To Choose Maccaroni and other Italian Pastes

Method

The Naples maccaroni, of which the pipes are large, and somewhat thin, should be selected for the table in preference to the Genoa, which is less in size, but more substantial, and better suited to the formation of the various fanciful timbules* for which it is usually chosen. We have inserted here no receipts for these, because unless very skilfully prepared they are sure to fail, and they are not in much request in this country, unless it be at the tables of the aristocracy, for which they are prepared by efficient cooks. Of the ribbon maccaroni (or lazanges) we have given particulars in the pages which follow. The macaroncini, though not much larger than a straw, requires much boiling for its size, to render it soft. The celery-maccaroni is made very large and of an ornamental form, but in short lengths. It is used by “professed” cooks as a sort of crust or case for quenelle-forcemeat, or other expensive preparations of the same nature. The ring or cut maccaroni is another form given to the Italian paste: it may be had at almost any good foreign warehouse.

All these pastes should be of a yellowish tint (by no means white as one sees them when they are of inferior quality); they should also be quite fresh, as they contract a most unpleasant flavour from being too long stored. The Naples vermicelli, which is much larger than any other, may be dressed like maccaroni: by many persons it is also preferred to the smaller varieties for serving in soup.

* For an explanation of the term timbale, the reader is referred to the glossary at the commencement of this volume.

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