How it began: The Manifesto

Yes, it seems like we’re doing it, we’re starting a food blog, and you might want to ask why. It’s a fair question, there are so many blogs and websites and platforms dedicated to food, that it seems pretty pointless to add another one, and yes, you’re right. Nevertheless, we’re doing it. One rational reason (if we really need any) to write a food blog could be, for example, that the combinations of ingredients that can be done in a kitchen are virtually infinite, therefore we’re pretty sure there’s a big bunch that haven’t been tried yet. But don’t worry, this blog is not going to be about weird and absurd recipes. However.

The first time we met (when we say we, we mean Jonas and Danilo, the minds behind the project) over a dinner table sometime in 2013, Jonas made Popcorn ice cream, with a sprinkle of coarse salt and olive oil as a topping, and Danilo was blown away. What? Popcorn ice cream? With salt an olive oil? That’s pretty weird, right? You gotta be kidding me! Well, it wasn’t. That ice cream was one of the best food experiences I had had in a long time, a complete new take on a subject I thought I knew a lot about (coming from Gelato Land). The point we’re trying to make here is, we’ll definitely try and surprise you, but weird for weirdness sake has never been a thing for any one of us. So we’ll see where this goes.

Jonas is kind of obsessed with the idea that the really crucial things in cooking have very little to do with ingredients. You know when someone makes something and you ask ”what was in that?!” and you get an answer and you’re like ”yeah… I also use those ingredients, why the F*** is this better?!”. You know, that thing. But he doesn’t know how to write THAT. He’ll try though.

Danilo on the other hand thinks that very few but good ingredients are key, that the simple tastes are those ones that will make you say “oh wow, so that’s what a zucchini really tastes like!”. Which is to say, he’s quite hardcore Italian in the cooking approach, but very open to use this method in pretty much anything.

So we’ll see. Worst case scenario, it’ll be just another food blog and you’ll get bored and then eventually we’ll get bored. Best case, it’ll be different and kinda good. And get better over time. Let’s just get on with it and see where we end up in six to twelve months. We’re gonna try to do two postings a week. One recipe and one either smaller recipe or something else, for example a restaurant review or an article about something. Stuff like that.

How To Cook Pasta By The Law

The way I see it, cooking pasta correctly should be prescribed by law. And not abiding by it should be a proper felony, not even a misdemeanor. But I will concede that, as an italian, I might be exaggerating.
This is going to be a simple and straightforward reference article about how to cook pasta correctly. It might sound unnecessary but believe me, the horrors that these eyes have witnessed are beyond anything EVIL you could imagine.

Cooking pasta is quite simple, you just need a lot of water, salt, and of course pasta, but quantity is key, and it goes like this:

  • at least 2 lt of water for about 200 gr of pasta (which is a normal amount for 2 people).
  • something as close as possible to 15 grams of salt (that is about a very full teaspoon)

So the ratio is simple, 7,5 grams of salt for every liter of water. The quantity of water is also important, pasta needs a lot of water, at least 1 liter per 100 gr of pasta. It can be more water, but it CANNOT be less: what will happen is that the starch concentration in the water (which is released by the pasta during cooking) is going to be too high, and the pasta will cook in glue, and the result will be way too sticky and glueish.
And this is how you do it:

  • Put the water in a big pot and bring it to a boil
  • You can add the salt before, or once it’s boiling, it doesn’t make any difference, as long as you add the salt before adding the pasta.
  • Once the water is boiling, you add the pasta and let it cook for as long as prescribed on the pasta package. Good quality pasta will take longer, if you have pasta that cooks in 6/8 minutes you need to change brand.
  • Once the pasta is ready, and by ready I mean al dente (usually pasta packages also give an al dente time), you throw it into a colander to drain the water, and IMMEDIATELY add the sauce you have prepared already. I mean IMMEDIATELY, for fuck sake! You can add the pasta to the sauce pan and stir, or put the pasta back in its pot and then add the sauce there, but you have to do it fast.

UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES you leave the cooked pasta sitting by itself, undressed, in a bowl or plate: it will get cold and sticky, and if Italy find out, they might declare war on you, so be advised.