How to make pasta delicious

How to make pasta delicious

Parmesan, the “King of Italian Cheeses”

The Italian Parmigiano-Reggiano has been holding the title of the “King of Cheeses” since the 13th century. The authentic cheese name comes from two main producing provinces: Parma and Reggio Emilia. The word Parmesan, which is widespread in the world, is a French version of the Italian name – Parmigiano-Reggiano.

Parmesan is a perfect match for a wide variety of foods and is very good for health. Parmesan has the highest content of nutrients, micro-and macro elements (phosphorus, potassium, magnesium and zinc), as well as vitamins of groups A, В, D and РР. 57 grams of cheese per day are enough to provide 67% of recommended daily calcium intake. Parmesan is an excellent source of protein and contains all nine essential amino acids.

This gastronomic friendship has developed historically. And no one is taken to destroy it. After all, it is in this tandem that the best traditions of production, benefits and high quality harmoniously combine.

Let us take a closer look at what makes Parmigiano-Reggiano so unique and how to use it for cooking delicious Italian pasta.

If authentic pasta is made of flour and water, then authentic Parmesan is made of fresh milk and sourdough. Salt is the only preservative in Parmesan. It gives the right taste and ensures long-term storage of Parmesan since it ripens for 12 to 36 months. As a result, cheese gets a sharp-salty taste with hints of nuts and fruits. Furthermore, the older the product is the deeper aroma with hazelnut notes it has.

Altogether, Parmesan has three “ages” and variations of use:
  1. Green cheese Parmigiano Reggiano Fresco – from 12 to 18 months. You can eat it as it is, as an aperitif or dessert with wine and fruits.
  2. Aged cheese Parmigiano Reggiano Vecchio – from 18 to 24 months. Often used in recipes for hot dishes (lasagna, sauces), when baking meat and fish.
  3. Old cheese Reggiano Stravecchio – more than 2 years. The best is for pasta when grated.

Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese is distinguished not only for its taste, but also consistence. Parmesan is the hardest cheese existing on the planet. Mature cheese head contains only 30% of water, the remaining 70% are beneficial nutrients.

Due to its high density, the cheese is brittle. It is unlikely to cut it with an ordinary knife. However, you can easily grate it in fine, almost transparent flakes and add to pasta. When melting, Parmesan does not stretch like semi-hard or soft cheese.

By the way, it is not necessary to use aged cheese for dishes where cheese melts and mixes with other ingredients. We recommend adding more expensive and mature cheese to ready-made dishes.

All pasta dishes, except fish dishes, can be sprinkled with parmesan, which adds sharp flavor and its own inimitable royal taste.

Italians try not to combine fish dishes with cheese, because it seems to them that the taste of cheese drowns out the delicate taste of fish.

Authentic mozzarella for authentic pasta

Italian cuisine is well-known for a diverse variety of cheese. If Parmesan is the “King of cheese” in Italy, then the title of the Queen, undoubtedly, belongs to mozzarella.

Mozzarella is an unripened cheese variety with a soft, somewhat gummy consistency, produced in a certain area of the South and Center of Italy in the Campania region.

There are several varieties of Mozzarella cheese depending on raw materials and ripening technology, each one having own peculiarities:

Mozzarella di bufala Campana

It is the real role model made exclusively from buffalo’s milk of special breed grown under special conditions on Campania pastures. Many factors are considered during the production of this variety: climate of the region, age of animals, quality of salt, and other equally important aspects. This is the most delicate variety of Mozzarella cheese, reminiscent in taste of the finest cottage cheese or creamy ice cream.

Mozzarella di latte di bufala

Variety made from milk of purebred black buffaloes grown not in the Campania, but in other regions of Italy.

Mozzarella conlatte di bufala

Cheese made from a mixture of buffalo’s and cow’s milk. It is quite rare.

Mozzarella tradizionale

The most common variety of mozzarella sold in almost all corners of the planet. It is made from premium quality cow’s milk.

Mozzarella fordilatte

This variety is often called milk flower due to its low fat content

Mozzarella giornata

One-day-old cheese one can taste in Italy only. One of the rarest, tastiest and most expensive cheese varieties.

Mozzarella cheese can be sold in the form of large and small balls, and also in the form of braids or twisted rolls.

Unlike spicy and saturated Parmesan, mozzarella has a very delicate texture and a pleasant creamy taste.

