Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Pasta

The Italians, who are masters at combining sophistication with simplicity, have eaten pasta for the past millennium or so. They know that no other food can nourish and delight so easily, while asking for so small an effort on the part of the cook. Simple yet sustaining, a dish of pasta satisfies our hunger yet invites the eye and pleases the palate with its countless shapes, colors, and flavors. It is the most versatile of foods, changing its character with ease, according to season, occasion, cook's mood, or time available.
We concentrate mainly on dried pasta, which is the pasta that the Italians eat religiously and lovingly every day of every week. It is the pasta they always have on hand, and it is the pasta that pairs most successfully with the greatest number of different sauces.
Some of the sauces I have chosen are classic, others are modern, and many are variations on a traditional theme. There are slow-simmered sauces that can be prepared totally ahead of time, as well as many quick-fix sauces that can be made just before eating, so a whole meal can be put together in half an hour or less. Put together, yes, but always with love, care, and attention. When the family is nearly ready to eat, the pasta is slid into a pan full of boiling water and the cook shouts Ho inej.wglii la pasta - I've put the pasta in. A few minutes later everyone sits down in silence and the cook brings in the bowl of steaming pasta and sets it in the middle of the table for people to serve themselves. Pasta is a convivial, sharing food; to our mind, it is best not formally plated.
I leave the last word to the actor Alberto Sordi in the wonderful movie A Taxi Driver in America -
Dove c epasta, c'e dperanza Where there's pasta, there's hope.


  1. Can't wait to see what you have in store!

  2. I think I might be officially adopting that as my new motto in life. Looking forward to more!