A Centuries-Old Secret to Great Pasta
Photo by Sho Kuwamoto/Flickr CC
From all my readings of the old ways of pasta, a very simple cooking technique that dates to medieval times caught my attention. Because it's both historically rooted, is so easy to make most any time you want, and because it tastes so good, I figured I could put it in here. It's easy to build into your regular eating routines, especially when you're in a hurry.
All you have to do is stick a piece of pork rind or pancetta into your pasta cooking water. It really does give the pasta a nice bit of added flavor for very little cost, as it did 500 years ago and still today. It's great way to use up ham bones or prosciutto rinds.
Cook the pasta very al dente, drain, and quickly dress with some olive oil and grated Parmigiano or Pecorino cheese. In the old days in Naples they ate the spaghetti with their hands but you can use a fork if you like. To me this is what fast food could be all about. Takes almost no time at all but when you use great pasta, great cheese, etc., it tastes fantastic!