Some of my finest memories live within those six weeks, traveling in and around Florence, Assisi and Rome.
My favorite place? Capri. I absolutely fell in love with this quaint little island right in Mediterranean Sea - so much so that I often take my mind there when I'm feeling stressed: on a rowboat in the blue grotto with the sound of Italian opera echoing around me. Pure bliss.
And then there was the food. The best pasta dish I ate in Italy (a big statement, I know) was from a small restaurant in the neighboring town of Anacapri. It was nothing fancy, just linguini with fresh clams, and I cannot even begin to explain how extraordinarily good it was.
So good, in fact, that I had it for dinner every night that weekend. Three days in a row. I couldn't get enough.
It goes to show you what some TLC in a dish can do. Fresh clams, good white wine, garlic and homemade pasta can keep a girl coming back for more...and more, and more.
Now we're making pasta in class, and I love it. Making the dough brings a part of me back to Italy: to cooking in my small apartment in Rome, to Capri, to that dish.
Oh, and the noodles are deliciously addictive, of course. You don't even need a fancy pasta machine, just a rolling pin. Soft, simple dough: yet another example of how simplicity is sometimes best.
Watch the video above to learn a great recipe for pasta dough. Enjoy!
Adapted from The International Culinary Center
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 egg
- 1 yolk
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1. Place flour on a work surface and form a well in the center.
2. Add the egg, egg yolk, salt and oil to the well and beat with a fork.
3. Incorporate the flour from the sides of the well into the liquid and work with a fork or fingertips.
4. When the ingredients are well mixed, form the dough into a ball and knead for approximately 10 minutes, or until the dough is smooth, satiny and resilient.
5. Cover and refrigerate. Let rest for 30 minutes to an hour; the longer it rests, the easier it will be to roll out.
6. Cut the dough into three even pieces. Cover the pieces you aren't using with a damp towel or plastic wrap. Roll out very thin (your pasta will thicken as it cooks).
7. Drop into boiling water and cook until just tender (approx. 3 minutes).
NOTE: If you are not cooking your pasta right away, toss with flour, lay flat on a half sheet tray and cover with a damp towel.