It is one of the simplest ingredient lists ever. It is the recipe for homemade pasta.
I don’t make pasta often–maybe once every two months or so–but it’s always a pleasure to eat homemade noodles. With such a short ingredient list, I should probably make them more often, but there’s more to a recipe than the ingredients.
There’s a learning curve to pasta. It takes patience to master the feel of the dough–to know when to add just a little more flour, or when to stop kneading it and start rolling it thin.
I used to stress about making pasta. I found it quite frustrating. It was always too wet or too dry. It ripped when I tried rolling it through the pasta machine, or it wouldn’t go through at all. It became too elastic and chewy. It seemed everything that could go wrong did.
I’ve learned a lot about handling the dough through making mistakes. But I think the most important thing I’ve learned is to have patience–with the dough and with myself.
The dough will behave badly. I must accept that and have patience, working with it until it starts to feel just right, and not getting upset when it takes longer than I want it to.
Once I think the dough is perfect, it will prove me wrong, and tear as it is rolled thin. I must accept this, set the offending dough aside to rest for a few minutes, then try again.
Even the most perfect noodles will clump, or break, or otherwise be marred before they are cooked. I must accept this, and cook them anyway–they’re going to be chewed up and swallowed, and no one but me will pay attention to whether they have been broken beforehand.
Making homemade noodles is a luxury and a privilege. Not everyone has the opportunity to do so. I must accept this, appreciate this, recognise that I do this because I enjoy it, not because I have to. Even if it goes badly, it need not cause me stress. Even if I struggle with it, the end result will be delicious.