May 28, 2009

The Pasta Chronicles: Part I

The pasta room at CheeseB is a veritable "Little Italy" of wall-to-wall pasta, noodles in assorted shapes and sizes. Egg noodles, squid ink pasta, assorted sauces and jarred tomatoes, it's all there.

In the coming weeks, we shall be exploring the intricacies of all things Pasta-- and with a little recipe advice from the ever-helpful folk at the store, will concoct both simple and more elaborate pasta-based meals.

The Gragnano pasta wall

Of particular interest is the La Fabbrica Della Pasta di Gragnano, a lovely pasta imported from Italy and exclusive to CheeseB.

Their basic pastas contain two ingredients: Gragnano's water and Gragnano's Durum wheat semolina. Simple. Well, the process of making and slow-drying it, not so simple, but we leave that to them.

For the recipe I am going to use only three ingredients:

First, one bag of Fusilloni.

Second, the Sugo al Pomodoro: a.k.a "tomato sauce", prepared by Chef Juan. Nice flavour of basil, and a little bit of kick.

Third, CheeseB's Ricotta. It's fine stuff.

A rougher surface that holds to the sauce

Chef Juan's tasty in-house tomato sauce: heating up in a pot, pretending that O-reagano made it.

This is as simple and easy as it gets, a satisfying comfort meal tasting more of gourmet than convenience. The pasta is boiled in plenty of water while the sauce heats up. The fusilloni does not need to be covered with too much sauce so you don't hide its subtle, nutty flavour. When added to the hot pasta and sauce, the ricotta softens and melts, and all together creates a perfect Fusilloni fusion.

Serve with some fresh-ground pepper... grating of Swiss Sbrinz optional.

Read more entries on Gragnano Pasta:
Pasta Chronicles iv
Mt. Vesuvio Mac & Cheese
Via Allegro Pasta feast

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