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Making, pairing, and eating pasta

by Alexander J. Cameron 2 months ago in how to
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Homemade warmth

One part semolina and four parts any flour you choose

Add one egg for every hundred grams of dry, metric weighed.

Stubbornly subscribing to base sixteen, metrically confused?

One egg for three and one-half ounces, American made.

Pinch of salt, form a well in the flour, add the eggs beaten.

The secret is a dough ball with no flour left behind,

Using the least amount of added water, preferably none.

Next kneading, battle with gluten, making proteins unwind.

The battle of the strands won, you deserve rest, dough likewise.

(An hour for happy thoughts, expectations, and no worries).

Pasta-making is not cooking, no room for you to improvise

Carefully weigh, portion, and knead each again, no hurries.

Refrigerate a packet for today, freeze the others.

Decide the dish to make; so many from which you can choose

All those shapes and sizes and pairings, what is your druthers?

Matters not, fresh pasta is the show's star; How can you lose?

Angel hair aka capellini, bow ties aka farfalle,

Rotini or its short, squat, and ruffled cousin radiatore.

Do you prefer gift-wrapped little surprises? Then ravioli,

Shells of any size, manicotti, or tortellini.

You are totally tubular so try bucatini,

Ditalini, perciatelli maybe even ziti.

Perhaps, reliable standbys: spaghetti and linguine

Also fettucine, thin lasagna sheets, vermicelli.

As children and much later, pasta brought so much comfort.

It laid the foundation for our fondest meal memories.

Simplicity, versatility, endless possibilities.

Home's safety, security, a world free of drudgeries.

For me, there is much more comfort in the making.

Kneading releases all the stress of the day but for a purpose.

The long low whirr of the rollers repeats like a monk's chant.

The velvet dough in my hands stretching longer and longer.

The cutting, the shaping, the forming, the drying on rack.

What protein? Which sauce pairs best? Most importantly, what wine?

The steam rising from the pot and then strainer and then plate.

Bites of scrumptious sauce and noodles, warming your insides.

Pasta - pure comfort.

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Alexander J. Cameron

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