Monday, December 8, 2014

Pasta Making, My Way...

Pasta Dreams
As far back as I can remember, I have been a lover of pasta. No Italian heritage required to be love pasta. My main source, the packaged kind. Even when my arms were stronger I never thought I could make fresh home made pasta. Thanks to the internet and the countless number of tutorials on ever subject under the sun, the inspiration to try making it hit me hard. At first I tried making gnocchi, something else I never thought possible. Gnocchi may be Italian, but it isn't exactly pasta. I believe it is referred to as a dumpling. Usually made with potatoes, flour and egg, it requires something I am not able to do, knead. Turns out it doesn't require as much kneading as I thought. Since I can't knead the traditional way, it was really exciting for me to figure out how to cause the gnocchi dough to be useable, even eatable. It took a couple of tries to master the texture and method, but it happened. Gnocchi is no longer something I can only buy in the grocery store or at Italfest!

As I continued watching pasta tutorials, it was time to go all out and make pasta. With my semolina in hand, I settles on one of a bazillion recipes for pasta. There are recipes with a heap of eggs, some with a couple, some with just water and/or oil…some with one hundred percent semolina, some fifty fifty, mixed with all purpose flour, some with just all purpose flour…some have oil, some do not. Needless to say, finding one recipe wasn't easy. Remember pin the tail on the donkey? Well, spin yourself around with a blind fold and point, where ever your finger points, follow that recipe. Okay, didn't quite do it that way, but I chose one recipe and started my pasta making adventure. It took a total of about five hours to make enough for one meal for Craig and I, but it worked! Since my hands and arms don't have much strength, as you will see in the video below, my first attempt was making the hand formed pasta called "Little Ears" in English. Was it perfect? No, it was edible. It was dense and chewy, but it was something. Just knowing that it was possible to make pasta by modifying the process so I could manage it, was incredibly satisfying. Then my next attempts involved a rolling pin and my husbands arms. That worked too. Better still, I was able to use the rolling pin, bit by bit, all by myself! Thank You God. How rewarding. 
Let's Make Pasta - Watch The Video Above
Original Illustration by Anita Berglund - Copyright 2014 - Not to be reproduced without permission

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