You used to place your freshly drained pasta on a plate and pour your sauce over it? Forget everything. In Italy, preparing a pasta dish is an art and it begins with a skilful mixture, in the kitchen, of the “pasta” and its sauce.
First rule recalled by Fabrizio Cosso, the executive chef of Eataly Paris Marais, as part of our Pasta cosi series: “you are the one waiting for the pasta, not the pasta waiting for you”. Clearly, serving pasta at the right temperature (not boiling) is a tight timing every minute, and it is the guests who must be at the table at the disposal of the cook.
Nests of rolling dough
When the pasta is cooked, the first instinct to have after draining it (and always keeping a little cooking water in a cup!) is to mix it with its sauce. This step is (almost) always done directly in the still hot pan in which the sauce was prepared, over low heat – with the exception of certain sauces such as carbonara (so as not to cook the egg), or pesto with basil (so that the green stays green). It is then advisable to add a little cooking water to make the binder and finish the cooking.
Then, for a presentation of long pasta worthy of a gourmet restaurant, arm yourself with pasta tongs or a fork and a ladle. The technique consists of pricking the pasta and rolling it in the hollow of the ladle to form one or more nests of pasta to place in the hollow of the plate. Add a little sauce on it. With a tomato sauce, you can add a drizzle of olive oil and a basil leaf. Parmesan or pecorino can be added at the table.
And if you have a large table to serve, play it safe: “It’s difficult (even for a chef) to serve ten plates of spaghetti or dry pasta at the right temperature. So, when you have a lot of people at the table, I recommend making pasta au gratin, like cannelloni or lasagna, which you can make in advance and put in the middle of the table when it comes out of the oven. , advises the executive chef of Eataly Paris Marais. Bon appetite!