pasta

It is snowing!

I know people might hate me for saying this, but I still kind of love the snow. And this is a good snow, not heavy, just a dusting, but with WILD wind! I went outside to let the chickens out of their coop and just got very happy about the weather. I don’t understand why so many people complain about cold. I love sun and heat and beach weather, for sure. But there is something about severe weather that reminds me how lucky I am to be alive. It thrills me. Maybe I’m a freak?

I don’t think so, though. I think everyone feels this way to a small degree. I notice it when there is a hurricane, and people walk down to the water to see the bay in a rare rage. I watch them walk by, wind whipping their hair, and they are smiling. I think something about it speaks to us on a primal level. We spend so much time in houses and cars and office buildings, where temperature is controlled, air is filtered, and light is constant. It is good sometimes to remember that we are animals, creatures of the earth, vulnerable.

So I let the chickens out, and gathered their eggs, and ran around my yard in the snow with my dog (the neighbors already know I’m crazy), then I came inside.

The other thing I love about wild weather is it makes me feel like I want to do homey things: bake cookies and knit and brew tea. But I am writing today, starting a new story 🙂 So instead of doing any cooking, I will post about some pasta I made a few days ago.

If you ever have occasion to snap up a pasta machine- do it! I got mine as a Christmas gift, and I love it. I use the recipe that came with the machine: 1 cup flour + 1 egg + 3 tablespoons water. I’ve found a 50/50 mix of regular all-purpose flour and semolina pasta flour works best. Also I add a dash of salt.

My kids love homemade pasta night, because it’s messy and they can help with every step. Here are a few pictures of the process:

DSC02503You can totally make fresh pasta without a machine, you just have to roll it really thin and cut it into strips by hand. The dough is crumbly and tough at first, and passing it through the machine helps make it smooth and workable. So by hand you’d be kneading a lot and fighting with it to roll out. But it can be done.

DSC02505

After the shapes are cut (here fettuccine) you can freeze it as-is and have fresh pasta anytime. Just throw it straight from the freezer into boiling water, and it takes like 5 minutes to cook. It makes a very cheap and comforting dinner.DSC02508

Because it is actually spring, there were beautiful dandelion greens in the supermarket. I had those, and some sauteed mushrooms, with my pasta. My son only likes butter and grated cheese, and my daughter always wants chopped tomatoes and olives. I dumped freshly shredded Pecorino Romano on everyone’s plate, and it was delicious. Sorry I have no pictures of the actual food. We were too busy eating, and I’d had some wine by that point in the evening.

mangia bene!

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