Pasta Shapes


When making delicious pasta dishes, be sure to choose a pasta shape and sauce that complement each other.
Thin, delicate pastas like angel hair or thin spaghetti, should be served with light, thin sauces.
Thicker pasta shapes, like fettuccine, work well with heavier sauces.

Pasta shapes with holes or ridges like mostaccioli or radiatore, are perfect for chunkier sauces.

  • Acini di Pepe  (“Peppercorn”) – Acini di Pepe is perfect to use in soup recipes. These shapes are ideal to include in broths.
  • Alphabet Pasta – This favorite kids’ shape is usually used in soups for a fun meal anytime.
  • Anellini – Tiny rings of pasta. Anellini is a smaller version of Anelli pasta. It is used in various soups and is also a compliment to a number of salads.
  • ​Angel Hair, Capellini (“Fine Hairs”) – These thin, delicate pasta strands are best if used with thinner, delicate sauces. Other uses: break in half and put in soup; use in salads or stir-fry meals.
  • Bow Ties, Farfalle (“Butterflies”) – Bow Ties brighten any meal with their interesting shape. Thick enough for a variety of sauces, or a perfect addition to a number of  salad or soup recipes.
  • Buctani – Thick Spaghetti shaped pasta that is hollow in the center, similar to a thin straw. Bucatini is the perfect choice for nearly any sauce, or it can be used to make casseroles or stir-fry dishes. Go beyond tomato sauce and see what your favorite becomes.
  • Campanelle (“Bells”) – Campanelle pasta resembles a small cone with a ruffled edge. Pair Campanelle pasta with meat, cream, vegetable or oil based sauces. Also, these shapes are great when used in pasta salads.
  • Cappelletti – Cappelletti pasta is folded and then twisted to form the shape of a small hat. On occasion, this pasta is sometimes referred to as an alpine hat.
  • Casarecce – Casarecce pasta is shaped like a very narrow, twisted and rolled tube. This pasta is best used when serving a meat sauce and can be used in a variety of casserole dishes.
  • Cavatappi  (“Corkscrew”) – The tight spiral locks-in the flavor allowing the shape to pair with both simple and sophisticated sauces. Pair Cavatappi with meat, cream, vegetable or oil based sauces. Also, these shapes are great when used in pasta salads.
  • Cavatelli – Cavatelli resemble tiny hot dog buns. These shapes are commonly served with thick, chunky sauces or in pasta salads. Cavatelli pairs nicely with meat, cream, seafood or vegetable sauces.
  • Ditalini (“Little Thimbles”) – This versatile shape can be used as the base of any dish. Bake it, stir it into soups, or create great salads and stir-fry dishes.
  • Egg Noodles (Medium) (from “Nudel,” German meaning paste with egg) – This size of Egg Noodle can be baked, tossed in soups or salads, or topped with cream, tomato, cheese or meat sauces.
  • Egg Noodles (Wide) – (From “Nudel,” German meaning paste with egg) – Go beyond the traditional Stroganoff and use, Wide Egg Noodles to create soups, salads and casseroles. Or, top with a variety of sauces.
  • Elbow Macaroni – A highly versatile shape that can be topped with any sauce, baked, or put in soups, salads and stir-fry dishes. Elbow Macaroni is traditionally used to make Macaroni and Cheese.Farfalline – Farfalline is s small version of the bow tie or butterfly shaped pasta. This versatile shape can be used as the base of any dish. Bake it, stir it into soups, or create great salads and stir-fry dishes.
  • Fideo – Short thin strands of pasta that are slightly curved. Fideo pasta is commonly used in various soup recipes.
  • Fusilli (“Twisted Spaghetti”) – This long, spiraled shape can be topped with any sauce, broken in half and added to soups, or turned into a beautiful salad. Fusilli also bakes well in casseroles.
  • Gemili (“Twins”) - Add a touch of style to any dish with this distinctive shape. Gemeilli pairs nicely with meat, cream, seafood and vegetable sauces.
  • Gigli (“Lilies”) – Gigli is a fluted edge piece of pasta that has been rolled into a cone shaped flower. Gigli is perfect for heavier sauces, like cheese, meat and tomato or it is a perfect addition to a number of casseroles.
  • Jumbo Shells – Best when stuffed with your favorite mixtures of cheese, meat and vegetables. Stuff with meat flavored with taco seasoning, top with salsa and bake for a delicious Mexican dish, or create your own stuffed treat.
  • Lasagna (from “lasanum,” Latin for pot) – Create original Lasagna casseroles by using chopped vegetables, cheeses and any kind of sauce. You can also assemble your casserole and freeze it for later meal.
  • Linguine   (“Little Tongues”) – A great shape to compliment a variety of sauces. Also a good choice for salads and stir-fry dishes.Macaroni  (“Dumpling”) – A highly versatile shape that can be topped with any sauce, baked, or put in soups, salads and stir-fry dishes.
  • Manicotti (“Small Muffs”) – Stuff Manicotti with a mixture of meat, cheese and vegetables, top with your favorite sauce, and bake.
