Californian vs Italian Pasta

Italy, a state of 58 million people, is a patchwork quilt of 20 different regions. All Italian cooking relies on olive oil, grains and fresh, seasonal produce, but each region has its tastes and specialties. California and Italy have much in common, which explains why many simple Italian dishes including fresh ingredients are popular in the united states.

While red sauce has become the most recognizable match for Italian pasta, as you move to Northern Italy the tomatoes and olive oil give way to creamy butter as a popular pasta topping. Northern Italy is an important dairy area, much like California.

Hearty enough to serve as a main course with a green salad on the side, California pasta is also a perfect accompaniment to any sort of poultry or meat dish. Additionally, it goes well with fish since its rich yet subtle tastes do not overwhelm even the most delicate fish. This recipe works well with marginally wider forms of pasta, such as linguini or fettuccini, which provide a great balance between the pasta and butter coating.

Californian wheat ingredients:

1 pound (16 ounces) fresh or dried linguini
2 tablespoons salt
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter
1 cup (4 oz ) Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup toasted bread crumbs

Add salt and pasta. While pasta is cooking, cut butter into 1-inch pieces and set aside to soften. Return drained pasta to the cooking pot and add butter, half the grated cheese and half the bread crumbs. Add the reserved pasta water to moisten. Put it to a serving bowl portion to individual pasta bowls and sprinkle remaining cheese and bread crumbs on top. Serve immediately.

Italian pasta ingredients:

3 large cloves garlic
1/2 cup black olives, pitted and sliced into thin strips
3 tbsp minced fresh basil

Salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly milled black pepper
1 lb fusilli (twists)
Freshly grated Romano cheese

Preparation: Blanch fresh tomatoes in boiling water for 1 minute. Transfer to a colander and rinse under cold water. Peel skins with a small paring knife. Cut each tomato in half lengthwise. Squeeze each half and discard all of the seeds. Slice into 1/4-inch strips, put in strainer set over a bowl and reserve juice. In a medium bowlcombine berries, 1/2 cup olive oil, garlic, olives, basil, parsley, 1 tsp salt and pepper; mix well with wooden spoon. Transfer into a 1 1/2 quart jar with a skillet. Refrigerate sauce for at least 6 hours or overnight, turning jar 3 to 4 days so that berries will be well coated with marinade. Eliminate sauce and reserved juice from refrigerator and let stand at room temperature for 2 hours before serving. Discard garlic from sauce just before tossing with pasta. Cook pasta in 6 quarts boiling water with 1 tbsp salt. Drain pasta in a colander, move to a bowl containing 1 tablespoon olive oil and toss quickly. Toss pasta with 3/4 of this sauce.

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