Cooking with KC - Italian Pasta

| 11/24/2008 8:53:09 AM

Sometimes I tend to be a bit obsessive with my food. My cousin, who is generous and kind, says I'm just working to master a recipe I've created. I say I am beguiled by a particular set of flavors and just have to indulge myself until the infatuation has run its course.

Whatever. I've been doing it again—and if you like pasta, you might be glad.

Since I returned from Italy where my band (check out our website or our MySpace page) played at the Terra Madre conference, I've been making pasta every other day or so.

The brilliance of Terra Madre, co-sponsored by the government of Italy's Piedmont Region, is that attendees—more than 7,000 of us—stay in the homes of people throughout the region.

All five members of our band were cared for beautifully by residents of the village of Vinovo (more about this in a later blog), who fed us as though we were honored family members. Every meal except breakfast included pasta which, I realized after the second meal, wasn't the main course as it is here in the United States. I also noticed that the Italians didn't clean their plates but just ate enough pasta to anchor the meal. I enjoyed the pasta more once I realized I didn't have to give the cooks back a Happy Plate every time I was served a bowl of pasta. Saying "Basta, grazie" (plenty, thanks) was just fine.

Still, now that I'm back, I'm having pasta at about ten times my previous rate, which I don't think my waistline can actually sustain for very long. (Interestingly, none of our hosts was overweight, although they were all good eaters, for sure. I think it has to do with an intrinsically more active lifestyle.)