For a long time, I pretended to ignore the phenomenon. I told myself that fashion would pass and that you would all gradually come to your senses. But I’m going to have to face the facts, the tendency of the “One Pot Pasta” does not weaken; on the contrary, worse, it amplifies! Which leads me to conclude two things: either you’ve all gone completely crazy or you’re being drugged. I hope you are drugged.
Really, I thought it was a joke. I could have just kept ignoring him. Then you came with a floury face to explain to me that the “One Pot Pasta”pasta shredded in cold water with all sorts of other stuff, cooked over the fire for twenty, thirty, forty-five minutes, it was great and it also came from Puglia…
From the most beautiful region of Italy.
FROM MY HOUSE.
So I summarize: an American named Martha and out of nowhere repeats to whoever wants to listen that she made the discovery of the century with the “One Pot Pasta” inspired by recipes from southern Italy. And you, because it comes from America, because it has a stylish name, because it’s the new trend in New York, boom! you threw yourselves on it like the pox on the lower clergy and you decreed that it was a revolution.
The dots on the i’s
Brutally shove the raw pasta with raw ingredients into cold water and throw it on the fire for twenty minutes, is that your revolution? The French, fine gourmets, delicate, sophisticated and chic, would let the revolution on the plate be dictated BY THE AMERICANS? And you still have the right to vote? You scare me.
You can try to poison whoever you want in your kitchen but leave Italy and Puglia out of this general delirium
Ensure that the “One Pot Pasta” is an extraordinary and revolutionary invention, it’s like explaining to an Italian that drinking Tang is much better than drinking freshly squeezed Sicilian orange juice. In the best of cases, you pass for a comedian; in the worst, you end up in the depths of the Mediterranean clinging to a breeze block.
I would therefore like to dot the i’s once and for all: you can try to poison whoever you want in your kitchen, but leave Italy, Puglia, its expanses of silvery olive trees, its blond wheat fields and gold, its turquoise sea, its fish, its trulli, its seafood and its white cliffs, Padre Pio, its juicy peaches and its prickly pears apart from this general delirium.
And if only this fashion had stopped at blogs, but they made cookbooks out of them. Cookbooks! But do you really need a recipe to make this stuff? Because, “to throw in the pan everything that comes to hand”, that was not sufficient as an explanation? Need a COOKBOOK? What is the next step? A comic? a sitcom? the Legion of Honor “One Pot Pasta”?
Martha has no doubt been to Puglia, and it is quite possible that she has even seen pasta cooked in a broth with other ingredients. Except that Martha (the sun of Alberobello must have hit her on the system) has understood absolutely nothing of what she saw, and has been telling you nonsense for months now. the “One Pot Pasta” will become an example of collective heresy in the history books, you will see. Your grandchildren will judge you.
So I want to decipher what Martha saw in Puglia and who could explain this perversion that is the “One Pot Pasta”but you’ll have to promise never to insinuate that this horror comes from Puglia again, otherwise I swear I’ll come and get you in your kitchen and drag you to my mother’s house to beg your forgiveness.
No cold water or twenty minutes of cooking
Several possibilities, either she saw a pastina in brodo –pasta soup in a broth–, or she saw a pasta risottata or semi-risottata –risotto style–, or she saw a kind of minestrone, or she took drugs – which still seems to me the most likely option.
For the pasta soup, it’s very simple, you have to make a broth with vegetables, meat, or fish stock, then once the water is bubbling in large slugs, you cook the pastina —small pasta—like bird’s tongues, shells, small butterflies. We serve the pastina in a soup plate with two ladles of broth, a little swirl of parmigiano reggiano or pecorino, and we enjoy the pastina in brodo hot on a winter evening. If you have a bit of a cold, it’s even better, it cures everything.
It’s been ten thousand years since we explained that pasta is cooked in boiling water so that it is al dente.
For the pasta risottata, it requires a little more concentration. The pasta is actually prepared with the other ingredients, those you want, but is cooked like a risotto, for just a few minutes, and with the help of ladles of broth added gradually until the pasta is al dente. No cold water, and especially not twenty minutes of cooking. You can also make a semi-risottata pasta, by making the sauce on the one hand, the pasta in boiling water on the other hand, which you remove three to four minutes before the time indicated to finish cooking in the sauce , gradually adding the pasta cooking water. This is called mantecatura, it will give an extraordinary result: al dente pasta and a very creamy sauce.
And to finish, the minestrone, a recipe made sacred by Pellegrino Artusi in the 19th century.e century in the reference book of Italian cuisine La scienza della cucina e l’arte di mangiare bene -a masterpiece– is achieved through a “soffitto” carrots, celery and onions browned in olive oil and butter, then successively all the other vegetables, one by one, slowly and each in turn, until covering them with water and letting them all cook harmoniously together for about 30 minutes. In Puglia, at the end of cooking, we like to add small pasta or rice to the very hot minestrone, in order to make a unique dish, rich, hearty, nourishing, and which calms the most gargantuan hungers.
You see: cold water nowhere, pasta al dente and happiness everywhere.
No, because what do Italians do? ten thousand years that we explain that pasta is cooked in boiling water so that it is al dente? Because it is more digestible and less caloric. What do you have to do to be taken seriously? Do we need to hire Oprah Winfrey? Barack Obama? Can you imagine Andrea Pirlo eating overcooked pasta?
You overcook the pasta and then you surprise yourself that you are allergic to gluten, to air, to joy, to life. If your stomach hurts when you eat pasta, it’s not because of gluten, it’s because you’re eating your overcooked pasta. If you gain weight by eating pasta, it’s not because of the pasta, it’s BECAUSE YOU EAT YOUR OVERCOOKED PASTA.
Let me not take you back to it again. I don’t mess with food culture.
See you soon.