WBEZ | pasta http://www.wbez.org/tags/pasta Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Pasta Madness Final Four http://www.wbez.org/blogs/claire-zulkey/2013-03/pasta-madness-final-four-106313 <p><p>Let&#39;s be real: Pasta Madness has been a lot more exciting and fun than actual March Madness. No matter who you are, your bracket has been completely busted to hell by now and your favorite team has probably already long been eliminated. But pasta will always be there for you. Even when your team loses you still win, because, pasta.</p><p>Let&#39;s look at the latest games:</p><p><strong>Linguine vs. Gemelli. </strong>Linguine&#39;s got a lot going for it and really nothing is <em>wrong </em>with it, per se, but Gemelli just has <em>more</em>. Gemelli is, by definition, twin pastas, and two of something great is always going to have an edge over just one. It&#39;s like, would you rather have one beautiful wife or two? Plus, as a short pasta, Gemelli is a more female-friendly pasta because you can just fork it up, as opposed to worrying about splattering one of your top three most embarrassing places on your body, like you would with linguine. I know I&#39;m sort of like the Ken &quot;Hawk&quot; Harrelson when it comes to Gemelli: I&#39;ve been a fan since day one and am not ashamed of it. Well, deal with it. I&#39;m here to cheer for Gemelli until they fire me. Winner: Gemelli.</p><p><strong>Pappardelle vs. Farfalle. </strong>This game is a little bit like what happens when the snobby rich kids (pappardelle) play the down-and-out scrappy kids from the other side of the tracks. Only in this case, the rich kids win because they&#39;re better in every way. <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blogs/claire-zulkey/2013-03/pasta-madness-elite-eight-106157">Last week</a>, I fingered farfalle as being guilty of frequently dwelling in second-and-third-tier pasta salads. Pappardelle, on the other hand, is usually a fancy, oft-handmade pasta that rests in beautiful wide ribbons and boasts something rich and earthy like rare mushrooms or unicorn meat. Farfalle, I&#39;m sorry to say but you just couldn&#39;t beat those rich kids this time. Winner: Pappardelle</p><p>Next week is serious. I may actually have to eat some Gemelli <em>and </em>some Pappardelle to see who wins. This is the type of dedication I show towards this project. You are welcome.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/FinalFour_0.jpg" title="" /></div></div><p><em><a href="https://twitter.com/Zulkey">@Zulkey</a></em></p></p> Thu, 28 Mar 2013 08:37:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/claire-zulkey/2013-03/pasta-madness-final-four-106313 Pasta Madness: The Elite Eight http://www.wbez.org/blogs/claire-zulkey/2013-03/pasta-madness-elite-eight-106157 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/4705713626_78ef3a71c1.jpg" title="Black Truffle Mac 'n Cheese. Flickr/LA &amp; OC Foodventures" /></div><p>Round One is where the chips start to fall but Round Two is where hearts start to break. Everyone is already a winner and so it&#39;s heartbreaking to see starches that have made it this far stricken. But somebody has to lose.</p><p>For this round I found myself doing Google image searches on the pastas in question to see which would most likely be eaten, and in mass quantities, by me. Some of them were easy (Fusilli making it this far was a bit of a fluke) but others weren&#39;t quite as clear. Linguine seems like a slam dunk...or is it? Read on to see who won this week.</p><p><strong>Ditalini vs. Linguine:</strong> At first this seemed easy, if unfair, sort of like Duke playing some school you&#39;ve never heard of but you&#39;re rooting for because they&#39;re playing Duke. Linguine is a standard. Who ever heard of ditalini anyway? But I <em>love </em>an underdog, sometimes to the point of ridiculousness. Maybe a big bowl of ditalini would be fantastic. Could you use ditalini, perhaps, in lieu of macaroni and make ditalini and cheese? Unfortunately, <a