Viva Italia has everything you need to make the perfect pasta

There is something in the relationship between Italy and Israel that is working perfectly. I can say with certainty that this is the ultimate cuisine that every Israeli loves, this is a country that no Israeli has ever visited, and these are dishes that everyone associates with.
Perhaps it is the Italian trick that reminds us a little of our wits, and perhaps the weather and flavors of the Mediterranean are familiar to us. Either way, Italian cuisine is one that is engraved in the spirit of the average Israeli and rightfully so.

Simple Italian cuisine. It is a folk cuisine that even in its most luxurious restaurants is served simply, without the frills and tassels that characterize other cuisines. Grid plate, reduce the number of ingredients so this kitchen is also easy to prepare.

The study of Italian cuisine is taught for 10 hours (in two parts without worry). These two amazing chefs who do not hide their passion for Italian food, produce an Italian course imbued with the aroma of the Italian mother, spices and good wine that includes a history of Italian cuisine, making pasta with and without eggs, making stuffed pastas, gnocchi, tiramisu, and so much knowledge.

Training course in Italy at the Cooking School (Photo: Osnat Guetta)

So let’s talk about pasta

One of the things Chef Roy Sofer explained to us is that pasta is a generic word for many types of pasta that most of us don’t know at all, rumor has it that there are over 400 types of pasta in Italy and most Israelis know maybe ten.
Another stereotype he breaks is the idea that fresh pasta is considered the best or most popular. But this is not true, dry pasta is the pasta that Italians ate daily, pasta without eggs (especially in the poor south), from hard, gluten-rich flour that has been dried and was available at any moment. Fresh, yolk-rich pasta was invented more for festive occasions because it was a pasta that needed a lot of eggs and white flour that was more expensive. The culinary revolution has turned egg yolk pasta into something milder, and nearly every restaurant has put it on the menu, but an Italian will eat pasta drier than an umbrella.

Another reason Italians love dry pasta is that it can come with “El Dente” because of the relatively long cooking time, while in fresh pasta the cooking is very short – about 3 minutes and the pasta will be softer. Personally, I prefer the bite-sized dry pasta that has the ability to “carry” a rich sauce and still make a good bite.

You can even put in seasoning leaves - making pasta (Photo: Osnat Guetta)You can even put in seasoning leaves – making pasta (Photo: Osnat Guetta)

Spaghetti with bolognese sauce? of course no!

As I recover from the differences between fresh and dry pasta and as I hand-knead the flour and yolks to produce sweet corn ravioli in a crazy mushroom centerpiece (which came perfectly!), we talk about how hard our Israeli laws are to follow.

  1. Adjust the shape of the pasta on the sauce!
    The pasta is intended as a fork in holding the sauce so that not all pasta fits every sauce.
    In general – thin pasta prefers light sauces (olive oil, tomato), wide pasta likes heavy (cream) sauces, pastas that are short and hollow, or with slits will work great with meaty or fatty sauces that are rich in content and provide a taste that is perfect for the bite and thus a thin spaghetti sauce is not Suitable for sauce and heavy like bolognese.
  2. Don’t overdo it with the sauce!
    Another Israeli mistake, in addition to serving too much pasta, is dipping the pasta in the sauce, giving Chef Roy Sofer a shocked look when a student serves printed pasta in tomato sauce. Pasta should be covered with sauce and not leave a small puddle on the plate.
  3. Dare to learn!
    Nowadays there is hardly a home that does not have a pasta machine and there is hardly an Israeli who does not store it somewhere in the depths of the cupboard after using it twice and then giving up. It’s not particularly difficult to make fresh pasta or pasta that you can dry. This is a job that requires patience and there is no need not to prepare and freeze it in advance. But the only way to learn and see how easy it is – is to try over and over again.

Pasta at Cooking School (Photo: Osnat Guetta)Pasta at Cooking School (Photo: Osnat Guetta)

Basic pasta recipe

This is a recipe that combines pasta flour, lots of gluten, and a basic amount of eggs. Remember that the higher the amount of yolk, the softer the dough will be in work and in the final texture – which is not suitable for all types of sauces.

250 grams of Italian pasta flour 00
2 eggs
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon water
a pinch of salt
to prepare:
Sift flour and mix with salt. Make a mound on the work surface and make a spot in the middle. Put eggs and water in the center and mix until a homogeneous dough is formed. Chill for 30 minutes. Divide it into 2 and start rolling the pasta machine from the fewest number to 4-5 for stuffed pasta or 5-6 for spaghetti. Don’t have a pasta machine? Take out the good old pin and get to work.

* Very important, in the machine and also with a rolling pin, use smolina flour to prevent the dough from sticking
** Do not forget that the cooking time of fresh pasta is short and it should be noted that it will not be cooked too much
*** Fresh pasta offers you a chance to play with colors like beetroot powder, basil, black squid or zinc, different herbs and more.

Pesto Gnocchi (Photo: Osnat Guetta)Pesto Gnocchi (Photo: Osnat Guetta)

Perfect pesto recipe

Good pesto is not pesto that you toss everything in and grind. It also has rules. Since you don’t only need pine nuts, you can also make yourself a great pesto out of cashews or hazelnuts.

  • 130gm of basil leaves
  • 10 grams of garlic cloves
  • 200 ml olive oil
  • 4 grams of salt
  • 100gm grated parmesan cheese
  • 130 grams of pine nuts

Preparation: In a food processor, grind the pine nuts, salt, garlic and Parmesan until a coarse texture is obtained, add the basil and continue to grind while adding olive oil in a spray while the machine is working. When the pesto becomes uniform, transfer it to a bowl covered with a little olive oil.

Lightly heat the pesto in a skillet and stir in the gnocchi or mix a few tablespoons of pesto with hot pasta and sprinkle over the Parmesan cheese.

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