Wednesday, July 22, 2009


The Italians and the Chinese argue about who invented pasta. I don’t think that either group would take pride in the boxed varieties available at most grocery stores; that is the stuff of convenience and lack of know how. If you’ve ever attempted to make your own noodles, you’ll know that it requires a deft hand and certain fearlessness. I’ve tried it a couple times and created the sort of noodles that look like they’ve wiggled through Desert Storm or fell out of a play-doh canister.

D.’s dad was a S-L-O-W driver, but he’d make hand-pulled noodles so quickly, whirling dough like a magnificent cat’s cradle while carrying on a conversation in Mandarin. Can you imagine?

G.’s mom makes her own noodles each week. There’s lasagna, and linguine and gnocchi just to switch things up. She can do this daunting task while taking calls and completing a crossword puzzle. No, really.

To master noodle making takes repetition and patience and will. Why take the time? Why wrestle with flour and semolina when there are now gourmet shops that sell fresh noodles as well as the many boxed and bagged varieties? We can all appreciate homemade over store-bought. If you're lucky enough to have the real thing, you can taste the love.

(G.'s mom's yummy noodles pictured reflect 50 years of practice!)

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