While lasagna (the dish) will save dinner, lasagna (the noodle) will prove equally heroic for throwing together small bites and snacks with little effort and time. So when cravings strike next, think outside the layers and try these five, noodle-filled bites.
I like to cook lasagna a day or so before I plan on eating it. The leftover noodles never go to waste as I always reserve a part of the sauce and some cheese for making lasagna noodle roll-ups after the lasagna has been constructed and put in the oven. Very messy and very, very tasty!
Here’s something I’ve always wondered: when baking pasta, as in, say, lasagna or baked ziti, why do you always cook the pasta first? Aren’t you inviting trouble by cooking it once, then proceeding to put it in a casserole and cooking it again? Well, there’s the obvious first part of the answer to this question: pasta needs to absorb water as it cooks—a lot of water, around 80 percent of its own weight when perfectly al dente. So, add raw pasta directly to a baked pasta dish, and it will soften all right—it’ll also suck up all of the moisture from the sauce, leaving it dry or broken.
I thought the pasta drew moisture from the sauce. It does… resulting in dry sauce. I’ve always wondered about those pastas marketed as not needing to be boiled first—how are they different from regular pasta or is this just some marketing ploy? Anyway, traditionally recipes recommend boiling the pasta first.
The Silver Spoon, originally published in English by Phaidon in 2005, was the first cookbook Phaidon published and the first cookbook Emilia Terragni, the publisher of Phaidon’s cookbooks and architecture books, ever worked on. The tome has gone on to sell so many copies and be one of the most essential Italian cookbooks around. To celebrate its 10th anniversary of the English edition (and the revision of The Silver Spoon: Quick and Easy Recipes), Emilia has picked out the lessons she finds indispensable from the very big, comprehensive Silver Spoon.
Your favorite pasta impersonator just got a whole lot easier to make. In about 15 minutes in the microwave, you can turn a rock-hard spaghetti squash into a bowl of tender “noodles,” ready for some sauce. I’ll even throw in a trick for making it easier to slice the squash in half. What are you waiting for?
Egg-based sauces, like hollandaise, are ones that everyone should know how to make. Next time you have one you want to add to a hot dish (like pasta), take the pan off the heat or else you’ll end up with a clumpy, scrambled mess.
In what can only be described as great news for both sufferers of Celiac Disease and anyone who hates people who insist they can’t eat gluten while downing an entire plate of spaghetti, science appears to be on the verge of delivering us an actual pill that will allow those with Celiac to eat gluten.
Fresh ravioli tastes so much better, but take a lot of effort to make from scratch. Mario Batali has a shortcut to get the same deliciousness with less effort: use store-bought wonton wrappers instead of spending all day making pasta dough.
Ahh, the pre-race pasta dinner. It’s not just an opportunity to bond with fellow athletes, it’s also the last remaining excuse to think of spaghetti as health food. Carb loading isn’t necessary for everyone, but if you’re one of the people who will benefit, it’s time to learn the right way to do it.
Since Allen Lim’s food science wizardry, even the Euro cycling pros are eating more rice than pasta these days. Don’t think I’m saying this being anti-gluten crazy, organic, artisanally harvested rice by cage free workers (humor, come on), but that exercise diets have changed a WHOLE LOT in the past seven years.
It’s very interesting to hear the 1.5 hr recommendation – that means a good portion of people doing sprint triathlons do not need to carb load. But everyone is different – I recently rode 140 KM with someone who had to consume gels/etc every hour or so, and they still had trouble after the 100 KM mark. They have less body fat than I do, but I also wonder what their carb intake is like. As always, see what works for you because we’re not all the same.
But Graziella’s pasta salad didn’t taste like the many I’d eaten at backyard barbecues here in the States. There was an undertone to them, a background flavor that was in every bite, but was hard to identify.
When I finally cobbled together enough Italian to ask Graziella how she made her pasta, I realized what I was tasting: garlic. But not minced or crushed or sliced garlic. No, Graziella used the essence of garlic. And she found that essence in just one clove, which she rubbed on the inside of the bowl that she’d eventually be tossing the pasta in.