The other day I had a spare container and decided to pop into Donnini’s, a pasta shop I had walked past a hundred times on my way to the green grocers without ever stopping in… I’m not sure why not really, habits I suppose. Anyway I was making a pesto sauce and decided to buy a few nests of freshly handmade tagliatelle for us to have as a quick weekend lunch when I got home.
At just over seven dollars to feed our family lunch, I wondered why I had ever attempted to hand make pasta in the past… Why is it that we think the best option (particularly from a health/environmental perspective) is to make everything ourselves from scratch, when there are craftsmen nearby making much better food than we could, that we could easily buy from them in a sustainable manner.
The pasta maker was more than happy to sell me the pasta in my own container, he even gave me specific cooking advice to ensure that the pasta he had perfected was going to be served al dente – just perfectly as he had intended. We exchanged thoughts on salting the boiling water, made a friendly connection and then I departed and told him I would no doubt see him again.
I think part of living simply and sustainably includes supporting local artisans in their craft – handmade pasta, breads, beef pies and lasagnes, rather than trying to do it all ourselves. I do make my own fresh pestos and things but anything more complicated I think is best left to others in the community.
The thing is that we’re tribal humans really – we were never made to be solo hunters – but rather to live together in a village, supporting one another, and eating & cooking together in large groups. To me this is sustainability in the truest sense of the word, and I think as a society we have sadly lost that sense of community – of supporting and relying on one another.