February 17, 2014


Above: Making, rolling, drying, and cutting pasta dough. I do love a good, long process.

We didn't have money for Valentine's Day gifts this year. Which is fine – while I'll leap at any chance to celebrate anything, February 14th has always just kinda been my youngest brother's birthday (and holy shit I just realized MY YOUNGEST BROTHER IS 22). Micah had a job interview in the afternoon (fingers crossed!), so I was alone in the house for a few hours. I was feeling kind of sorry for myself, to be honest, and also totally preoccupied with how his interview was going. My knee-jerk reaction to any sort of anxiety is to do. Something, anything, everything. Usually I clean the house, or revisit the Never-Ending Edit. But I realized dinner needed to be made, so I jumped on it. I wanted it to be special, to celebrate the day – but we were going grocery shopping the next day, so I was making do with the weird odds-and-ends we had. I had time, and the desire to make an effort, but limited ingredients... and then I remembered pasta.

Oh, pasta. Eggs, semolina, flour, a bit of water, and a lot of love. I hadn't made it in forever. It felt so good to create in this very tangible way, and to know that all the positive and wistful energy I was channeling would hopefully nourish Micah and I in turn.

I added some aleppo flakes, for heat (and a pop of Valentine's red). Aleppo tastes somewhere between red pepper flakes and sun-dried tomatoes to me, so it made sense for pasta. I used just under half of the nests for dinner (tossed with random sauteed veggies, and topped with fresh Parmesan), and froze the rest. We also brought out two bombers from our "beer library" (a cool, dry cupboard in our laundry room where we've been collecting 22oz. bottles) to celebrate the spirit – and accomplishments – of the day. It ended up being a perfect Valentine's Day: simple, intimate, and nourishing.