Hello and welcome to the sixth edition of Pastastic!, your monthly guide to everything pasta.
New subscriber? Hello and welcome to the club!
This month we start with a credit crunch cooking guide, featuring pasta meals that will each fill 4 hungry bellies for under US $10.
If your budget still has a little flexibility, and you have wall space free, you might then like my new Pasta Art Store.
And on the new recipe front I introduce a couple of cool Italian classics.
Inside this issue:
• Nutritious Family Meals For Under $10. Tasty pasta dishes don't require lots of expensive ingredients, as this selection proves.
• News: Funny business as pasta makers slapped with fines. Ouch!
• Pasta Art: Beautiful pasta posters and vintage food art for every home.
• New Additions: 4 new recipes anyone can cook.
• Win A Machine! My Imperia contest closes this month. Don't miss out.
• Pastamonial: Spagbol for 20 people? That'll work.
• Pastafact #6: Talking paste.
• Learning La Lingua: A tidbit of Italian to help you on your travels.
Matt - firstname.lastname@example.org
"Life is a combination of magic and pasta" - Fellini
Nutritious Family Meals For Under $10
Times are tough, but people gotta eat right?
With the typical box of American pasta serving 4-5 people and costing under two dollars, it's very do-able to feed a family of four for under 10 bucks.
These 5 Italian pasta recipes prove it.
1. Pasta fagioli
Full of beans, creamy sauce and fibre. Great for winter.
2. Easy cream penne
There aren't many better combinations than bacon and cream.
3. Breakfast pasta
Arguably the simplest pasta dish. You'll have change from $10!
4. Pasta alla norma
Rich or poor, this sweet eggplant winner suits anyone who is hungry.
Pasta, a tin of toms, and a sausage or two. Cook slowly, eat it quickly.
A huge group of pasta producers and their trade union have been fined a whopping 12 million euros for fixing pasta prices in Italy. Cheeky!
According to AGI News, 26 companies and the Italian Union of Pasta makers (accounting for 90% of Italian pasta production in total) had their wrists well and truly slapped for agreeing on over-exorbitant prices, including some huge names like Barilla and Nestle.
How much do you pay for a normal 500g/17.5oz box or bag of pasta?
Let me know and I'll tell everyone the very cheapest store in the next issue!
IN STORE: Pasta Art
If you're anything like me, you not only love eating and cooking but anything food-related.
So maybe that includes mouth-watering pasta posters and vintage food art...?
If so, allow me to introduce my new Pasta Art Store.
Aimed at anyone whose kitchen, living room, or hallway has a space that's begging to be filled, this new pasta poster section features beautifully presented pasta prints, fun posters, and vintage foodie classics from around the world.
I really hope you enjoy it (and please feel free to send the link to any of your art-loving friends!)
New Additions: all-new Italian pasta recipes
Pasta With Meat Sauce (AKA ragu-lite)
This pasta with meat sauce, AKA ragu-lite, is super-simple. Fry some sausage meat, slow-cook it with tomatoes, then smother over virtually any pasta you like. Delicious! (Just don't tell my wife I mentioned the word 'ragu' here, as this recipe is far too quick and simple to really qualify!)
Pasta puttanesca is an Italian pasta classic with a strong olive kick and a rather risque back story. Click the picture here to learn its busy night-time origins and then get busy making this cheeky yet wholesome pasta treat.
Northern Italian Pasta Recipes
Recipes and a regional education all rolled into one page - what's not to like?
From hearty Tuscan bean pasta to crunchy Ligurian green pesto and a 'throw it all in' veggie soup, this is one tasty pasta recipe selection.
The second 'pasta classic' inside this issue (alongside puttanesca - above), spaghetti carbonara is ultra-moreish, really quick to prepare and uses very few ingredients. Mmm... succulent bacon, runny egg, grated parmesan and pasta... truly a lick-smacking mix.
3 Weeks To Win!
Don't forget, my Imperia Pasta Machine Contest closes at the end of March!
Be sure to head over to this page to send me your easy pasta recipe and go into the draw.
Best of luck!
The latest reader comment about Pasta Recipes Made Easy.
"I managed to cook your spaghetti bolognese recipe for my colleagues and friends on my 1st try. (A total of 20 people consisting of Chinese and Indians from India, Sri Lanka etc.)
"It was an instant hit with everyone, as none of the Asians locally have tasted authentic Italian family recipes before. What they have savored is Pizza Hut, Shakeys or Prego-style spaghetti bolognese full of redish-color sourish sauce.
"Thank you for your wonderful heart in creating a website for us pasta and good food lovers, and please send my thank you to your beautiful Italian wife, Laura and family." - MongSun
The word 'pasta' comes from the Italian for paste, meaning a combination of flour and water.
Learning La Lingua
Italians love kids. And I mean really love 'em, to the extent where if you walk into a shop (negozio) with a buggy you'll likely be mobbed!
To join in with the madness then, here are some phrases to drop when you bump into a cute little ragazzo (kid):
'Che carino!' ('keh karino') - how cute (for a boy)
'Che carina!' ('keh karina') - how cute (for a girl)
Alternative 1: 'Cucciolino/a' ('koo cho leeno/a') - small cub (boy/girl)
Alternative 2: 'Che bello/a' - how handsome/beautiful! (boy/girl)
If you would like to really learn Italian, I very much recommend the Michel Thomas 8-CD audio course.
I've used this a lot – indeed I continue to re-listen to it pretty regularly - and I've found it easier and quicker to learn from than any other language materials (and I've tried a few!). You just grab a coffee, press Play, and then speak when Michel asks you to. It's excellent.
You can find it here on Amazon US (or here on Amazon UK).
Most Popular Pages: February
These Pasta Recipes Made Easy pages were clicked most often last month:
Minestrone soup recipe - This 'Big Broth' is a great dish for cold winters and super nutritious to boot.
Pasta flour guide - Learn which types of flour are best for making fresh pasta with my fool-proof starter guide.
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