over the years, i’ve made different versions of asparagus ricotta pasta. in fact, the first time i ever tried the recipe (maaanny years ago), i didn’t even like asparagus yet (or so i thought). i’ve since lost track of the source of that original recipe so every time i come across a version, i always take a look to see how it stacks up to the recipe of my memory. over time, i’ve cobbled together my own franken-version, pulling bits of inspiration and ingredients from here and there, as well as what i remember of that first version i ever had. it’s funny, i’m sure if i tried that original recipe today, i wouldn’t find it to be significantly better than any of the versions i’ve tried since. and yet.
i think this awareness serves as a metaphor for what i’ve been learning recently: change is difficult, even when it’s a positive change. i made this observation to my husband a few weeks ago, at the end of a day that was just… a bit difficult. nothing notable happened, it wasn’t a bad day… it was just kind of hard.
i attributed the feelings i was having that day to upending everything in our lives simultaneously: recently we both quit our jobs, sold our house, moved two hours north to portland, maine, bought a new house, and are each striving to set up our own businesses (this, tasty seasons, is mine). we have an adorable house (that needs a bunch of work and is perpetually in a state of chaos as we tackle multiple projects simultaneously…) in a city that i love and look forward to exploring. but it’s not our city, not yet.
i can’t help but compare this experience to the last time we moved somewhere new. the last time turned out to be… not the right place for us (we left after less than a year). this feels totally different: i have this deep, inexplicable sense that this is my place. the ocean is nearby. the people are friendly but keep their detailed medical histories to themselves in the checkout line. there are walking trails snaking all over the city. and bricks! so many buildings downtown feature my favorite architectural style: old bricks and wooden beams. so if ever there was a city tailor made for me, it feels like portland is it.
despite feeling like i belong here though, i still have no idea where to take the dry cleaning. or where to buy really good ricotta, now that my beloved produce store is two hours away.
which brings me back to this recipe: hopefully you do know where to buy good ricotta near you, because it makes a difference in this recipe. you can certainly make this with grocery store ricotta (that’s what i ended up doing this time…) but if you can get your hands on some good, handmade stuff, you’ll definitely want to use it here. maybe my next iteration of this asparagus ricotta pasta will include trying to make my own ricotta. because change is growth and growth is good, right?