Art of perfect pasta: a guide to authentic Italian cuisine

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Whether you’re a seasoned cook or a beginner in the kitchen, the secret to great pasta lies in simplicity and quality. At 400 Gradi, they have honed the pasta-making process to create mouth-watering dishes that our patrons simply can’t get enough of.

  1. Handmade Pasta: There’s a world of difference between store-bought pasta and pasta made from scratch. We take pride in creating every single pasta dish from scratch in all our restaurants – a testament to our commitment to quality. If you’re opting for supermarket pasta, ensure it’s made with durum wheat for that authentic ‘al dente’ texture.
  2. Salt the Pasta Water Generously: Take it from the Italians – pasta water should be as salty as the sea. Remember, 1 tablespoon of salt for every 1 pound of pasta is the golden rule. This helps to bring out the pasta’s unique flavour.
  3. Don’t Overcook: Achieving the perfect ‘al dente’ texture, where the pasta is tender yet firm, is an art. Avoid relying on the packet instructions and instead, keep tasting until you find the sweet spot.
  4. Use a Large Pot: At 400 Gradi, we use large pots with plenty of water to ensure even cooking. Invest in a good-sized pot to allow the pasta to move freely and prevent sticking.
  5. Pairing with the Right Sauce: The right pasta-sauce combination can elevate your dish to new heights. Thicker pasta like pappardelle pairs wonderfully with cream or meat sauces, while thin pasta like spaghetti works well with lighter, oil-based sauces.
  6. Fresh Ingredients: Never compromise on the quality of ingredients. Italian cuisine is renowned for its simplicity and depth of flavour, both of which are highly dependent on the ingredients used.
  7. Pasta Water in the Sauce: A top tip – keep some of the pasta water and mix it with your sauce. The starchy water, when emulsified with good quality extra virgin olive oil, can revolutionise your pasta dishes.
  8. Take a Masterclass: If you’re in Melbourne, join them for our Gnocchi Masterclass at 400 Gradi, Brunswick on 28th October, World Pasta Day. Learn the skills to create your own pasta dough from scratch while mastering one of our longest-running dishes, Gnocchi Di Luigi. Let’s celebrate the world of pasta together!

Remember, the key to perfect pasta is attention to detail, patience, and love for the process. So roll up your sleeves, and let’s bring the charm of Italian cooking right into your kitchen!