Stop glorifying the summit and enjoy the climb: an astrological forecast for pasta makers

Years ago, I read a horoscope that said, “Dear Capricorn, you’d be better off enjoying the climb than glorifying the summit.”

Or at least that’s how I remember it. The precise words are trivial. In effect, the astrological forecast reminded me of the value of process.

We need such memorandums, because we often forget about the value in getting our hands dirty. We seldom recognize the profits in puzzling out the crux move.

And, we barely admit our battles.

I’m sure you’re wondering what this has to do with fettuccini.

Well, I might argue that you should take the time to frolic in the process of making a plate of pasta – from scratch. From sourcing the flour, eggs and olive oil to wrapping the toothy noodles around your fork, it’s all part of a process that can soothe the mind and the soul.

Fresh pasta (2 of 2)

This dish started with a trip the Pemberton Farmers’ Market and a chat with local farmers.

Eggs & bacon sourced from the kind folks at Spray Creek Ranch.

Arugula sourced from the ever-witty Naomi at Four Beat Farms.

Flour sourced from Anita’s Organic Mill (purchased at M1).

Killer noodle recipe ripped from “The Pasta Bible” circa 1994. (I went old school version – bonus points right?!).

“Pasta Dough No. 4”

2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour + extra for flouring surfaces and strips of fresh pasta

1 egg

7 egg yolks

1 tbsp. olive oil

1/2 tsp. salt

I added a wee bit of water when the dough was too dry to pull together in a solid mass. I’d say add no more than a teaspoon of water at a time.

The recipe calls for sifting and fussy stuff like that, but I took a rustic approach. Perhaps, be careful when pulling the flour into the egg lake, if your crater breaks you can lose all your egg over that cliff that I call countertop edge.

My Post (54)

Rustic instructions (feel free to ask questions in the comments)

  1. Mound the flour on the countertop and make a deep crater for the eggs.
  2. Crack the eggs into a pinch-bowl one at a time (it makes it easier should you have to fish out a shell or manage a breach of the crater wall) and gently slide them into the crater until you have all of them neatly inside. Add the olive oil too.
  3. Gently beat the eggs, until well combined.
  4. Pull the flour into the egg lake until the liquid is absorbed.
  5. Pull the crumbles together and start to form a dough.
  6. Knead.
  7. Refrigerate, wrapped tightly (in a bees’ wax cloth, or cling wrap if you must) for at least an hour.
  8. Roll out the dough.
  9. Cut the dough into strips.
  10. Dust the strips in flour.

To save my wrists, next time, I’ll use my stand mixer for the kneading as well as the rolling. You must knead it until it’s glossy and stretchy. Maybe 10 minutes, maybe more (add music and dancing, if you’re bored). I made the dough before work and rolled it out before dinner.

You can roll out the dough with a pin, but ensure that it’s very thin before cutting it into strips. I rolled my dough to the thinnest possible setting and it was still plump compared to store brands.

Be sure to drop the fettucini strips into rumbling water, because the temperature drops quickly with a big batch. If you’re really unsure about your dough, try cooking a few strands for about 4 minutes. Then taste test.

I used Jamie Oliver’s carbonara recipe (which is actually Gennaro’s recipe) for the sauce and added arugula for colour.

Enjoy. And, be sure to let me know how it went.


Lisa Severn is going to Pemberton again — this weekend. She’s praying for a complete annihilation of the mosquito population with the 30 deg. heat.


Start a conversation with Lisa over @rhubarbstreet or look for more on Lisa and her co-conspirators… err… co-contributors.