There is no substitute for freshly made pasta. None. The store bought stuff just doesn’t stack up. It is thick and rubbery, where the stuff you’ve kneaded and lovingly rolled to perfection, is soft and light. It is like silk, the other stiff like linen.
It would be a travesty at this point to omit to add that my Mum is one of my cooking heroes. Her ability to whip up the most beautiful dishes from a kitchen seemingly devoid of ingredients never ceases to impress me. So it was under her expert eye that I first made pasta at the age of about 14. At the time my parents, 2 brothers and I were living in South East Asia, in a tiny country on the island of Borneo called Brunei. We were spoilt by the laid-back lifestyle, the proximity to so many beautiful South East Asian countries, friends from around the world and a plethora of new and exciting ingredients to tempt our ever-curious tastebuds.
However I digress. At that point, having been recently introduced to the River Cafe Cookbooks by our neighbour Arielle, it wasn’t long before the authors, Rose Grey and Ruth Rogers, became my number two cooking heroes. Inspired by their beautiful photography and creative Italian recipes, we found ourselves kneading, rolling, cutting and hanging out to dry our homemade pasta over the backs of chairs, the clothes horse and broomsticks. Working in the 32 degree heat, the air thick and heavy with humidity, we were hot and sweaty and felt immensely proud of our efforts. Afterwards we sat, surrounded by hundreds of strands of fine, silky pasta, lost in our thoughts of how we would transform this beautifully simple Italian staple into our evening meal.