Last week I made a guest post for Flipkey, a travel website whose blog features local secrets that travelers might not know about. I wrote about one of the most typical Tuscan fresh pasta, pici... do you want to have a look, or better, a taste? Go to Flipkey blog…
I often create recipes based on the dominant color of an ingredient. Some time ago, for example, starting from the deep golden yellow of the corn flour I made one of my favorite desserts, a corn cake with limoncello, and since then I have repeated it in more than a special occasion. This time the main theme is green.
The peas are green, just shelled, they are crisp and sweet and make that fun sound when they fall into the bowl, just like gentle and muffled rain.
The table setting is green, green from the heavy glass to the small bowls to serve individually crispy bacon and goat cheese to match the pea pesto. The result is a fresh and carefree table, where everyone is welcomed and doesn’t panic if the tablecloth gets stained with the pesto, everything is nothing but green!
The green, in all its nuances, has always been my favourite colour: the tender green of the spring new grass, the deep green of the Northern Europe forests, full of stories and legends, the emerald green of the tropical seas and the acid green of my favourite t-shirt as a child.
I’m not very much into dancing and sometimes I prefer staying at home to cook or write, rather than going to a club… Yet, the harsh life of a single woman would require an attendance, if not constant at least assiduous, of socializing sites to get this label off. Despite this behaviour, I am good company and I like parties, those parties crammed with friends, where you have the chance to talk, to laugh to tears and, obviously, to eat. If at the disco my eyes start to close at the stroke of midnight (what an anachronistic person I am… will it be the influence of Cinderella’s tale?), at a party with friends I can stay up till late chatting over a set table, losing track of time and enjoying the atmosphere.
I’ve always had the dream of throwing large parties, like in the movies, with music, colours and set tables in my garden. I live in the countryside, this is one of the many benefits I have: no time constraints, no grumpy neighbours, open spaces to fill with joyful hands, feet and smiles. But until a few years ago there was a problem, to fill that garden, until…
When Domenica asked me to take part to the Food bloggers pasta party to celebrate the launch of her brand new book, The Glorious Pasta of Italy, I was deeply honoured and excited. Why? Just have a look at Domenica’s blog, at her light-hearted yet professional recipes, at her enjoyable and sensitive writing, at her positive look at life and you’ll easily understand why I was so happy.
Domenica, as her name foretells, grew up in an Italian family: her mother was born on the hills around Chieti, on the Adriatic coast. She spent her summer holidays in Italy with her mother’s three sisters, all great cooks. She has a true passion for simple, honest food. You can almost touch this great respect for ingredients and traditions in her recipes and through her words. I was captured by her work, by this genuine love for food.
As Italian pasta lover, I couldn’t help but leafing through her new book for hours, lingering on beautifully photographed and well described recipes. A special mention to the fresh pasta chapter, enriched by step-by-step instructions and plenty of variations on the classic egg pasta. Thank you Domenica for being such a brilliant Ambassador for the authentic Italian food abroad!
Every now and then, during a train or bus trip, when I am listening to the music with half-open eyes and the landscape looses its contours, I let my thoughts go and begin to dream. I do love dreaming, I’ve always done it since I can remember, dramatizing stories and plots, depicting daily life scenes in bright colours.
Dreams are sometimes an escape route from a reality that doesn’t suit you, sometimes an incentive to transform that very reality in a life you’d rather live. In my daydreams I love to surprise: in everyday life I am the one that can be described as the girl next door. Never too much over the top, never colours too flashy. I do not wear high heels, because I’d stumble and fall disastrously to the ground after two meters.
I can not speak out or impose myself into a group, I often find myself nodding to point out my ideas. In my mind I build impressive speeches that sometimes leave me speechless, but then in my daily life I can never be so incisive and direct.
It’s December. So let the celebrations begin! My Christmas imagination is made up with movies and songs, just as my ideas of love and friendship. There are movies that, seen billions of times since my childhood, during Sunday mornings in pajamas, or during long afternoons spent in front of the fireplace, have helped to create my own Christmas atmosphere. Speaking about songs, the first that comes to my mind is Wham!’s Last Christmas (1984), closely followed by All I want for Christmas is you (1994) by Mariah Carey. Just two notes of one of these songs and I’m thrown into my snowy dreamy Christmas.
Speaking about movies instead, there is a scene that is etched in my memory, the best scene in terms of romance and Christmas spirit. The film is Untamed Heart (1993). The scene? Marisa Tomei wakes up and finds a beautiful Christmas tree in her room, at night surprise staged for her by the sweet Christian Slater. And then, since I was a child, if I have to find another movie that for me represents Christmas, I can not think of at anything else but Home Alone (1990). Inexplicably, since then, I really want to taste a properly done dish of macaroni and cheese, Kevin McCallister’s lonely Christmas Eve dinner, celebrated with one of the most famous quote from the movie: