March 11, 2011

Confessions of a Pastaholic IV*

Chapter 3: Pasta in the making. - * For Oliver, who really believes he is a bigger pastaholic than me. Yah, right.

Sorry, only back on the pasta now. I have been having a sneaky affair with some pizzas...
Thanks to my Dad and his ravioli with morels, I realized early that home-made pasta is the perfect food for special occasions and is great to impress potential boyfriends (that I figured out by myself though). It is also quite easy; that is, if you have the proper tools...
I remember one pasta making event when I lived in Hamburg. I had the tiniest furnished flat ever with a fancy pull out couch, a less fancy fold out table and no kitchen space whatsoever. I had invited a guy from my office for dinner and it had to be good – I had a major crush on him. In hindsight he should have taken me out for dinner first and proven worthy of my homemade pasta, which of course it turned out shortly after that he wasn’t. But I was 20, crazy about him and already knew that the love to a man’s heart goes through his stomach. Therefore fresh pasta was on the menu. I went to the store spending my entire internship money on fresh zucchini, pine nuts whose price tag still brings tears to my eyes thinking about it now, and a bottle of white wine I had decided on after discussing options on my cell for ten minutes with my brother.
I wish I had a picture of what was to follow – imagine a 20-year old version of me, balancing on the side of the fancy pull out couch (folded together), rolling dough frantically with the bottle of wine (to be drunk at a later stage) on half of the fold out table (as there was no space to fold it out all the way). Fifteen minutes later I was sweating. Believe me pasta dough can be a tricky little bugger to roll especially in above described scenario.
Was it worth it? The pasta was, the boy wasn’t. Happy there is no picture of that. I learned my lesson and over the years I chose more carefully who to make pasta for. Only the crème de la crème of my friends got so lucky. For them I would roll up my sleeve and work up a sweat, using many different wine bottles, sitting on many different more or less comfortable seating arrangements.
The wine bottles went back to their original purpose when one year my NY friends gave me my first (!) pasta maker. You can see what a happy day it was:

For Marie as well:

I titled this picture “Marie Air Pasta”. I think she is singing in anticipation of the treats to follow.
This beloved machine actually made it back with me to Germany, but when I moved to Cape Town with only 1.5 suitcases it wouldn’t fit. Fancy that, because it seems my Cape Town friends appreciate my pasta just as much and gave me my second (!) pasta maker for my birthday last year.
If you are hungry now and feel the need to cook and eat yourself into home-made pasta food coma, this is how it’s done:
Pasta history was made that day.

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