I went into the experience of living in Italy for a little over two months almost entirely blind. I was going to live with a family, but I didn't really know that much about them. I was going to live in some city in the North, but I'd barely heard of it and didn't look it up too much. I had a shockingly tiny number of questions about this whole thing. I was just planning on going with the flow. I did have one question and that was "AM I EVER GOING TO GET SICK OF PASTA?"
The answer to that was kind of, but only nearing the very end of my time. That is, two months of at least one dish of pasta a day. That isn't to say that that's so strange for my culinary routines at home. But it's different in Italy.
From Italy, I spent four days in Paris and after those four days, I was already craving a bowl of noodles. I arrived back in Texas, had my obligatory margarita and enchiladas for dinner, then had pasta again the next day. Doesn't take long for this girl to come back to her problematic fave.
Which brings me to this beautiful pasta. The entire time I was in Italy, I was dreaming of Nancy Silverton's Mozza cookbook, which was waiting for me at home, having been gifted to me for graduation in May. I had only gotten to make one batch of fresh pasta from Nancy's book before leaving, and I was craving to read it cover to cover and cook some of the hundred incredible dishes. The one dish that I could remember seeing and dying over was this one: the ricotta and egg raviolo. One enormous, singular raviolo filled with a disc of seasoned ricotta and a beautifully bright egg yolk. Cutting into this brown-butter soaked square to a gushing yellow yolk is something Nancy Silverton herself can only describe as "sexy." She ain't LYING! I couldn't wait to take on this quite ambitious dish.
This was so worth the effort. Completely restaurant-quality, sumptuous at-home dining. Unapologetically rich. Totally perfect. I ate three. I very rarely have to take a nap after a dinner at home, but you bet I did with this one. I loved this process--I especially love kneading fresh pasta dough, where therapy meets exercise meets your favorite food.
I've only cooked four recipes from it so far, but the Mozza cookbook is my favorite cookbook as of late. Each time I flip through it, I find something new, exciting, and scrumptious that I want to add to my to-cook list.
I hope to write a little bit about my summer in Italy on the blog to direct to anyone who may be curious. It's quite hard to fit two months into a reply when someone asks how it was. As a result, I have been reverting to "it was wonderful!" and they generally leave it. But I'd love to share, so I'm writing this segment as an incentive to myself to actually write some things!