Aaron Copland was a modern composer. His music is very famous for sounding “American.” Some of my favorites on this playlist include selections from “Appalachian Spring,” which is a pastoral suite about the land and culture in the mountains from New York State to Alabama and Georgia.
Besides telling musical stories about American places, Copland wrote music to tell stories about american people. I have also included his suite all about Henry McCarty, aka Billy the Kid.” If you listen closely, you can see sunrise over the prairie, Old West scenes from Billy’s life, his trial and sentencing, and sunshine in the prairie all over again in a continuing circle of life in rough lands.
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Have you ever been curious about making pasta?
I was curious lately so I thought I’d do some research and give it a try!
It turns out, pasta making ranges from complicated pastas that require lots of skill to super easy recipes (like this one) which are perfect for any beginner.
Tagliatelle is a long flat noodle that is made by rolling out pasta dough. The dough is then folded on itself and cut into thin strips. When the strips are separated and dried, you have fresh, delicious homemade tagliatelle noodles you can swirl on your fork for a mouthful of simple, rustic Italian decadence.
Since Mother’s Day is right around the corner, I opted to use my great grandmother’s scalloped pasta roller to cut my tagliatelle noodles. Even though my great grandmother died when Mom was 5, Mom has tons of memories going to her grandparents’ house. Italian ladies usually do all their cooking in the basement, and my great grandmother was no exception.
Mom, as a tiny girl, used to sit on the steps that went down to the basement and keep her grandmother company while she used this little roller to cut ravioli. She would give my mom a bottle of 7-Up and a straw, and Mom would watch her move like lightning across a huge sheet of rolled homemade pasta. This was a tradition every Saturday.
Nowadays, we keep this tradition on Christmas Eve by eating ravioli. I’m sure Mom still thinks about her Nonna.
I have been reading and studying all about pasta for weeks. Pasta is basically anything you can imagine. Pasta making is sentimental, creative, physical, engages all your senses, and on top of that, is an activity that is both relaxing and rewarding. No wonder so many people do it.
I’m still learning about pasta. What I know for sure, though, is that the BEST kind of pasta is:
Here is my recipe for pasta dough and the steps required to make this scalloped tagliatelle. I hope you’ll try it for lunch or dinner sometime!
In a large bowl, mix flour and salt. Stir with a fork to evenly disperse salt.
Make a well in the middle of the flour mixture. To this, add eggs, egg yolk, water, and oil.
Use a fork to puncture egg yolks and beat eggs. Slowly incorporate flour until shaggy dough forms.
Turn bowl out onto a lightly floured surface. Mix dough together to combine everything. Knead dough thoroughly for at least 10 minutes, stretching it as much as possible and using the heel of your hand to push it around.
After 10 minutes, dough should be silky and elastic. Form a dough ball. Place ball on wax paper or lightly floured parchment paper. Cover tightly with plastic wrap. Let dough rest for 10-30 minutes.
After dough has rested, cut dough ball in half. Use a rolling pin to roll out a pasta sheet of desired thickness. Allow sheet to dry for 2-3 minutes. Flour the dough sheet before cutting.
Use a knife or a rolling cutter to cut noodles. I like to use a ruler as a guide. I used a scalloped rolling cutter, hence the name "scalloped" tagliatelle!
Separate noodles with your fingers and place on a floured surface, a flat drying basket, or a floured teacloth.
Drying options: Hang noodles to dry on a hanger or pasta drying rack, gather approx 100 grams of noodles (what you would serve as one portion) and shape into nests–let these dry on a floured or wax-papered sheet and freeze, or cook them and enjoy them right away.
To cook: drop pasta in plenty of salted boiling water. Keep watch! These should only take a few minutes to cook. The best way to know if pasta is done is to take out a noodle and taste it!
Here’s a playlist to help you get in the mood while you’re kneading that pasta and cutting those noodles!
Ready to Make Your Own?
Here are some links to products that can bring pasta making into your home. These are affiliate links, which means if you do happen to purchase by clicking them, Amazon will send me a penny or two so that I can continue making posts. Thank you so much for your support, and for letting me share my new pasta passion with you!
The next generation of Nonna’s pasta cutter.
This cutting board is special because it has a lip that hangs over the edge of your countertop. Perfect for kneading pasta dough, since the lip prevents the board from slipping around at all!
Ok, so maybe we can’t be like Nonna every night of the week. A pasta maker machine helps things go along with speed–plus gives jobs for kitchen helpers like spouses or children.
This doubles as a shaper for gnocchi as well!
Even the covers look delicious!
I could go on and on in this post, but I won’t….all this talk about pasta has made me HUNGRY! I gotta go cook something. Buon Appetito, and happy cooking!