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View Poll Results: What is the correct way to cook spaghetti?

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  • Option 1: Pasta finished then cooked in sauce

    666 99.85%
  • Option 2: Pasta and sauce served separately

    1 0.15%
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  1. Deadpan Scientist is offline

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    Posted On:
    9/06/2004 7:40pm

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!

    No, Prego!- by The Wastrel

    Wastrel sent this to me and asked me to post it:

    There is a strong undercurrent of class resentment in the recent debate over how to serve spaghetti and Prego sauce correctly, and it has begun to surge forward and burst into open hostility. I can’t help but notice that this debate is really between two brands of utter Philistinism. Furthermore, notions of class and pretension are entirely symptoms of this discussion being carried out between Americans who can pretend that Italian cooking represents sophistication and cosmopolitanism, rather than hungry Italian farmers gorging themselves on hearty starches and sauces made from cheaply available produce.
    The dilemma for solving this debate is that the fundamentals of the question make it impossible to refer to experts on Italian cooking, or even, to be honest, enthusiastic amateurs. If you ask my fiancee’s Nonno (Italian for grandfather) what the correct use of a jar of Prego is he’s likely to misunderstand the spirit of the question and answer, “Target practice.” Likewise, the truly indoctrinated are not exactly enthusiastic about the uses of “spaghetti”. If you want to talk orzo, francobolli, mezzelune, or gnocchi, count me in; “spaghetti” is like a code word for fake Italian food, as in common use it seems to mean noodle pasta and canned tomato sauce, rather than just a specific type of pasta.
    The truth is that option 2 betrays a basic ignorance of what Italian cooking is all about. With the exception of the extensive use of cheeses and cured meats, Italian cuisine seeks to highlight the simple glory of its essential ingredients. This aesthetic is why Italian food differs so much from the over-prepared and over-complicated French haute cuisine. Antipasti and primi and secundi piatti are designed to capture the essence of what was available today, at the moment, and the recipes are made to emphasise the quality of the ingredients over the acrobatics and alchemy of the chef. Serving sauce from a large communal container subverts the basic Italian principle of market-kitchen-table. Indeed, contemporary Italian chefs continue to eschew, even mock, refrigeration. That’s bad news for leftovers.
    Anyone who’s ever made real tomato sauce knows that you can’t really make enough to have large quantities of it left with which to drown your pasta. One recipe for pasta pomodoro I came across calls for 14 plum tomatoes for a mere 10 ounces of fusilli. I have the unusually good fortune to have a fiancée who learned how to cook in the city of Naples. According to her, to have enough tomato sauce to have a pot standing by for gluttons would take an insane quantity of tomatoes. Of course, she also says that it’s impossible to make real tomato sauce in the United States, even if you grow your own Italian plum tomatoes. According to her, tomatoes grown in regular soil can’t compare to those grown in the volcanic soil common to the area around Naples. There’s no hope for us, really.
    On the other hand, option 1 doesn’t seem much more attractive. There is a complicated interaction between pasta and sauce that dictates that every single combination is different. Pasta pomodoro is most definitely made according to option 1, but pesto is cold-prepared, and mixed into hot pasta, which doesn’t fit either option. Whenever we eat ravioli and dove gravy, the dove gravy is served independently in a tureen, which is clearly an option 2 dish. Of course, it might just be served separately because dove isn’t exactly a universally popular ingredient.
    But maybe we’re looking at this question all wrong. This isn’t a question about Italian cooking at all. This is a question about how best to prepare dorm food. The givens of this question are that we don’t have the correct ingredients, we don’t know anything about cooking, and we are trying to get the most bang for our buck. In this case, my advice would be to fortify your sauce as much as possible during preparation. As you are no doubt cooking your pasta with neither sea salt nor even olive oil, you’re going to want to drown that tasteless mess as much as possible. The key here is garlic. Garlic, and a decent wedge of real Parmigiano will save your dish of goop from complete inedibility. Finally, you should cook your “pasta” and sauce together for a bit to infuse a bit of flavor, and keep a separate container on hand with which to drown your mediocre mess. The daring might also consider fresh basil, and a good hour-long reduction before serving.
    But really, arguing over how to prepare spaghetti and Prego is like arguing over the correct way to execute a Shaolin-Do form. In other words, your Kung-Fu is weak.
      #151
  2. Omega Supreme is offline

