We're Stuffed

One Year, 12 Pastas

Four months ago we were in a stranger’s kitchen, turning out a mixture of semolina, water and sea salt for the first time. We had no idea then if our attempt would work out.

More than a dozen attempts later, we still don’t.

We’ve come to expect that each new recipe will be more challenging than it looks. Kneading the dough into submission is physical and demanding. A perfectly balanced filling requires trial and error. And very often our excitement will trick us into overstuffing the pockets of dough until they barely hold together.

Surprisingly, with each attempt we also recognize a parallel to the way we move through our lives. Slowing ourselves down to make our meals from scratch has exposed our propensity toward convenience and excess.

But thankfully, it is also teaching us to be centered and focused on what is important. 

It’s shown us that the end result is secondary to enjoying the process; that there is beauty in the making if you are present for it.

And while we may not always know what we’re creating or where it will take us, we’re learning to trust that the effort will be worth it.

It Chooses You

One Year, 12 Pastas

“Most of life is offline, and I think it always will be; eating and aching and sleeping and loving happen in the body. But it’s not impossible to imagine losing my appetite for those things; they aren’t always easy, and they take so much time. In twenty years I’d be interviewing air and water and heat just to remember they mattered.”



Pasta is Social

One Year, 12 Pastas

Unless you count the time Zan tried to master hand-pulled asian noodles while I was away on business (gotta love his the lack of hubris), it’s taken years to work up the courage to try making pasta from scratch.

Ironically, after all the overthinking, we were totally unprepared for our inaugural attempt...

We were just days into our stay in another country, in a stranger’s apartment with access to only basic utensils. Hubris in check, we kept our first shape simple. We chose orecchiette (translation, ‘little ear’), a pasta from the heel-shaped region that completes Italy’s boot. 

We made it a few times then invited our hostess to dinner. It was thrilling! Not only because it was not disgusting, but because it tasted like only made-fresh-with-our-loving-hands-then-delivered-straight-to-your-heart could taste.

It was also a poignant reminder that great meals have less to do with experience or equipment than they do with intention.

In our kitchen, the most prized ingredient is not saffron or truffle — it’s time.

Time to cross reference dozens of drool-inducing recipes, gather fresh ingredients and slow dance between mixing and rolling. And, of course, time to truly savor the meal, meditating on all the lovely things that make it worth the extra effort.

Connected to time, sharing is the other essential. We learned this one years ago when we started Social lunch —a weekly meal where work comes to a halt so we can gather as a team and break bread. It’s still one of my favorite things about Social and, no surprise, our longest running office tradition.

We hosted this past Social lunch at our home and everyone took part in the pasta making. And while we shared the tips and techniques surrounding the making (not to mention calories), we also shared the intangibles that make a meal truly memorable — good company, lively conversation and positive energy.

Time may be limited, but sharing knows no bounds.