Sawyer

I boiled what pasta I had on hand I had two half full boxes of different types of pasta so I used those up.

Put in a ton of veggies like broccoli, corn, onions, green onions, cherry tomatoes and snap peas. There's also eggs, cheese and diced chicken in there.

The dressing consists of dukes mayo and sweet vidalia onion dressing. Then I seasoned it and this is what you get.

As for the veggies I added what I had on hand you can put whatever you like in it.

"Salad" has a fairly loose definition, here the pasta has been tossed with salad dressing (probably mayo) and served cold is a common pasta salad. I'd just say cold pasta.

A pasta salad imo. is mostly salad with some pasta. But sure, you could call it whatever is the most convenient.

Sawyer

I think rubbery just means you have more gluten than you'd like. It comes from working the dough, and if you want more tender pasta just run the Kitchenaid for less time and you'll develop less gluten.

When it comes to flour there are a few variables. most important are the protein content and grind size.

In the US most flours range from ~6% in pastry flour up to ~15% or higher in bread flours. AP flour is usually right in the middle as it's designed to be good enough to work for any recipe. That's why it's called All Purpose. Anyway, this protein is what turns into gluten when combined with moisture in your dough. You knead the dough to facilitate the chemical reaction like we were talking about above.

Another aspect of flour is the grind size, which changes the texture of your pasta.

The '00' in 00 flour refers to the grind size, rather than the protein content, which can be very low or very high. Finely milled 00 flour makes a smoother pasta while coarser ground semolina produces a more textured pasta.

Just remember that difference is independent of the protein content, which also affects the texture in a different way.

There's also the distinction of what wheat the flour is milled from.

Here in the US it's mostly from the same wheat variety unless you use semolina flour, which is made from durhum wheat. Also remember that Italian flours are often lower in protein content than American flours, so just do your homework and check on the actual protein content.

If this helps, remember the dried pasta you buy at the store is made from semolina (durhum wheat) and water, while fresh pasta at home is usually made from AP flour and eggs.

You can just as easily make pasta at home from semolina and water. that's normal for shaped pasta like cavatelli, orecchiette, etc. but for a delicate stuffed pasta you'd use a dough from finer milled flour and egg.

People will always argue about olive oil and salt in pasta doughs. I think the oil is supposed to inhibit some gluten formation making your dough more tender but I'm not sure how much you'd need to notice the difference. salting the dough is fine as long as the crystals are small enough and your pasta is thick enough that it doesn't tear the pasta sheet. You should be salting your boiling water heavily enough that your pasta will absorb salt while cooking as well, but there's nothing wrong with salting the dough. My theory is that the salt is absorbed more evenly by the pasta when dissolved in solution in the cooking water and absorbed by the pasta, but I can't say I've done enough side-by-side comparisons to call it either way.

If you're just getting into pasta then try a bunch of different flours and see what you like best. It doesn't have to be a science project if you don't want it to be. Just swap out ingredients, whether it's flour, eggs, water, salt, oil, or something more, and see what happens.

Sawyer

I think what puts most people off, other than the thinner quality of the sauce, is the notion that those are runny eggs.

The eggs are cooked from the residual heat. It's not that the pasta is soupy, the sauce actually is quite creamy and smooth, but the noodles are still slurpable instead of being sticky.

Getting the temperature just right is a little bit tricky as it depends on heat retention of your skillet and stove, but once you get the hang of it you know it's right when you see it.

I was taught to make carbonara by my sister's fiancé, who is an Italian from Puglia region. The closest recipe to his that I have seen is on youtube, on foodtube channel. I make mine the same way Antonio Carluccio does. I use bacon instead of guanciale and my cheese is different but the rest is almost identical.

Notice how the title of that video is "Real Spaghetti Carbonara" ? I'm thinking Antonio is casting shade on anything that does not closely match his dish.

