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a small quandry...

post #1 of 83
Thread Starter 

i have put a 5 meat bolognese  on the menu(beef, pork, veal, pancetta, spicy italian  sausage) OVER fettuccine. normally i would toss pasta and sauce together, but i'm thinking that with that beautiful meat sauce i want more to showcase it rather than mix it in...yes i could pan toss with a bit of the sauce then put more on top, but i rather like the starkness of the plate with just a simple mound of fetttuccine with the sauce and shaved parm-reg on top....i know that this isn't 'politically correct', but any opinions out there? do you care as a diner? take off points? yes, i know i have many more important things to obsess about, but i guess that's why it's called obsessing... thanks

joey

food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

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food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

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post #2 of 83

Joey, my friend, if I could share with you how

my American-Italian Michael REALLY prefers his pasta?

As you say, that stark plate of beautiful pasta

(he likes Rigs)

with a generous serving of Five Meat Bolognese on the top,

Parm Reggio shavings and a light sprinkling of fresh flat leaf Parsley. 

Mangiamo Pizzano!

from ...

My kitchen in the middle of the desert

A Hui Hou (until we met), ALOHA!

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from ...

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post #3 of 83

I could see having the pasta mostly bare, a mound of the sauce just at its edge, with the shaved cheese, possibly with some herbage just off to the side.  Think of the classic heart shape - pasta one half of the heart, sauce the other, trimmings at the top.

 

Let the diners mix as they will.

 

mjb.

Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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post #4 of 83

Not a meat sauce, but Rigs and Chicken Cassiatore, but you get the idea

Nothing fancy, Just food (and a glass of wine, that's mine)

 

 

Good Eats

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My kitchen in the middle of the desert

A Hui Hou (until we met), ALOHA!

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post #5 of 83

If you're gonna get away with it, you'll get away with it in the US so go for it.  Personally I don't like it, and anyone who's been to Italy will probably not like it either.  Pasta is supposed to take on the flavor of the sauce, plain noodles don't make culinary sense.  You wouldn't serve a sandwich with the bread on one side of the plate and the toppings on the other side because it defeats the purpose of the sandwich.  So my vote is no.

 

If you do want to showcase the starkness of the pasta, at least toss it in some white sauce before you top it with the ragu.  Of cook them in broth.  But don't leave them noodles neked!  K-girl, that picture is indecent lol.

 

For what it's worth, at home I make my sauce in a bit shallow pot and then remove 2/3 of it to the side.  I toss the noodles in the rest of it and then hubby likes to top the pasta with more sauce. 

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #6 of 83
Miss KK, I agree with you
If you are not going to make the pasta as an Italian would in Italy by finishing the cooking process in the condiment
It'll be with an American-Italian at the table, as my hubby would have his pasta like his Mother made, "that's how you serve pasta" as he would say
.... And yeah, I'm kinda slobbering all over myself right now looking at that plate, you know that I was searching for this photo and realized that we had this same dish twice in less than amonth?! Mangiamo wink.gif

from ...

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A Hui Hou (until we met), ALOHA!

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from ...

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A Hui Hou (until we met), ALOHA!

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post #7 of 83

I have eaten in many Italian households and seen it done bothways . It is up to what you were brought up doing I guess. Restaurants are different. Old style was on top, new style they like to toss and mix. Most of my friends are Sicilian and they put on top. Northern Italian seem to toss.

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #8 of 83

Independent sauce for me. The pasta here, the Bolognesa in a saucer there. Also, some evoo and a cheese grater. And hot pepperoncini oil too, just in case. I mix as I like. Plates and saucer, warm. That's how i like it.

post #9 of 83

I worked in an "oldschool" italian kitchen for 8 years....we always served the bolognese on top of naked pasta.  I don't like the idea of it, because if you drain the pasta well, it's all going to stick together and it's a pain to eat.  It does look pretty on the plate though.  My solution (and no, I haven't ran this) is to toss the pasta in the base of your bolognese, (pomadoro, milk?)just enough to color and coat it, and then lay your meat sauce on top.  That's the way my boss's wife would do it when I'd go over for dinner, and it's perfect.  Mangiamo!

post #10 of 83

I've never had pasta naked with the sauce on top neither here in Rome nor in Sicily, nor in Sicilian restaurants here, nor in any other city i've been in.  I was only in Siracusa in Sicily, but it would surprise me if they would do it that way in any other city. 

Doesn't mean someone doesn't do it but i never saw it in 35 years in Italy. 