  • Medium Shells, Conchiglie – (“Shells”) Shells make a great addition to soups or as the base of a wonderful salad. Try remaking your favorite Macaroni and Cheese using Shells, for a fun twist on a time-honored tradition.Orecchiette (“Little Ears”) – These “little ears” are commonly served with thick, chunky sauces or in pasta salads.
  • Orzo (“Barley”) – This small, grain shaped pasta can be topped with any sauce, added to soups, or baked as a casserole. Perfect as a side dish as well as a main course.Penne,
  • Mostaccioli (“Quills” and “Small Mustaches”) – This tubular pasta compliments a variety of sauces, is frequently used in salads, baked in casseroles, or made into stir fry dishes.
  • Penne  (“Quills” or “Feathers”) – Penne compliment virtually every sauce and are exceptional when paired with a chunky sauce. Penne pairs nicely with chunky meat, chunky vegetable, cream, or oil based sauces. Also, these shapes are great for baking dishes.
  • Penne Rigate (“Quills” or “Feathers”) – Penne compliment virtually every sauce and are exceptional when paired with a chunky sauce. Penne Rigate are ridged and ideal to lock-in flavor. Penne Rigate pairs nicely with chunky meat, chunky vegetable, cream, or oil based sauces. Also, these shapes are great for baking dishes.
  • Pipe Rigate – A hollow curved pasta that resembles a snail shell. This shape has a wide opening at one end and the other end is flattened. Pipe Rigate pairs nicely with chunky meat, chunky vegetable, cream, or oil based sauces.
  • Pipette Rigate – This shape is a smaller version of Pipe Rigate. Pipette Rigate pairs nicely with chunky meat, chunky vegetable, cream, or oil based sauces. Also, these shapes are great for baking dishes.
  • Radiatori  (“Radiators”) – This ruffled, ridged shape adds elegance to any sauce. It also works well baked in casseroles, or used in salads and soups.Ravioli – Ravioli are square round pillows of pasta that have a filling consisting of ingredients such as cheese, meats, vegetables and seasonings. Ravioli can be served with a red sauce or it can be served with butter, oil or cream.
  • Reginette – Reginette is wide, flat ribbon pasta that has rippled edges on both sides. This shape is similar to Lasagna.
  • Riccioli (“Curl”) - Riccioli’s twisted shape holds bits of meat, vegetables and cheese, so it works well with a variety of sauces, or you can use it to create fun salads, baked casseroles, or stir-fry meals.
  • Rigatoni (“Large Grooved”)  - Rigatoni’s ridges and holes are perfect with any sauce, from cream or cheese to the chunkiest meat sauces.Rocchetti (“Spool”) – This short pasta is perfect for preparing casseroles and salads.
  • Rotelle (“Little Wheels”) -The cartwheel is not a classic Italian shape, but due to the variety of color and entertaining shape they are crowd favorite. Because the spokes of the wheels are good for capturing flavor, these shapes are easy to pair. Rotelle pasta pairs nicely with meat, cream, seafood or vegetable sauces.
  • Rotini (“Spirals” or “Twists”) – Rotini’s twisted shape holds bits of meat, vegetables and cheese, so it works well with any sauce, or you can use it to create fun salads, baked casseroles, or stir-fry meals.Small Shells – Shells make a great addition to soups or as the base of a wonderful salad. Try remaking your favorite Macaroni and Cheese using Shells, for a fun twist on a time-honored tradition.
  • Spaghetti – (“A length of Cord”) America’s favorite shape, Spaghetti is the perfect choice for nearly any sauce, or it can be used to make casseroles or stir-fry dishes. Go beyond tomato sauce and see what your favorite becomes.
  • Thin Spaghetti – Thin Spaghetti is very similar to Vermicelli. Each one is slightly thinner than Spaghetti.  Thin Spaghetti is perfect topped with any sauce, or as a salad or stir-fry ingredient.
  • Tortellini – Tortellini is a ring-shaped pasta typically stuffed with meat, cheese or vegetables. Tortellini is commonly served in a broth or cream sauce.
  • Tortiglioni – Tortiglioni is narrow, tubular pasta. This shape is commonly used to add decoration to salads or paired with a simple sauce.
  • Tripolini – Tripolini is a tiny bow tie shaped pasta used in soups and salads or paired with a simple sauce.
  • Tubini – A medium-sized, tubular pasta shape, Tubini is perfect for chunky sauces and meat dishes. It also makes wonderful salads, baked dishes and stir-fry meals.
  • Vermicelli – (“Little Worms”) Slightly thinner than Spaghetti, Vermicelli is good topped with any sauce, or as a salad or stir-fry ingredient.
  • Wagon Wheels, Ruote (“Wheels”) – Wagon Wheels make interesting salads, casseroles and stir-fry dishes. Add to soups, or simply top with sauce and enjoy.
  • Ziti (“Bridegrooms”) – A medium-sized, tubular pasta shape, Ziti is perfect for chunky sauces and meat dishes. It also makes wonderful salads, baked dishes and stir-fry meals.