What I do:

  1. I didn't add an additional egg yolk, since I made just one portion for myself. If I'm cooking for 3 people or more, I do that as well.
  2. I used smoked pork cheeks instead of proper Italian guanciale, which is cured. Guanciale is much harder to come by over here and is much more expensive, whereas I can get great quality smoked pork cheeks at a local butcher for very cheap. Besides, I like supporting local produce.
  3. I cook pork cheeks in a dry pan. There really is no need for olive oil in this recipe, almost always fat from cheeks is enough and that way you don't have to use paper towel afterwards. If it's not enough, you can always add a little bit of butter.
  4. I also add a clove of garlic to the pan and let it caramelize a little bit. After a few minutes I take it out, chop it up and add in the end. It gives a nice aroma and tiny bit of sweetness.
  5. Negligible difference - this time I used Grana Padano cheese, because that's what I had at home. Usually it's Parmigiano-Reggiano or Pecorino Romano.
  6. I use plastic utensils in my non-stick pans. I don't want to ruin my pans since I'm not sponsored and buy them myself.
Sawyer

Pasta Puttanesca

Boil pasta, cooking to al dente, drain and set aside. Sauté garlic with red pepper flakes, salt and anchovies in olive oil over medium heat in large skillet, about two minutes.

Add in crushed tomatoes, olives and capers, simmering for 10-15 minutes. Add in pasta and reduce heat, mixing thoroughly.

Mix in tomatoes (if using) and garnish with parsley before serving.

Recipe:

  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes (28 oz)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 tin anchovy fillets
  • 1 tablespoon Capers (more depending on preference)
  • 1/2 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and halved
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • Parsley for garnish
  • Optional: grape tomatoes
    • I sautéed them with olive oil, salt and pepper before adding them to the dish

Sawyer

This is the recipe you should know if you are planning on making you own pasta. It is really simple, 10 oz flour, 2 eggs, 4 additional egg yolks, and a pinch of salt.

Put flour in a big bowl, make a well in the middle and add eggs. Fresh egg pasta like this cooks in 40 seconds or so, depending on thickness.

Mix until combined and you have one mass of dough.

Knead this mass for 10 minutes, and then wrap tightly in plastic wrap and rest in fridge for 30 minutes. At this stage I usually quarter my dough and run through the pasta machine, which helps cut the pasta to the desired shape, but is not entirely necessary.

Fettuccine is semi-easy with a nice sharp knife or pizza cutter. If the pasta is a little wet, add a sprinkle of flour and knead a couple times.

If it's dry, add a sprinkle of water and knead a couple times. When you have cut your strips, let them hang over something to dry for bit, then drop in boiling water for a couple minutes to cook.

Electric pasta machine, not extruder but normal type, is the way to go. Not hard to cut by hand most of the time, the cutting attachments are mostly unnecessary.

Also, first few times you try it won't work out, after a while it becomes simple though.

Sawyer

Breakfast

At home milk and coffe plus biscuits or bread and jam. At bar coffe and cornetto.

Lunch

People usually would eat pasta once a day, so luch is preferable. Pasta can be matched with a lot of condiments, and some recipes use cold pasta, good for summer. After a first course, few people eat a second, a contorno and frutta. Mamy people eat on the go at work, so many eat what they find at bars: tramezzino (search for this) or sliced pizza (al taglio).

Dinner

If people ate pasta at luch, they would just eat a second and a side, which may be meat and vegetables, cheeses and affettati and potatoes, normal things

If you want receipts there are many sites with plenty of them.

Many italian american dishes are not italian

I think that if you want to start to know more about italian food and try to cook an italian dinner by yourself you should visit this web site.

I just received one of their boxes, the products were amazing!

They come from real italian small-size producers. In the boxes there also also recipes that explain you how to use the ingredient and obtain a fantastic italian dinner for 4 people.

Sawyer

I think that my problem was probably just not letting the dough rest. You can make pasta with AP flour, but you need to try with semolina. It's gritty and coarse, but with moisture, kneading and rest, it becomes beautifully pliable but still firm.

