Sometimes weird, mostly really good: What cooking professionals say about pasta trend recipes from social networks – and what they would do differently.
Noodles always work. Maybe that’s why viral pasta recipes regularly make their way through networks like Instagram and TikTok. But: What recipes can the culinary control pass?
Cheese sauce with one difference: baked feta pasta
Here’s how it works: Feta pasta is the mother of all pasta trends. A block of feta cheese is placed in a saucepan before adding cherry tomatoes, olive oil, garlic and spices. After 20 to 25 minutes in the oven, the feta cheese is soft and can be mixed with the other ingredients to form a sauce. Quickly stir in the cooked pasta – and dinner is on the table.
Work and dishes save if you make a one-pot meal out of it. The bottom of the mold is lined with uncooked spaghetti, which is completely covered with water or vegetable broth. Then add the feta cheese and other ingredients on top. With this variant, it takes about half an hour until everything is cooked.
This is what the experts say: Feta pasta gets good results from professional chefs. Cookbook author Domenico Gentile (cookingitaly.de) explains what makes the dish so special: “Fat does not melt as well as other types of cheese – it makes it nice and creamy.”
If you like your pasta even juicier, add a tablespoon of pasta water before mixing. The starch is combined well with the pasta and the sauce. It has a similar effect if you cook the noodles in the casserole, says Jakob Albermann, a member of the German national team of chefs.
If you then serve the pasta with a good handful of fresh basil and a little grated lemon peel, the dinner tastes even more like a Mediterranean holiday. By the way: According to Domenico Gentile, the combination of feta, tomatoes and pasta also works well in other dishes – for example in a pasta salad.
But no mustard, please: Mac and Cheese after Rihanna
Here’s how it works: American cuisine in particular loves pasta dishes, which are unthinkable without strings of cheese. Traditionally, mac and cheese consists of short macaroni (Italian: maccheroni) and a sauce based on cheese and milk. With pop star Rihanna, however, the recipe is a bit extravagant – she also uses ketchup, sweet chili sauce and mustard.
That’s what the experts are saying: Rihanna’s Mac and Cheese variant is definitely not boring. “The chili sauce gives a little heat, the ketchup a little acid,” says Domenico Gentile. One of Rihanna’s ingredients, however, the chefs absolutely do not agree with: “Mustard is pointless, especially in combination with cheddar cheese”, says Gentile. His advice: remove the mustard and approach Rihanna’s creation step by step. The cautious serve a classic mac and cheese recipe and a little chili sauce is enough at the table.
What you should also keep in mind with Rihanna’s mac and cheese variant: “Ketchup and chili sauce are convenience products – and of course it’s always nicer to use fresh ingredients to give a sauce a taste,” says Jakob Albermann. Rihanna’s trend noodles are therefore more of an emergency nail if nothing else can be found in the fridge.
Snaps meet cream: vodka noodles based on Gigi Hadid
Here’s how it works: Although vodka paste is often mentioned online in the same breath as Gigi Hadid: the model did not invent the dish. Under the name “Penne Alla Vodka”, it has been a part of Italian-American cuisine since the 1970s. It’s a pasta sauce based on tomato passata, cream and chili flakes – and a dash of vodka. Before serving, melt a good chunk of butter in the sauce, followed by a good amount of parmesan.
The experts say: No matter how curious the name is, the chefs are skeptical about whether it is actually the schnapps that makes the dish so good. – After all, vodka tastes quite neutral – and the taste of alcohol largely disappears when you cook it, says Jakob Albermann. “It’s more the other ingredients that make the dish so good.” The fat from the cream and butter further enhances the flavors of the sauce. The parmesan does the rest.
If you like it a little easier, replace cream with pasta water. By the way: Gigi Hadid also knows that vodka is not a must for this recipe: In her Instagram video, she also omits alcohol.
With bite – but really: pasta chips
Here’s how it works: Do you crack some noodles on movie night? It works if you have pasta chips ready. First, short pasta is prepared, such as penne or farfalle. They are then mixed with a marinade made from olive oil, parmesan and spices such as garlic and paprika powder or oregano. In the last step, the noodles are baked in the oven or in the hot air fryer until they are crispy and served with a dip.
This is what the experts say: Opinions differ when it comes to pasta chips. Domenico Gentile can not understand the trend: “It’s just dry-baked noodles – as you know it from the top layer of lasagna that did not get enough sauce.” He assumes that the crunch of noodle chips behaves differently than you are used to with potato chips. “Potato chips are much thinner.” So if you want to try the pasta chips, it is better to use a thin-walled type of pasta.
Jakob Albermann, on the other hand, can imagine that the pasta chips are worth trying. He advises adding ingredients such as fresh herbs, which burn easily and become bitter during baking, only after baking. “Fresh, light dips are really particularly suitable for this – sour cream or yoghurt dips for example.”