                                                                        100g of spinach contains 3.6 carbs

                                                                                        1. re: Steve

                                                                                          both cooked, or one cooked, one uncooked?

                                                                                          The spinach blows away any starch for nutrient density per calorie, too.

                                                                                          1. re: mcf

                                                                                            Potato defintely cooked. Uncooked potato is not really a food for people.

                                                                                            From what I saw, raw and steamed spinach have about the same amount of carbs per 100g.

                                                                                    2. No carbs with a carb filling, that's just wrong? Well, I guess that lets out a Napoleon made of puff paste, filled with cream custard, and topped with fondant. Or a custard-filled cream puff. Damn. Come to think of it, a classic potato-filled knish breaks the rules too, as does a potato-filled pierogi. But I can't linger---I have to write a condolence note. Apparently God died. And left your partner in charge.

                                                                                      1. As a college student, my roommate and I used to eat "bread sandwiches" -- basically a slice of Wonder bread wedged in between a Thomas' English Muffin.

                                                                                        It was less for taste, and more for textural contrast.

                                                                                        Oh, who am I kidding, it was a way fill ourselves up without blowing our piggy bank wide open.

                                                                                        That said, it was awfully tasty now that I think about it. Especially when the Thomas English Muffin was only lightly toasted but the Wonder bread was toasted dark.

                                                                                        1. Cheese, potato and mint stuffed pasta sounds delicious. I need to try that! Because i sure love potato and cheese stuffed pasta. And potato stuffed pasta (pierogis). And potato tacos. Oh yeah, and bread stuffing with a side of mashed potatoes.

                                                                                          1. I don't know about "wrong", but I never understood the concept of burritos and similar things -- wrapping floppy, flavorless dough around rice and beans..... meh.

                                                                                            Spaghetti on toast? Same thing. Stupid food.

                                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: linguafood

                                                                                              alright lingua, come on... just cuz you don't like it don't make it stupid. I know you know that.

                                                                                              1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                To me, personally, it's stupid food. More floppy dough/pasta sandwiches for the rest of the world '-)

                                                                                                Besides -- aren't these threads *meant* to be for everyone to proclaim their very own personal opinion about one food or another?

                                                                                            2. Considering I had a baked potato, some rolls, and some soup on the side for dinner, I don't think that's a rule at all.

                                                                                              1. A meal should be more balanced for health reasons. Just eating carbs is not a good idea.

                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                1. re: hanifshan

                                                                                                  True, if you ate only carbs. It is unlikely that the OP, or anybody here, for that matter, is talking about living on a carb-only diet.

                                                                                                  An occasional carb/starch heavy meal is not so bad.