I confess, my “throbbing” food is pasta and is the only food that actually makes me salivate. A world without pasta is a world without love. I may as well admit here and now that I have a cupboard full of different shapes, short, long, whole grain, made with and without eggs, bronzo (a bronze die used to cut the pasta), not to mention all the Asian types, wheat, rice, buckwheat. I think I need a support group.
The first time I made homemade tagliatelle/fettuccine was a complete revelation. Like most people, I relied on fresh pasta from shops. Thinking it was fine until that fateful day I made homemade. A neighbour loaned me her hand-crank pasta maker and off I went, making the dough in my Kitchen Aid. The pasta I made had pureed green tomatoes added to the dough and the sauce was made from red plum tomatoes, all from our garden. The pasta was velvety but al dente and the sweet/acidity from the vine ripened tomatoes made a sauce with a perfect right balance.
A few years ago I decided to make Fettuccine Alfredo (tagliatelle with butter and Parmesan)** for my brother who had never had fresh pasta. He took the leftovers home to reheat in the microwave the next day. When I asked how they reheated he said “I don’t know because I ate them on the bus on the way home!”
A teacher friend asked me to instruct her Grade 10 and 11 Home Ec. class in the ways of homemade pasta. I showed them how to make the dough in a processor and then the students rolled out the dough in hand-cranked machines. They were not overly impressed, or at least not yet. I made two sauces for them to try. The first one a simple tomato, garlic, EVOO and basil, the second, simply butter & Parmesan. They were very, very surprised. Comments like “I would never have thought of making homemade noodles until now”, were uplifting to hear. They loved both sauces preferring loads more sauce than any Italian would dress theirs with. Oh well…it takes time.
Sometimes we all get lazy…a tip when we do: Wenger’s Lamb & Mutton and Pasta Famiglia @ Vancouver Farmer’s Markets, makes an extremely good dried pasta. Oh, and Wegner’s lamb is also excellent.
**If you’re in the mood for Pasta now, check out my Fettuccine Alfredo recipe.
**If you would like to check out Wenger’ Lamb & Mutton and Pasta Famiglia, please see My Source List.