Here's the reason that pasta tastes better in Italy, according to Randy Altig, lifestyle expert and author of "Tuscany...Next Left":
Italians cook their pasta with unsalted water for half of its cooking time (molto al dente). Then the pasta goes from the boiling water straight into the sauce. The pasta finishes cooking in the sauce, not the water. Adding just enough pasta water to the sauce brings the water to a perfect al dente consistency because you essentially cook the pasta twice.
For more recipes like this, go to RandyAltig.com.
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1/4 pound Genoa salami, chopped
- 1/4 pound hard salami, chopped
- 1 pinch red pepper flakes (pepperoncini)
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cups penne pasta
- 1 egg
- 1 cup Gorgonzola cheese
- 2 cups smoked Gouda cheese with jalapeños
- Fresh Italian parsley, chopped, for serving
1. In large skillet, add the olive oil and saute the chopped garlic until brown. Add the chopped Genoa salami, hard salami, a pinch of the red pepper flakes and turns of the black pepper. Saute on medium high heat until lightly crispy.
2. In the meantime, bring 6 cups of water to a boil. Add the pasta and a little olive oil. Add a little of the pasta water to the skillet with the salami to reduce the caramelization in the bottom of the skillet. Turning down the heat if needed.
3. Cook the pasta in the water for half of the time that is recommended on the pasta package's instructions.
4. Turn the skillet up to medium heat, then strain the half-cooked pasta using a ladle and add it into the skillet. Stir the pasta into the mixture. Add about one ladle full of the pasta water and stir. Add the egg and stir until the egg is cooked.
5. Turn off the heat, then add the Gorgonzola and stir. Next, add the Gouda and stir until it is melted and coats all of the pasta and salami pieces. Sprinkle with the fresh chopped Italian parsley and serve.