What Would Alice Do?
Last night we had our dear friend and kitchen workout buddy Josh over for dinner in honor of his upcoming birthday. The farmer’s market is on the cusp of Spring, but not yet trumpeting any one season. Only the overwhelming citrus offerings declare it to be March, but you can’t very well serve just oranges for dinner, can you?
The hubby and I settled on homemade pasta with strawberry tomatoes and bocconcini as the centerpiece of the meal, since making pasta is always festive and was in keeping with the simplicity of the produce in season this week. We used Alice Waters’ recipe, from The Art of Simple Food– extra egg yolks and always somehow needing more water, but results in a smooth, creamy noodle.
Josh, the hubby, and I have spent a lot of time in the kitchen together, both ours and his, and get in that nice quiet rhythm of mixing small snippets of real talk in with cooking requests – “chiffonade that basil;” “yes, slice the fennel thinly” – that is profoundly awkward with casual acquaintances and deeply relaxing with close ones.
Suddenly the hubby pronounces: “We do most of them.” Most of what, we asked? He reads off the back of the The Art of Simple Food cookbook, still sitting on our counter:
- Eat locally & sustainably
- Eat seasonally
- Shop at farmers’ markets
- Plant a garden
- Conserve, compost & recycle
- Cook simply
- Cook together
- Eat together
- Remember food is precious
Without being conscious of it, we had gravitated into those food practices espoused by Alice throughout her long career and documented in this book as her “principles of a delicious revolution.” Deeply simpatico with La Stomach’s belief in the importance of the food/life connection, we will explore these in a special series called “What Would Alice Do?” so stay tuned for more.
In the meantime, Alice’s recipe for fresh pasta dough:
Measure and put into a bowl:
2 cups flour
Mix together in another bowl:
2 egg yolks
Create a well in the flour and pour in the eggs. Mix with a fork a little bit at a time – Alice likens the technique to scrambling the eggs, I like to spin the bowl with one hand and make a circular motion with the fork with the other hand to incorporate the two ingredients. If too crumbly, add a tiny bit of water at a time until it holds. Kneed gently (Alice says on a floured surface, I’m lazy about cleaning and usually just kneed within the same bowl). Shape into a disk, wrap in saran wrap, and leave to rest for at least an hour at room temperature before making into pasta.