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From Pasta Hell to Pasta Heaven

We had friends round for lunch and being in Italy, we kicked off with pasta.  Nothing unusual there, you may think.  Well, there was something unusual.  This was perfect pasta!

Up to now, I have never really appreciated fresh pasta.  If you cook it for the recommended time it often comes out rather leathery, if you try to cook it some more, more often than not it disintegrates, or worse it goes all slimy.  Yuck!  But this sticky situation can be avoided.

Enter the man in the fresh pasta shop gave who gave us some cooking advice for the one and a half inch squares of meat filled ravioli we had just acquired (at 25 Euros a kilo – yipe!).  This turned out to be the best advice a pasta cook could have ever hoped for.  The result was THE best fresh pasta this Englishman in Milan had ever tasted.

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So, (one should not start a sentence, let alone a paragraph with ‘so’, but what the heck) what was this invaluable morsel of wisdom which turned our pasta into the proud dish it always should have been?  It’s rather simple.

The Perfect Pasta Tip

You chuck the fresh pasta into a pan of boiling salted water and allow it to bounce around in the boiling liquid for four to five minutes, which is nothing new, I know.  But, after having let the pasta languish in its boiling bath, you switch off the heat and leave it to soak in the not-so-boiling water for a further four to five minutes.  Simple.  The result of this simple trick is simply pasta perfection.

I will probably go on a fresh pasta frenzy now; now I actually know how to cook the stuff properly.

You live and you learn…..and get fatter.  Now pass me one of those alcohol-laced Cunesi chocolates from Cuneo.

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