Carol, Sarah and Leah get together almost every Saturday night to make pasta. This week, because it was Carol's birthday, she invited Joseph and me to join the pasta crew, along with Victor, Carol's sweetie, and her friend Jeremy.
I haven’t made homemade pasta since I was a kid. Actually, I never made spaghetti but helped my mom make what we called “homemades.” Or, if it was ravioli or gnocchi, I was pressed into service either sealing the ravioli with a fork or twisting the gnocchi (and if you’ve ever done it, you know twisting isn’t quite the word for how you make a cooking space in the little dough balls).
But what I did with my mom isn't what Carol, Sarah and Leah do. With them making pasta is an art form!
The pasta goddesses start around 5:30. First, they make the dough, then they let it rest...and have some wine. Once it's well-rested, they turn the dough into linguini, spaghetti or ravioli or some other pasta treat. "There's something really zen about making pasta," Sarah explained while she cut a large sheet of dough so Leah could put it through the pasta press. As I watched the process, it was easy to see what she meant. If someone (like me or Joseph) is around, the pasta goddesses are happy to get us into the act (see picture at left). Even Victor pitches in, enjoying his job as the sommeliere (obviously an important part of pasta night).
Once made, the long strands are hung on a rack to dry...and the goddesses and company have some more wine and take pictures of everything - the pasta, the stages of the process, the beautifully set table, and the guests.
Finally the pasta goddesses cook their creation. It's almost 8:30 when the sumptuous meal is ready to eat.
During dinner they evaluate their success...and have a little more wine...and laugh and laugh.
Here's the best part: When I was there, I noticed how the three women moved harmoniously around the kitchen. I thought that not only do they have pasta-making down to a science, but their teamwork is perfect. Carol, Sarah and Leah found a wonderful way to de-stress their workweek, learn and perfect a new skill and make a space for sharing happy times with their friends - all in one celebratory night! If they have a tough week or a hard work day (Carol is a realtor and works most Saturdays), they have something to look forward to that celebrates their sisterhood with joy.
Who would think that something as basic as making pasta could reap so many benefits?
OK, so maybe I'll think about that the next time I open up a box of Barilla...
Nah...it would be way more fun to hang out with the pasta goddesses on a Saturday night.