Last year the Pazzo spent a week in Italy. Trieste to be exact. He went to bring Nonna home. She had spent a couple of months in her home town with her sisters, but she needed someone to help her negotiate the long haul flight home. I mean, it is a 24 hour flight, with a connection. It’s a long way! Anyway, he bought back presents for the kids, but he bought nothing for me. He had seen a cook book he thought I might like, but told me he didn’t get the time to go back to the shop to get it. It was a tough week, drinking and eating with his cousins. It must have been hard work! So, we made a deal. I could get the book, if I liked it, when we got to Trieste.
When I saw it, on our all too long ago holiday, I loved it, but decided to buy it when we got home, just so we didn’t have to carry it with us. This book has a couple of recipes that are very similar to some of the things Nonna makes. Nonna’s cooking comes from Parma. She learnt from her mother-in-law. It is written by three sisters who grew up in Wales but spent their holidays with family in Italy, just a bit north of Parma.
One of the recipes is very similar to Capiletti. Capiletti is not only the Pazzo’s favourite, it is also the traditional pasta dish served during Christmas celebrations in Parma. It is definitely a winter dish. Little disc shaped pasta parcels, filled with a meat filling served in a broth. I decided I needed to give it a go. I’ve tried to get the recipe from Nonna, but she won’t write it down, I mean how can she when she goes by feel and instinct!
We are in the middle of a cold snap. The wind has been blowing straight off Antartica. It rained all day. The boys had their usual game of Australian rules football on Sunday morning leaving us with time in the afternoon. Yanni’s under 12s game was freezing. I was doing first aid and my main job was to try to keep the kids warm, yet we had tears from a few kids, just from the cold. Mind you I found out later that the under 16s games were cancelled due to the weather. I know it’s not really cold compared to some climates, but for us it’s colder than we’re used to.
The upshot was once we had thawed out Yanni and Jamie, we weren’t leaving the house again. It was the perfect afternoon for staying indoors and making a batch of pasta together.
Everyone helped, some more than others. Ivy really enjoyed it. She was there from start to finish. I must say the Pazzo and I make quite a team on the pasta machine! The result was very, very similar to Nonna’s version. Our filling was just a bit dry, but the overall taste was really very close to Nonna’s. It was a great effort and we enjoyed a delicious meal.