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November 28, 2012

Condire la pasta

In Italian, the verb we use to describe the final dressing of the pasta with the sauce is condire, or “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 pasta, as playing the leading role in the pasta dish. So why drown the protagonist before the drama has started?

Keep these ideas in mind when you bring your pasta and sauce together in the 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. And if you see that the sauce is soupy and collects in the bottom of the skillet, raise the head while tossing the pasta actively, evaporating the excess water and thickening the sauce so it adheres to the pasta.

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