It may be just another workday if you live in the U.S., but if you're in Italy, it's Pasquetta or Easter Monday and you've got the day off from work. Most people spend the day with family and friends enjoying a picnic lunch in a park or the countryside.
Le Matte, my Italian chit-chat group, is celebrating Pasquetta by taking a road trip to the beach. Clara, one of our members, invited us to share the day with her at her vacation home on the Jersey shore. We're a large group of more than 25, but not everyone is available on every meeting. Today there are at least eight of us are heading out, toting all sorts of yummy foods that we will enjoy once we get to Clara's beachhouse. I wish you could join us. Here's my contribution.
one dozen eggs, hard boiled (click here for a post on how to make perfectly cooked hard-boiled eggs.) 1/2 cup mayonnaise 2 tsp. Dijon mustard 1/8 tsp. salt white pepper, to taste 1/4 tsp. Worcestershire sauce 1 tsp. white wine vinegar
Put the yolks and all the other ingredients in a food processor. Pulse until everything is blended and smooth. I then use a pastry bag to pipe it into the egg whites, but you can spoon it in. Sprinkle with paprika. Decorate with either edible flowers, pieces of pickle, red or green pepper, tomato strips or anything else you can dream up.
The device you see in the slides above is a "torchio," a hollow brass tube attached to a bench or a wall. Different metal "dies" can be inserted in the torchio for different shapes of pasta. The torchio belonged to my mother's family in Italy. After decades of collecting dust in my basement, the torchio was recently resurrected when my father offered to make a bench for it. The torchio is screwed to the bench, semolina pasta dough is fed into the tube, the crank is turned, (in this case by my son Michael) and with a lot of elbow grease, pasta is extruded through the die. What comes out below is a tubular pasta - anything from thin spaghetti to bucatini, similar to a hollow straw.
In my last life, I was a journalist in NYC, but left the rat race to live in Italy for a year. I created this blog upon my return to combine my interests of writing and photography with my love of food and travel. My mother was from the region of Emilia-Romagna, my father's family was from Calabria and my late husband's family is Abruzzese. Is it any wonder then, that Italian art, music, food and the country's beautiful landscape are among my passions? I hope you will try some of the recipes and post comments. Buon Appetito. Linda