Sunday, February 25, 2007

Pasta Therapy

How does one shed the residual effects of a tedious and fairly annoying work week? Immersion in a weekend cooking project could be the solution. That level of control that I completely failed to exert over errant employees during the week might be far more constructively and successfully applied in the kitchen. A touch of pasta therapy is in order. The tagliatelle will bend to my will, assuming it is cooked al dente. As with most transformations, though, Pasta Therapy requires a twelve-step program:

Step 1: Invite brother and sister-in-law for dinner. Ask them to bring salad and beverages.

Step 2: Spend day in sweats, rambling around the kitchen. Refuse to look presentable until at least 3 p.m.

Step 3: Mix two batches of fresh pasta dough with semolina – each with 200 grams of flour, 2 eggs and pinch of salt. Knead vigorously and let rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Step 4: Set up pasta machine and crank briskly until frustrations dissipate. Produce twelve paper-thin sheets of pasta and let dry for 10 to 15 minutes.

Step 5: Feed pasta sheets through roller, cutting each into precisely-shaped tagliatelle noodles. Toss all misshaped or mangled noodles.
Step 6: Page through Silver Spoon cookbook, dubbed “the Bible” of authentic Italian cuisine. Select simple recipes that taste like they took hours to prepare.

Step 7: Use funky serving spoons purchased at Museum of Modern Art Design Store for creative presentation of appetizers. Design mouthwatering one-bite appetizers of Tomato, Basil, Mozzarella Salad and Gorgonzola Goat Cheese Crostini with Chives.

Step 8: Prepare Ricotta and Raisin Tart for dessert. Try to contain excitement when you discover that most of the ingredients for the simple, but elegant dish are already in the pantry. Bake in new square tart pan and get inventive with powdered sugar topping.
Step 9: Prepare pasta sauce. Allow two cans of petite-cut tomatoes and 8 tablespoons of fragrant extra virgin olive oil to simmer for 30 minutes until tomatoes are infused with rich flavor of olive oil. Reflect on outstanding flavor and amount of chopping time saved by using canned tomatoes.

Step 10: Program stereo and welcome guests. Enjoy conversation over cocktails and highly artistic appetizers.

Step 11: Cook pasta and note fact that fresh pasta is done far more quickly than any project I attempted this week. Toss pasta with sauce and garnish with grated ricotta. Eat and drink with zeal for four hours.

Step 12: Take moment to appreciate overall healing effects of Pasta Therapy. Go to bed, and leave dishes until Sunday morning.

© 2007 T.W. Barritt All Rights Reserved


Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

Hooray for pasta therapy! This looks like a spectacular meal.

Patricia Scarpin said...


This is one of the most wonderful posts I have ever read in the blogsphere (is this word correct?)

This is the kind of therapy I would love to have, too. :)

Your ricotta tart looks delicious, and the spoons with tiny portions of food are so beautiful and modern, I loved it!

Anonymous said...

My what a therapy! I bet cranking out that pasta sure helped you diffuse frustration over a tedious work week. Everything looks delicious!

Alpineberry Mary said...

I love your 12-step program for culinary therapy!

Susan from Food Blogga said...

I could really use some of your therapy. How much do you charge? ;)

Fresh pasta AND ricotta and raisin pie? Magnificent!

Anonymous said...

Hmmm. Hope I wasn't the cause of said need for pasta therapy. Either way, a truly delectable post!