href="https://www.google.com/search?q=ditalini&amp;oe=utf-8&amp;aq=t&amp;rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&amp;client=firefox-a&amp;um=1&amp;ie=UTF-8&amp;hl=en&amp;tbm=isch&amp;source=og&amp;sa=N&amp;tab=wi&amp;ei=HY1IUYiEAqiY2wW0moCQAg&amp;biw=1920&amp;bih=952&amp;sei=H41IUaueEOXX2QWJvoGQDw">when I ran a Google image search on ditalini</a>, it confirmed my suspicion that ditalini is really a second-tier pasta, often good <em>in </em>things but never standing alone. Sorry ditalini, I love you but you&#39;re no match for linguine. With that said, however, I would like to try <a href="http://www.staceysnacksonline.com/2011/08/ditalini-lentil-salad-w-mint-parsley.html">this Ditalini &amp; Lentil pasta salad</a> I found whilst Googling. <strong>Winner:</strong> Linguine.</p><p><strong>Gemelli vs. Ziti: </strong>This wasn&#39;t terribly hard because in many ways, gemelli is just <a href="http://www.barilla.com/content/product/gemelli">double ziti</a>, so who would win in a game, one Michael Jordan vs. two Michael Jordans? Plus, gemelli is my preferred pasta when making <a href="http://www.zulkey.com/diary_archive_041102.html">this recipe</a> (one of the most popular and simple things I ever cook), so it was a blowout. I&#39;m placing odds on gemelli to win the whole tournament but as you know it ain&#39;t over til the fat, carbohydrate-laden lady sings. <strong>Winner: </strong>Gemelli.</p><p><strong>Orecchiette vs. Pappardelle:</strong> This was the most difficult call this week. Orecchiette are just beautiful little darling angels that you can stuff a lot of in your mouth and are typically seen in tandem with butter or cream or peas. They&#39;re little ears, like the ears of little babies you just want to eat. If orecchiette were a basketball team it would be one of those teams that&#39;s all young underdogs who never thought they&#39;d make it this far and they cry at the end of the game when they lose and you would too and the whole stadium, including the opposing team, would be cheering more for them and how far they&#39;ve gotten than for the other team&#39;s victory. I tried thinking about what&#39;s not so great about pappardelle, which is namely that it always seems expensive and comes in portions that don&#39;t seem to be as large enough as you&#39;d like. But when I Googled <a href="https://www.google.com/search?q=Orecchiette&amp;oe=utf-8&amp;aq=t&amp;rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&amp;client=firefox-a&amp;um=1&amp;ie=UTF-8&amp;hl=en&amp;tbm=isch&amp;source=og&amp;sa=N&amp;tab=wi&amp;ei=0I9IUbfoC-ei2wWN4oGADQ&amp;biw=1920&amp;bih=952&amp;sei=049IUdmXEaXk2wXCj4HwBQ">orecchiette</a> and then <a href="https://www.google.com/search?q=pappardelle&amp;oe=utf-8&amp;aq=t&amp;rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&amp;client=firefox-a&amp;um=1&amp;ie=UTF-8&amp;hl=en&amp;tbm=isch&amp;source=og&amp;sa=N&amp;tab=wi&amp;ei=549IUYeyEaTz2QWXw4HQAg&amp;biw=1920&amp;bih=952&amp;sei=6o9IUe-YO6Pq2gXe3IDgDA">pappardelle</a>, there was no contest. A bowlful of pappardelle still looks more likely like it&#39;d make it into my mouth than the orecchiette. Sorry kids. Maybe next year. <strong>Winner: </strong>Pappardelle</p><p><strong>Fusilli vs. Farfalle:</strong> The battle of the pasta salad pastas. I sort of consider fusilli to be like that one <em>American Idol </em>contestant who isn&#39;t that good, who nobody really likes but makes it far due to ironic voting. Although, to be honest, the worst fusilli is still miles better than even just an okay <em>American Idol</em> contestant. The truth is that I just can&#39;t separate fusilli from its most base form, which is to say, the over-vinegared, over-oiled, too-salty, too-oniony pasta salad that you usually get for free at some picnic you don&#39;t want to be at. But don&#39;t be too smug, farfalle: it seems like you appear in your fair share of tacky salads and bland chicken-breast-laden (Oh! How I loathe the plain white chicken breast, which devalues a good pasta more times than it adds to it) dishes as well. Fusilli lost this game just as much as you won it. You better practice really hard before next week&#39;s tournament. <strong>Winner: </strong>Farfalle</p><p>This is really exciting, people. Looks like this is coming down to a tight race between short pastas and longs. Who will take the crown?