I like to think I’ve always been a free spirit. I gave my parents quite a few headaches (although I’m sure a lot of satisfaction too) as I always wanted to do things my way.
Recently I was thinking of some of these moments in my teenage years, when I realized that one of my first ways to explore independence was, indeed, pasta!
This probably sounds very stereotypical, but it is true that the kitchen is quite a central room in the inner-politics of an Italian family. My mum is the queen, it is her territory and she decides how the whole room is set up, stocked and managed. The only part relatively accessible being the fridge.
Then, my dad. He loves to cook, and he would cook at least on a weekly base. My mum would provide for our meals, day by day, and my dad would cook, usually in the weekend, for pleasure and to vary our menu with a new recipe he discovered the week before. These were 2 very distinct moments, and if one was working in the kitchen, the other one wasn’t allowed until the meal was ready! Then my dad, as a good husband, would fill the dishwasher
So it comes as no surprise that my first attempts to imposing myself in the household happened in the kitchen. I would study a recipe, make sure I had all the ingredients and when my mum would leave to do groceries or meet up with a friend, I would run downstairs, turn on the stoves, and get cooking!
In these years, the kitchen has been a theatre of disasters and masterpieces. One dish I remember particularly well is Fusilli with Tuna.
Put a pot of water to boil.
In the meanwhile, finely chop an onion and put on a pan with a bit of olive oil. While the onion gets golden, roughly chop a few tomatoes and add to the pan. Season well with salt and pepper.
When the tomatoes start softening, add the tuna and stir well.
Put the pasta in (remember, if you use our Pasta with Benefits, it cooks in just 5 minutes!) and when the sauce is ready set aside.
Drain the pasta and add to the sauce, with a dollop of butter. Let sit for a minute while the butter melts, stir and dig in!
Do not add cheese, it’s like an Italian golden rule: we just don’t do that with fish-based sauces!