This post is about what really happens when the camera’s are off and new recipes are being worked out. Yes, this is a peek behind the curtain of the mysterious (I’m currently laughing so hard the tears falling out of my eyes have soaked my keyboard.) world of food blogging. Oh, I’ll spare you the true reality of what goes on in the food blogging world behind the pretty smiling pictures of everyone, virtual back patting and hugs you see on social networks. What goes on there is the stuff of reliving your high school nightmares and those coming of age movies we all love to watch (because it’s happening to someone else). No, I’ll spare you the dramatics of that. This post is a lot more fun than that.
It all started innocently enough when I got a surprise delivery of beautiful produce from Melissa’s. This post isn’t about that…it’s about what happened when I decided to get all fancy with a new homemade pasta recipe. I had planned on making a chard ricotta cavatelli. While I fully realized that I had never made cavatelli and that I was in for a lot of work, I was completely prepared and ready for a bit of flour, sticky dough and some serious time spent in the kitchen.
Yeah, that green blob right there looks innocent enough, but that was after the third time I had to add more flour. Ultimately, this sticky green blob ended up consuming 6 1/2 cups of flour, a pound of whole milk ricotta, 1 egg and 7 ginormous chard leaves. I attempted to hand roll the cavatelli no less than 6 times during the ‘maturation’ of this project and every time the dough was just way too sticky to make it. Okay, I’ve never actually made cavatelli and based on the amount of reading that I’ve done since this project, it seems that only Italian grandma’s and hardcore Italian cooks are really the only one’s who make it this way. All the smart people actually use a cavatelli maker (for me, that’s going to be DaVinci, Bertolli or some other pasta maker that puts these shapes into a box or bag).
I also tried running the dough through a pasta extruder, to make rigatoni, but it was too sticky for that too and ended up massively clogging that up (which took a good 30 minutes to clean). Of course Craig was popping into the kitchen about every 15 minutes during this several hours long kitchen nightmare. (Truth, it was probably only twice, but it seemed like he was crawling up my ass the entire time I was struggling through this.) At some point, I decided it was a good idea to pour myself a glass of wine.
About 15 minutes later, this is what the glass looked like. So then it was time for round 2.
Of course this second glass of vino was necessary to help me figure out what we were now going to have for dinner, since I couldn’t even look at that green blob of dough anymore. Since I already had the rest of the ingredients for what was to be a stunning homemade chard ricotta cavatelli topped with broccolini, Italian sausage, red peppers and Parmesan cheese I decided to improvise.
Yep, I got super creative and boiled up some pasta to be topped with broccolini, Italian sausage, red peppers and Parmesan. I thought I was brilliant. Genius is what I think I loudly proclaimed as I watched the water boil and filled my mouth with more wine. It was a stroke of brilliance don’t ya think? But then to make it food blogger fancy, I had to do more than just drain and rinse the pasta and top with the aforementioned goodies.
I broke out the gigantic frying pan and tossed everything in there, along with some olive oil and garlic (because what dish isn’t made better by one or both of those ingredients) and sauteed it until there were some crispy pieces of garlic, broccolini and pasta.
Just before serving, I thought it might be nice to clean up the kitchen a bit so I wouldn’t have so much to clean up later. A rather fabulous idea my wine addled brain had until I was giving my knife one final swipe of the soapy sponge. That’s when it decided to give my one farewell swipe through my favorite pair of gloves and my right thumb. (Touché Mr. Knife…Tou-ché.)
A quick break in the festivities as Craig was then needed to help stop the gushing blood and apply Neosporin and an appropriately sized bandage. This also allowed me to step away from kitchen that had, by then, aggravated me to no end.
So how did dinner come out?
Viola! Not bad all things considered. It tasted good, no one got food poisoning and my thumb is almost healed; in other words it was a win-win situation. Right? Was it a dinner that was worth the 5 hours spent in the kitchen? NO!!!! But then again, not everything works out the way we want and sometimes you’ve just got to improvise.
For the record, I did end up running the chard ricotta pasta through my regular pasta machine and made fettucini out of it and it tasted fine. I’ll spare you the recipe until I can get it to work out.
See? Food bloggers are just like everyone else. We screw up in the kitchen, drink while we cook and almost cut our fingers off too.Welcome to My Man's Belly! Leave me a comment and let me know what you think about the site or if there's a recipe you'd like to see here. Have a great day.