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    Posted On:
    9/06/2004 7:52pm

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     Style: Chinese Boxing

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Well I hadn't realized that I was arguing over Itallian food, just how you're supposed to eat pasta, specifically the type that came from Italy. Itallians are a fucked up people with fucked up ideals *ducks. Hell they couldn't even stay in WWII long enough to get their ass properly handed to them. *ducks again. Anything the Italians could contribute died with Constantine *ducks then jumps. I'm talking about the American way of doing things. If there is one thing we Americans know how to do is prove to the rest of the world that even though we may be delusional there isn't a fucking thing you can do about it.

    :::: flips fingers underneath chin :::

    I'm going to get some pizza now.
      #152
  3. Deadpan Scientist is offline

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    Posted On:
    9/06/2004 8:08pm

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
      #153
  4. Deadpan Scientist is offline

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    Posted On:
    9/06/2004 8:08pm

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
      #154
  5. CrimsonTiger is offline
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    Posted On:
    9/06/2004 8:26pm

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     Style: Karate/Muay Thai

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Tell Wastrel his nihilistic answer just completely invalidated everything we've covered in the last 11 pages.

    Bastard.

    And where did the garlic and cheese come from?!?! He's violating the rules of "no additions"!
    Regards,
    CrimsonTiger

    "Na'h, they should go to old school rules.
    One guy gets sword and sheild, the other gets a net and a trident.
    Lions eat christians between rounds." - Strong Machine
      #155
  6. Deadpan Scientist is offline

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    Posted On:
    9/06/2004 8:33pm

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    The poll is closed, Option 1 has triumphed! Yippie Yippie!
      #156
  7. CrimsonTiger is offline
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    Posted On:
    9/06/2004 8:45pm

    supporting member
     Style: Karate/Muay Thai

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I think you tampered with the poll!

    I wonder how many of us "spoiled ballots" there were...we could've swayed the vote! THE SILENT MAJORITY!
    Regards,
    CrimsonTiger

    "Na'h, they should go to old school rules.
    One guy gets sword and sheild, the other gets a net and a trident.
    Lions eat christians between rounds." - Strong Machine
      #157
  8. Driscoll is offline

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    Posted On:
    9/06/2004 9:34pm


     Style: BJJ, Eceptar

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Hmmm. Since the poll has opened, quite a few new members have signed up, and not posted anything.

    I'm not saying that I'm 100% sure that Tim had something to do with this chicanery, I'm just saying I wouldn't put it past his scheming ways one bit.
      #158
  9. CanuckMA is offline

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    Posted On:
    9/06/2004 9:37pm


     Style: Wado

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Bloody americans have no fucking clue how to eat.

    ALL white sauce and smooth red sauces are mixed with the pasta prior to serving.

    With non-smooth red sauces, if the dish is a small side dish, it is mixed. Otherwise, the sauce is served on top of the pasta.
      #159
  10. CrimsonTiger is offline
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    Posted On:
    9/06/2004 10:03pm

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     Style: Karate/Muay Thai

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    MORE RULES?!?!

    Geez, this must be the secret TSE (Traditional Spaghetti Eating) method of eating...as opposed to the more "real" MSE (Mixed Spaghetti Eating) methods.
    Regards,
    CrimsonTiger

    "Na'h, they should go to old school rules.
    One guy gets sword and sheild, the other gets a net and a trident.
    Lions eat christians between rounds." - Strong Machine
      #160

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