Friday, January 25, 2013


Once upon a time there were a dozen eggs, a pinch of salt, some "OO" flour and a bit of semolina.  Some water and oil, a little elbow grease and a bit more flour.  And this was the net result.

Sunshine and nostalgia

I channelled my late and much beloved Noni (grandmother) for a few hours this weekend.  She was my original tutor for all things pasta. We spent hours at her basement "working kitchen" rolling sheets of yellow translucent pasta through the hand-crank machine. We made noodles, tortellini and ravioli full of the best fillings and folded, cut and crimped with the greatest care. We would emerge a little more tired and slightly flour-dusted but excitedly anticipating the meal that was sure to follow that would wow the lucky recipients.  She was a wonderful teacher, cooking companion, grandmother and friend.  I miss her.

Rolling, rolling
Drying a little before cutting

This weekend, I didn't go all out.  I hadn't had time to make fillings, so plans for ravioli and tortellini will have to wait.  But we did make some lovely fettucini and a fair number of pasta squares which should make a great compliment to a bowl of brothy soup.

Drying time

I made two batches of dough. The first was her recipe which is especially yolk laden and wonderfully yellow.  I have yet to run across another recipe like it.  And the second was from a new cookbook that my sister had given to me, called The Glorious Pasta of Italy (Marchetti).  It was Saffron Pasta Dough, and it smelled wonderful.  It's funny in these pictures that the two are drying together and it's impossible to tell the saffron from my family recipe.  The golden yolks and those ruddy saffron threads net nearly the same result. 

It was an industrious and pleasant afternoon.  Followed by a nice meal spent in good company. There is nothing more I could ask for.

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