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Sunday, 29 September 2013

My Birthday Italian Cook Fest...


Ciao! Last week it was my birthday and with all the celebrations I have been away from my computer. I have to say, and I say this every birthday, I feel sooo lucky to have a great family and friends around me.

Now that we have our little L going out for dinner is tricky, and after all I wanted to share my birthday with friends and family old and new. So on my birthday I put one hour aside in the morning and one at night to bring my love of Italy into our home.

Three years ago we were on holiday in Italy for my birthday and learnt how to make pizza and pasta the Italian way on a gorgeous rustic farm. So this is a nice way of celebrating what we had learnt and brush up on my pasta making skills!

Since that lovely holiday in Italy, I have invested in a few Italian cookery staples. Which are ...

1.  Gino D'acampo's Pasta book, the recipes are so straight forward, lots of foodie pictures and some great advice. I have learnt that pasta is easy to make and sauces can be a few simple ingredients to rustle up something magic 

2. Pasta Machine, by Imperia. It looks fancy but once you have got used to fastening it to a surface and getting the handle on correctly (maybe that is just me!) it works like a dream. Mine comes with a spaghetti attachment like the model below. You just slide this onto the top of the machine add in the handle and your pasta sheets are just spaghetti-fied ...as if by magic.
Buy Imperia Pasta Machine Online at johnlewis.com
3. Pasta Drying Rack. When I looked at this, I thought what!!! When we learnt to make pasta in the Tuscan countryside it was warm and the pasta when rolled dried out easily. But in the UK you cannot do this, so we invested in this rack to dry out your pasta. It means it cooks better and avoids the soap like mess in your pan.
Buy John Lewis Wooden Pasta Stand Online at johnlewis.com
It may look like you have spent about £100 on pasta making equipment and to buy a pack in the supermarket costs less than £1. But I would say that this is so worth it for the satisfaction of making your own. I have to say it tastes so much better than shop bought, it takes a few minutes to cook and the pleasure of making pasta yourself (if you love to cook) is a great feeling. I love it and it is pretty impressive.

So, I made my family pasta and focaccia ( an Italian bread) with roasted vegetables. I have to say, I really enjoyed it. I do have a confession that my camera battery ran out before the meal but I took these pictures when making dinner and loved it.

And for pudding some birthday cupcakes in gold foils.

Happy birthday to me,


 

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