How to deal with frustration

This afternoon I was pretty frustrated, due to blog problems, and also due to a break down in communication with someone.  Therefore, I took my frustrations out on some garden produce.

What to do?  In case of doubt, make pasta.

How about fresh pasta?

I had one egg left, so… just enough for me!

After working it together and kneading it, I wrapped it up and left it to rest.

I started the spinach.  I have to cook it down and get all the moisture out.

Have some Campari and soda….

Start making the sauce… pretty simple.  Just butter and sage.

Know what I am making yet?

I haven’t used the pasta machine for a while.

Once my pasta was rolled out I had to combine the spinach with ricotta.


I thought I had ricotta in the freezer.  No joy.

Emergency mix-up: cream cheese and grated parmigiana worked together with my very well-dried spinach.

I made these big ravioli will lots of filling and hoped they would stay closed.

The remnant was worked into fettucine.

Spinach-filled ravioloni with sage butter, black pepper and grated cheese.

In hindsight I should have put them on a flat plate.

For the left over pasta cut as fettucine – I reached for the basket.

I used a yellow tomato and little red ones cooked fast in – pretty much nothing – and snipped fresh basil over the lot with grated cheese and pepper and some really good olive oil.

Fast and neat and really good.

Thanks garden!


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in Fr. Z's Kitchen and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. HighMass says:

    Don Giovanni,

    Bouno Appitito! Manga Bene!

  2. Supertradmum says:

    Oh, my goodness, Father Z. You are the only person in my world who likes Campari and soda, as I do. However, I do not have it very often. Salut.

    Great looking dinner.

  3. Adrianne says:

    What brand of pasta machine is that? I’ve been hunting one that doesn’t get poor reviews, but as yet, no joy.

  4. Tina in Ashburn says:

    i drink my Compari straight, and neat. Love it too, have it frequently. It is good for your liver by the way.

    Din-din looks yummy!!

  5. jlmorrell says:

    I second Adrianne’s request. Can you tell us what type of pasta machine you use? Or if you like another better I’d love to have a recommendation – I’ve been interested in getting one for a while now.

  6. jmgarciajr says:

    1- Campari and soda is stellar when the soda emerges from a siphon.

    2- My fave pasta machine is from Atlas.

    3- Fresh pasta is all the proof a sensate person needs that God exists and He is benevolent and loving.

  7. kallman says:

    Very good! Remember to tear rather than snip basil so it does not go black from contact with metal. The back garden looks very nice.

  8. Girgadis says:

    For those who are not yet equipped with a pasta machine, here is a lazy method of ravioli-making that would have scandalized my late Italian grandmother had she caught me doing this. Start with a package of won-ton wrappers from your favorite Asian grocer and proceed with the filling as usual. Not quite as tasty as the authentic version made with fresh eggs, but the ravioli do nicely in a pinch.

  9. kallman: Thanks!

    I can do this so that my basil doesn’t turn black.

  10. MargaretC says:

    Looks wonderful. I’ve never attempted making my own pasta, but my two trips to Italy have made me much more discriminating about cooking and saucing it.

    And surely you felt much better after you finished eating?…

  11. Father, after the kind of month I’ve had, I must admit to being envious of you for this talent, though less out of resentment than out of admiration. You mention a misunderstanding with someone. [No. I didn’t.] In the face of a similar situation, I would consider myself doubly blessed if I had a garden like yours.

    Of course, I started a little garden this year. And though the townhouse condominium in which I live limits its size, I have a four-by-one-and-a-half-foot plot along the deck, which includes a variety of herbs, and two cherry tomato plants. The latter have been very prosperous for the first year, and I find myself giving away half my yield. Even so, my time limits me this sojourn, or I’d take a whole day for a similar adventure to your own.

    (I find that citronella keeps many of the bugs away. You too perhaps?)

  12. lucy says:

    I recently learned how to make homemade ravioli from my good friend, Mario. I then purchased a KitchenAid pasta roller which attaches to my machine and it works great !! $60 at Bed, Bath, and Beyond.

    Fr. – love the sage and butter sauce over the pasta – delicious.

    Salut !

  13. Wish I had your job…:)

  14. Fr Matthew says:

    I admire your culinary talent. When no one brings food to the rectory and the fridge has no leftovers that interest me, I either walk to the nearby cheap Chinese place, or reach for the instant Ramen soup… I spice things up a little, but fresh pasta is beyond me. Have you though of organizing a little course of “culinary arts for priests” or something like that? Maybe a week-long “double header” – “Fine Points of the Extraordinary Form of the Latin Rite, and Extraordinarily Good Mediterranean Cuisine”.

  15. Fr. Matthew: reach for the instant Ramen

    Believe me, Father, so do I. I actually do eat a lot of ramen. I actually buy it by the case. People wouldn’t believe how simply I eat most of the time. But, you know… you can do really cool things with ramen!

    I think a cooking workshop with priests would be a kick.

    And remember: in the Extraordinary Form there is no concelebration.

    We would have to serve our brothers at both tables.

    Ubi missa, ibi mensa.

  16. JonM says:

    Delicious! Wonderful presentation with the dishes!

