Amaltea Cooking school : lesson four

Four different types of Italian main dishes : Passatelli , Risotto, Potato Gnocchi and Spaghetti alla Carbonara.

When you think to pasta you immediately think to Italy! Pasta is the main dish for Italians, especially for lunch. Italians don’t like to eat fast both for lunch or dinner  . We have many kind of pasta and sauces and every region has it own specialties.

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It is an Italian habit eating for lunch pasta or a main dish similar to pasta . Here below four typical preparations:

1) Passatelli: this is a typical main dish of Emilia Romagna and of some provinces of Marche and Umbria regions. They look like thick spaghetti but the taste is completely different because they are made with bread crumbs , Parmigiano Reggiano , eggs and some spice like nutmeg.

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Usually they are boiled and served with meat soup but now with new and modern recipes you can find “Passatelli asciutti” that means without soup.

I love this dish , in my family every Sunday it was an habit to eat Passatelli  and to me it meant enjoying time with my family!

2) Risotto: what I can say about risotto is that all my certainties on the preparation of risotto with this lesson have disappeared … French cuisine taught to fry the onion, to toast the rice to blend it with wine and after to whisk with butter … the modern cuisine subvert these rules! Why ? Because if you want to have different tastes of Risotto , rise must take flavor from the ingredients you mix and not only from onions and wine !

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And our risotto with sausages was really full of flavor!

3) Potato Gnocchi : in Italy, gnocchi are usually served as a first course instead of pasta. Gnocchi’s plump, pillowy texture and mild, delicate flavor make them perfect for rich sauces.  The texture must be soft and this can make the difference between good or bad gnocchi. For making good ones you must use potatoes with lot of starch(those with pale yellow pulp)!

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4)Spaghetti alla Carbonara : this is a typical dish of Lazio region and especially of Rome , prepared with popular ingredients with an intense flavor ! Now you can find it all over Italy and not only. There are many kind of different recipes of Carbonara. The original recipe includes only “pancetta” bacon , eggs and Pecorino or Parmigiano Reggiano (salt and pepper). Eggs must not cook , they must be put together with pasta at the end of preparation!

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