Yeah…that’s what I have to say about making pasta from scratch! Tonight I made homemade ravioli with Alberta, and WOW…it’s time consuming! If you’re ever lucky enough to have someone make you homemade pasta – all I have to say is that it’s a meal you better appreciate! It took us (me, really – she tells me what to do and I do it) over 2 hours to make the ravioli. In the end, she had to help finish! It tasted fantastic and was one of the best meals I’ve eaten here so far– no doubt about that. We made spinach and ricotta filled ravioli with a zucchini sauce flavored with ham, onions, parsley, pine nuts, white wine, and white raisins. I know it probably sounds like an odd mixture of flavors, but it was buonissimo! I was lucky enough to have the rest to take home. I’ll be eating well tomorrow!
Sitting down to a family meal twice a week and also the aromas in the air during lunch time are always an experience here in Italy. I love the conversation and the gathering of family during this time. I am amazed it’s such a cultural thing here to cut out time in the day to go home for lunch and actually have the time for a proper lunch as well as dinner with those you care about.
Sunday I paid attention to the gatherings of families in the condos nearby and it made me miss my family. I remember being small and getting together with my grandparents and my aunt’s family on the weekends just being together. I still do look forward to those times, though now it’s different of course because we’re all older, most everyone has a family of their own, and our grandparents aren’t around physically anymore (though they always are in spirit). Our family still gathers together for any reason really, but it’s an added bonus when homemade sauce is in the mix! I never had the luxury of eating my grandmother’s sauce, but each of the ladies in my family make their own and mmmm is it good! I hope to have some quality time like this in November when I’m in NY. Those of you who’ve sampled my mom’s sauce can attest to the joy that comes as a result of it. In fact, Jeremy, who I used to work with (that’s weird saying – I originally wrote it out as ‘who I work with’ – guess I’m not used to not working), made sauce using my mom’s recipe. He had me over for dinner one night before I left and it was just like her’s – I couldn’t believe it! My next purchase should be a large pot so I can make it. I tend to lack the right tools for such things. The other funny thing I’m realizing that what I identify in the US to be ‘Italian’ is not always what real ‘Italian’ is. For example, at our Italian-American weddings, we always have fantastic ‘Italian’ cookies that I have yet to find here. I always think of sauce being tomato sauce or at least based with tomatoes. Also, I was surprised to learn that chicken parmesan and fettuccine alfredo don’t exist here! I could swear I had alfredo sauce one of the first few times I came here at the home of my host family, but maybe it’s something different? Denny confirmed he loved both those dishes living in the US but that they aren’t really Italian. I’m sure there are other things but those few come to mind right away.