Everyone loves pasta, right? In all its forms, it’s a simple, delicious dish, so for #WorldPastaDay we look at some facts about the best pasta dishes from different food cultures
It is one of the main foods of the planet, the basis of entire culinary worlds, and a comfort food for millions of people. It’s also one of the most versatile foods you can eat, with thousands of different varieties available. Let’s take a look at some of the best pasta dishes from around the world, and see if they inspire you to cook them for yourself.
Historically, Argentina has had many Italian immigrants, and their heritage is still strong today, especially in the variety of pasta dishes available.
The back alleys and markets of almost any major city are packed with pasta vendors, and their specialty is quick, easy and delicious street food. The time you’ll probably see it the most sorrentinosa kind of giant ravioli stuffed with almost anything you can stuff inside a pasta shell – meat, vegetables, cheese – and served in a rich cream sauce.
Germany, Austria and Central Europe: Spätzle
A common accompaniment to meat dishes and often served in gravy, Spätzle (meaning ‘sparrow’) are thin egg noodles. You might also get Knöpfle (‘little buttons’) — the same recipe but in a round shape.
You’re just as likely to get these in a high-end restaurant as you are from a stall at a Christmas market, and across this region of Central Europe, the same basic pasta goes by many names, including nokedli, csipetke or galuska in Hungary, halušky in Slovakia, or vasešpacli in Slovenia.
Italy: lasagnette ai tre sughi
You didn’t seriously think we were going to lose Italy, did you? The spiritual home of pasta has hundreds, if not thousands, of regional variations to try, each with its own twist of deliciousness.
In Verona, lasagnatte It’s not a lasagne as you know it, and the name might say why: it’s a “small lasagne”, strips almost the same as fettuccine, and the way you eat it is that you get the fresh pasta with three boats containing different sauces (usually some kind of meat, tomato sauce, and pea sauce), and you add and combine to get the exact taste you’ i like it.
Basically the national dish of Egypt, you see kushari everywhere you go. Pasta, rice and lentils combine and get a little pep with the addition of spicy, spicy tomato sauce, fried onions, garlic vinegar, and sometimes, chickpeas.
If you’d like to indulge in this carb fest, head to one of the kushari carts on pretty much any street corner. The cart will contain huge metal urns of the main ingredients and within five seconds, the seller, in a flurry of skill and spoon work, will transfer the ingredients to a plate, knocking the spoon against the side of the urn after all ingredients and create the familiar clanging cacophony of a busy kushari cart.
A bit of a one-pot wonder, this one, and although it’s a Valencian specialty, it’s loved all over Spain. You can say it’s a type of paella (large iron pan, shallow, seafood, etc.), but it’s the pasta element that sets video set aside
The pasta is in the form of noodles, and is briefly fried to give it a bit of oomph before being added to the pan with a choice of seafood (commonly cuttlefish, monkfish, prawns etc.). All this is then cooked in a broth flavored with saffron, and left to cook without stirring, which means that a small crust develops at the bottom of the pan, enhancing the delicious flavors.
United Arab Emirates and Persian Gulf: balaleet
A popular sweet and savory breakfast food, ballet is consumed across the Arab states of the Persian Gulf. It is especially popular during the Islamic celebrations of Eid al-Fitr, marking the end of Ramadan.
Balaleet consists of fried vermicelli noodles topped with an omelet. The noodles are flavored with sugar, cardamom, rose water and saffron, giving it a unique combination of flavors and textures that have to be tried to be believed. Eaten hot or cold and sometimes topped with nuts or dried fruit to amplify the flavors even more, there’s a reason it’s so popular!
South India and Sri Lanka: idiyappam
Thin rice noodles served at either breakfast or lunch, idiyappamPopularity has also spread to Southeast Asia, with varieties also served in Singapore and Malaysia (known as putu mayam), and Indonesia (putu mayang).
The dough is generally made with ghee, coconut milk and sugar, rolled into a ball, and pushed through a traditional wooden idiyappam press before being steamed. As a breakfast meal, the noodles are served with vegetable stew or something sweeter, such as fish curry. Come dinner, the curry will again be fish, potatoes or meat, and it will be served with coconut chutney. It’s not an undiscovered regional specialty, obviously, but it’s something different.
You can not only judge the deliciousness of traditional Turkish food by eating manti – you can also find out what your hosts think of you: the smaller the manti, the higher you are thought. It makes sense, as these mini dumplings are small, fiddly and time consuming. They are also absolutely gorgeous.
Each of the dumplings is filled with a mixture of lamb, onion, parsley and salt, carefully pressed to seal the mixture inside, and quickly baked in a hot oven before boil them. Once served, they are topped with three different sauces – brown butter, caramelised tomato and garlic yoghurt – and flavored with pepper, sumac and mint. Amazing.
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