Thursday, April 16, 2009

White pasta

That's what G asks for often. While I am more of a spice and punch kind of girl I can understand children's need for plain food.

I compare it to a trip to Highpoint Shopping centre. The first 10 minutes I am all exited, sucked in by all the shops, the lights and sounds, by the very idea of shopping. But very quickly I start to feel irritated by all those people, the noise and the consumerism around me. All I want to do is get out of there as fast as I possibly can.

We need the stimulation of the outside world, the people, colors and taste sensations. We can take the demands that are put on us from family and kids and the world around us. But just sometimes we crave a little quiet time. A night alone at home, with a glass of wine and a book. Curled up on the couch like a sleeping cat. Or to sit in the garden with a coffee and no one asking us a million question per minute. Or a bowl of chicken broth with noodles or ...white pasta. It is maybe our body's way of slowing down, cleaning our palate and going within.

Children can't verbalise it when they are being overstimulated, when they feel like just being still. When they want to have a break from curries and stir-fries, when they don't want to taste cumin, coriander or ginger anymore. When all they want is something plain and simple. So I understand and I am grateful to G for demanding white pasta.

But of course white pasta does not mean boiled spaghetti in a bowl. Oh no, not in this house. This is what we are getting when white pasta is requested.

White Pasta

similar to 'Apples for Jam' s pasta with cheese

350 g short pasta like penne or rigatoni
400g fresh ricotta
1 egg
70g of grated parmesan or pecorino
olive oil
salt and pepper and a small pinch of ground nutmeg
Options: Depending on how you feel or what you have lying in your fridge, you may want to add some grated lemon peel and the juice of half a lemon or some finely chopped parsley or oregano. Or you can leave it plain. If you are not keen on the raw egg bit, you can leave it out and add about 70ml of milk instead. And don't be shy with the parmesan....

Boil the pasta in plenty of well salted water. In the meantime, mix the ricotta, egg/milk, parmes and and seasoning in a bowl. Once the pasta is cooked al dente and drained, mix the ricotta with the hot pasta and serve, sprinkled with some extra parmesan and freshly ground black pepper and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

So it is still white and plainish, but packed full of calcium. Now thinking of it, for extra nutritional value and taste, some toasted nuts would go very well with it.......

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