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Making Italian pasta + my Erasmus youth exchange to Italy

Hey there!

I’ve decided to write a little blog post for you. Well, actually, it is for me. To tell my story, share my experience and impressions of my exchange project in Italy and of course making some Italian pasta because… well Italian love their pasta. And I love it too… So here we go!

plates on the wall
Lovely plates displayed in Orvieto.

About the exchange…

It all started as an innocent act of scroling through my Facebook when I saw an ad for an Erasmus Youth exchange project. If you are new to this subject, it is basically a European union funded organization which enables young people’s mobility and learning new skills. I applied immediately and got the last spot. Hooray! It was a 7-days long project situated in a house in the middle of nowhere, in the mountains a bit north from Rome. For that 7 days I didn’t have internet. I didn’t have work. I didn’t have to worry. Nothing was bothering my mind and I felt completely relaxed. However, it wasn’t all so dreamy… I shared a house with 26 other people, sometimes even more. There were 10 girls in our bedroom. We shared the bathroom and the showers. We ate together, we slept together and we worked together.

beautiful nature sky clouds
The view from Orvieto

On the project we really dwelled deep into the understanding of ourselves. Who are we and what are we meant to do. With a focus on clearing the mind of the unnecessary burdens, shaping clay, acting, dancing, making pasta and all of the simple things became important. I’ve  found how a little stretch right away in the morning or some good music can make my day incomparably better than starting it without paying attention to my body. Bonding with other participants was a real energy-booster as well.

I enjoyed my precious time there, soaking as much of the non-formal lessons we were given. Through exercises on trusting a partner to lead me through space, I have gained extra faith in other people. I learned to let go of the social media which has started to become my addiction . Yes, I survived without Instagram for all those days (although I’ve missed it hehe). Hopefully I will cling to some good habits and stay connected with myself in everyday life. Maybe even start meditating… We’ll see!

About Italy…

Italy is simply beautiful. For me, I love to walk around the old city streets, soaking up the old stone buildings. Gelato shops are on every corner. Cafes are luring you with the smell of fresh Italian caffé. It seems as if time has stopped for you to enjoy the wonderful scenery. Of course I had to try the Aperol Spritz in the town where it originated from Padova. Kind of a disappointment… But the pistachio gelato made up for it! He he 😉 And all the beautiful streets, bridges and churches! I’ve included some photos of Padova, Orvieto and  the area of Monte Peglia so you can see for yourself how incredible it is!

waterfall in the woods
The river in Monte Peglia region
white stone bridge
Bridge in Padova
River and buildings in Padova
The lovely view from Padova.

About the Italian pasta…

Because I am such a foodie, I was eager to learn how to make some delicious Italian pasta! And let me just tell you, it is incredibly easy… So I thought I might as well learn you how to do it!

We were making tagliatelle. That are those long thick stripes, if you can remember them. The best part is that you don’t need any machine, only a rolling pin.

Unfortunately for all the health nuts, such am I, this pasta is not gluten-free and it’s not vegan. Buuuut, it is the real, Italian pasta deal. However, I did make some experiments on the pasta to make it a tad healthier.

The basic tagliatelle recipe

To make it you need 1 egg on 100 grams of wheat flour. For 5-6 people I would say it takes 300 grams of flour and 3 eggs. You put your flour on a cooking surface and shape it into a well. Crack the eggs inside and add a pinch of salt.

eggs and flour
Making Italian pasta

Without breaking the well, mix together the eggs and slowly start to take flour from the edges. Once you have combined all of the flour into the eggs you have the dough. The dough must be kneaded for around 10 minutes until it is soft and springy to touch. You dust it with a little flour and leave for 30 minutes to sit. After it has sat, roll out the dough with a rolling pin as thin as possible, less than 0.5 centimeters. Then dust it with flour and roll it into a “snake”. Cut the rolled up dough into small strips and again dust with flour if necessary.

tagliatelle Italian pasta
Unfolding the pasta.

Unfold the strips of dough and leave for a couple of minutes before cooking them in boiling, salty water for around 3-5 minutes.

See? It’s that easy! Now I suppose this might have been a bit confusing if you haven’t made pasta before, so head to my wholesome spelt pasta recipe to find out all the details!

Thank you for reading this small journal post of mine! Let me know how you like these posts… Make sure to check out the detailed spelt pasta! 🙂 Trust me you won’t regret it! And here is a great recipe for vegan bolognese sauce from my old blog! Enjoy!

Don’t forget to follow me on social media and use #lifeinbalance so I can find you more easily!

Renata

 

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