For primi I made capelletti, "little caps," in this case pasta stuffed with chicken, parmesan, parsley, a little nutmeg, and some cream to hold it together.
You start with a 2x2-inch square of pasta--- all of which I made myself, the first use of the pasta machine I've got in two years or so--- and then you put a dab of filling in the middle. Then you fold one corner over to make a triangle and press down on the sides to seal. After this, you bring the two corners of the triangle together and seal them, which allows the capelletto to stand on its own, with the last corner of the triangle drooping down like a little cap, hence the name.
(Whose cap are we imitating, exactly? The Pope's? A Turkish Janissary in full dress? I'm not sure.)
Making the pasta took hours. And hours. By the end of the task I had cramps and a backache.
The capelletti were served with an asparagus and cream sauce. They were worth the effort, though maybe next time I'll take it easy on myself and make tortellini, which are a little less time-consuming. Besides, they're supposed to look like Aphrodite's navel, which should be a good thing.
Secondo was tossed salad and leg of lamb roasted in a mustard sauce. It was one of the tenderest lambs I've had the privilege of devouring, though I have to admit that I wasn't responsible for the tenderness one way or another.
Dolce was strawberry shortcake, because I was running out of time and imagination.
The meal was served on the Noritake china I inherited when my mom passed away last year.
I don't ever actually remember eating off this china when I was at home. Apparently I wasn't good enough for the good china. I wonder if anyone ate off it, ever.
Since I don't have kids, or anyone to preserve the stuff for, I'll eat off the good plates whenever I want.
Especially if I make a meal as good as this one.