Monday, October 13, 2008

To Rinse Or Not To Rinse


Even if you're not Italian, I'm pretty sure you've boiled a pot of pasta before. But who would have thought that such an event could jeopardize a marriage....


Situation #1: My husband loves to rinse the pasta after it has drained. I think that is simply sacrilegious. He can't stand the taste of it not rinsed. I can't stand cold pasta that tastes like tap water. If I'm not tossing it in sauce right away (see situation #2), then I at least prefer to toss it in olive oil, without rinsing. I've consulted my cousin (a grad of the Culinary Institute) on this one. He says rinsing is reserved only for those desperate moments where you fear you've overcooked the pasta and must stop the cooking process at all costs. Note the term: "desperate."


Situation #2: My husband does not like his pasta tossed in the sauce. Now this problem, though severe, is not as bad as the first because he has relented many times over the years. Nonetheless I still find myself dishing out a plate of plain pasta for him before I toss the rest.


To me, this is just plain disgusting. Why would you want only some of your pasta to have sauce? You're just going to end up mixing it in your plate anyway....and it's like our parents always told us when we couldn't have foods touch in the plate - it's all going to the same place anyway. So why use it as a topping? You might as well not even call it sauce. It would then have to be classified among things like chocolate syrup and honey. As if sauce was meant to be drizzled slightly over a plate of plain pasta? What nonsense!


So you might have assumed that I prefer to toss my unrinsed pasta in the sauce before serving. That is only normal...which, of course, makes my husband weird. (which is no secret, people)


Needless to say pasta night has turned into a battle in our house. Each of us races to the sink after the pasta has drained. I usually have one of the kids distract him. He usually pretends like he wants to "help me out" by taking over pasta duty. But by now we've learned each other's sneaky tricks.


And although I love my picky, Americanized husband, I must quote Sarah Palin and say, "Never again to his selfish rinsing plot disguised as a help offering. Never again will I be taken advantage of."




9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Well I am not just siding with you because you're my neice, but I absolutely agree with you, as would Italians from Italy. They wouldn't dream of rinsing their pasta and they always toss it in their sauce so that the pasta is evenly coated and steaming hot when served. Sorry Dom!! Maybe this issue needs a vote.

Maria said...

I say never rinse your pasta yuck..cold pasta ma va? sorry Mr Marito...Mamma knows how to do it best
Cheers
Maria

una mamma italiana said...

You said it, Maria! Looks like my poor husband loses yet again....Sorry honey, but in una mamma's kitchen, you know the rules, mangiare questa sinestra o saltare questa finestra! (Take it or leave it) For more of mamma's rules see my "Kitchen Rules" post.

Anonymous said...

Are you kidding? Rinsing is grounds for divorce. Is your husband something other than Italian? If so, this is what you get for marrying outside the Best Ethnic Group on the Planet. Haha!

Leaving the starch on the outside of the pasta helps the sauce to cling better. This is another reason NOT to put oil in the cooking water. You don't want slick pasta... the sauce will slide right off. And you are correct about the flavor of tap water. Yuck! Where did he learn something like that? Nobody in their right mind rinses pasta...

RRaffanti said...

Rinsing pasta? No, Never!! Tiffany, your husband needs to prepare his own separate pan of pasta, then he can rinse it, put it on his plate and ladle his own sauce on top. I like it both ways - either the sauce mixed in or only on top - but if the sauce is mixed in, I like some on top, too. Sorry, anonymous, I do put just one teaspoon of oil in my pasta - it keeps the pasta from sticking together.

Anonymous said...

WOW! he's 100% american! boyardee is his dish for sure. And a suggestion to RRaffanti: I put a little bit of oil in the water so the pasta won't stick and definitely mix the pasta with sauce first and then a little bit on top w/ parmeggiano as a final touch, muaah! bellisimo!

Tuscana said...

Rinse...NEVER. You can use the pasta water to loosen up the sauce. If you are using the pasta, cold, in a salad, I guess you "might" want to rinse it to prevent sticking, otherwise, I am in full agreement - NEVER.

Randazzo said...

This is what happens when you marry an "Americani" (my wife's name is Connie!). But, we must make sacrifices for the sake of marriage. It seems the best solution is to just split the pot once it's boiled ... he can rinse his, and you can mix yours with the sauce ... the PROPER way.

The REAL question, if you're trying to preserve the heritage and tradition is ... what do the KIDS like??

Like a good Italian, I have seven kids, and a few of my younger ones prefer butter over red sauce. (Gasp!) I insist that they at least mix it with Parmesan cheese and garlic salt. :-)

Mangia Bella!

maeghan said...

Hilarious! :)

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