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Food: Making Better Pasta Is As Simple As a Jar of Disco di Sale

Forget Marco Polo! The Real Origin of Spaghetti & Tomato Sauce

  Forget Marco Polo! The Real Origin of Spaghetti & Tomato Sauce Who first introduced spaghetti to Italy? Well, you often hear that it was Marco Polo who introduced pasta to Italy after his return from China. And it was discovered by one of his sailors, a Venetian whose name was, appropriately enough, Spaghetti. The only problem with this memorable story is that none of it is actually true. That’s only a taste of the fascinating bits of information, both accurate and false, contained in Massimo Montanari’s A Short History of Spaghetti with Tomato Sauce, which will be published later this month. The book is just the right length (128 pages), academic and an utterly fascinating discourse on food history.

This is Highly Recommend, a column dedicated to what people in the food industry are obsessed with eating, drinking, and buying right now.

It’s “easy” to salt cooking water. It should be salty like the sea…except when it shouldn’t be. And don’t forget that some salts are saltier than others, so pay attention when you’re using sea salt, as opposed to kosher salt. Confused yet? I know I am—I’ve made my fair share of bland pasta and too salty beans. But no matter how many times I screw up dinner by miscalculating my water’s salinity, I can’t bring myself to pull out a measuring spoon for such a simple task. I blame my pride! I like to think my pinching precision is as good as Salt Bae’s, but really it’s hit or miss. That’s why I now keep a jar of Jacobsen Salt Co.’s Disco di Sale by my stove.

Get the Recipe for Top Chef Yotam Ottolenghi’s Go-To Pasta

  Get the Recipe for Top Chef Yotam Ottolenghi’s Go-To Pasta During the first pandemic lockdown in England, chef Yotam Ottolenghi and his husband were experiencing the same challenge many parents around the world were also facing: how to put three nutritious meals on the table each day while dirtying as few pots and pans as possible. His mind immediately went to pasta, a favorite of his two sons—and then to a dish his own Italian father often made when Ottolenghi was young: pasta al forno or baked pasta. © Provided by The Daily Beast Elena Heatherwick “He didn’t call it pasta al forno, it was just ‘pasta scraps in the oven with cheese,’” says Ottolenghi.

Watch Now: “Yeah, that’s a lot of salt, I know.”

These salt disks each contain exactly 10 grams of compressed Italian fine sea salt and take the guesswork out of seasoning a pot of water. The first time I put them to use, I simply followed the directions on the jar and tossed three disks into four and a half quarts of boiling water, then dropped in a pound of spaghetti. The giant pot of water tasted less like the sea and more like the base of a well-seasoned broth. That night I ate the most flavorful red pesto pasta I’d had in years. Apparently, my fear of oversalting my cooking water meant that I’d been criminally undersalting it (something I didn’t even realize until I used Disco di Sale).

  Making Better Pasta Is As Simple As a Jar of Disco di Sale © Provided by Bon Appétit

Jacobsen Salt Co. Disco di Sale

$13.00, Bon Appétit Market

How to Make Macaroni & Cheese Without a Recipe

  How to Make Macaroni & Cheese Without a Recipe Whether you like pecan, apple or pumpkin, we have a festive drink for you.

These quarter-size disks have since become my secret weapon for all things big-batch boiling. I use them to season everything from par-boiled potatoes for crispy hash browns to make-ahead blanched greens. When I’m cooking in smaller batches for, say, quick lunchtime noodles for two, I opt for one disk. They’re insanely easy to use and they make my food taste better, but mostly I like that they make me feel like a more confident cook, no measuring spoons required.

The Six Best Pasta Shapes to Use When Making a Baked Pasta Dish .
We've got opinions, and we're sharing them here!Who doesn't love pasta? It is a way of life, a foundation upon which Italian culture has built in countless preparations and varieties—the word "pasta" literally translates to "dough." And when you bake pasta, a whole new world is unlocked: a world of contrasting textures, of intense flavors, of a much more dynamic eating experience. But don't just reach for the pasta you use for favorite stovetop dishes, not all pasta shapes are suited for baking. Here's our opinionated guide to the pasta shapes that are best suited for making baked pasta dishes.

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