As for the flour, the two variables that are really going to affect your pasta are the protein content of whatever flour you use, and the ash content.

Dealing with the latter first, ash content really comes into play with Tipo 00 flour, which is something of a prized possession for non-European bakers.

It has nothing to do with the protein content of the flour, rather the amount of bran/germ in the flour. Usually this correlates to the fineness of the mill, as well. The point here is that for an equal weight or volume of Tipo 00 flour versus standard king arthur flour, you don't need quite as much water as it's more absorbent.

Other than that it's not going to differ too much versus whatever other mill of flour you might use.

Then, the protein content of your flour determines how "strong" the noodle is and also how resilient the dough is. If you use bread flour, you're going to run into an issue where the dough starts to tighten and seize up eventually as you work it. For this reason you want to make sure your dough is rested and stretchable before you cut it. On the flip side if you use cake flour you'll get a dough with relatively little elasticity, and a noodle wihout much "chew" or "bite" to it.

My flour mix is generally AP flour and durum or semolina (which in addition to being high protein/gluten flours also impart some color). I'll use 50/50 for a fettucine or linguine (which I prefer al dente, with some bite to it), and 75/25 in favor of the AP for filled pastas like ravioli, where I want the noodle to be tender.

Last but not least, if you insist on using volume-based measurements for dough, use 1 cup of flour per 2 eggs. However I'd strongly recommend that you start using weight-based measurements for anything where you're combing water and flour. In this case, you want a 3:2 flour-to-liquid ratio. I don't use olive oil in my dough but if you choose to use some, just include it as a liquid, and keep the ratio the same.

Sawyer

In the east, the most common drinks were mostly of the tea variety. Around Lake Superior, the Ojibwe made (still might, not sure how many of these recipes are still in use) teas from wintergreen, raspberry, spruce, and snow berry leaves, as well as cherry twigs.

In the southeast, sassafras tea was common, and achieved considerable popularity in non-Native culture as well.

That popularity has taken a hit in recent generations though, since it has been discovered to be a carcinogen.

A few drinks noted among the Cherokee (but probably not unique to them) include a spicebush tea, a drink made from boiling passionflower fruit, and another made from soaking honey locust pods in hot water. The most famous drink of the American Southeast, the 'black drink,' a yaupon holly tea with a high notably high caffeine content. This is a culturally significant drink, mainly prepared for purification rituals and council meetings.

The yaupon holly got the Ilex vomitoria because it was thought to induce the vomiting observed in Timucuan black drink ritual, but this doesn't appear to be the case.

Other communities, both Native and otherwise, made use of the black drink without such effects.

Now a follow-up question for anyone interested: I seem to recall mention of a drink made, at least in part, from maple syrup, but flipping through my books tonight, I couldn't find the reference. Anyone know anything about this?

The Maya drank cacao out of tall round cups that looked roughly like a small bowl, though usually a little more angular. We speculate that they would use two cups to pour the chocolate between them to make it frothy. Cacao was an incredibly important Maya luxury good.

It was given as tribute to kings, we have inscriptions that tell us this, straight up.

Cacao was absolutely not for the "average" Maya.

It was a luxury good.

The inscriptions I read in which it was given as tribute mentioned in quantities like "ten sacks" or so. That's not a lot. Cacao trees are very finicky, they're actually indigenous to the Amazon rainforest, so cultivating them in Maya lands was a somewhat tricky business. Doable, but not high volume.

By Aztec times, when you would think cacao production would be at its maximum pre-contact, it still only took 80-100 beans to pay for a new cloth mantle.

Your average Joe Maya Schmoe drink Agua de Chia. This is a drink that the modern Yucatecs drink and I think it was something the ancient Maya would have drunk.

Another drink that can still be found in certain parts of Latin America and the San Fernando valley is called Tejuino. It's a mildly fermented fruit and corn drink said to have medicinal properties. It's actually very delicious with lime and salt...although it is an acquired taste.