I stayed home for the month of August, but Italy came to me. I got the chance to make pasta with the charming Antonella who has a vacation home in Tropica. Making pasta with A Real Italian Woman is priceless.
Antonella has an online business in Italy, selling artisanal and gourmet Italian cooking equipment and serving pieces. She introduced me to hand making pasta — that means rolling it out with a rolling pin and cutting the pasta shapes either by hand or with traditional artisanal equipment.
I’ve found my new therapy. What’s doubly good about this therapy is that can you eat it afterwards! Gifting (a very lucky friend) some fresh pasta is inexpensive but absolutely priceless. Antonella assures me that handcut pasta is ever so much more delicious than machine cut. I’m going to believe everything she says.
Making pasta is Play Doh for adults. One hundred grams of flour + one egg = pasta for one serving. How easy and cool is this? Results will vary depending on the size of the egg, the humidity of the place you live in, the type of flour. Be prepared to make little adjustments here and there.
What I learned: pasta is best made on a wooden surface. Knead your ball of pasta dough until it is smooth and lovely as a baby’s bottom. We’re talking a good 15 minutes of kneading. Think: aerobics. What do you do if the dough is too hard and dry to knead nicely? Why go to the sink, run your hands under the water and get back to kneading with your wet hands. This is a way to add water to something that is impossible to add water to, capiche!? Let it rest wrapped in plastic.
Antonella then pulled out her hand made artisanal pasta equipment. First the chitarra or guitar.
At the end, she cut up all the leftover odds and ends. Into a baggie and into the freezer, ready to toss into a homemade soup. Nothing goes to waste.
Why am I telling you this? Because it embodies two of my favorite principles: authenticity and simplicity. Two ingredients, a bit of technique, a lot of pleasure.
Have you discovered a new hobby or pleasure lately? Or a new food bit of fun in your life? Tell us about it!
P.S. On Sunday afternoon…when I’m wondering what to make for dinner, and feeling a little lazy…I whip up some pasta. Or, instead of knitting whilst I watch the U.S. Open, I’ll make some pasta for tomorrow.
Hello my lovelies! Sharing some of my August staycation happenings with you. Do join the conversation and post your comments below. Feel free to like or share this post via the clever buttons below. And if you haven’t already, enter your email above so you won’t miss a thing.