Saturday, September 26, 2015

Making my original spaghettini with some good Pinot Noir for Friday lunch and cold Chinese noodles for dinner. And about watching the movie General Luna tonight.

My special pasta for friends on Friday

It's the long weekend in my part of the world, and I thought I'd catch up on some overdue blog entries and actually take things easy and fix my life before my never-ending #Travelife starts all over again.

No kidding.

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FIVE MORE TRIPS AND NINE COUNTRIES
IN THE NEXT THREE MONTHS

Between next weekend and the end of the year, I've actually got nine countries to cover over five pretty exotic trips. That's certainly a lot of airline mileage, as well as lots of logistics planning, and hotel and restaurant bookings.

So this weekend, I thought I'd just take it easy and get my general housekeeping done before the holiday season.

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This is where I'm having one of my two birthday dinners
in Marrakech, living a #Travelife.
I've planned a very special dinner for my 35 friends.

THE ART OF SIMPLICITY

I love de-cluttering my life and my closets, and I do it too rarely because time is always a problem.

But I've diligently spent my first two free mornings in a long time throwing out unneeded things and pre-packing for just under three weeks in Morocco, including two birthday dinners in Marrakech.

DELICIOUS COLD NOODLES


Delicious cold noodles created by the private chef
of the Ambassador of China last night...

Interestingly, for a supposed relaxing long weekend, it was pretty busy.

On Friday, some friends came over for lunch and then I attended a party hosted by the Ambassador of China in the evening.


IT'S ALL IN THE SAUCE

The Ambassador of China served the famous cold noodles of his private chef. I just love these noodles and they're classic in their simplicity but incredibly good.

Basically it's just flat white noodles with a very thick spicy sesame sauce on it, along with a few slivers of cucumber.


#Travelife with us to Greenland in February 2016.
We're visiting truly off-the-beaten track destinations.
Click here for more details

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The magic is in the sauce, because only his chef makes this very thick and quite spicy sauce. We have these noodles in Japan as well, but it's served as "cold Chinese noodles" at high-end Chinese restaurants and available only in the summer.

I order this all the time, but nothing has ever come close to the quality and tastiness of the one that the chef of the Chinese Ambassador makes.

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WATCHING THE MOVIE GENERAL LUNA

Meanwhile, today we had a big family lunch at one of the nicest Chinese restaurants in the city, and then I had an Italian dinner and a movie with my cousins at night.

We went to watch the movie General Luna tonight and it was very interesting from a historical perspective. I don't usually have time to watch movies in movie houses, but I made an exception for this because I'd heard good reviews about it.

Delicious Chinese food for a family lunch today,
living a #Travelife....
A PASTA OUT OF INSPIRATION

For Friday lunch, I made a spaghettini with an original sauce that I concocted in my head when I woke up.

I could have made fresh pasta yesterday as I actually had the time to do so, for once, but I deliberately used dried pasta because I really think some sauces are well suited to fresh pasta and some sauces are better with dried pasta.

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NO TURNING BACK

Someone recently said to me: "When you have fresh pasta, you can never go back."

IMHO, I don't think this is true because the combination of the type of noodles with the type of sauce is very important. Fresh pasta generally has a softer quality, no matter how much you intend to cook this al dente, so I use this only with very light sauces.

For a heavier sauce, I prefer dried pasta because the sauce clings better to it. And I'm sure lots of foodie snobs will have something to say about this.

I woke up in the morning with a bunch of ingredients to put into it, including spices, organic tomatoes, Kalamata olives, and some anchovies. Then I poured in the remainder of a very good bottle of Pinot Noir that someone had brought over for dinner a few days back.


#Travelife with us to Japan in May 2016.
We're visiting truly off-the-beaten track destinations.
Click here for more details

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THE SECRET OF A GOOD PASTA SAUCE

Apart from the ingredients, the secret in making a pasta sauce with depth is the simmering time, and I made sure to simmer the sauce for a long time.

It turned out so wonderfully and the good quality red wine I poured into it really made a difference.

Making this pasta on Friday reminded me of all the summers I spent cooking in the Italian countryside, living a never-ending #Travelife. Wow, another trip to Italy is long overdue. But with my nine countries in the next three months coming up, it sure won't be on the books for this year.


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