“I always hear Italian Restaurants screaming when people combine pasta and chicken. I know you don’t serve a roasted chicken with pasta as a side dish. But my dad, who’s Italian, often cook tomato sauce with shredded chicken and olives, and it tastes amazing. So why no pasta and chicken outside of the “tradition”?”
It’s a fair observation that Italians are always screaming when people combine pasta and chicken. The bottom line, Italians (specifically those that are passionate about food, which is nearly all of them) are always screaming about everything. Italians are intensely prideful of their cuisine. Combine that with the fact that Italian cuisine is highly regional, and you get a situation in which every village has their way of doing something, and if you drive 5 miles down the road, the way they do it there is “wrong, it is shit!”
How Strict Are They In Terms Of Cuisines?
This can be bewildering for the foreigner trying to learn Italian cuisine. There are those Italians who say that you NEVER put cream in a risotto, and if you do, it becomes something else. But then again, plenty of Italian chefs put a little cream in there. There are the guys who say that you should never mix fish and cheese, and then there are the guys that dust every seafood Fritto Misto with a shower of parmesan.
So, anything that an Italian cook tells you is never to do, you can rest assured, is never permitted in certain parts of Italy. My advice is avoiding worrying about what they allow and learn what you can from them. Italians love their food, and they love to show off. Well, showing off is teaching! Take your lessons when you can, because if they decide to share some food insight with you, they are sharing the part of their culture they hold most dear. You can take their prohibitions with a grain of salt, but they can probably cook circles around you.
I have worked with a fair number of Italians.
Why Do Italian Restaurants blame The Ones Using Chicken In Pasta?
It’s because other cultures are appropriating our traditional dishes, then change them in very twisted ways (often causing horrified faces in Italians) and then keep calling them with Italian names as they were from Italy.
There are a million examples of fake Italian dishes like marinara sauce, fettuccine Alfredo, pineapple&ham pizza, etc. which are never there in Italy. Still, people around the world think it’s Italian food.
I guess that’s the thing which mostly makes the Italians angry.
So the short answer to the original question is:
– No, we don’t put the chicken in the sauce
– Yes, we use chicken to make pasta dishes
– You can eat what you want as long as you don’t call it an Italian meal.