About a year before I went gluten-free, my brother gave me a pasta maker. I used it twice, then put it away when I gave up wheat. But those two times were magical. The first time, Shannen was visiting from DC, and we invited Su over to help us make tortellini. We went grocery shopping together, bought appetizers to tide us over, and started cooking around 6. Unfortunately, I got a migraine, before we were even halfway done. I spent much of the evening lying on the couch, waiting for the imitrex to kick in, and listening to two of my best friends bond over the finicky pasta machine and the four different recipes they were trying to simultaneously follow (there was the pasta, the filling, the basic tomato sauce, and the tomato cream sauce). I felt better just in time to taste a little of their creation when they finally managed to pull it all together around 9:30 or 10. They were starving, I was nauseous, but the food was fabulous. It might not have been the smoothest evening ever, but that didn’t matter. My kitchen was filled with love, and I felt blessed to have two amazing friends who understood that I wanted to be near them, but couldn’t quite function. They kept cooking, with almost all the lights off, checked on me often, and each made a new friend that night. Lying on the couch, while they made me the dinner I had wanted to make with them, I felt content, and nurtured.

The second time I made homemade pasta was when my sister Kristen visited me. We made the fettuccine and again topped it with a tomato cream sauce. It was a little easier the second time. After all, I didn’t have a migraine. Kristen is nine years younger than me, and growing up fast. She paid for her plane ticket to fly to Atlanta, and held her own in the kitchen. Once again the kitchen was filled with love and laughter, and there were more than enough hands to move the pasta through the machine.

Tonight, though, was a different story. I made ravioli alone. Not only was nobody physically present, but I was feeling cut off from friends and family, sad, and angry. I thought maybe it would be therapeutic. Making pasta is involved, maybe, I thought, it will be distracting. Instead, I kept thinking about those other times, feeling sorry for myself, and wanting desperately to get away from Atlanta. My gluten-free ravioli wasn’t made with love, and I could taste the difference.

I’m not ready to give you a recipe for the ravioli yet, there are some kinks I want to work out, and I don’t know if I can face making pasta again without someone I love in the kitchen with me. But if you do want to make gluten-free ravioli, here are some great places to start:

Gluten Free Girl’s Homemade Ravioli – this recipe was the foundation of my attempt

Gluten Free Sox’s Homemade Mushroom Ravioli – this was a recipe I considered, but I’m not a fan of bean flours so I chose to go another direction, though I did stuff mine with a mushroom filling as well.

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