Five Reasons to Make Pasta as a Team !
I’ve been making fresh pasta since I was five years young. Back then, I thought everyone knew what “the combo” called for to make dough from scratch–eggs, flour and water. Instead, I had quite the awakening when I entered high school and learned classmates only knew combos as one through 10 at the fast food drive-thru! I’m fortunate to have been brought up in an Italian home where pasta-making was not only a part of my culture and heritage, but a skill and tradition that I can share with others today.
Pasta-making is a labor of love: it takes a great deal of effort, a keen eye to detail, a delicate hand, and lots of patience. Do not let this discourage you! Instead, let it inspire you to press pause on life, bring your family and friends together in the kitchen, engage in meaningful conversations and share “food for thought.”
Below are five reasons to make pasta at home:
1. Gain a unique perspective:
Pasta-making, especially when shared with younger generations, encourages something new. Children thrive in environments where they can learn alongside a parent or someone they look up to–that sense of mutual vulnerability and wonder creates a meaningful bond. And that’s why cooking, an activity where basic ingredients are transformed into a masterpiece, is truly inspirational for kids and adults alike. It doesn’t matter if you choose to make fresh dough through a food processor or entirely by hand, it’s all about the magic of watching the dough transform through a pasta maker. This transformation gives us a unique perspective on the food we eat, where it comes from, and how it’s made.
2. Solve problems together:
Pasta-making requires keen attention to detail, patience, and most of all, the ability to problem solve. When one member of your family pays careful attention as he or she creates paper thin dough to run through the pasta maker, another might practice patience to develop just the right dough texture. But then, a hole appears in the dough from stretching it too thin! What to do? It’s time to put your heads together and problem solve! Figuring out ways to make the dough even and consistent takes practice and patience–and most of all, the ability to solve problems as a team.
3. Learn about culture and diversity:
We live in a world of diverse cultures and many international traditions and cultures can be taught through food, in a way that is interactive, engaging and encouraging for not just children but all ages. Learning what a parsnip is and how you can cook with it varies greatly from simply seeing what a parsnip looks like on your dinner plate. Being able to see ingredients first hand and learn which ingredients different cultures use in their signature dishes helps to develop a wider appreciation for cultures, and a deeper interest in foods and ingredients.
4. Reinforce your math skills:
I am always thinking of creative ways to tie in math skills to pasta making, too. For example, a memorable way to understand measurements and serving sizes is as follows:
1 egg + 1 cup of flour will yield approximately 2 servings
2 eggs + 2 cups of flour will yield 4 servings
3 eggs + 3 cups of flour will yield …. Do you see a pattern here?
For adults, incorporating math into cooking presents a great opportunity to remember recipes, memorize serving sizes, and practice addition with your young children.
5. Spark creativity:
Children enjoy playing with their food–we all know this. But what if they could play with their food and actually learn from it? That’s where pasta-making comes in. Cooking as a family encourages kids’ creativity and makes for a fun learning environment where they will remember learning about the ingredients, learning how to problem solve and work as a team, learning about diverse international cultures, languages and cuisine.
Food engages us all to think about nutrition, what we put into our bodies and the lifestyle we choose to live. Most importantly, it can bring families and friends together–both in the kitchen where the magic of pasta-making happens, and around the dinner table where we share more than just the food before us.
Peace, Love, Gelato,
Peace, Love, Gelato,