To begin, Rustechella is expensive compared to all the standard and good quality dry pasta products found in most retail stores. Rustichella is in another league altogether. I have shared it with friends who agree. In my opinion the difference is how this product cooks-up. It’s the damndest thing but when preparing Rustichella the fettuccine always comes up a perfect al dente every time. Try this; compare either Rotelle or De Cecco dry pasta with Rustichella and cook all of them at the same time. As soon as the Rotelle and De Cecco turn to soft from al dente take them off the burner along with the Rustichella. Strain and rinse all with cold water at the same time. Taste them for texture. You will taste the difference immediately.
It is difficult to find this product in retail stores. My first experience was in San Francisco several years ago. Then I moved back east. I now buy Rustichella from Market Hall Foods online. The company is located in the bay area. Like I said, it is expensive but it is the best and worth the price. This pasta even holds its texture the next day after refrigeration and subsequent reheating in the microwave. My favorite recipe:
Sauce or topping-
Chop a leek (after thorough cleaning of course)
Quarter and then quarter again an appropriate amount of mushrooms (do not slice them)
Chop a like amount of parsley, (coarsely) add last when everything else is done
Mince or chop two to three cloves of garlic (to your own taste of course!)
Chop pancetta or bacon, (whatever’s available in an appropriate amount)
Pecorino Romano and Parmesan Reggiano cheese (fine grind)
A dash of heavy cream if you like, but not too much, and a pat of butter to help bind the sauce together
Add some fresh ground nutmeg when sauté is complete (this is personal preference thing)
Olive oil to sauté the veggies and pancetta
Boil-up some of the Rustichella, strain, put into a bowl, add some olive oil to keep it from sticking
Sauté the pancetta or bacon first and set aside, then sauté the leeks and mushrooms, then add garlic (don’t burn garlic or even brown as it leaves a bad after taste)
Add the cream and pancetta, or bacon, then nutmeg, and lightly simmer for a few minutes, then add the butter
You should notice the sauce thickening-up a bit
Put the pasta in a serving dish, lay the sauce on top of the pasta. You can mix it if you like but my personal preference is all the sauce on top. You can then top it off with a little fresh bread crumbs if you like and then the cheese mix. I like a 30/70 mix of romano and parmesan.
This recipe i made up and I like it. My family too! The Rustichella pasta does make a significant difference. I usually buy 5 to 6 packages of the stuff so I don’t run out. 5 packages runs about $50 with shipping included. Like I said, it’s expensive but it does make a difference.