 

The reason is simple, as mentioned before, the pasta just gets goopy and is disgusting, sticking to itself and not mixing - you pick up one piece of pasta and five come stuck to it, all white, with the sauce only on the part that is on top - how can that be pleasant?  The other reason is that you can't easily mix it well in your dish with the sauce and to really properly mix it (even if it were not all stuck together) you would have to be tossing it all over the table, since the kind of low bowl used for pasta would be too small.  (Same goes for salad, though restaurants now will bring the cruets, because people's taste is so different and a person in two is on some diet or something). 

 

I think the idea of white pasta and red sauce served separate on top and a little pile of grated cheese on top of that was a marketing idea by the pasta companies or food photographers to make it more appealing - visually contrasts are always appealing.  I'd say, serve it on a white dishsmile.gif

 

That said, there are plenty of things we get used to from childhood and then you don't want to have them any other way.  I remember my first peanut butter and jelly sandwich was in kindergarten when we were staying later in school for some event and they sent up a box of sandwiches for us.  They were piled in the box and i got one of the bottom ones, and it was all squashed.  Well, i still like the soft bread squashed like that, and i don;t care what anyone says! 

"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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post #11 of 83

One day I will go to Rome and hang out with Siduri.  I'm going to eat a leg of lamb roasted in a very hot oven, with unevenly cut french fries.  For dessert we will share a squished up peanut butter and jelly sandwich.  Your persnickety ways fascinate me and the meal will be superb.

 

Only recently did restaurants start mixing up the salad here in the US.  Growing up it was always a pile of iceberg lettuce, tomato wedges, grated cheese and a huge raw onion ring on top.  Ranch dressing was gooped all over the top of it. 

 

In order to serve the sauce you have to make the sauce the center piece.  I'm no expert but it goes against the principle of pasta.  Pasta is the centerpiece, the pasta highlights the sauce and the 2 marry.  It shouldn't be a mantle.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #12 of 83
Thread Starter 

thank you all for your comments and input. i truly appreciate it as it helps me to balance what i'd like to see/taste with what the people i cook for like. 

what i absolutely despise seeing and desperately was looking to avoid was the 'supersize me' platter of over sauced, and most probably overcooked noodles. noodles you can barely see for all the sauce....noodles swimming in a pool of thick, pasty red sauce. i wanted balance and elegance and an honest plate of pasta. what i ended up with was pretty close to RBANDU'S suggestsion. i warmed the fettuccine with a splash of white wine, some parsley and just enough sauce to lightly coat. in beautiful tuscan colored shallow wide rimmed bowls it went with  the lion's share of sauce on top. parm-regg of course. in the end it was lovely, looked great, the plates came back clean, compliments were made, and if last night was any indication, i better get busy making the next 5 gallon batch.....have i created a monstser? well, i'll take those kinda monster's any day of the week!     so, thank you all again for your time and opinions....(i did try and get a pix but a phone camera in a hurry did not do it justice.....will try again another time)

joey

 

for all the daddyo's out there...Happy Father's day...hope it's swell!

food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

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food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

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post #13 of 83

Hahaha if you make a good bolognese in Colorado, expect to have a following.  Actually expect to get run down by people that say "GIVE ME REAL ITALIAN FOOD RIGHT NOW" as they hump your leg.  Hahahahahahaha.

post #14 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by Koukouvagia View Post

One day I will go to Rome and hang out with Siduri.  I'm going to eat a leg of lamb roasted in a very hot oven, with unevenly cut french fries.  For dessert we will share a squished up peanut butter and jelly sandwich.  Your persnickety ways fascinate me and the meal will be superb.

 

I look forward to the day - and to be called persnickety to boot - what greater compliment! smile.gif  Truly suits me. 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by durangojo View Post

 

what i absolutely despise seeing and desperately was looking to avoid was the 'supersize me' platter of over sauced, and most probably overcooked noodles. noodles you can barely see for all the sauce....noodles swimming in a pool of thick, pasty red sauce.

No no, never swimming in sauce, yuck. 

My favorite way for any sauce you would use cheese on, is to drain the pasta, put it back in the pot and throw a couple of handfuls of grated parmigiano on the hot pasta.  I leave it a couple of seconds (don;t stir or it will get all over the spoon and the sides of the pot, and less on the pasta.)  Then i add the sauce and mix very well, first a ladleful, then more, as it seems to call for it.  Never puddling at the bottom of the pot. 

I usually have some sauce left over to pass if anyone wants more (usually for sweeping it up with their bread) as well as cheese of course.  I sometimes add some butter too with the sauce depending on the type. 

