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Pasta in many forms

Updated on May 1, 2010

Pasta galore

Pasta comes in many forms:stars,shell,wheels,letters of the alphabet,strips or tubes of various colors and countless different thicknesses and lengths. Admittedly most are made from the same basic mixture,but a new look can be given to a dish by using one of the less usual shapes.          

       There are three main varieties of pasta: first,the majority,like spaghetti,made from white semolina flour;second,the same paste enriched with eggs,usually for noodles;third,the basic paste colored green by the addition of spinach,made into lasagne and noodles of varying sizes.

       Spaghetti is probably most people's idea of a cheap and easy meal,and it is indeed one of the most convenient and inexpensive of foods. Easy to cook,capable of being stored for reasonable periods of time,its is popular with most everyone,including children and vegetarians, when covered with one or another of a wide variety of sauces.

     Whole wheat spaghettis and macaronis are also acceptable although less delicate in flavor. A whole wheat macaroni is good in minestrone; the pale brown color merges nicely with the other ingredients,and the taste and slightly firmer texture go well with them too.

     As a main dish,you can serve spaghetti or noodles with one or another vegetable mixture,or a sauce. You can make meat sauces but a chicken and vegetable sauce is really good.You can also try pasta without a sauce,simply dressed with butter or oil and served as an accompaniment to another dish-a meat stew,for instance. Seafood sauces can be delicious but are rarely seen. A quick last-minute dish can be made from canned minced clams,which are very good.

     An uncooked sauce can be made by combining in a blender canned Italian tomatoes,some chopped salami,flaked tuna fish and chopped black olives,with a little oregano; blend well,and pour,cold,over hot spaghetti. In summer,spaghetti can also be eaten cold. In this case it must be well moistened with plenty of olive oil or dressed with suitably oily sauce; it can be tossed from time to time while cooking


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