Monday, April 27, 2009

Product Review: Garofalo Pasta

Thanks to one of those periods that come to us all every so often, my personal life has had one darned thing after another going wrong. These happen to be the sorts of things that required a lot of driving, dashing here and there, and (sadly) not really any time to think about cooking. Indeed, I had barely time to do any cooking. It was just a case of coming up with meals to fling on the table at the last minute for several weeks in a row.

In our household that means a definite dependence on pasta. There is rarely anything easier or more palatable than a pasta-based dish, salad, bread, and wine (oh yes, definitely the wine with the way that things were going ...).

You can therefore imagine my surprise and pleasure at receiving two samples of honest-to-goodness Italian pasta to try out. I was interested to see that this pasta has a 200-year-old history. Looking around the internet, I was intrigued to see that this pasta formerly was only available in Italy. Of course, regardless of a distinguished pedigree, the proof is in the tasting. I had ample opportunity to put them to the test.

First up was the Pappardelle, broad and long strips of pasta, that came in very handy on the night I had virtually nothing in the house to cook. I used them for Pasta with Parmigiano Regianno which not only had the virtue of being quick, simple, and using ingredients I had to hand, but also of allowing the pasta to shine forth with its own qualities. It was indeed delicious, firm to the tooth but tender, with a very good flavor. The only problem I had was that when I gave the pasta its first stir to keep it from sticking together after being allowed to sit in the boiling salted water for a bit the noodles themselves had a tendency to break. The length of about a third of them was therefore abbreviated but this didn't matter to us.

Secondly, the Radiatori was put to the test in a variation of Pasta Baked with Bechamel and Parmigiano. I had a generous amount of leftover turkey which I diced and only enough milk to make 2 cups of sauce instead of the 3 I needed to give the pasta enough creamy sauce to cover it. Interestingly, the Radiatori soaked up the sauce and retained all their tender but toothsome texture. It was truly delicious.

At first I thought that this pasta was not actually that different from the usual sort but then I realized that I already buy a high quality pasta. Therefore, what this meant was that Garofalo was standing up to a very high standard indeed. In fact, Hannah now has to take pasta from home to school for her cooking because in innocently trying the standard American sorts she has been greatly disappointed.

Garofalo is not only delicious but affordable. I see that:
Garofalo Signature pastas retail for $2.49 per pound and are available at popular
supermarkets including A&P, Kings and Costco, as well as New York based specialty
food retailers such as Food Emporium, D’Agostino and independent specialty food
stores in Chelsea Market.
Here's the complete list as well as an email address if you need another source.

Highly recommended.

No comments: