Sunday, February 6, 2011

La pasta e lo shopping

Yep, so I can cross one thing off my "To Do in Italy" list - making pasta from scratch! My host mom, Anna, took a cooking class recently and has decided to have a series of cooking lessons with me! Yay! Yesterday, we started with the classic pasta.

All pasta really is is flour and egg. The hard part is getting it to the right consistency and texture. After mixing the flour and the egg together and letting it sit in the fridge for a half hour, we started sending the dough through the pasta press machine (not sure what it is actually called). This makes the dough into a long, thin strip, and after a few times the dough becomes elastic - it's pasta! Then you can do whatever sort of shaping you want. We made some lasagna (long, thick strips), tagliatelle (like linguine), and capoletti (like tortellini filled with a pumpkin/ricotta puree). I was so happy with the finished product! And of course, it tasted delicious.

The dough
Making i capoletti
Finished product!

I also had the experience of going grocery shopping here in Italy. Never doing it again, if I can avoid it! The store was called IperLand (very aptly named, if you ask me, because everyone one in there was super hyper!). The aisles there are very narrow, and there are five times as many people in there as in an American grocery store, and they are all walking about twice as fast! Not to mention that the workers are moving all their boxes of food all over the place on huge carts! My blood pressure must have been high by the time we left.

Makes me miss the leisurely walks through Whole Foods. I think I'll stick with the small markets in town from now on. :) Ciao!

Learn Italian
fare la spesa - to go shopping
fare un giro - to take a tour
prendere in giro - to tease