CHOOSING PASTA SAUCES
The variability and selection of sauces which can be served with pasta are seemingly endless. They consist of minimalist sauces, like garlic and extra virgin olive oil, to light vegetable sauces, shellfish sauces, robust meat sauces, and rich and creamy sauces containing eggs, cheese and nuts.
When choosing the appropriate pasta shape to get a sauce, there isn't any cast in stone rules. Some regional dishes will always be created using the same pasta shape, like fettucine all'alfredo, tagliatelle bolognese and penne all'arrabbiata, which is rare to find out them served with anything besides the named pasta. These classic dishes are quite few however and, using the increasing various pasta shapes available on the market it may sometimes be difficult to know which shapes and which sauces should go well together.
Long, thin pasta is best served with the thin, clinging sauce, or one that's smooth and thick. If too thin and watery, the sauce will simply run off the long strands; if too chunky or heavy, it is going to fall to the bottom from the bowl, leaving the pasta at the very top. Clinging sauces made out of extra virgin olive oil, butter, cream, eggs, finely grated cheese and chopped fresh herbs are great with long pasta. When ingredients including vegetables, fish and meat are combined with an effortless thick sauce, they will be very finely chopped.
Short pasta shapes with wide openings, including conchiglie, penne and rigatoni, will trap meaty or spicy sauces, and so will spirals and curls. Egg pasta has different properties from plain pasta and goes especially well using the rich creamy and meaty sauces that are popular in northern Italy. Fresh homemade egg pasta absorbs butter and cream and helps make the sauce stay with it. Virtually any pasta is acceptable for the classic Italian tomato sauce.
1 small onion
1 small carrot
1 stalk celery
bunch of parsley
� lb hamburger
1 small can of tomato paste
� cup red wine (optional)
salt and pepper
beef or chicken broth (optional)
Chop each of the vegetables (support the parsley) very fine and saut� them in the olive oil until translucent. Add some hamburger. Stir well and cook for about 5 minutes or before the meat is separated and browned. Add the tomato paste and mix well until each of the ingredients are coated. Add some wine (optional) along with the pepper and salt.
Cook for couple of minutes more, you can add with regards to a cup of water (or broth). Provide the boil, then decrease the heat and simmer on the low heat, until reduced.
Note: include a little more liquid if you believe it's too dry.
1 cup (250ml) extra virgin olive oil
320g oxtail or beef tail, fat trimmed
400g veal casserole steak, in chunks
500g pork ribs, in four pieces
1 onion, halved
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 carrot, halved crossways
1 celery stick, halved crossways
700g passata (Val Verde Passata cooking sauce)
425g can crushed tomatoes
1 chicken stock cube
1 cup (250ml) white wine
5 sprigs fresh continental parsley, plus extra to provide
One teaspoon sugar
Salt & freshly ground pepper
Heat 1/2 the oil within a large saucepan. In batches, cook the meat until lightly browned. Remove in the pan.
Add the remaining oil, onion, garlic, carrot and celery. Cook until light brown and soft. Return the meat to the saucepan.
Add pasta, tomatoes, stock, wine, parsley and sugar. Season with salt and pepper. Simmer, stirring often, for 1� hours with a medium-low heat. Remove any large meat or vegetable chunks. Stir through cooked pasta. Serve topped with parsley.