With all this business talk of pasta, I couldn’t stand the temptation, anymore: I decided this is going to be a week of Italian recipes, and I am going to go through the greatest Italian cookbook ever published, trying nearly everything I can. I’ll rearrange my schedule to fit it in without too much interruption. I decided to start with lunch today, and kick off with an old favorite as a baseline: The Penne Covered In Tomato Sauce with Onion and Butter recipe, which I documented in that post.
[mainbodyad]I’m still in awe that it could feed a typical family for only $5.70 in raw ingredients (something that astounds me, because it remains one of the best tasting, and simplest, pasta sauces I’ve ever had). There’s a butter and sage sauce I want to try, several stuffed pastas with cheese and sausages, and a few vegetable dishes. Nearly everything she put in the book requires only a handful of ingredients straight out of the produce aisle with a little bit of optional butter or salt. On a per serving basis, it’s not bad at all.
This will give me a chance to 1.) work on the homemade pasta recipes, and 2.) test all of the boxed pastas to find out which one is best. It will be like discovering winter white honey all over again – speaking of which, when you test these things yourself at home, don’t forget the control group! Now that I’m not buying Barilla anymore, I’m using the last of the remaining pasta to use as the comparison as each new pasta is made. For this lunch, I’m starting with the world famous De Cecco brand.
Update: De Cecco is really good pasta. It seems a bit heavier than Barilla, and has a decent amount of that fresh pasta taste coming through, which I like. If you don’t like heavy pastas or you aren’t used to Al Dente (heathen!), you might think it is a bit gummy, but I see why it is one of the top-shelf brands and so renowned. I’d definitely buy it again. Not sure which one I’ll test next. I need to get back to writing, as I have a few pieces to publish before the end of the month.