New Castle News

Lugene Hudson

November 4, 2011

Culinary Conversation: Pasta provides tasty options

NEW CASTLE — Finding quick and easy meal choices these days doesn’t have to be a challenge.

One of the most versatile and inexpensive choices is pasta.

What’s not to love about it?

It can be dressed up, dressed down, served with or without sauce and supplemented with vegetables or meats. The varieties of shapes runs the gamut. There’s spaghetti, linguini, elbow macaroni, fusilli, tortellini, bows, twists, shells and spirals, just to mention a few. And my favorite — ravioli — can be stuffed with so many fillings.

Pasta is made from a simple combination of eggs and flour. It is valued as a high energy food and a source of complex carbohydrates. It also supplies moderate amounts of protein and by choosing wisely for accompanying sauces or ingredients, fat content can remain low.

So many pasta-bilities.

Its origin goes to ancient cultures who made a form of pasta by preparing a flour and water or milk dough, which was rubbed through a sieve to form small pellets. These were dried in the sun to be stored later for future use.

With so many quality dried pastas on the market, meal prep has less steps.

As somewhat of a pasta purist, though, I confess fresh pasta is the ultimate, and New Castle has some fine homemade pasta makers. Taste is the ultimate test. And I have tasted the best from area cooks.

For the record, I have tested the second recipe and it’s a winner. But scallops are one of my favorite seafoods, so it’s easy for me to love.

The other two were not tested. The second recipe is a little richer than the others, but could be easily lightened in fat content without losing taste.

To quote from one of my favorite movies, “Fried Green Tomatoes,” — “The secret’s in the sauce.”

To sauce or not sauce is up to you.


Spaghetti in Tuna

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Lugene Hudson
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