Batali vs. Bittman Pasta Saucing Smackdown: Who's Right?

20071017pasta.jpgYesterday Mario Batali told us in the premiere webisode of Unclogged, Serious Eats' first video series, that when you sauce pasta, it should be "noodles with a little bit of stuff."

Today in the New York Times, Mark Bittman throws down the pasta pot gauntlet and tells us exactly the opposite. He wants us to throw tons of fresh vegetables into our pasta and throw in a little bit of meat (sausage) for flavor. His reasoning:

From the point of view of the body, there's little difference between pasta and white bread (and, for that matter, biscotti); neither has much in the way of protein, vitamins, micronutrients or fiber, and all are digested quickly and may ultimately be stored as fat.

Who's right? We're going to let the Ed Levine Eats-Serious Eats community decide after the jump.

Cast your vote here. Read the Bittman piece and watch Unclogged to hear Mario fully articulate his pasta-sauce-as-condiment argument before you decide.

I don't want to sway the vote, but it should be pointed out that one of Bittman's recipes in the paper today calls for a cup of fresh coarse breadcrumbs, which might contradict his basic premise. I'm just reporting. You decide.

Who's right in the Great Pasta Saucing Debate?

A. Mario Batali
B. Mark Bittman
C. Both
D. Neither

Interestingly enough, Bittman and Batali are in Spain together as we speak shooting a PBS series about Spanish food with Gwyneth Paltrow. Maybe Paltrow should cast the deciding vote.