Its soft notes emphasize, but do not drown out the taste of the other ingredients of the dish. Therefore, mozzarella perfectly complements pasta and is a match for the vegetables and spicy greens in sauces adding juiciness and richness to every dish.

Olive oil – liquid gold of Italian cuisine

It is simply impossible to imagine Italian cuisine without olive oil: salads, desserts, meat, fish and pasta sauces.

We can endlessly discuss the diversity of Italian olive oil. After all, each region of Italy produces oil of different taste and color. It can be conventionally classified into light oil from the northern regions of Italy and strong, intense from the southern ones.

The climate, composition of the soil where tree grows and the variety of olives result in different shades of color, bitterness, saltiness or savoriness of oil taste. However, only in Italy one produces oil with various spices: basil, oregano, chili, rosemary, garlic and other aromatic additives.

As you might have noticed, every pasta sauce has olive oil. Moreover, sometimes olive oil becomes an essential basis of the sauce.

The secret lies in the fact that, firstly, the oil enhances the taste and enriches the aroma of the sauce just as when using fresh and dried herbs. Secondly, thanks to olives sauce retains the original saturated color.

Only extra-class oil gives you such a result. If you find the inscription “Olio extra virgine d’oliva” on the bottle, then you have the perfect quality olive oil.

The word extra virgine means that the product is obtained by cold mechanical pressing without using chemicals. Such manufacturing technology allows you to save absolutely all useful and nutritious ingredients contained in fresh olives.

Olive oil is one of the healthiest products. It is rich in oleic acid, which contributes to the optimal flow of metabolic processes and strengthens the walls of blood vessels. The main secret of olive oil is in its unique composition as it is a real pantry of useful components absorbed by the human body by almost 100%.

When choosing olive oil, pay attention to several things:

  1. Price. Extra class oil is an elite expensive product. Low price is a sign of low quality product.
  2. Color and aroma. Transparent, odorless oil with sediment on the bottom is a clear counterfeit.
  3. Package. Authentic olive oil shall be kept in a dark glass bottle or stainless steel jar.
  4. Date of production. Olive oil is not wine. Over time, it does not gain useful properties, but only loses in quality. On average, between the production date and the expiration date there should be approximately 18 months. This is the period of time when olive oil remains healthy and of high quality.
  5. The inscription on the bottle. Virgin olive oil – cold-pressed unrefined oil, with the only difference that it is produced from more mature fruits. Olive oil, 100% Olive oil, Pure oil – a mixture of refined and unrefined oils. Light (Refined) olive oil – fully refined oil. Pomace olive oil – oil of the lowest quality obtained from what is left after the first pressing.

WHAT WINE GOES WITH PASTA? SECRETS OF A PERFECT MATCH.

A glass of good wine will help you understand why the Italians love pasta so much. It harmoniously complements the pasta and perfectly reveals the taste of the sauce. When it comes to choosing the perfect wine and pasta match, your choice should be guided by the sauce and its ingredients. Always remember that expensive wines with rich bouquets should be served with the most exquisite pasta variations. While a drink with a less distinctive taste shall better complement light sauces.

Pasta with Tomato Sauce

In Italy, there is an immutable rule – red Chianti wine pairs best with pasta with tomato-based red sauces.

Pesto

This sauce pairs best with aromatic wine or dry white Pinot Grigio with subtle notes of apples and lime. This legendary wine blends perfectly with the garlic aroma of many Italian dishes balancing and emphasizing their taste..

Pasta with vegetables

Light, not very fragrant rosé wines match vegetables.

Pasta with Cheese Sauce

It is always easier to pair wine with cheese than with many other ingredients.

Delicate cheese sauce perfectly complements sophisticated Chardonnay or playful Liquriu Sauvignon Blanc. White wine with a distinct fruity bouquet is the best complement to the Italian lunch.

A glass of Cabernet Sauvignon famous for its original flavor bouquet and stunning aroma will help to emphasize the sophistication of spicy cheese sauce.

Remember one gastronomic delicacy: the more noble the cheese in the sauce is, the more aged the wine should be.

Mushroom sauce

The velvety taste of Merlot pairs with the unique mushroom aroma. It turns into a delicious duet of an exquisite dish and a noble drink.

Pasta with seafood

White varietal wines from Chardonnay and Sauvignon will be a perfect complement to pasta with seafood.

Pasta is one of those meals that really loves wine, so take time to experiment a few different combinations to enjoy the pleasures of a harmonious match of flavors.