</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Elite8.jpg" title="" /></div><div class="image-insert-image "><br /><em>My stomach is growling. Follow me <a href="https://twitter.com/Zulkey">@Zulkey</a></em></div></p> Wed, 20 Mar 2013 08:56:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/claire-zulkey/2013-03/pasta-madness-elite-eight-106157 Pasta Madness: Round one http://www.wbez.org/blogs/claire-zulkey/2013-03/pasta-madness-round-one-106051 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/1007418451_28f117d91b.jpg" title="Flickr/photobunny" /></div></div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">On Sunday night my husband and I went out for Italian food. He ordered what he always does: rigatoni with meat sauce. Since I was having the kind of weekend where I didn&#39;t care about my physical health, I got linguine carbonara.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&quot;Why do you always order rigatoni?&quot; I asked Steve, and he gave me a very well-thought-out answer about rigatoni&#39;s ideal size, squishiness and the way the sauce gets inside the little tubes.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&quot;What&#39;s your favorite pasta?&quot; he asked me, and I realized I couldn&#39;t come up with an answer quickly. I love so many different kinds of pastas and I love pasta so much I could eat it directly from the boiling water with no sauce added. How to choose? Since it&#39;s March, I decided the best way to determine the most superior pasta was through a tournament bracket.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">I chose a variety of pasta shapes and sizes but due to the limits of bracketing, I couldn&#39;t incorporate everything (I regret that I could not include spaetzle, for instance, but I am at the whim of NNA (National Noodle Association) regulations. Let&#39;s get right to round one:<br />&nbsp;</div></div><p><strong>Ditalini vs. Ravioli.</strong> Ditalini is a bit of a pasta Cinderella story. Rarely do you think of it as something you&#39;d want to order, but typically, it&#39;s the best part of whatever you&#39;re eating (pasta e fagiole, minestrone, etc.) The little tiny tubes are fun to eat. Ravioli, on the other hand, is almost always a disappointment. For every one time you get some good ravioli in good sauce you get four flat disappointing bland pillows in plain tomato sauce. <strong>Winner: </strong>Ditalini.</p><p><strong>Macaroni vs. Linguine.</strong> Macaroni and cheese is one of my favorite foods in entire world, but macaroni would be nothing without cheese, which is its greatest limitation. I like linguine because it&#39;s like a better spaghetti. Its flatness gives it friction and better bite than those slippery round noodles. <strong>Winner</strong>: Linguine.</p><p><strong>Rigatoni vs. Gemelli. </strong>Have you had gemelli before? It&#39;s like the best of all worlds (in that a single piece of pasta is actually two pieces of pasta twirled together.) It&#39;s got good bite, its ridges are excellent for sauce-application and it feels a little exotic. Rigatoni, on the other hand, is typically overcooked and does become a squishy, floppy mess. Sorry Steve. <strong>Winner:</strong> Gemelli.</p><p><strong>Ziti vs. Capellini. </strong>Angel hair pasta will make a jerk out of you. It&#39;s messy to eat and not nearly as fulfilling as a fettucine or linguine. Ziti, on the other hand (or penne, that&#39;s fine too) is great either in a regular sauce or, even better, baked, with crispy brown edges. Get out of here, capellini. <strong>Winner:</strong> Ziti.</p><p><strong>Orecchiette vs. Lasagne. </strong>Come on, how did lasagne even make it into this tournament? The noodles are nothing on their own. Have you ever encountered lasagne noodles outside of lasagna? Also, I tried making lasagna once and the noodles all got stuck together and I got really mad. Orecchiette are adorable little ear-shaped pasta that are great at collecting sauce and peas. Winner: Orecchiette.