a small quandary.....

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by durangojo, Jun 15, 2012.

  1. durangojo

    durangojo

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    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
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2014
  2. kaneohegirlinaz

    kaneohegirlinaz

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    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!
     
  3. teamfat

    teamfat

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    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.
     
  4. kaneohegirlinaz

    kaneohegirlinaz

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    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)

    [​IMG]
     
  5. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    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. 
     
  6. kaneohegirlinaz

    kaneohegirlinaz

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    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 ;)
     
  7. chefedb

    chefedb

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    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.
     
  8. ordo

    ordo

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    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.
     
  9. rbandu

    rbandu

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    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!
     
  10. siduri

    siduri

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    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 dish/img/vbsmilies/smilies/smile.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! 
     
  11. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    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.
     
  12. durangojo

    durangojo

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    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!
     
  13. rbandu

    rbandu

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    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.
     
  14. siduri

    siduri

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    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. 
     
  15. chefedb

    chefedb

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    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.
     
  16. duckfat

    duckfat

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

    Dave
     
  17. boar_d_laze

    boar_d_laze

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    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 
     
  18. chefbillyb

    chefbillyb

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    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
     
  19. kaneohegirlinaz

    kaneohegirlinaz

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    Me too please?

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

    durangojo

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

    joey