Italian Food, Life in Italy

Making pasta with Signora Rita

A few Sundays ago I decided to go next door to my grandmother-in-law’s house to make pasta. We both live on the first floor of our villa, so we accompany each other often. Her name is Rita, and she is 81. Mrs.Rita makes pasta every single weekend for everyone to eat on Sundays because we all eat together as a family on that day.  She usually makes orecchiette or tagliatelle pasta. Both of these pastas mix well with tomato sauces, usually tagliatelle is paired with bolognese sauce.  Orecchiette is named so because orecchio means ear in Italian, and this pasta resembles an ear, resulting in the name little ears. Below is my creation of orecchiette, and it was my first try! 055   As may be a surprise to many, Italians rarely make pasta at home but instead buy it.  The reason for this is that it is so cheap to buy that it’s not worth the time and effort to make it. In Italy, you can even buy fresh pasta at supermarkets, and they have dedicated shops that sell fresh pasta solely. Many people don’t have the time to sit there and make pasta. In fact, the only people I have ever seen making pasta are retired! Anyway, to make orecchiette pasta there are a series of steps, the next few pictures may just explain it all. First, you need to roll out your dough about 2 centimeters round. 052   Then, you cut off little pieces about 1 in. in size   042   Now, you position the piece of dough so that the edge is facing you     051 Once the dough is positioned, you take your knife and press into the dough on the surface of your table. After, you take your flattened piece of dough and mold it around your thumb. Here is Mrs.Rita doing just that. 040 

049   And here is the finished product! She makes a ton of these little ears to feed around 10 people every Sunday.   054     If you have the time to make pasta, bread, and anything home-made then bravo to you. It’s time consuming but it’s satisfying as well. Too-da-loo!

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