The Girl Who Ate Everything

Blogging about food and whatever since 2004.

Bologna: Day 12 (I Cannot Make Dough)

You may recall that on day 11, Morten had a little microbial mishap with an unfriendly seafood dish.

And by that I mean there was a lot of reserve peristalsis going on.

And by that I mean he puked a lot.

Morten's sore digestive system (and thus entire body, as the digestive system is a big part of that thing) gave way to another laid back day of meanderings and random eatings and, of course, napping.

OOH, pretty things tortellini! interior
Paolo Atti e Figli

Per my request for something sweet and baked, we stopped into Paolo Atti e Figli, a gourmet food shop that is most well known for their tortellini. But I didn't want tortellini. I wanted sugary carbs, which they carried in great supply in the forms of cakes, cookies, and tarts.

pine nut tart
Pine nut tart
pine nut tart thing

I bought a little pine nut tart. The Italian name escapes me, but as long as you're not blind you should be able to identify it in a store and simply point at it. The tender, slightly cakey crust was filled with some kind of dense custard and topped with toasted pine nuts. Although it could've been a little sweeter, it was just sweet enough to appease whatever sugar craving I was having that morning. I told myself that the sugar content was low enough so that eating the entire tart didn't increase my chances for getting diabetes. Not that the possibility of forthcoming diabetes has ever stopped me from eating anything.

Penguin ball

My childlike tendencies couldn't resist the pull of a toy store. Inside we found many little plush animal balls full of soft pellety things, allowing the ball to smush into an animal pancake if so desired. I thought they had a Japanese feel to them (beady black eyes, roundness, simple design) but they were made by an Italian company.

You may be surprised to hear that I didn't buy one of these little dudes. I thought about it a lot...FOR DAYS, MY MIND BURNED AT THE THOUGHT...but it took me so long to decide that I realized I must not have wanted anything that badly. Not even the penguin ball. But if I went back to Bologna I'd probably get one. You can't understand how amusing the penguin ball is until you hold one in your hands and squish the daylights out of it. Like holding a newborn baby. ...I mean, you don't squish the baby, you just hold it and appreciate its fresh, warm baby-ness. Like the penguin ball, except replace "fresh, warm baby-ness" with "squishy squishness, teehee"

Yeah, maybe not.

We made a trip to our local PAM to procure some lunch, those pesky ingredients missing from the night before that prevented us from making pizza, subsequently driving us to eat out, subsequently giving Morten explosive stomach syndrome, which could technically be traced back to me forgetting to get the flour and yeast. God dammit.

Snacky cake?

"I'm so hungry..." moaned Kåre.

"We'll be home soon," I said hopefully, while thinking that with his metabolic rate Kåre probably needed a constant flow of calories to retain consciousness and the ability to stand upright.

"But I need snacky cakes now."

Kåre's hunger became so soul stiflingly tremendous while at the supermarket that he tore into his pack of chocolate bun snacky cakes almost as soon as our feet hit the pavement outside of PAM. I caught him mid-chew in the photo above.

Okay, I'm making him sound more gluttonous than he really is. He's no Cartman. And he doesn't really moan in any annoying way. Even if he were steaming with anger (something that I can hardly fathom) he'd probably still sound pleasant and wear a smile on his face. He is truly incapable of being a nuisance. How does he do it? No freakin' clue.

Mm, tortelloni

For a late lunch, Morten whipped together some pumpkin tortelloni with butter, rosemary and sage that we got from PAM.

After that, things got fuzzy. I recall messily slouching on the couch next to Kåre and watching TV. And remember what I said about TV in Italy? It's not so good. I have a feeling it wouldn't be good even if I could understand Italian.

Watching TV was made 1000% more bearable with Kåre by my side cracking jokes about what was going on in front of our eyes. Or what wasn't going on. Everything was in "foreign" for the most part, you know...

That is, until Slamball graced the screen and came into our lives, unwelcomed. Although the commentary was in Italian, it was unimportant for the purposes of understanding the game, or at least getting a basic overview of it. Take a basketball court, replace the area in front of the hoops with trampolines and let a bunch of helmeted, young sweaty males go wild as they bounce their ways to victorious dunking. It's Slamball!

