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My Recipes-of-the-Week are featured here on my Home page. You can find 2000 of my kitchen-tested recipes using the Recipes tab, watch over 125 Kitchen Encounters/WHVL-TV segments using the TV Videos tab, join the discussion about all of my creations using the Facebook tab, or Email your questions and comments directly to me--none go unanswered. "We are all in this food world together." ~Melanie

01/30/2023

~Cellentani or Cavatappi -- No Worries, No Difference~

IMG_6758A few days ago I made my pasta Alfredo.  I refer to is as pasta Alfredo because I don't always use fettuccine to make this classic pasta dish.  My family likes it just as much using spaghetti and I also make variations of Alfredo using linguini with shrimp,  mushroom ravioli Alfredo, and, with vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower and carrots) for rotini Alfredo all primavera.  That said, my personal favorite pasta for Alfredo is penne or cellentani (also marketed as cavatappi) -- tubular pasta loves to soak up any type of sauce.  What's more fun, not to mention fork-and-family-friendly, is Alfredo made using a combination of both -- penne and cellentani or cavatappi. 

As hard as it is to believe, there is a controversy about the difference between cellentani (chay-len-TAHN-ee) and cavatappi (cah-vah-TAP-ee) -- which are both "fork-friendly, similarly sized, tubular corkscrew whirls" (the best words I have to describe their shape).  Some folks actually claim there is a slight difference in their thicknesses, while others claim there is a difference in their ridge counts.  It makes me laugh because I've been using the two interchangeably for years and I am here to tell you there is no difference -- or at least none that should concern any cook. 

Here's what you need to know:  Cellentani were first created by the italian pasta giant Barilla in the 1960s.  The company named its new pasta shape cellentani (after Adriano Celentano, a famous Italian pop singer known for his unique "springy" dance moves).  The name cellentani was trademarked by Barilla, which prevents other companies from marketing there copycat product as cellentani.  When other brands came up their cellentani, they named their version cavatappi, which means corkscrew in Italian and references the pasta's springy shape.  So, my cooking friends, no worries, there is no real difference between these two tubular corkscrew pasta shapes.

No worries, No difference -- It's simply a different name.

IMG_6755"We are all in this food world together. ~ Melanie Preschutti

(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2023)

01/25/2023

~A Brief Bit of History about Classic Fettuccini Alfredo~

6a0120a8551282970b0278800f7135200dAlfredo is an Italian pasta dish in which any type of stranded pasta, most famously fettuccine (which means little ribbons in Italian), is enrobed in a rich sauce usually made from copious amounts of butter, cream, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and black pepper.  As the tale goes (the foodie story most told about the history of this dish)  a Roman restauranteur, Alfredo di Lelio first created it for his pregnant wife in 1914.  She had lost her losing her appetite for food or was having trouble keeping food down, either while she was pregnant or after the birth of their son.  Alfredo, set out to create a dish that would not only appeal to his wife, but would be nutritious (calorie and carbohydrate packed) as well.  He developed his dish based on the traditional pasta al burro, which was simply paper-thin ribbons of hand-made pasta with butter.  Alfredo made egg fettuccine, tripled the amount of butter and laced it with copious amounts of Parmigianno-Reggiano cheese.  His wife loved it, so, he added it to his restaurant menu.

As the story goes, as fate would have it, in 1927, the American silent film stars Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks, while honeymooning in Italy, stopped into di Lelio's Alfredo alla Scrofa restaurant, ate the dish and the two lovebirds adored it.  They loved it so much, before they departed, they presented him with a golden fork and spoon along with a picture of them eating in his restaurant.  When the famous newlyweds returned to Hollywood, they began serving fettuccine Alfredo at their dinner parties.  It didn't take long for the news to spread throughout Hollywood, making di Lelio's restaurant and his pasta dish world famous.

6a0120a8551282970b0278800f7135200dTry my All-in-the-Pantry Creamy Spaghetti Alfredo:

6a0120a8551282970b0263e959a305200bOr my Nice & Easy Spaghetti Alfredo all Primavera:

6a0120a8551282970b0263e95d4366200bAnd my One-Skillet Alfredo-style Linguine & Shrimp:

6a0120a8551282970b02942f9d0ac1200cOr my So Easy Mushroom Ravioli Alfredo alla Primavera:

6a0120a8551282970b0263e98a60f3200b"We are all in this food world together. ~ Melanie Preschutti

(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2023)