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COOKSTUFF : Rough and Ready

March 16, 1995|KATHIE JENKINS

Who likes rough pasta? Your sauce, for one. Most commercial pastas are pressed through Teflon slots that produce a smooth, slippery finish; Latini pasta, new in many Southern California stores, is extruded through bronze dies to produce the porous surface ideal for absorbing arrabbiata and friends. It's made by the Osimo, Italy-based boutique pasta makers famous for using a slow, gentle, drying process that keeps the wheat's natural substances in tact and provides flavor and texture. (Uneven or excessive heat is what makes pasta hard and brittle.) Every box is hand-packed and hand-numbered. About $4 a box at Wally's in West Los Angeles, Broadway Deli in Santa Monica and most Gelson's and Bristol Farms locations.

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