Last weekend I fulfilled a dream. After years of assuming fresh pasta was always better made by others and eaten in a restaurant, I finally had the opportunity to attend a class run by ludicrously talented Catia who runs Pastalab learning to make — and eat — pasta in all shapes and sizes.
Over the course of the day gathering, kneading, resting, rolling and filling the pasta dough and learning new culinary skills, I found myself unexpectedly reminded of some old important lessons. Primarily the importance of rest. Dough needs to rest. It allows the flavours to develop, the gluten to relax and everything soften and prepare iteslf for the next stage of the process.
My first batch pasta dough was tough. I expected to knead silky and supple dough from the outset, but mine was stif. Convinced by Catia not to start again and trust the process, I followed instructions and allowed it to relax tucked under a blanket of cling film. After a short 30 minute rest and a soothing cup of tea, my dough was soft and malleable and rolled into beautiful pasta sheets. And this was my lesson, not just for dough, but for us mortal humans who also hugely benefit from a little quiet time to become more flexible and improve our disposition.