So I took it easy and made some ragu. Making ragu is so long, and I relish the long cooking time, stirring, etc. It’s like making bread, only cooking.
Then I made Michael Chiarello’s pappardelle recipe. Well, only half of it because I was cooking for two, not 5. I just love wide pasta noodles. They feel so substantial and make me all sorts of happy.
I rolled the noodles out to a level 6 (very thin) and boiled them for about 2 minutes a go. You can see a lot of the semolina flour floating around in the water.
Part of me gets a real kick over the fact that I can make my own pasta (thanks to Papa Amherst’s pasta roller) and tomato sauce. I didn’t eat many italian foods growing up. My mom hates garlic, onion, tomatoes and non-velveeta cheese, so it really nixed the odds of eating italian food. We’d do the cheapie jarred pasta sauces and pizza, but that was about it.
My first taste of real, authentic Italian food was in Texas. In a very fancy restaurant known as The Olive Garden. I know. I KNOW. Chains are the devil and all that. But you know what? This was in Texas, not Albany. The Olive Garden helped expand my very limited experience with Italian food for the better so I have to give them kudos for that.
I recently bought extra virgin olive oil. I don’t normally think the flavor difference is that discernable from regular olive oil, but maybe I got a good brand. It smelled so fresh. I think the flavor came through in the noodles. They tasted almost bright.
From Olive Garden to homemade. Not too shabby, eh?