Pasta is one of the two things that Italy has really succeeded in exporting far and wide (pizza being the other), and we see them everywhere, the penne, the conchiglie, the fettuchine, the farfalle, and the list just keeps on going and going.
One of the bit more expensive pastas here is the fresh pasta, and it only really comes in one form: fettuchine. On the bright side it comes both plain and with spinach. But anything beyond that and you need to go hunting in specialty stores. So, rather than go hunting, I figured that I was in good shape with all the baking to try to make pasta myself, which went rather well up until this point:
Now, the book on pasta that I have indicates that you should let the pasta hang to dry for a while until you use it, not place it mashed together on a plate like I did. The reason for this is that once we were ready to use the pasta (after a measly 30 minute wait) the strands were pretty much glued together and impossible to separate, so our pasta was twice as thick as it was supposed to be. Bummer. It was still decent, but not quite like pappardelle is supposed to be.
While the dish is normally served with spaghetti and some cheese, we made Pappardelle alla carbonara, which is a thick sauce with egg, cream (we use an oats-based cream since I am lactose intolerant, and it does nicely in pasta sauces) and fried bacon (I think the regular Carbonara calls for a specialty ham, but those are fairly hard to get here as well). To add some colour, we added peas and a few leaves of basil. Even then photos of the dish looks fairly... icky... so we settled with just eating it.
To stay in the Italian kitchen, my wife prepared a lovely torta con le mele (apple tart/cake), just topped with icing instead of cream. Very wholesome cake that will make you think of cosy winter evenings huddled together in the living room with tea and small-talk.