Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Cooking with Nonni

As I said before, I come from a background of a large Italian family.

I remember making raviolis at Nonni's house. We would make the filling for the raviolis and we would make the pasta dough.

She had this beautiful old enamel table and the pasta dough for the raviolis would be rolled out across the entire table. And we would sit there with little bowls and spoons and drop the ricotta cheese and the filling. Then somebody would bring in another big layer of rolled out dough and flop the it on top. Then we would gently press and cut into raviolis. We would then take a little little fork and press into the edges of the raviolis.

Then you would powder the entire table and let the raviolis lay out all day to dry and harden. Turning them once when one side was hard. That way they would be hard enough to boil the next day.

You see, the dough cannot be fresh, it cannot be sticky like a pie dough. It's got to be hardened.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

How I Learned to Cook

I learned from Nonni, my grandmother.

I come from a background of a large Italian family. My grandmother on my dad's side was from Italy and didn't speak hardly any English at all. And in the true Italian tradition, every Sunday the entire family would go to Mass and then go to Nonni's house. All of the children, their spouses, all their children and grandchildren would spend the entire day at Nonni's house. There, we would eat and play and watch TV and have a really great family time.

On special occasions like Christmas, Birthdays, and Christenings (of which there were a lot) the meals were even larger and more elaborate.

So, of course, all of the daughters and daughter-in-laws would go down to Nonni's house on Saturday and we would cook all day long.

Nonni was an amazing cook. All of her sauces were homemade, all of her pasta was made by hand without a pasta maker, all of her cakes from scratch. Everything that you ate was from scratch nothing was store made.

I grew up where all the food was from scratch. It was so much fun!