On goes my apron, out comes my oversized wooden board, hand cranked pasta machine, bag of flour and jug of water. Full steam ahead and off I go. Just like my Nonna Carmela who still makes pasta today, however she seems to have the speed at 85 years young and I just take my time and create at a snails pace. Nonna can make orecchiette with her eyes closed…..I have yet to learn this method and master this well executed technique. It’s all about pasta in mia famiglia!
I have an incredible passion and thirst for Italian food and drink and am fortunate to have my Italian cookbook out and published October this year. ‘Southern Italian Family Cooking’. Excited from the inside out, I feel like bursting and seem to be just wishing this year away. Tick, tock, tick, tock……….is it Autumn yet?
I have a large chapter on pasta in my book and to be honest I could have quite easily written an entire book on pasta. I have an addiction, an Italian passion for pasta of every shape and form. Don’t be surprised, there are said to be over 600 shapes of pasta!
Egg pasta is full of flavour, has a full rich colour and makes for a perfect base to fill ravioli, tortellini and mezzaluna pasta. However Southern pasta is hardy as it uses simply durum wheat flour, water and a pinch of salt, producing a slightly denser tasting pasta. This pasta dries really well and is easy and inexpensive to make.
Below I combined 300g of Semola di grano duro flour a pinch of salt and 150ml of warm water. Mixed by hand and form into a dough, wrap in cling-film and leave to rest in the fridge for 30 minutes. Then go and create, play and experiment. I can make any form of pasta, however I do feel challenged and a little intimidated by the orecchiette shape. At my children’s primary school they are given stickers for perseverance. A lesson that I have been told to listen to and believe in, by my son Santino. He said ‘Mummy keep trying and maybe Mr Watson will give you a sticker for perseverance too’. Well there’s motivation for you!