Category Archives: Pasta

Perfect Pasta with KitchenAid

KitchenAid Pasta Press

Fresh macaroni in minutes with the KitchenAid Pasta Press

Is there anything in the world more satisfying to kids (young or old) than a giant plate full of homemade macaroni and cheese? Seems like their quintessential comfort food. Hot from the oven with the cheese still bubbling and the breadcrumbs crusting, it always puts a smile on their face.

There are so few ingredients in mac and cheese, yet there’s always room for experimentation. The first thing most people change is the cheese – but freshly made pasta will do just as much to improve the old classic.

As for making the hole in the middle of the macaroni, the KitchenAid Pasta Press is just the thing. And if you find making pasta dough by hand to be an arduous process, the perfect solution is to use a KitchenAid Stand Mixer. The Pasta Press, as with all other attachments, will fit any KitchenAid stand mixer with a hub, no matter the age.

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Cavatelli Crazy

As Pasta Month winds down, we’re left with a savory trip into the hearty, if sometimes misunderstood, world of the cavatelli. Why savory? Hollowed-out ricotta cheese dumplings served with a mushroom thyme sauce, that’s why. Why misunderstood? Cavatelli are often confused with, and substituted for,  gnocchi. But believe us — these are definitely gnot gnocchi!

Where gnocchi are (usually) made with potatoes (though ricotta cheese versions also exist), cavatelli are a product of recipe rigidity: it’s ricotta or nothing! Additionally, where gnocchi are solid cylinders, cavatelli are more like tiny little hot dog buns.

Another, likely more hotly debated idea, is how to pronounce their name. Cavatelli. Kah-vah-TELL-ee. Rolls off the tongue, yeah? Try asking for them here in South Philly.

Customer: “I’d like a bag of cavatelli.”
Merchant: “Huh?”
Customer: “Top shelf, behind you. The cavatelli.”
Merchant: “Ahhh. The gavadeel?”
Customer: “Huh?”

Thus, the pronunciation merry-go-round whirls until both sides agree to disagree, and the transaction is thus completed. Depending on where you are, how you say your cavatelli is almost as important as how you eat them. Speaking of… Continue reading

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A Moment With Mary Ann Esposito

“There are just some family traditions that can never be broken — nor should they be broken! “

Food television has exploded in recent years, producing shows about celebrity chefs, famous restaurants and even shows about things we would never dare eat, let alone cook at home. One constant during that time has been Mary Ann Esposito, the warm and welcoming host of America’s longest-running cooking show, Ciao Italia. We caught up with Mary Ann this week for a quick Q&A for our Pasta Month series.

As a trusted authority on all foods Italian, Mary Ann dishes out on her kitchen inspirations, evading the “pasta police” and just what to do with pre-grated Parmigiano Reggiano.

Toque Tips: You are very engaged with your viewers and readers. What are the most frequent questions you receive about pasta?

Mary Ann: The most frequently asked question I get by far is, “What does al dente mean?” Al dente literally translates to the tooth, but that tells an inexperienced cook nothing. What it means is that pasta is cooked correctly when you can fish a strand out of the cooking water, break it in half and see that there is no raw uncooked white flour present. It should still be firm and not mushy or collapsed on itself. It should hold its shape.

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