When purchasing dried pasta the box or container should be sealed anf the pasta unbroken. Check the best before date. Dried pasta must be dry and not damp, have a good even colour with no signs of infestation. If you experience problems with ingredients inform the supplier or your manger immediately. If in doubt, do not use them.
When purchasing fresh pasta it must be at or below 5°C, evenly coloured, intact and not torn or damaged. The pasta must separate easily.
INGREDIENTS FOR PASTA DISHES
A huge variety of ingredients may be used in pasta dishes. The list is almost endless, but may include:
. fish, e.g. smoked salmon, anchovies, tuna
. shellfish, e.g. shrimps, prawns, scallops, lobster, crab, cockles
. meat, e.g. smoked ham, sausage, salami, bacon, beef, chicken, duck
. offal, e.g. tongue, chicken livers
. herbs, e.g. parsley, rosemary, basil, tarragon, chives, marjoram
. spices, e.g chillies, saffron, grated nutmeg
. vegetables, e.g. mushrooms, tomatoes, onions, fennel, courgettes, spring onions, peas, spinach, peppers, broad beens, broccoli
. nuts, e.g. pine nuts, walnuts, hazelnuts
. fruit, e.g. stoned olives, avacado, sultanas, lemon zest
. cooked, dried beans
. balsamic vinegar
Its important to know what ingredients blend well together and complement the pasta without overpowering the main ingredients. Customers must also know what ingredients are in the dish in case they suffer from any allergy.
PREPARING AND COOKING PASTA DISHES
A rule of thumb for cooking dried pasta is to allow 80-100g per portion as a starter course; increase accordingly if larger portions are required.
Bring plenty water (at least 4 litres for every 600g of dry pasta) to a rolling boil. Add about 1 tbsp of salt per 4 liters of water if desired. Add the pasta in small quantities to maintain the rolling boil. Stir frequently to prevent sticking. Do not cover the pan. Follow package directions for cooking time. Do not over cook. Pasta should be literally to the tooth-tender, yet firm). It should be slightly resistant to the bite, but cooked through. Drain pasta to stop the cooking action but do not rinse it unless the recipe specifically says to do so. For salads, drain and rinse pasta with cold water.
FRESH EGG PASTA
This requires less cooking time than dried pasta. When cooking fresh pasta, the addition of a few drops of olive oil in the water will prevent the pasta from sticking together
Always strain pasta carefully as it is a delicate product. Use a colander or a spider
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