Hello and welcome to Pastastic!, the pasta fan's newsletter of choice.

New to the club? Welcome and come on in!

pastastic Matt

In this issue:

Who munches the most?

Which country's folks eat the the most pasta? You'll never guess the runner-up!

NEW Pasta Bowl Store!

Seriously stylish bowls for every table and every budget.

New Recipe Additions

Chunky soup recipes, super-green artichoke pasta, and more Italian cooking tips.

We have a WINNER!

Find out who bagged that Imperia pasta maker.

Reader Q&A

Discussing the pasta sauce triumvirate.

Pastafact #7

Spaghetti rules in the land of the boot.

Learning La Lingua

More Italian tidbits for when you visit.

Let's get to it!

Matt - matt@pasta-recipes-made-easy.com


"Nothing would be more tiresome than eating and drinking if God had not made them a pleasure as well as a necessity" - Voltaire


Who munches the most?

Which folks ate the most pasta in 2008? The answer, according to the International Pasta Association, was - of course - Italy.

"Yawn" right? Yeah, but...

Guess who came 2nd?

- Was it the French, who are partial to the odd noodle? Nope!

- What about the Brits? They love the taste of Italian, right? Wrong again!

What's your guess? Your expert opinion?

In second place was... Venezuela!

Venezuela pasta Their consumption, for some reason, rocketed 49% last year, with each citizen on average having munched their way through 12.3kg of the good stuff over the 12 months.

Maybe they're feeling the economic pinch too eh? We all know pasta is a great budget ingredient after all...

Of course they've still got a way to go to become pasta champs... as the average Italian last year put away - and I can believe this - 27kg of the tasty stuff!

That's just under 60lbs of pasta per person!

Here's the BIG 5 in all its carb-lovin' glory:

1. Italy, 27kg

2. Venezuela, 12.3kg

3. Tunisia, 11.7kg

4. Greece, 10.3kg

5. Switzerland, 9.66kg (half of that amount, I think, was me practicing recipes for my site!)


Funkadelic Italian pasta bowls

NEW Pasta Bowl Store!

Are you desperately in need of some stylish Italian pasta bowls?

Then click here to check out some seriously funky tableware that will impress your guests almost as much as your food!

The bowls I've picked out to sell from this new page are colorful, great value products.

They come from bargain-friendly Amazon and comparison shopping site Shopzilla - meaning you're pretty much guaranteed great prices and decent service.

I really hope you like this selection!


New Recipe Additions:

Easy Artichoke Pasta Recipe

This artichoke pasta recipe uses one of the most under-used vegetables to make a lovely quick, leafy green dish. Simple to prepare and ready in 25 minutes, it has great crunch and flavor to spare.


Lentil Pasta Soup

This Italian lentil and pasta soup is a real hearty stomach filler. It takes 20 minutes and uses just 1 pan, making it possibly the easiest lentil pasta around.

Easy Pasta Recipe With Bacon And Peas

This easy pasta recipe is packed with juicy bacon chunks and sweet peas. Very hearty, perfect for cold weather, and really simple to prepare.
Italian Cooking Quick Tips

Cooking quick tips to improve your Italian cooking. From cracking nuts and removing garlic smells, to making sumptuous pasta sauce, this advice is clearly explained and 100% beginner-friendly.




We have a WINNER!

Following the close of my Imperia Pasta Machine Contest last month, huge congrats go to...

... Debbie Stine of Martinsburg

Debbie sent me her monster-sized Italian meatball soup recipe and it's a corker (look out for it in the next issue of Pastastic!).

Well done Debbie, an Imperia Pasta Machine is winging its way to you now (look out 'cos those bad boys are heavy!)


Reader Q&A

Hi Matt,

Re: your meat lasagna recipe, when you say "put a large glug of olive oil in the pan - (to cover half the bottom), along with 2 generously heaped tablespoons of the veg mixture", when do I put in the rest of the veg mixture... before or after the wine is poured in?

Also, will it make a difference if I don't include any red wine?

Thanks!

Judy.

Hi Judy,

In terms of the rest of the veg mixture, this is spare - it's not added later. In theory there shouldn't be too much left.

bolognese sauce What is left I simply wrap in see-through 'clingfilm' wrapping and stick in the freezer for next time (either next time I make lasagna, or next time I make a meat pasta sauce of any description, such as bolognese).

Re: the wine, you can make it without wine, sure. No worse nor better, just different. The rules with Italian food are pretty flexible, so you wouldn't be committing a cardinal sin!

Matt.


Pastafact #7

Although there are at least 500 varieties of pasta, Italians themselves are actually pretty conservative about what they buy... out of each 10kg of pasta they purchase, 6kg is usually spaghetti.


Learning La Lingua

Young Italian types like a party. And when they roll home from a club in the early hours they're often a little peckish.

So what to serve to a houseful of inebriated pals?

Spaghettata!

It's not a recipe as such, but the general name for a massive bowl full of basic-recipe spaghetti (like this), which sits in the middle of the table, 'help yourself' style...

So when you make some new friends on your holiday and one of them utters the dribble-inducing words, "spaghettata da me!" ('me' is pronounced 'meh'), which means simply "spaghetti at mine!", just say "Si!".

And enjoy...

Quick recommendation:

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).



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Fresh pasta recipe collection - ready for the next step in delicious Italian cooking? This 'make it from scratch' selection is for you.

Pasta art store - My visitors are loving these modern classics and vintage pasta posters.

Bolognese sauce recipe - Here I make it easy to nail this real meaty Italian classic.



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Get in touch with recipes, questions and more. Whatever your query, just let me know!

Ciao for now,

Matt

www.pasta-recipes-made-easy.com



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