Everything you see, I owe to spaghetti!
This quote by Sophia Loren proves that Italians not only know how to appreciate themselves, but also their food. The beauty of Sophia Loren is just as classic as the pasta for Italy. It’s been cooked for hundreds of years already, every minute, not only in its homeland, but all over the world. Actually, the Chinese were the first to discover pasta, but, like with the pizza, Italians are those who know how to cook it best. Though pasta seems simple to cook, it also turns out to have its little secrets, leading to this unforgettable taste.
Don’t underestimate its form
There are over 600 types of pasta which has its simple explanation. The different forms of pasta actually go with different sauces. Fettucini and linguini for example are long and flat and combine better with creamy sauces like formaggi or carbonara. Thick sauces like tomato sauce match with fussili or rottini – shorter and spiral in form.
Al Dente just like in Italy
Rule number one for good pasta is to be prepared “al dente” – not overcooked, not raw, but firm enough to be eaten without being crispy. Actually, “al dente” means “to the tooth”, so literally you have to cook it until it’s suitable for being eaten. Some tips for cooking pasta al dente are to boil the water with salt in advance in a big enough pot, so that pasta would have enough space to be cooked without sticking together. This happens thanks to the boiling water which swirls it around during cooking. Some cooks also add a spoon of olive oil to prevent sticking. When the pasta is too long to fit entirely into the pot (spaghetti for instance), don’t break them in half! When water is already boiling, just put the spaghetti inside and wait until the part of them, which is in the water, becomes soft. Then just swirl them gently and they’ll drawn into the water without breaking.
The Sauce makes the Dish
The pasta sauce can turn pasta into all sorts of dishes. Tomato sauce is probably the most classic one, but sauces like carbonara and pesto are just as popular and authentic. Al dente pasta can also be just slightly spiced with salt and pepper and some parmigiano cheese to make a perfect dish. But the sauces are the magic that contains all the little secrets of master chefs that are really worth trying.
Where’s the real pasta?
If you’re in the mood for authentic Italian pasta in Bulgaria, here are a few places you can try it:
- La Bottega – pasta alla pescatora with baby calamari, octopus and shrimps is a dish that takes you on a journey to the Mediterranean sea. You can enjoy it with a glass of wine from the special selection of La Bottega.
- Trattoria Giuseppe Verdi – we still can’t forget the taste of those fettucini with chicken and sun-dried tomatoes we tried there. We won’t spoil this experience for you, but bear in mind that we remember not only the taste, but also the way this pasta was served.
- La Prima Osteria – probably the most authentic spaghetti carbonara we’ve ever tasted! With pecorino, egg yolk and panceta. There are even more pasta dishes on the menu that can suit every taste.