Shape Library is available at: http://www.ilovepasta.org/resource-center/shapes-library 

Knife Skills: How to Break Down a Chicken


Posted by J. Kenji Lopez-Alt


SLIDESHOW: Knife Skills: How to Break Down a Chicken 


If there's one knife skill that can save you money and make you look cool at the same time, it's breaking down a chicken. Consider that boneless breasts often cost around three times more than whole chicken does.

​For the same price as a two-pack of breasts, you can buy a whole chicken, which comes with those same breasts, plus two legs, and a back. And wait for it—if you're really lucky, you'll get a free liver, heart, and gizzard thrown in to sweeten the deal! I know girls (named Chichi) who'd get the whole chicken just to get her hands on some of those delicious gizzards!

​Of course, if you don't know how to break the chicken down, all this is not too useful. That's where this guide comes in. Just follow the slide show, and you'll be breaking down chickens like the pros. After the jump, tips on shopping and storage.


Shopping and Storage
Just two quick tips here:

  • ​Buy air-chilled chickens. Air-chilled chickens like those from Bell and Evans and several other "premium" brands are chilled with cold air after slaughter rather than being dumped into an ice bath like the mass-market brands. This means that they come to the market with less retained water. Not only does this give you a better value (since you're not paying for water weight), but more importantly, you get more concentrated flavor.​
  • Avoid kosher birds. Kosher birds have been heavily salted before packaging in order to remove excess liquid. While in some cases, this is desirable—such as when you are roasting it—in other cases, the excess salt can ruin a recipe. A braised chicken recipe where the braising liquid is subsequently reduced can get far too salty from the excess salt within the chicken. It also limits your stock-making ability, since a salty stock cannot be reduced. You're better off buying a regular bird and salting or brining it yourself if the recipe calls for it.


As for all your other options, I personally prefer to pay the extra money for premium brands of free range or specialty heirloom breeds because of the improved flavor they offer. There's not much worse than bad chicken. Maybe bad margaritas, but that's about it. Source:  Sur La Table http://ht.ly/3U3g7

(AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)



Seafood 

From both a nutritional and environmental impact perspective, farmed fish are far inferior to their wild counterparts: Despite being much fattier, farmed fish provide less usable beneficial omega 3 fats than wild fish. 


Due to the feedlot conditions of Aquafarming, farm-raised fish are doused with antibiotics and exposed to more concentrated pesticides than their wild kin. Farmed salmon, in addition, are given a salmon-colored dye in their feed, without which, their flesh would be an unappetizing grey color. 


Aquafarming also raises a number of environmental concerns, the most important of which may be its negative impact on wild salmon. It has now been established that sea lice from farms kill up to 95 percent of juvenile wild salmon that migrate past them. 


The only downside to wild caught salmon is the price, often times up to $10 more expensive than farm-raised per pound. 


Snack Foods 

Whole grain versus multi grain: Whole grain products contain all the parts of the grain: the germ, which is rich in essential fatty acids and B-vitamins; the endosperm, which is mostly starch; and the bran, which, of course, is high in fiber. In products made with refined grains, on the other hand, most of the germ and bran have been removed, leaving the starchy endosperm, which is the least nutritious part of the grain. 


With foods like oatmeal, bulgur wheat, brown rice, popcorn, or quinoa, you're always getting the whole grain-and these are all great foods to include in your diet. It gets trickier with foods like breads, crackers, pasta, and tortillas, where the grains have been milled into flour. Then, it can be a little harder to tell whether you're dealing with whole grains or not. 


It doesn't make it any easier that manufacturers go out of their way to make their products look and sound healthy, even when they aren't. They use molasses or food coloring to mimic the darker color of whole-grains. They add ingredients that create a dense, chewy texture. They use virtuous-sounding words like "stone-ground," "100 percent wheat," or "multi-grain." None of these things are a reliable indicator of whole grains. 


