Monday, January 20, 2014

Heat and Homemade Pasta, Living the "Casalinga" Life

I just finished reading Bill Buford's Heat, a detailed account on how Buford, a former writer and editor of The New Yorker, quits his job to become an amateur cook in Mario Batali's Italian restaurant Babbo and travels to Italy to learn how to make pasta and butcher animals. Being that I'm newly Italian-by-marriage (Zeny Picone!) and a person who loves cooking, I soaked up every kitchen secret, tip and recipe that Buford revealed about making handmade pasta, short ribs, linguini with clams and tortellini the authentic Italian way.

Casalinga, which means homemade or "made by hand" in Italian, is a consistent theme in Buford's book which promotes the culture of "slow food"--the idea that food made by hand with better ingredients is more precious and delicious. The last couple of years I've embraced this idea of slow food, spending hours prepping and cooking large meals for dinner parties. The most recent a 10-person Chinese dinner consisting of my grandma's signature recipes.

Here's some pictures of my first time making homemade pasta with some friends, and as the pictures depict, our first time was pretttyyy dang awesome:
We found a basic fresh pasta recipe on Pinterest which called for equal parts semolina and flour.
Lesson learned, use lots of flour when rolling out the pasta.
We made linguini two ways--1) Carbonara and 2) with Wild Mushrooms

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