Today's tip

When you are finished eating a bowl of pasta, basically no sauce should be left at the bottom of the bowl.

In Italian, the verb we use to describe the final dressing of the pasta with sauce is “condire”, translated “to season, to flavor.” And the phrase “condire la pasta”, reminds us that the sauce should be considered a condiment, an enhancement to the pasta. I like to think of pasta, especially fresh egg pastas, as playing the leading role in the pasta dish. So why drown the chief protagonist before the drama has started. Keep these ideas in mind when you bring your pasta and sauce together in a skillet. If you see that the quantity of sauce is disproportionate to the pasta, spoon some out (and save it of course) before tossing and finishing the dish. If you see that the sauce is soupy and collects in the bottom of the skillet, raise the heat while tossing the pasta actively, evaporating the excess water and thickening the sauce so it adheres to the pasta.

Be sure to pass a bowl of freshly grated Grana Padano cheese around the table with the pasta.