Home made chicken pie with peas and mint.

The last couple of weeks I have been enjoying a new cookery programme on the BBC.  Two Greedy Italians, basically, Antonio Carluccio and Gennaro Contaldo return to Italy looking for the cookery experiences of their youth - the Pasta Mama's appear to be a dying breed with today's young women preferring to go out to work and then buy quick cook spaghetti on the way home. 

and no wonder!  Inspired by the second programme in the series which showed a group of women making poor man's pasta (a no egg recipe) into wonderful shapes, I decided to have a go....

The recipe is very simple... semolina flour, water and a little olive oil - keep mixing until you have a smooth elastic dough.  Let the dough rest for an hour under a piece of cling film and then....

take a small piece of dough and begin to roll it very thin on one end... remove the thin end and then roll it in a knitting needle....

et voila....

hand made Fusilli

Of course the Italian mama's did it much better than me.  Mine was all sorts of shapes and sizes instead of being a nice uniform size - goodness knows how it will cook! 

anyway... this eggless pasta is apparently the best for drying so I have left it to dry out on the table - I shall store it away and use it another day.  It took me all afternoon to make enough for one meal.  I certainly have an appreciation of what is required to produce home made pasta... those women worked very hard.

One bit of the programme has stuck in my mind though... when one of Gennaro's childhood friends was talking about how poor they were as children.  He recalled that on one occasion when they gathered at the dinner table his mother announced that there was nothing for them.  They went to bed with nothing to eat that night.  As a mother I can't imagine how awful that must be... to send your children to bed hungry. 


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