• Tina Witherspoon

Lifestyle Photography: Pasta Making


Long before lockdown I spontaneously decided to sign up for an account on Ancestry and take a DNA test. I have spent my whole life telling people I'm Italian, knowing full well that I was likely no more than 25% Italian based on my family history. I didn't always share the other ingredients, but I was under the impression that my biological father is 100% Polish, so I would be 50%, and the other 25% was likely a mixture of European things from my grandfather's side. I know these tests aren't completely accurate, and the company even admits that there's a sliding scale of their findings: "Your ethnicity estimate is 32%, but it can range from 7-32%."

But still, I was floored when I found out I was only 5% Italian and 0% Polish! I'm primarily Irish/Scottish (32%), Germanic European (20%) and Eastern European/Russian (17%). It got me thinking about nature vs. nurture. It stands to reason that because I spent my whole life embracing the Italian side of myself — even learning some Italian words from my Italian grandmother growing up — that I essentially nurtured myself into being Italian.

Italian has always been my favorite food. Both my mother and grandmother were cooks and we had scratch made bolognese sauce, lasagna, you name it. Even though I cut out carbs for most of the 90's I still craved pasta and bread. It's also the only cuisine where I feel pretty comfortable "winging it" using leftovers in the fridge.

Being isolated at home for the past month has inspired me to push my boundaries and actually attempt homemade pasta. After all, that dutch oven bread experiment was such a success, I thought why not? And it was actually not that difficult! I mean, it was time consuming and messy and the result wasn't Top Chef worthy, but our meal was tasty and better than boxed dried pasta, and I had a lot of fun playing with the dough.

If you're pasta-curious, here is the link to the recipe I followed. It was simple and straightforward, and I only made 2 out of the 4 filling options, so I'll be making more!

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