When I Travelled For 22 Hours to cook Italian pasta with an Italian chef

Good things don’t come easy! Meeting Chef Barbara was an adventurous journey, indeed. It took me three flights plus a train journey to reach Florence and driving to Impruneta through a Tuscan countryside to reach her beautiful town. Needless to say, the journey from Jaipur to Florence was long but worth it.

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The small town of Impruneta is known for its fine production of Terracotta. A 30-minute drive from the city took me to quaint little place is a must visit, which is a home to approximately 15,000 people. There is an entire gamut of reasons to visit this place. Mine was, of course, meeting my friend Chef Barbara and cooking with her.

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A quaint yellow home with tiled roof and lots of greenery around welcomed me. Coming here after this long journey was a bliss! The wooden sign boards and the rustic appeal oozes comfort in the spectator, making them wish to stay here for long.

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Chef Barbara aka Chef Babs is a trained Patisserie chef from Cordon Bleu London specializing in Tuscan food. Her love of food and wine is showcased quite well through her sublime culinary skills.  She also conducts culinary lessons in her Bab’s kitchen. Here are a few pictures of Chef Barbara’s abode and her kitchen where people attend the classes. My meeting with Chef Babs was long overdue and we already planned our little cooking adventure together. It was indeed an elated feeling to cook with her.

After a detailed discussion, we decided to cook an Italian Delight, Puttanesca Pasta. Invented in Mid 20th century, this version of Pasta is a gastronomical delight made with the simplest of ingredients. The recipe is so simple that you can try it with minimal ingredients and efforts, at your home.

We started with collecting the basic ingredients comprising of Tomatoes, Onions, Garlic, Olives, Capers, Anchovies, Basil and of course extra virgin olive oil.

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In order to make the Fresh Dough for Pasta, one would need Flour, Eggs, and a Pinch of Salt. We chose Duck Eggs as they have a higher nutritional value than the normal ones. This is how our dough finally looked like.

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Also, let me give you a glimpse of Chef Babs making the Fresh Pasta Dough

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After all the kneading, we sliced the dough into long strips using a Pasta guitar.

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Here is how it looked!

WhatsApp Image 2017-05-26 at 10.47.23 AMThe next step was putting it to boil. We cooked the pasta in boiling water, until dense.

Meanwhile, we prepared the Puttanesca Sauce for the Pasta using the ingredients mentioned above. We sautéed Chopped garlic and anchovies in olive oil. And then, added chopped chili peppers, olives, capers, diced tomatoes, and oregano along with salt and black pepper, according to taste.

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Then we simmered the flame and poured cooked spaghetti into the sauce. For the final touch, we used grated parmesan cheese, one can even use fresh basil leaves for the flavor.

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The output was more than delicious.

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The Pasta alongside Rosé Wine in her beautiful garden proved to be one of the most amazing dinners of my life, until yet. The pleasant weather added the much-needed dash of comfort and soulfulness to our evening. And we talked for a long time. Bryan, her friend also joined us for the meal.

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Hope you will try this quick and easy pasta recipe.

See you again with more dose of yumminess and Adventure. Addio!

 

 

-Dushyant Singh

 

 

 

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One Comment Add yours

  1. Sharmilla Galundia says:

    Interesting.

    Like

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