How do you make Real Italian pasta dishes? -GM
Here is a real italian pasta dish http://www.food52.com/recipes...
Here are some tips I always follow:
1- always salt the pasta water before adding the noodles. The water should taste like the ocean.
2- Just before draining the noodles, save some of the salty starchy pasta water. I save about a cup.
3- Pull noodles just short of al dente and finish the cooking of the noodles in your sauce - this allows for maximum flavor absorption
4 - Toss your noodle/sauce mixture with some of the pasta water - I start with a quarter cup at a time - until you get your desired consistency
5 - Finish your dish with some grated parmiggiano reggiano and/or pecorino Romano
This is a huge can of worms. In Italy there are more than 2,000 recognized pasta shapes, some rolled, some extruded, and all distinctly regional. There is no national Italian cuisine. The whole country is really fractious on the whole topic. It's better to begin by thinking about what flavors you like. For imported Italian pasta I highly recommend the brand Rustichella D'Abruzzo.
Rustichella d'abruzzo is the bomb.
And so are Martelli, and Setaro and Spinosi, and several other artisan pasta makers whose pastas are imported by shopkeepers in the know.
But the question is a multi-edged sword, and waaaay too broad to answer easily.
I agree with ChefJune that the question (and answers!) are very broad. I always fall back on Marcella Hazen's Classics of Italian Cooking. My copy is comfortably smattered with tomato sauce and butter and olive oil. She does a good job of walking you through the basics - how to make pasta and risotto and all things delicious. Carbonara.....mmmmmmm
Italian cooking is often quite simple. After cooking the pasta al dente in salted water, don't make too complicated a sauce. Using about four/five or maximum six ingredients, such as well-cooked tomatoes, olive oil, basil, and garlic, you will approximate an Italian dish. This could have chopped meat or onion, but not bell peppers! Try butter, lemon, garlic, and sage. Or sauteed eggplant, tomato, olive oil, and garlic. Can top with grated parmigiano. High quality and few ingredients are authentic!