"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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post #15 of 83

Only time I will eat Iceburg Lettuce is on a BLT. It has no taste and is 90%water. On sandwiches I use Leaf Lettuce, in salads a mix but no iceburg.

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #16 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by durangojo View Post

 i warmed the fettuccine with a splash of white wine, some parsley and just enough sauce to lightly coat.

 

I'd do the same only with pasta water instead of wine.

 

Dave

I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
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I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
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post #17 of 83

As a rule:  Finishing the pasta by briefly cooking pasta and sauce together in the same pan is an important part of cooking pasta right.   Put the best food you can on the plate, and to hell with  it!  Besides "pristine" is overrated. 

 

Durangojo:  You're one of the two or three best cooks, professional or amateur, participating on CT.  Taste the food and trust yourself.

 

BDL 

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post #18 of 83

Joey, I agree with you, when you have a great looking sauce it gets lost in the mix. In my opinion your sauce is king and should be the center of attention. I feel the pasta should always be tossed with the "at least the liquid part of the sauce" to absorb the flavor of the sauce and then put the star attraction over the top. I don't know if you can accomplish the right mix if this is done by placing the sauce over the cooked pasta and get sauce/flavor being absorbed into the pasta. I watch Mario Batali on his show, he makes a good looking red sauce, when he tosses it with the pasta and plates it, it looks like hell. I always try to make my pasta dishes show case the sauce, this is the whole deal about plate appeal and presentation. I have been through Italy, I could care less whats done their, I only care whats .accepted within the walls of my own Restaurant.................The best......Chefbillyb

post #19 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by Koukouvagia View Post

One day I will go to Rome and hang out with Siduri.  

 

 

Me too please?

Some day, in my dreams, I would like to eat in Italy, preferably in one city of each region …  

from ...

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A Hui Hou (until we met), ALOHA!

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from ...

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post #20 of 83
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by chefedb View Post

Only time I will eat Iceburg Lettuce is on a BLT. It has no taste and is 90%water. On sandwiches I use Leaf Lettuce, in salads a mix but no iceburg.

that's nice ed....did you want pasta on that sandwich? confused.gif,rolleyes.gif

joey

food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

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food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

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post #21 of 83
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by boar_d_laze View Post

 

Durangojo:  You're one of the two or three best cooks, professional or amateur, participating on CT.  Taste the food and trust yourself.

 

BDL 

oh yeah, who's the other one?!!!  kinda reminds me of the story of the father who sends each of his 5 children a card that reads, "don't tell the others, but you're my favorite"

joey


Edited by durangojo - 6/17/12 at 11:19am

food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

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food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

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post #22 of 83

In Itala, most of the sauces, depending on type ( Norma, Pesto, Bolognese etcetra ), are tossed, however, there are restaurants that drizzle some sauce on bottom of plate, place pasta on top of the sauce, and then drizzle the top, so the client can toss ... and then have their freshly grated Reggiano Parmesano or Pecorino Sardo as garnish on top to toss again ... Many white sauced pastas, Vongole for example,  the sauce is on the bottom too ...

 

I dislike nude pasta myself ...

 

Chef Ed:  I am not much of an Iceburg woman, I prefer Oak Leaf Red Violet fringed lettuces, Radicchio and Arugula ... However, Iceburg can be pleasantly refreshing in a mixed salad, along with other lettuces that are bittery.

 

Have a nice Sunday.

Margaux.  

post #23 of 83

First -- I'm not talking about "tossing."  I'm talking about draining the al dente pasta into a pan full of sauce over heat. 

 

Second -- I'm not kidding about two or three best; which by the way is a thing you should already know both as to my opinion and to objective reality.  Also, it shouldn't be too difficult to figure out that naming the others isn't an issue, but problems arise in identifying who they aren't.

 

BDL


Edited by boar_d_laze - 6/17/12 at 1:04pm
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post #24 of 83

Boar,

 

 

Then on a restaurant level, my answer is that some do briefly sauté the sauce with the pasta as a finishing touch.

 

However, that is not to say that Cooks do this or not do it ...  It varies from country to country and restaurant to restaurant.

 

It also depends on the type of sauce as well.   

