Give Pasta a Chance

 

The first time I made homemade pasta, I was twelve years old.  My Grandma Pack was coming for a visit and I was determined to impress her with my culinary skills.  I didn’t have any fancy equipment, just a rolling pin, a knife and hours of time.  I painstakingly followed the instructions from a cookbook I had checked out from the library, and not only made noodles but also made sauce from a pile of tomatoes and some fresh basil I had picked from the garden.  While a little on the rustic side (a rolling pin, come on!), I remember that pasta tasting so good and getting immense satisfaction from preparing a meal for people I loved, even if it had taken me all afternoon.  My grandma kindly told me it was some of the best pasta she had eaten, and she’d traveled all over the world.

Once I was married I got a pasta roller and my husband and I would sometimes open a bottle of wine and spend a couple hours making homemade ravioli or lasagna.  I eventually bought a motor for it to speed up the process, but making pasta was still something reserved for weekends and slow afternoons.

When I started testing recipes for this post I set aside an entire afternoon to begin but was pleasantly surprised by how quickly it all came together. Instead of just making the lasagna I had intended for dinner, I started cranking out fettuccini, spaghetti and bucatini.  Homemade pasta dinner in less than an hour?  Yes, please!!

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Strawberry Shortcake

Summertime desserts are all about highlighting produce at its peak, while trying to stay cool! Strawberry shortcake is a quintessential summer dessert.  Fresh berries, cold vanilla bean flecked whipped cream, and a buttery crumbly shortcake makes for a winning combination.  Although cold butter technically can’t be used in the plastic whipping bowl, using frozen grated butter is a great workaround that allows shortcakes and biscuits to be made with the Ankarsrum.

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