Home' Advocate Communications : Fiordland Advocate 8 March 2012 Contents WHAT’S COOKING
Page 16 | 8 March, 2012
Seashells, twists, bow ties, grapes,
frills, little ears, ribbons, tubes –
these appealing pasta pieces are
pretty much taking over my pantry.
I have become hooked on buying every new pasta shape and colour
that comes into the deli. I would love to display them in jars on an open
kitchen shelf. But for that I would need to redesign my kitchen.
The shapes are for a reason. It takes less sauce to cover pasta formed
into parcels than it does to cover the same amount of pasta that has
been rolled out and cut into strips. Ribbed or shaped pastas hold more
sauce than smooth ones and chunky sauces need the ribbed pasta to
trap the sauce as it travels from plate to mouth. Tubes are best served
with smoother sauces.
It takes considerable understanding – something that comes naturally
to the Italians – to marry pasta with the correct amount of sauce.
Commercial dried pasta is generally made from hard durum wheat flour
which gives it a firmer texture – it won’t go soft if slightly overcooked –
although if seriously overcooked it will become flabby. Pasta should be
cooked until it is ‘al dente’ – still a little firm when you bite it.
A selection of pasta in my collection include:
• Conchiglie (pronounced con-keel-yay) resemble conch shells. They
can be served with meat or tomato sauces or used in salads. Smaller
shells are great in soups and the very large shells can be stuffed and
baked in a tomato or creamy sauce.
• Farfalle (far-fall-lay) are like little bow ties or butterflies and are
excellent in hearty sauces or salads.
• Fusilli (foo-zee-lee) are springs or corkscrew shaped. There are
various sizes all with different names but all are best suited to serving
with medium sauces.
• Grappolo d’Uva (grapola-doo-va) – colourful bunches of grape-shaped
pasta for salads or light sauces.
• Orecchiette (oh-reck-ee-et-tav) resemble little ears and are wonderful
in pasta bakes, with creamy sauces and in salads.
• Pappardelle (papa-dell-lay) – large, broad fettuccine, a fashionable
accompaniment for game stews.
• Stelline (steh-lee-neh) minute star-shaped pasta great for soups and
Shape up to
Curried Mayo: 1⁄2 cup good quality
1⁄4 cup plain yoghurt
2 teaspoons curry powder
freshly ground black pepper to taste
Salad: 2 cups pasta eg. grape or
sea shell shapes
1-2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
1 cup seedless green grapes
2 cups diced smoked chicken
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1⁄2 cup each: toasted walnut pieces,
baby basil leaves
Whisk the ingredients for the
dressing and refrigerate until
ready to serve.
Cook the pasta according to the
packet instructions. Drain and toss
with a little oil. Cool.
Meanwhile, halve the grapes, if
large. Combine in a bowl with the
chicken, lemon juice, walnuts and
Combine with the cold pasta.
Serve with the dressing on the
Serves 4 as a light meal.
Pasta grape salad with curried
125g trivelle or other spiral pasta
2 cups broccoli florets
1 onion, diced
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 large portabello mushrooms,
2 cloves garlic, crushed
100g ricotta cheese
4 rashes streaky bacon, grilled,
Cook the pasta according to
the packet instructions.
Add the broccoli florets 1
minute before the end of
Drain, reserving a 1⁄2 cup of
the pasta water.
Meanwhile, sauté the onion until
Add the mushrooms and garlic.
Sauté until the mushrooms are
Stir in the ricotta and enough
pasta water to make a sauce.
Toss together with the pasta and
broccoli. Top with the bacon, if
Great garnished with finely grated
Trivelle with broccoli and
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large white onion, finely diced
6 cups chicken stock
1⁄2 teaspoon thyme leaves
3⁄4 cup stelline
2 cups tiny green peas
salt and pepper to taste
1⁄4 cup finely chopped parsley
Heat the oil in a large saucepan.
Sauté the onion, until softened.
Add the stock and thyme and
simmer for 1 minute. Add the
pasta and peas and simmer for
about 5 minutes, until cooked.
Season and stir in the parsley.
4 cloves garlic
1⁄2 teaspoon each: salt, sugar
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 sprig fresh rosemary
freshly ground black pepper
250g dried penne
1⁄2 cup basil leaves to garnish
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Halve the tomatoes and place in
a roasting pan, cut-side up. Crush
the garlic together with the salt
and combine with the sugar and
olive oil. Dot over the tomatoes.
Sprinkle with rosemary leaves
and black pepper. Roast for 30
minutes, or until soft. Meanwhile,
cook the penne according to the
Coarsely chop the tomatoes then
combine with the drained, hot
pasta. Garnish with the basil.
Penne with roasted tomato and garlic
The broccoli can be replaced with beans, peas, courgettes or other
Substitute rigatoni or macaroni for the penne, if preferred.
Orzo or other tiny pasta could be
used in place of the stelline.
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