Yeah, what the fuck? Kåre and I were dumbfounded. We wanted to look away from the trainwreck, but it was so hypnotic. Bodies propelled in the air by spring-loaded trampolines, the nearly 100% lack of rules (yeah I know there are probably a bunch of rules, but you fail to keep that in mind when BODIES ARE FLYING EVERYWHERE), the strangeness of it all. I'm not saying it's an easy sport that doesn't require any skill—considering my remedial basketball-playing skills with both feet on the ground, I don't think I'd survive 5 seconds in a match of Slamball—but it just looked so ridiculous. All I could wonder was, "Why? Whyyyy? What will man think of next? Maybe he should stop thinking now."

At some point we either managed to pull ourselves away from the hypnotic game of Slamball or the game had ended, for our next form of entertainment came as a random movie starring Dean Cain and some other people we couldn't recognize. We had no idea what the movie was about—it was dubbed in Italian, of course—but since it starred the former Superman in a non-super role, we just called it "The Man Show". And yes, we know there's already a man show, but...we had to amuse ourselves. Okay? Okay.

We watched another unknown American movie dubbed in Italian that elicited about the same reaction as Slamball had, but with more confusion, laughing and overall WTF-ness. I'll attempt to recreate the scene: some dude and some young woman get thrown into a jail in some ginormous old castle-like home. However will they escape? WITH EXPLOSIVE CHEWING GUM. Duh. The details get fuzzy after that (not that they're important anyway), but a giant death vat of boiling, glowing goo played a major role. You have to be pretty damn evil to have a death vat. Of course, the vat was ultimately tamed by a well placed canister of LIQUID NITROGEN. Of course the liquid nitro would be right next to the giant vat; where else would it fit?

There were also lots of swords, guns, and fiery explosions.

I don't know who gives the green light to those kinds of movies, but I hope they lost their job.

When the TV failed to amuse us any longer, we went into napping mode. Morten went out way before we did—he was still a bit sickly after all—but I think Kåre and I tucked in at least an hour of sleep.

I woke up first. Stomach. Rumbly. Dammit. I hobbled into the kitchen and looked at the starter that Morten had made for the pizza dough while trying to recall his directions on how to turn the bowl of wet holey mush into something we could eat.

"Just add this much flour," he had said while illustrating a depth with his index finger and thumb. A few inches, I guess? I looked at the bag and tried to recreate the depth. Just needed to add a few inches of flour. ...What the hell is a few inches of flour?

I made an educated guess and dumped some flour and the rest of the yeast into the bowl of fermenting wheat. Stir. Dump. Stir. Dump. I ended up with something that looked excessively wet and made an unpleasant squoshing sound when agitated with my spoon.

"I should've continued napping," I thought.

Kåre stirred from his sleep and despite my hopeless state made encouraging remarks.

"That dough doesn't look bad!"

Right, I thought.


"Just use your palm," he suggested as I tried to mix the dough. I stuck my palm in—the dough stuck back in a deathgrip-like manner. I switched to my fingertips, which was even worse as the gluey gluteny strands decided to fuse with my skin. Hence why Kåre told me to use my palm.

"Use your palm!" he said again while laughing. Kåre is too nice to admit that at this point he was probably thinking, "My god, she's dumb."

"I did! It didn't work! Not that this is working either. ...Arrrgh!"

I had to laugh; the bowl was full of so much fail. I was full of fail. The pizza was full of fail.

Morten, wake up wake up wake up wake up god dammit, I repeated in my head. And he did, probably because of my exasperated shrieks, not because I was trying to disrupt his sleep patterns through my nonexistent mental channeling powers.

pizza toppings
Pizza ingredients
Morten kneads the dough
Morten, pizza man

Morten easily took over, forming my sad, overly moist pool of dough into an elastic ball of wonderous gluten in what felt like an instant. Even though he had a lot of practice making dough and shaping pizzas from his recreational culinary practices at home and for working at Dolly Dimples, I felt like even with no experience he would've figured out what to do in at least half the time it took me to scrape the dough off my fingertips. He would've listened to Kåre and used his PALM. YES.

He spread the dough out on the well oiled baking sheet and popped it into the oven to semi-bake the crust before adding toppings, which included mozzarella, tomatoes, marinated artichokes, something porky, a handful of other cheeses, and my tiny addition of two sardines.

pizza is done!

