For the past 140 years, Parma has been home to Barilla, the world’s leading pasta manufacturer, as well as the Academia Barilla, the first international centre dedicated to the development, preservation and promotion of Italian gastronomic culture. The Academia Barilla Gastronomic Library houses a collection of over 11,000 cookbooks, ranging from general to those specializing in Italian culinary histories, alongside an archive of menus, hand-written recipes and other food-related artifacts. The library is open to the public and can be accessed online at academiabarilla.com. Dry pasta is an Italian household staple, with over 200 pasta shapes in common use compared to less than 100 in Canada. Try your hand at fresh pasta, it’s easier than you think.
300 g all-purpose flour
3 large eggs
Place the flour in a pile on a clean work surface. Make a well in the middle and crack in the eggs; stir gently with a fork and continue to blend, eventually using your hands, until the dough comes together.
Wrap in plastic or cover with a tea towel and let rest for 30 minutes. Use a pasta maker to roll out pasta according to instructions on the appliance. Simple, manual pasta rollers are available at good kitchen retailers for as little as $30, plus it will keep your kids busy for hours.
Originally published in ParentsCanada magazine, November 2014.