Our first tomatoes are ready, Summer is just around the corner!
Make sure you’ve got yesterday’s loaf though.
Slightly crumbled, tomatoes rubbed hard onto the bread to make it as wet as possible, then chopped tomatoes and whatever else you want to pile on!
Onion, black olives, I love capers myself, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper, there you have it: La Panzanella, fit for a King! Even better after it’s been standing a bit, when it has soaked in all the flavours. Mind though, it’s not to be eaten in small doses, your hands and your chin need to get a bit oily, and shine, like lovers’ eyes, as you dig in. A nice glass of cold Frascati, or two even better, to clean your palate. Now who’s better off than us!
I could just about reach the height of the dark wooden table with my eyes. I waited for my mum to make a crater in the mound of white flour. It was really high and I had to hold my breath to avoid creating a Central-America type tornado.
Then she broke the eggs inside the mountain, a pinch of salt, a drop of water if needed, and a duck egg to make it more yellow and wholesome. I watched her hands create an eruption, and a rapid succession of dam-bursts and repairs, to make sure the amalgam was perfect, chasing after lava flows that tried insistently to reach my nose.
In this case woman overcame nature, the final ball was proof of her victory, the volcano defeated, the fusion a success. My mum had some wrists on her! She continued to knead like a blacksmith would beat on his anvil.
Then on the board, her rolling-pin would calibrate the thickness of the dough, she’d create a yellow sun, she’d dust it with flour, then leave it to dry a little. Not an easy task, a labour of precision and strength. In the meanwhile the kitchen was invaded with the perfume of pasta sauce.
She’d roll the dough like you’d fold a bed-sheet, then as her fingers dictated the distance, she’d neatly cut the pasta ribbons. I’d look at her proudly as she gently unfolded each little roll and without even bothering about the sharp knife, I’d reach out and steal one of the ribbons to taste, just as it was, raw. A prelude to a dish that I absolutely loved.
I’d take a glass of wine to dad in the vineyards, that was his aperitif. Then after moment, that strong voice would echo as usual , “ Is it ready?!!”. That’s when my Sunday commenced. The volcano is still alive. But I miss that voice.
a group of people, that have lived and experienced the wonderful atmosphere of Frascati for many years, and now wish to share it with you.