 

Happy Father´s Day,

Ciao,

Margaux.

post #25 of 83

OK. AS per usual ... I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'.   Pasta Bolognese is not a big player on my menu. Not that I don't do it, just not all that much. Since this thread began, I've been interested in the different ways it's made. I have no problemmo with serving it up either way as it's been put. I actually like the look of the naked pasta with the sauce as a separate dressing on top, but all mixed/dressed together is oakey-doakey too. Anytime I make this dish I jack up the veggies-to-meat ratio. My pasta choice is usually tagliatelle, pappardelle and/or even passatelli (but that's really off the reservation). I like to finish off mine with a little cream at the end making it more white-ish than all red. In looking I found these to be interesting. 

 

Pasta Bolognese Recipe

Recipe courtesy Anne Burrell. Over-the-top, enough to feed 26 people. Fun video.

 

Spaghetti Bolognese Recipe

Recipe courtesy Emeril Lagasse

 

Rigatoni with Vegetable Bolognese

Recipe courtesy Giada De Laurentiis

 

Yeah, I know, all three(3) examples are from the FN. So what? That doesn't mean they're bad. I think whoever does the cooking and serving can and should do it however which way they like. If it's good it will be a hit. If not, well maybe then you should look to change. 

 

Heston Blumenthal's Perfect Spaghetti Bolognese.

320px-Heston_Blumenthal%27s_Perfect_Spaghetti_Bolognese.jpg  

This is very pretty. 

 

"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music."

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"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music."

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post #26 of 83

Pretty is one thing, Ice Man, and good to eat is another.  Fettuccine are going to stick even more together and be really unpleasant, unless they're buttered, and then the sauce won;t stick to them and will not be absorbed into the pasta.  I love nice presentations, but first of all it has to taste good.

 

I know everything has to be a tower nowadays, and food is more expensive when it doesn;t look like food, but it can get out of hand.  French fries are laid like bricks, and even soup would be made into a tower if they could (see the youtube of Black Books - around 1.20 seconds)    http://youtu.be/Ms9iUDxiB3U

"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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post #27 of 83

As was mentioned, the cooked pasta should be added to a saucepan with the appropriate amount of sauce (and if I may add- a touch of butter ), making sure its evenly coated, then add.....

 

Choosing the right pasta is important as well. Tagliatelle is one that goes well with it or I serve it with pappardelle

 

Joey, as an added thought, have you ever added chicken livers ( finely minced ) to your dish and a splash of heavy cream ?  It gives the dish a real depth of flavor, adding marsala or wine is good.

 

As much as I love Heston's recipes and video's, he should have cooked those noodles with some of the sauce first before plating.

 

Petals.

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post #28 of 83
Thread Starter 

sorry chefed,

i just 'got' where the iceberg lettuce came in......i thought you were just having a 'senior' moment......again sorry.... i will take the pasta off your sandwich for you.

joey 

food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

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food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

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post #29 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by siduri View Post
  http://youtu.be/Ms9iUDxiB3U

 

That was hilarious.

post #30 of 83

Originally Posted by margcata View Post

Then on a restaurant level, my answer is that some do briefly sauté the sauce with the pasta as a finishing touch.

What are you telling me?  That my method isn't the only good one?  That's true.  My suggestion to durangojo to cook the pasta in the sauce as I do was only  suggestion, I don't expect people to think anything I said was written by a burning finger on tablets of stone. 

FWIW, you can't "saute" in sauce.  Sauteing is a fiarly specific thing done in a small amount of fat..  I put a little sauce in the pan,loosen it with pasta water, cook it until it starts to tighten up to where I want it, add the pasta, and cook the pasta in sauce until the pasta begins to absorb sauce. 

 

That's not the only way to do things, it might not even be the best; but... works for me. 

 

That it's also "THE Italian way" is nice, but neither here nor there.  Speaking of Italian, Siduri is always cogent and interesting, but Siduri with apoplexy is even more entertaining.  It's nice to be on; the same side with her.

 

If you've cooked from almost any of my recipes you should have a very good idea of what I'm about when it comes to food in terms of textures, tastes and balances.  My cooking style is very straightforward and "ingredient oriented."  Ingredient oriented means among other things that one thing in a dish is the "star," and everything else a supporting player.  To my mind, sauce should almost be never be the star."  Sauce on top of pasta tends puts too much focus on the sauce, while making the dish too saucy.  I sauce pasta as I do, because it brings out the taste and texture of the pasta itself. 

 

Durangojo's style is also ingredient driven, and while similar to my viewpoint hers is not the same.  My food runs more intense, simple and technically oriented, while hers is more ornamental, balanced and creative.  Vive la difference!  I trust her palate.   FWIW, I'd put myself on one end of the "ingredient-driven" spectrum, petals (like joey, an excellent cook) on the other, and joey in the middle. 

 

BDL

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