We discovered the book American Sfoglino while on a mission to find a beautiful yet simple pasta cookbook. The key here is that we, novice pasta makers, could have an enjoyable experience trying our hand at this time old tradition.
I can report that we had the BEST time! In fact, we spent a whole day of our staff retreat making and practicing folding three different types of pasta.
Myself, Caroline, Ali, Josh and my husband Paul traveled to our beach house on the Oregon Coast. We had three nights to escape the oppressive heat wave in Portland, and we made the most of it!
Once we made the dough, which was a very easy five minute experience including cracking eggs into a well of flour, mixing up the dough and kneeding it into a ball, we proceeded to drink our coffee and go about our morning as the dough needed to sit for roughly six hours.
After a long lunch and an even longer nap, we pulled the dough out and got to rolling.
Perhaps it is our extensive experiece with clay, or just good luck, but we rolled our pasta into paper thin sheets in about 20 minutes.
Next we used rulers to measure out the pasta and cut it into long strips that we could then cut down into squares.
Josh, Ali, Caroline and myself set ourselves down at our dining table and spent the next two hours hand forming our pasta into three distinct shapes. Once the pasta was complete we layed it all out onto heavy linen cloths and set it in the sun to dry.
The weather at the Oregon Coast was unseasonably hot and we watched our pasta dry quickly as the sun baked down upon it.
We all hopped into my car and drove down to a nearby lake for a much needed dip, and a cool down after all of our work.
The ocean air, the smell of sun on our skin and the promise of dinner gave us all the energy to head back to the house and get to cooking!
My husband had been out on his boat all day and came home with a catch that did not dissapoint...4 crab and one beautiful fish!
We cooked and shelled the crab and folded it into our warm pasta, adding butter, sea salt, lemon juice and sprinkle of basil.
Sitting side by side around the table on a rapidly cooling June evening, we drank wine, ate pasta, shared stories and enjoyed a hard days work with one another.
I cannot recommend this expereince enough, whether alone or with your loved ones, it is a beautiful tradition that will not fail to bring inspiration and a major dose of beauty to your life.