That’s Amore

michelle-tanner-pasta“Life is a combination of magic and pasta.” – Federico Fellini

Hi Three to Five Tribe! Today I want to throw it back to June 2011 when I was lucky enough to be traveling around Greece and Southern Italy while I was enrolled in a “Culinary Journalism” class during grad school. *Side note: This study abroad trip never could have happened without the generosity of my parents. Thank you Mom and Dad. I am forever grateful to you both. 

The following excerpt was a journal entry written for my course. The only people to who have ever read it are me and my professor, that is until now. It was one of my favorite entries, so I thought I would share it with you, my Three to Five Tribe!

Day #9
Date: June 01, 2011
Location: Galatina, Italy
*Side note: Italy is shaped like a boot and Galatina is located on the heel of the boot.

“Keep rolling! The dough must be harder, the dough must be harder. Keep rolling!” Chef Anna Chirone shouted to me from across the wooden cutting board. My hands were covered in flour. My body wrapped tightly in a crisp, white apron. My head adorned with a white paper chef’s hat. I was dressed and ready for battle. I was about to embark on a journey to reach culinary excellence at the Masseria Appidé.

The Challenge – Traditional Italian Pasta Making
The Contender – Me, Ashley Martens

I found myself at the Masseria Appidé on a sunny afternoon at the beginning of June. In Italy, a masseria is a small farm house. The southern towns of Italy, such as Galatina, are sprinkled with these self-sufficient establishments. On this day, I traveled to the masseria to participate in a basic Italian cooking lesson – the art of pasta and pizza making. My assigned task was the pasta.

As I stood above the stainless steel table cluttered in kitchen utensils, I continued to roll out the pasta dough. No matter how long or how hard I rolled the dough, it would not thicken to the right consistency. Chef Anna could see my frustration building up like the dough I was kneading, so she whisked me away and reassigned me to a new task and a new type of pasta.

I began to roll the pasta dough around a stainless steel rod. Next, I would slide the pasta dough off the rod and before I knew it, I had a pile of pasta. Bellissimo! (Beautiful). The battle was over and I had won. Victory was mine. As I walked out of the kitchen, I untied my apron  and clutched my paper chef’s hat with pride. I was overflowing with a sense of accomplishment because I, Ashley Martens, had mastered the art of Italian cooking.

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Looking back, I realize my closing statement is pretty bold as I had definitely not mastered the art of Italian cooking in one lesson, but let’s be real, it gives me all the more reason to travel back to the Masseria Appidé and head back to the kitchen for round two…

Live Happy, Healthy, & Fabulously – Three to five meals at a time,

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