After our New Year’s weekend in Bologna, A returned home with two newly re-discovered urges – making our own pasta and buying a coffee-making machine. We were bombarded with both during our stay in Italy, and while we wanted to purchase some home-made pasta for home, we just could not bring ourselves to purchase tortellini at 35Euro a kilo! So I agreed whole-heartedly to the coffee-maker because we both love and appreciate coffee, and though at the moment my intake is restricted to a once-every-couple-of-days decaf, I am hoping I won’t lose my taste for it. (Unlike my mother who loved coffee until she was pregnant with me and still can not drink it to this day. Even though she says she loves the smell!)
With regards the pasta issue, I tried dissuading A from going ahead and purchasing the pasta making machine for one simple reason. The mess it would make! Every other Friday we make our pizza bases, freeze them and use them over the coming days. I thought THAT was messy. Boy was I wrong!
A couple of hours before we left for the airport to return to England, A came bursting in our kitchen, a big Cheshire Cat’s grin on his face, to inform me that ‘we’ had just purchased this pasta-making machine, which had great reviews on the internet, god-knows how many different cutters and shapes and tutorials on you-tube! He even taught me how to shape tortellini with my fingers using a piece of paper! Never did I have to force a smile on my face as I did then.
Last Thursday, IT arrived. A found the pasta recipe, the fillings recipe, made the shopping list and yesterday we set upon making our first consignment of tortellini. A made the dough, and I went on to prepare the fillings which we decided would be ricotta and parma ham, and meat. And though the kitchen surface and floor ended up covered in flour, pieces of dough and the odd splash of ricotta here and there, three hours later I was happy we had done them. I am definitely sure they won’t come out totally perfect – it was our first try after all, but we had a surprisingly good time making them, cutting them in squares, filling them, closing them and yes, even cleaning the kitchen afterwards.
They are messy to make and they took up some much needed time on the sofa. My back was killing me afterwards and I slept like a drugged lady last night. But I guess it’s the ‘doing things together’ that counts, and that made it all seem so special, and much more enjoyable than I had previously thought. A loves cooking, and daft as it sounds, seeing him happy makes me happy.
Will we do them again? My first reaction – ‘hell no! – go buy some Rana packets!’ But even as I write that, I know that next time round, while my back and legs will be begging me to use the silliest of excuses on A, I will probably give in and mess the kitchen, torture my back, get covered in flour and have pieces of dough sticking on every part of me. A’s smile is a killer I guess!
“Cooking is like love, it should be entered into with abandon or not at all”
Harriet van Horne