</p><p><strong>Papardelle vs. Conchigle (shells</strong>). Papardelle is one of those pastas that doesn&#39;t seem to exist outside of restaurants that make their own pasta and serve it with something like boar ragout. It&#39;s delicious. Shells, on the other hand, always sound great and then you wonder how a piece of pasta filled with cheese and meat and sauce could end up so bland and disappointing. <strong>Winner:</strong> Papardelle.</p><p><strong>Farfalle vs. Gnocchi. </strong>Gnocchi is like fish tacos. When you have it done right, it&#39;s the best thing ever and when it&#39;s not done well, which is typical, it&#39;s just a gluey (or fishy) mess. Farfalle are fun little bowties that work great hot or cold and it&#39;s fun to bite them in the middle. <strong>Winner:</strong> Farfalle.</p><p><strong>Fusilli vs. Tortellini. </strong>This was a really tight call and I had to ask the refs (IE my colleague Daniel who was sitting next to me during the time of writing) for a final decision. Daniel is going with fusilli due to its versatility whereas, according to him, tortellini has much narrower applications and has to be purchased fresh. Plus: <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p5ncsjMVzcc">Fusilli Jerry</a>. Sorry tortellini. Yours was a Cinderella story but: <strong>Winner:</strong> Fusilli.</p><p>What are your thoughts on the results of this round? Did anyone get robbed? Any underdogs you&#39;re rooting for? Stay tuned for our second round next week!</p><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/PastaMadness1.jpg" title="" /></div></div><div class="image-insert-image "><em>Let&#39;s ca-noodle <a href="https://twitter.com/Zulkey">@Zulkey</a></em></div></p> Wed, 13 Mar 2013 08:27:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/claire-zulkey/2013-03/pasta-madness-round-one-106051 Terragusto in Lincoln Park morphing into pastaterra http://www.wbez.org/blog/steve-dolinsky/2011-05-11/terragusto-lincoln-park-morphing-pastaterra-86356 <p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-May/2011-05-10/gilbert terragusto.jpg" style="width: 346px; height: 230px;" title="Chef/Owner Theo Gilbert making pasta"></p><p>After a little more than two years, Theo Gilbert is switching gears. His <a href="http://www.terragustocafe.com/">Terragusto</a>&nbsp;-&nbsp;above Geja's Cafe and next door to the Park West Theater - will serve its final meals this Saturday, then re-open next Wednesday, May 18th, as a more casual concept: pastaterra.</p><p>"The place on Armitage has never gotten up to speed where we wanted it to," Gilbert said. "I brought on a couple of different people I thought were going to free me up to work on some other projects, but that hasn’t happened."&nbsp;</p><p>Gilbert will continue to operate the original Terragusto in Roscoe Village, known for its wide front windows through which passersby could watch them make pasta everyday. But he says his Lincoln Park location was taking up so much of his time that he was unable to focus on his next project in the suburbs.</p><p>"I need to free myself up from the stoves, so we’re going to reconcept the one on Armitage. We’re distilling it into what everyone knows – the fresh pasta – and really just boiling it all down to that," he said.</p><p>That means there'll be about four antipasti items such as soup, salad and meat or vegetable plates; there will also be 13 homemade pastas. For dessert, just two or three items, like panna cotta or tiramisu in a cup.</p><p>The price points will be lower, and the whole concept will be more casual: you'll order and pay at the counter, then sit down and have your food delivered to your table. Pastaterra will be open for lunch Wednesdays - Saturdays, and will serve dinner six nights a week.</p><p>As for his suburban project, (Gilbert won't say where, exactly, but the restaurant's website says Glencoe) he's hoping to open in the Fall. He says it will be both fine-dining and family-friendly, with a fast-service aspect and a fairly developed local and sustainable market, which will be able to sell packaged wine.</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Wed, 11 May 2011 11:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/steve-dolinsky/2011-05-11/terragusto-lincoln-park-morphing-pastaterra-86356