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As Nancy Harmon Jenkins explains in her seminal 1997 NYT article, “From Italy, the Truth About Pasta,” Artisanal pasta is different in two main respects:  it is extruded through bronze (or gold, in the case of Verrigni) dies instead of through industrial Teflon, giving it a rough-textured surface to which sauce clings rather than slipping off, and it is dried slowly at low temperatures so that it retains more of the nutty flavor and aroma of durum wheat. Many Italians consider high quality artisanal dry pasta to be superior topasta fresca, or fresh pasta, because of its versatility.

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When you work with fine ingredients you don’t need to add complicated steps to create a delicious, complete, even gourmet, meal. Simplicity is one of the central precepts of authentic Italian cuisine. Let the ingredients shine. This month we give you ingredients to create two delicious meals in about 10 minutes:

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