"Multi-grain" bread, for example, could be made out of several types of refined grains. Or, more likely, it's made with lots of refined white flour and small amounts of other whole grains.







Source: Read More at http://tinyurl.com/2couum8 


Recommended Reading: "The Omnivore's Dilemma" by Michael Pollan and "Real Food: What to Eat and Why" by Nina Planck

Food Label Jargon Demystified


"Early Show" Contributor Katie Lee Explains What "Grass-Fed," "Free-Roaming," Other Terms Really Mean.


(CBS) Do you know the difference between "whole grain" and "multi-grain" or "free-range" and "free-roaming"?

Food labels can be a little confusing, so "Early Show contributor Katie Lee appeared on the broadcast Thursday with information on how to decode those confusing food labels: 

Produce:
"The Dirty Dozen": There are 12 fruits and vegetables with the highest pesticide count (or 12 fruits and vegetables you should buy organic) - peaches, apples, bell peppers, celery, nectarines, strawberries, cherries, kale, lettuce, grapes, carrots and pears. 

The "Clean 15": There are 15 fruits and vegetables that have a low pesticide count (or 15 fruits and vegetables that are OK to buy non-organic) - onions, avocados, sweet corn, pineapple, mango, asparagus, peas, kiwi, cabbage, eggplant, papaya, watermelon, broccoli, tomato, sweet potatoes. 

​Why Should You Care About Pesticides? The growing consensus among scientists is that small doses of pesticides and other chemicals can cause lasting damage to human health, especially during fetal development and early childhood. Scientists now know enough about the long-term consequences of ingesting these powerful chemicals to advise that we minimize our consumption of pesticides. 

Will Washing and Peeling Help? Nearly all the studies used to create these lists assume that people rinse or peel fresh produce. Rinsing reduces but does not eliminate pesticides. Peeling helps, but valuable nutrients often go down the drain with the skin. The best approach: eat a varied diet, rinse all produce and buy organic when possible. 


Poultry/Eggs 

Free range or free roaming, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture means producers must demonstrate to the Agency that the poultry has been allowed access to the outside. 

What is organic chicken? Organic chicken is chicken that has only been fed organic grains, which means that no pesticides or chemicals were used on the farm to grow the grain in the last three years. The chicken must also never have been given antibiotics, drugs, or hormones to accelerate growth, though they will be given medicine should they fall ill. Also, the chicken must be given free range with access to outdoors and be treated properly. 

Beef 

Grass-Fed Beef: The definition of grass fed beef generally means beef from cattle that have eaten only grass or forage throughout their lives, however some producers do call their beef grass-fed but then actually finish the animals on grain for the last 90 to 160 days before slaughter. 

Grass-Finished Beef: A more specific definition is Grass Finished Beef. Finishing is just another word for the time that cattle are normally fattened for the last few months before processing. Typically, feed lots finish cattle for 90 to 160 days on grain, usually corn, whereas, grass finished cattle are fattened on grass only, until the day that they are processed. 


Grass finishing compared to grain finishing: When considering the definition of grass fed beef, most beef animals have probably eaten grass at some point in their lives, but the important thing is that they're "finished", or fattened on grass, rather than grain, for the 90 to 160 days before slaughter. 


During those few months of grain finishing the levels of important nutrients like conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) and omega 3 decrease dramatically in the beef animal's tissues. It is in the finishing process that those levels and ratios drastically decline because of the grain feeding, and that is why it's so important to make sure that the beef you eat is not only grass fed, but grass finished. 

Annielicious Tips & Advice

Watch FOOD INC. Online‏


Posted on April 21, 2010 


Many of you may have seen the recent episode of the Oprah Show when she discussed how our meat and food is raised and manufactured today at which time they made references to the film FOOD INC. The film reveals how the shocking process of how growing, and manufacturing our food, and breeding farm animals has drastically changed from the early farming days in N America.


This is a MUST SEE!! You NEED to see and share this film with your family and friends, especially if you or they have any health issues.

Deseed pomegranates easily & correctly


​A little pomegranate fun in the SpotlightToronto test kitchen.

The easiest and quickest way to deseed pomegranates! 

Bouchon Bakery Cookbook Begins


After reading, I had to share this article with you all, give it a read.  I love my world!!!

​I spent the first week of March in Manhattan digging into the work of writing The Bouchon Bakery Cookbook with Thomas Keller and executive chef Sebastien Rouxel, whom Keller calls “easily one of the 10 best pastry chefs in the country.” This project is especially exciting to me... (read the rest at the link below) 

​Source: http://ruhlman.com/2011/03/new-york-notes-bouchon-bakery-cookbook-begins/