Week 1: Italy

Rolling out the perfect dough
Rolling out the perfect dough

I was going to quote part of a song from The Sound of Music as this is my first blog post, but seeing as the movie takes place in Austria I think I better skip it. (Not to mention how cheesy that would make me). Sergio invited me over to make some homemade pasta. There were two reasons. 1. His wife, Ashley had surgery on her foot and was forced to rest on the couch rather than scooting around in their kitchen. 2. Sergio and I make amazing pasta together. No seriously. A couple years back we had the most wonderful MLK day off that anyone could imagine. We rode bikes around town on a picturesque San Francisco day. We drank beers in the sunshine. And we decided to cook our lovely Significant Others a mindblowingly delicious meal. We made our hardworking, well-deserving SO’s a butternut squash ravioli in a sage butter sauce from scratch. And we nailed it! So when Sergio asked if I wanted to again make delicious pasta with him, I was hopping in an Uber faster than you can say Surge Pricing.

At the apartment Sergio had squash steaming in the oven and the sage ready to chop. He’d already prepped the dough and it was chilling in the fridge. I find that chilling the dough or at least part of the dough is an important step. If your dough gets too warm it sticks to your hands and surfaces and it’s difficult to mold. Inspired by the pages of his brand new Flour+Water cookbook, aka PastaPorn we chose to perfect the art of tortellini. So we gathered up some of the dough, pressed it the appropriate amount of times through his kitchenaid pasta attachment, and Ta-Da we had… flat dough! Because we aren’t a pair of Italian Grandma’s who have rolled out tortellini a thousand times for our thousand grandchildren, we pulled out a ruler and stuck to Flour+Water’s exact measurements. Once each square was perfectly sliced, we dolloped on our b-squash and started to roll. Our first few tries were messy, but so are those first diaper changes. Actually all the squash squirting out of the dough reminded me of that exactly. Soon we were rolling dough like pro’s. Even Ashley hobbled her way over to join the fun. After a few minutes in a pot of boiling salt water with sage and butter melting together in a saucepan nearby, we had our complete dish. The pasta was perfection itself. But combine that with a furry leaf (sage) and fat (butter) and YUM you’ve got yourself a winning meal.

Although I try to highlight the food and ingredients as well as I can, I sometimes cannot capture the true essence of the meal. Use your imagination people!

See what I mean? It's squishy.
See what I mean? It’s squishy.
Voila- or should I say Velato!
Voila- or should I say Velato!


While scrolling back through my photos I remembered that Ashley made a beautiful Strawberry tart in a liquor gelatin for dessert. Brava lady Ashley.

Ashley's drunken strawberries
Ashley’s drunken strawberries




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