Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Like the Signora Taught Him

A few weeks ago, a simple & fast pasta dinner turned into blogging material, when Patrick decided we should make pasta instead of using store bought & dried.
After his junior year in college, Patrick lived for two months in Camerano, Italy, a tiny village on the eastern central coast--big enough to warrant a Wikipedia page, but not big enough to have much information on it. He learned to make pasta from the woman he lived with, learned to drink grappa squirted from canteens into his mouth (Fête de l'Ours, anyone?)--and learned to eat like an Italian: antipasto, a bowl of pasta, an entree after that, and then a salad. Hopefully followed by vanilla gelato. If I were more modest, I'd say it's a lot to live up to, but I think I'm doing just fine.

We were partway through before I realized I wanted to take pictures (the face above is my "we should be documenting this" face), so you'll have to take my word that we started with a pile of flour on the counter, into which we dug a well, and added eggs. Measurements were, as always, inexact in my kitchen, but I think the proportions were somewhere close to four eggs for three cups of flour.

       Once the eggs were cracked inside, we slowly, slowly incorporated the flour into the center, making sure to keep a wall surrounding the flour & egg mixture. This takes a while, and requires patience and a steady hand--both of which I do not have, but try to fake in the kitchen.

Growing up, we would sometimes make noodles for chicken or turkey noodle soup--I especially remember this happening after the holidays, with the leftover birds. They were delicious. Thick, doughy, and perfect for a hot bowl of soup on a winter's day. Not so great for a light spring pasta. I'm not sure, because I can't remember what recipe we used growing up, but I think Italian-style pasta has a higher egg-to-flour ratio, and is obviously rolled out much thinner, too. I let Patrick do all the heavy lifting rolling, and took over once it was already pretty thin. You can sort of see that we rolled ours out to about an eighth of an inch or less, but next time I'd like to try to get it even thinner.

Actually, next time I'd like to try having a pasta roller, but that's a different story entirely.
Fresh pasta, you have to remember, cooks much faster than dried pasta, so we prepped salads and rolled cantaloupe in some prosciutto before tossing the pasta in boiling water and making a garlic-butter-basil-cream sauce. Mmmm. My favorite things.


Chelsea said...

Yum. Please come make this exact dinner for me, asap?

Ashley said...

I'll be there in 24 hours.