Pasta Madness: Crowning the champion

April 10, 2013

Well, folks, it’s come down to this. What is Claire Zulkey’s favorite kind of pasta? I know you’ve been waiting weeks to learn the answer to this. Coming down to a decision has been so tough that I couldn’t bring myself to pull the trigger and pick a favorite last week and put it off until today. However, now that actual tournament basketball is over, it’s time for the carb contest to wrap up as well.

I love all pasta—even the losers who got knocked out in the first round are still preferable to so many other kinds of foods. Quinoa? More like quin-whaa? Wild rice? More like mild rice (actually, this doesn’t even make sense as technically mild rice would be just plain white rice which I’m actually OK with.) The point is, I like noodles.

Let’s just get down to it. Gemelli vs. pappardelle. Neither pasta has ever let me down, neither has an obvious deficit. I can't even decide what’s superior, short vs. long pasta.

So here’s how I’m going to evaluate it. By comparing pasta to vacations (because eating pasta is like a vacation for your mouth.) For our honeymoon, my husband and I went to a private, tropical island. Everything about it was perfect, so perfect that we could only afford to spend half a week there. We often daydream about just blowing an obscene amount of money and going back for a week, but we just can’t bring ourselves to do it. The trip may just live on as a memory.

In contrast, we are crazy about New Orleans. It’s not exactly cheap to get to, but it’s a heck of a lot cheaper than flying to the British Virgin Islands, plus we have friends who live there so we stay for free and get a few meals for free. Thanks to this convenience, we’re able to get down there once a year. So while Peter Island may be a more special destination, I think New Orleans has got to technically be our favorite because we know for a fact that we love it enough to return to it again and again.

Pappardelle is the island and gemelli is the Big Easy. You can’t find pappardelle in stores, at least not in any stores I frequent. Pappardelle is for fancy out of the way gourmet shops and nice restaurants. I, on the other hand, can walk five minutes to my Jewel and stock up on boxes and boxes of gemelli and then make delicious dishes with it like this and this and this.

So, due to availability and cost effectiveness, I’m going to go with gemelli. Gemelli wins! Cut down the net and throw the Gatorade on, because you win, champ. Enjoy it.

If you missed the previous rounds of pasta madness, you can find them here, here and here.

Follow Claire Zulkey @Zulkey.

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