And then it was done. Lots of cheese, lots of meltingness, lots of surprisingly not fucked up crust (I mean, I did semi-start the dough and was quite happy when I realized that I didn't kill the yeast).

Don't worry, day 13 will be more interesting.


Paolo Atti e Figli
Via Caprarie, 7
40124 Bologna, Italy


Morten / October 25, 2007 8:34 PM

Hey people.

The tart was torta della nonna, and it's a very good tart (in my unhumble opinion). Though, I must admit, almost any tart is a good tart. Whichever version we're talking about. Food or non-food, you know. Do you? Do I? Perhaps not.

Anyhow, I'm fine now. The food poisoning didn't last long. After and hour or two of vomiting I slept and the next day I just felt tired, but it's not like I was unable to eat pizza! That would've been really bad. Woo, that would be unthinkable!

Christina / October 25, 2007 9:09 PM

LOL! I just finished reading the beginning up to now. (I guess it's a bit obvious I finished at this post...) Great stuff!

The pumpkin tortellini sounds interesting. It reminds me of the butternut squash lasagna I made. My dad, who's Italian, wasn't sure about it. I tried to tell him it was good, the way the flavors played off each other, the smooth filling against the al dente lasagna sheets. I'm not sure what he thought, he didn't say.

Mickjagger / October 25, 2007 9:51 PM

Haha fun story!
And now let's organize a contest to guess what were the strange movies you watched! And let us win a homemade slice of Robyn Pizza :p

roboppy / October 25, 2007 11:06 PM


Do not want.

Such horror hasn't happened to me...yet.

Sara: So many things in my life are full of fail. I usually don't blog about em though. ;)

Kim: Oh, he's fine now. He bounced RIGHT BACK.

Penny: Thanks for the info and recipe!




Are you sure your health is back to normal?

Christina: Pumpkin/squash filled pasta things are FREAKIN AWESOME. But pumpkin/square anything is awesome. In pasta. In cake. In gelato...

Dana: Oh, it tasted good. Because Morten did most of the work. ;)

Yann: If anyone could identify the movies I watched, I'd be KINDA SCARED! Cos that means that SOMEONE ACTUALLY WATCHED THEM.

You want Morten pizza, not Robyn pizza!

jennifer / October 26, 2007 9:14 AM


I couldn't leave a comment on your previous post, so leaving it here.

In Manila, Philippines, we have a very nice french patisserie called BIZU Patisserie. They sell very nice macarons. :)

Fredric Koeppel / October 26, 2007 11:57 AM

The pizza looks wonderful (I make lots of them at home)...... all you needed for that super sticky dough was a little flour on your hands and on the dough.
and i hope you brought back hundred of those pine nut tarts for your readers. you can send them UPS.

Kathy / October 26, 2007 6:43 PM

Hehe, I love the picture of you with the dough!! And the mozzarella in the following picture - oh man, CHEEEEEESE! =)

Mickjagger / October 26, 2007 10:08 PM

Haha allright, I'll say hello to Morten-pizza™, but we need the Robyn touch even if symbolic... Let's retry your bunny cake-art on a pizza, that would be mad!!

roboppy / October 27, 2007 12:31 PM

Jennifer: Thanks! I had that down as the only place in Manila with macarons, looks really good!

Fredric: Oh yeeeahh, I have...hundreds! Stashed away. In. The box over there....imaginarybox...

Kathy: We need to get us some pizza.

Yann: I think bunnies should be restricted to cake. :)

Graeme: He's VERY patient! More laid back than a lounging chair. And Kåre is more laid back than that, so...yeah. :)

Will Helm / October 28, 2007 11:11 PM

I'm not too sure about the Dean Cain flick, but I'm almost certain the second movie is the Richard Grieco classic "If Looks Could Kill." That's the only film I can think of that has exploding chewing gum and a vat of moltenness at the end (gold, to be exact).

roboppy / October 28, 2007 11:22 PM


Yes, that's it. Heh. Oh god. Thanks for letting me know! I'm reading the story now and it sounds so ridiculous. And I just realized that of course this is all new to me...I watched it in Italian. NO SENSE, NO SENSE AT ALL.

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