It doesn’t get much better than this! We’re packing on the pasta with the Pasta Queen. Celebrity Chef Lidia Bastianich is an old friend, and it’s such a treat to cook with her whenever she makes it into town. On this day, we tackled one of her beloved standards: Tomato Basil Capellini.
When making any number of pasta dishes, it all comes down to how you shop for it, the best shape to use and how you dress it up. If it’s dry pasta you’re after, there are certain things to look for. First, the appearance: a nice, golden yellow with a rough finish (the cut). Your sauce, after all, adheres to the pasta based on its texture.
Dry pasta that is 100% Durum wheat is ideal. Lidia decided on her capellini and let it settle first in a tall pot of boiling hot water. Her basic formula for starting out? Lots of water and salt — an important ingredient. Once you cook the pasta, if the water hasn’t been salted then it’s too late.
We want our capellini al dente — a consistency of pasta that’s slightly firm to the bite. Watch the video, as our expert Lidia goes into more detail about this. Once your noodles are transferred to the pan, Lidia stresses not to “over-sauce” your pasta. The capellini cooks quickly, so you want just enough to coat it.
Be sure to add your veggies like artichoke or broccoli, as well as your proteins (in this case, shrimp) to the base of your dish. Then a little bit more oil, another round of chopped basil, grated cheese at the very end to maximize flavor (she prefers Grana Padano) and presto!
We recommend pairing Lidia’s capellini with a Tuscan wine of her choice: the Morellino Di Scansano. Salute!
For more delicious recipes and fun food and wine pairing ideas, subscribe to my newsletter. We also draw our Grand Prize Winner at the end of the month (June 30) for our latest giveaway on Goodtaste.tv — a trip for 2 to New Orleans. Enter today — it’s absolutely free! That includes three (3) nights at the Westin New Orleans Canal Place and dinner for two (2) at Borgne, a John Besh restaurant. Round trip airfare also included…good luck!