Pasta is what we call a “primo piatto”. A main dish that is served with a sauce. In Italy you can’t find it as a side dish. If somebody did it, would surely find a picket of angry people outside the door.
During my school years, when I was in France, considering I was the Italian guest of a family for a cultural exchange, they thought about cooking me some Italian food to make me feel more welcome. They cooked (I should say overcooked) some plain pasta and they served it to me as a side with some squeezed lemon on top. I immediately thought it was a result of some kind of commonplace or a recipe coming from a false belief on Italian kitchen, maybe coming from some (not very) Italian ancester!
Obviously I had to thank them and eat this pasta, because they had very good intentions. I actually really appreciated their effort of making me feel at home. Very very nice and lovely guests, but I must confess that for an Italian person this dish is very hard to face and eat. I made a huge effort.
Another thing we don’t do is serving pasta with chicken pieces or steak. We don’t even have Portobello mushrooms. In Italy they don’t exist. I think you can guess that Pasta as a side of chicken with Portobello mushrooms is not typical at all!
If you want to prepare an Italian dinner, just cook pasta and serve it with a sauce. You can eat meat as a second course.
If the Italian restaurant you are going to have dinner proposes you a unique plate with everything mixed up as typical, there must be something wrong with the chef! Careful!
Note: Obviously my posts haven’t any intention of offending anybody or of criticizing the goodness, quality and tastes of any dish or recipe. What I write is just a personal consideration concerning the adherence of recipes to the Italian ones, considering local habits, usages and traditions. The mood of the blog can be ironic and sometimes sarcastic, but with no aim of disappointing anybody. If somebody feels offended or struck by my words, please don’t. Moreover feel free to write me and explain your point of view (public channels like this blog are best welcome). It would be a pleasure for me. My intention is a constructive and sincere exchange of opinions.