Last updated on February 9th, 2015
We are so very excited to present today’s story, an exclusive piece by Giulia Melucci, author of I Loved, I Lost, I Made Spaghetti. Since reading and reviewing her book, we’ve been big fans of Giulia and her joyful, loving approach to cooking and eating. Thanks, Giulia, for contributing to Good. Food. Stories. And Happy Valentine’s Day to everyone!
I can think of no better way to say “I love you”—with all the complexity that entails—than making homemade pasta for your beloved on Valentine’s Day.
When you make a batch of noodles, you cannot help but throw your entire self in there along with the flour and eggs. It’s a ton of work; all that kneading and cranking followed by a mess of flour to clean from every surface of your kitchen. And even if you follow every step to the letter, there’s no guarantee of the results. You can strive to get the balance of flour and egg just so, but there’s humidity or the temperature of your work surface to take into account.
The cook has to give up any notion of a perfect-looking noodle. If you want something that resembles what you think pasta should look like, go to the supermarket and pick up a box of DeCecco. It will taste fine, though it will in no way compare to the sumptuous experience of a homemade bowl of tagliatelle even if each strand is a different length. In pasta-making, as in affairs of the heart, forget about perfection if you want success.
The mind is feeble when it comes to divining what will feel right, the cook’s hand fumbles as it rolls the dough and feeds it through the pasta machine. Right is all we can wish for in both love and pasta. Right is as real as the two people eating dinner side by side, who love each other for many good reasons including the fact the neither is perfect.
On February 14th, I’ll be making my boyfriend tagliatelle and I will dress it in a spicy tomato sauce. We’ll be very happy eating it, no matter how it turns out, because being together is what we’ll be celebrating and both of us will be there at the table, flaws and all.
Related: Try your hand at tagliatelle with Good. Food. Stories.’ homemade pasta dough recipe.