The Peace of Pasta / by Stefaan Conrad

Very few things are able to fascinate me and frustrate me at the same time. Photography is definitely one of them, another is coffee making, but probably the most conflicting is cooking. I think it's the dual nature of all of these that keep me coming back for more. If I could master whatever I was interested in I'd get bored and move on. Of course there are always things that are difficult and have little importance to me so I push them to the side. Cooking is stressful and hectic and time intensive and sometimes the product is gone in minutes but what I find intriguing is the process of taking raw, unprocessed ingredients and turning them into a masterpiece that not only looks great but can bring a smile to someone's face, if not mine. 

Almost every day I can find myself perusing the seemingly endless collection of recipes and classes on the Chef Steps website instead of doing my homework. Not only do they have creative and classic culinary crafts but their way of presenting is such that an artist can be visually satisfied.

I recently got a hold of an Atlas 150 pasta roller and I've used it once to whip up some linguini with some friends in the dorm kitchen (terrible place to cook but it was something I had challenged myself to do). Next challenge was Butternut Squash, Sage, and Goat Cheese Ravioli! I'd been planning this for weeks if not longer and yes, seeing empty plates at the end of dinner was very satisfying.

 Pasta is a genre that is not only incredibly simple as far ingredients, but it can be incredibly diverse with a plethora of appearances and applications.

Pasta is a genre that is not only incredibly simple as far ingredients, but it can be incredibly diverse with a plethora of appearances and applications.

 Butternut Squash, Sage, Goat Cheese, Onion, Heavy Cream

Butternut Squash, Sage, Goat Cheese, Onion, Heavy Cream

 Each a hand pressed bite 

Each a hand pressed bite 

Some may not understand what drives me to spend hours and hours prepping for a meal that is gone in minutes (my family eats at astounding speeds). Couldn't I have accomplished something else in all that time? Sure. However, as an artist with many mediums, there's nothing I'd rather do than create something with my bare hands and immediately experience my creations. 

Cooking is inspiring, therapeutic, fascinating, time consuming, and sometimes absolutely frustrating...but at the end of the day I leave the table full and satisfied. 

Happy cooking to all.