  17. Panterina says:

    Campari and soda! Now that brings back some nice memories of Italy!
    I wonder if you are willing to share what “really good olive oil” you use? Is it something we can find in the U.S.?

    BTW, buon appetito!

  18. JohnE says:

    I am working with customer support via email on our home PC whose network adapter seems to have just plain disappeared. Now I am repeating all the steps that I have already tried, even though I listed the things I had tried and the results (twice). I guess we have to go through the script step by step.

    Perhaps I’ll try to make pasta.

  19. wanda says:

    Your meal looks wonderful, especially with the fresh from your very own garden vegetables. Making your own pasta, now that’s awesome. I understand that growers in CA are beginning to delve into growing olive trees and producing olive oil. I’m not too knowledgeable on the subject, but, wouldn’t it be nice to buy American someday?

  20. It is easy to make pasta.

    It is peasant food.

  21. lucy says:

    Wanda – yes ! We look forward to when our very own olive oil is available here in the Great Central Valley ! They do currently can olives here.

  22. lucy says:

    Fr Z – well, easy ? I’ve just learned and it isn’t easy at first, but once you get the hang of it, it’s not too difficult.

  23. jmhj5 says:

    lol…you brought much joy to my poverty…I make a lot of pasta…yeah! peasant food.
    Love the birds and miss my gardening..thank you for sharing your bounty.

  24. teomatteo says:

    Father, i see a book in the making… “Eat, Pray, Love the Lord, a priest’s journey to everything that is true.”

  25. traditionalorganist says:

    Campari and soda is one of my all time favorite drinks, especially in the heat of the summer. I’ve always found it incredibly difficult to find in American bars or restaurants, unless they are of the highest caliber, but even then, they never quite make it to my liking. It is important to serve it in a nice tall glass, as you have it, Father. After explaining what a Campari and Soda is to many-a-waiter, I am always dismayed that it arrives in a minuscule glass with an unsubstantial ration of campari. And a beautiful view you have to enjoy your drink!

  26. cregduff says:

    great. post. thanks.

  27. Looks wonderful! Absolutely wonderful!

  28. Campari has (among other herbs, spices, and such) quinine in it, so it’s highly suitable for summer mosquito season. :)

  29. irishgirl says:

    Looks yummy, Father Z!

    I tried making pasta once; my brother-in-law, who is a fantastic cook and was trained at the Culinary Institute of America, loaned me a small pasta-making machine with some pasta dough.

    I didn’t do too good-I think it got all balled up.

    Sigh-not much of a cook, I’m afraid.

  30. dimsum says:

    Looks good Father! I miss the homemade wontons and noodles my grandmother used to make. I also enjoy cooking….so I’ll start experimenting with making pasta.

  31. The-Monk says:

    Try browned butter-sage sauce…excellent and better yet with butternut squash-pignoli ravioli’s. I’m jealous.

  32. Pam says:

    What is the egg rolled in flour for? the pasta? Obviously never made pasta.

  33. Thank so much for the recipe. It looks so good that I didn’t resist posting a link to it in one of my blogs together with one of your pictures. Sorry if I did wrong. I hope not.

    Note: the aforementioned blog of mine is

  34. MJ says:

    Delicious! Now I’m hungry for pasta…think I’ll make some spaghetti for dinner this evening!

  35. Joan M says:

    Fr. Z., you’ve actually got me interested in trying my hand at making pasta! I will have to substitute the proper flour, though – living in a third world country, you take what you can get.

  36. Give it a try and let us know how it goes.

    And it is cheaper than buying fresh pasta for sure!

  37. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    As someone who has not yet taken the pasta machine plunge, may I note encouragingly that it is possible to make ravioli with a rolling pin?

  38. RichardT says:

    Is the “torn basil” thing real, or a kitchen myth? I haven’t done a controlled experiment, but I haven’t noticed the flavour being stronger. And perhaps I just eat too quickly, but I’ve never noticed cut basil going black either.

  39. RichardT: I don’t think it makes that much difference, so long as you try to cut your herbs at the last moment possible and, once cut, keep them out of water till you use them.

  40. Venerator: Sure. But it is a little more work. Also, I don’t have a good pin or workspace for that.

  41. PostCatholic says:

    It looks as though you live in very pleasant surroundings. No wonder so many unusual birds find their way to you.

  42. Girgadis says:

    Father may disagree with me, but I think cavatelli are the easiest pasta to make. No special equipment is required and the ingredients are simple: eggs, flour and ricotta, kneaded together, then cut or pinched off and rolled by hand into little football-shaped dumplings.

  43. Jayna says:

    I really need to break out my pasta machine again. Haven’t made my own in ages.

  44. Ligusticus says:

    One of our local prides : :)

  45. Ligusticus: In years past I have made a great deal of pesto. This year I don’t really have enough basil.

  46. pattif says:

    The reason why it matters to tear basil leaves instead of cutting them is that tearing does not rupture cell walls (the tear follows the “boundary” between the cells, if that makes sense). It is the intact cell walls that retains the flavour; cutting the leaves with a knife or scissors allows flavour to escape. It is the same principle with salad leaves: salad leaves torn by hand always taste better than the machine cut stuff.

    That photo of the produce from your garden is making me hungry, Father.

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