Cooking is about adapting, an exercise in observation, utilizing all your senses. Every pasta comes with its own set of rules, finicky things to look out for. For the most part, I enjoy learning about each pasta's characteristics and familiarizing myself with their quirks. But I cannot even pretend to like "spaghetti."
At The Restaurant, my three inch paring knife is one of my best friends, along with my notebook and sharpie. With my paring knife, I peel potatoes, cut tape, trim sheets of pasta dough, halve artichokes, open tins of olive oil and occasionally nick myself.
After an unremarkably average performance on my "pasta midterm," I was determined to do a little better on the final I'd have to face. Beyond joking about the assessment test he'd eventually administer, Jeff still didn't have much set in stone in the way of planning the actual final—until last week.