Yikes! My Norwegian Is Showing! - Learning To Cook Blog at Allrecipes.com - 297852

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Yikes! My Norwegian Is Showing! 
Feb. 20, 2013 1:01 pm 
Updated: Feb. 25, 2013 6:35 pm
I have a love/hate relationship with trying to figure out what to make for supper everyday. I keep threatening to use the Menu Planner, but I have a hate/despise relationship with organization. AllRecipes is a great place to find recipes for a last minute inspiration, and today they gave me a recipe for Eggplant Parmesan. The eggplant is breaded and then baked instead of frying. I think the kids would prefer chicken parmesan, because vegetables still elicit the dreaded question, "What IS that yuchy stuff?!?!?" Thus inspired, I looked for a recipe for chicken Parmesan and quickly settled on Chef John's recipe. Then I thought, and incidentally hurt my noggin doing so, that a pasta would work well as a side. I was inspired to make cavatelli. Alas, AR let me down. The only recipes that come up for cavatelli are either using dry, store bought, or are substituting rotelli or wagon wheel pasta. What gives with that!?!?!?

Thankfully, Google is a friend (although in this case I used Bing because Microsoft is playing games again and I can't set Google as my default search engine in Window 8 which totally sucks and has me really angry but I need to breathe and this is a post for another time)! I found a recipe for Ricotta Cavatelli. Unfortunately, I don't have an Italian Grandmother to show me what the heck, "Cut the dough rope in 1/2" pieces and with your index and third fingers together, press lightly and drag the rope over itself." I finally figured out how to make fairly decent cavatelli shapes with the flat of a knife. I then tossed the cavatelli on a floured cookie sheet to try to keep them fairly separate. Guess what? LUMP OF FREAKIN' CAVATELLI DOUGH!!!! *sigh* Apparently, the cavatelli were young and single, and liked to mingle.

After some trial and error, I have the cavatelli ready to go. Youngest daughter helped me finish the noodles while I ran to the store for some fresh Basil. Why are am I being faced with so many disasters today? As my wise daughter would say, "Rich man problems!" She has a way of putting things into perspective even if she doesn't quite understand the economic reality.

Now I'm tired, frustrated and can't face another kitchen disaster. I refuse to even try to make chicken parmesan today. Another time most certainly. It's going to be Italian sausages in a nice red gravy. It will have to have some heat too. I'm feeling spicy today!

It may be true that white men can't jump, but I hope that Norwegian men can make pasta.
Ricotta Cavatelli with Italian Sausage Gravy
Photo Detail
Feb. 20, 2013 2:30 pm
I hope you people appreciate how hard I have to work to get the title to sort of nearly almost fit the post!
Feb. 20, 2013 6:12 pm
Bertolli and DeLallo have cavatelli that isn't completely dry. The pasta is vacuum packed in a box. Flavor is much better than the dry pasta. Just exactly the ticket for a Norwegian with an Italian palate.
Feb. 20, 2013 6:40 pm
But I wanna learn! I have to admit, their potato gnocchi are really good!
Feb. 20, 2013 6:49 pm
I did find two videos of cavatelli being made. One is even an Italian Grandma!http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=59MaFRqVs6I http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VkIF_LF1-Tw&list=UUe45B8UWrbFE8QChQFtvRjg
Feb. 20, 2013 6:49 pm
Hope you can figger out how to get those links to work!
Feb. 21, 2013 7:32 am
Hey Doc,if you lived anywhere near my dad house,i would send you there to take lessons from his wife,she makes her own,not so much now that she is up there in age.Have you tried a Italian cookbook,some of them have step by step insturctions. I think it's great that you want to learn to do all this stuff.Too many people,i think,rely on all the boxed and fast food.We are like you prefer homemade.Good luck in your quest.
Feb. 21, 2013 8:23 am
THanks manella! Did you see the two videos I linked to in the comments? They show the forming process pretty well. I think because I am using Ricotta in the dough, it will never loose it's stickiness. I kneaded the dough for probably 15 minutes, adding the full amount of flour, plus another 1/2 cup for dusting the kneading surface. It was still sticky. Not super sticky, but I think it will stick to the counter as I try to roll it. I did see one of the women in the videos used a towel on which to roll her Cavatelli. I may try using my pastry cloth. Thanks for the well wishes!
Feb. 21, 2013 8:24 am
Should I have used semolina flour? I used AP only as my recipe didn't specify.
Feb. 21, 2013 10:36 am
Hi Doc,yes i watched one of the videos,boy that brought back memories.My mom always used half semolina and half white flour.The lady had a good point about the dough and how weather affects it.I won't make bread on dreay days,it doesn't rise as well.Same as pasta dough.on a nice warm day it will take on more flour then on a dark day.Does that make sense?My mom used a dish towel also,maybe because back then there were no pastry cloths.My parents never followed a recipe.I don't either when i'm cooking,but always with baking.Did you and your family find a house that suits you yet?
Feb. 21, 2013 11:34 am
I just noticed your picture,nice.Still calling sauce gravy,i see?
Feb. 21, 2013 11:57 am
No house yet, but we did find a nice one that needs a ton of remodeling. May make an offer next week. In Jersey, sauce is always gravy. When I move back to Minnesota I can start calling it sauce again! :)
Feb. 21, 2013 12:32 pm
Remodeling can be fun.My husband is a carpenter,he has built and remodeld many houses.The best thing i liked was getting what we wanted in a house at that time,which was 30 years ago.Hindsight,i would not have a 2 story Cape Cod,now that the girls are grown and gone,it's kind of big for just 2,but i wouln't give up where we live.We have 4 acers,and a black lab that runs where ever she pleases.Country life is wonderful.Good luck with your new home.
Feb. 21, 2013 12:42 pm
You must be at least part Italian, calling it red gravy, LOL! I married into a Norwegian family and both my SILs married Italian men. I learned to cook from the best of them. BTW, when the kidlets complain about veggies you could offer to make up some fish pudding or reindeer meatballs, that always worked in my house.
Feb. 21, 2013 1:17 pm
manella, I am the proud owner of ten thumbs, five on each hand! I can change a light switch, or and electric socket, but to remodel an entire kitchen? Maybe if I had a mentor that could take me under their wing. I have given up on the small country acreage and moved on to compromise. I'm pretty sure the next stop will be that really big house with the small yard in a sub development that has people with nothing better to do than tell you what kind and how many plants you can have on your postage stamp lot. :(
Feb. 21, 2013 1:43 pm
BSM, I don't know if that really qualifies me. I think it's an East Coast thing. Italians living in the Midwest call it sauce. Mmmm.... fish pudding or maybe Rocky Mountain Oysters!
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Doc Simonson

Home Town
St. Peter, Minnesota, USA

Member Since
Jan. 2009

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Cooking Interests
Grilling & BBQ, Stir Frying, Slow Cooking, Asian, Mexican, Italian, Southern, Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, Gourmet

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About Me
I'm old and smelly, kinda like a really good salami with that really nice white mould all over it.
My favorite things to cook
Meat, carbs, meat, carbs, meat, carbs and did I mention meat?
My favorite family cooking traditions
Drop a plate of Pierogis and sausages in front of me and watch my eyes glaze over in pure joy.
My cooking triumphs
Schweinebraten mit Knoedel und Krautsalat. Also Edel Hirsch Gulasch was very nice. I make killer Spaetzle and Knockerl also.
My cooking tragedies
There aren't enough electrons in cyberspace! :) Actually, the tragedies usually involve well intentioned creativity out of control.
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