Pasta is an easy dish to prepare. While J.J. and I lived in Hawaii, we knew of a Taiwanese woman married to a man from Germany. They had two young girls who were a fine mixture of their parents. Once the two of us lined up at the checkout counter behind the woman at COSTCO. She had jars of Ragu tomato sauce, grated Parmesan cheese and boxes of spaghetti noodles. Exhibiting parental pride and confidence, the woman stated, “My daughters think that my spaghetti is better than the ones served in a restaurant.”
According to a 2017 survey, 63% of respondents in Italy said they eat pasta everyday or almost everyday. Our friends in Italy normally serve a small portion of pasta for lunch as their first course.
Italians are fiercely loyal to their regional cuisines and pasta is more common in south. J.J. makes many sumptuous pasta dishes starting with Spaghetti allá Carbonara*. pasta allá vongole (clam & garlic sauce), pasta allá marinara (seafood), and pasta allá pesto.
*Our family’s favorite is Carbonara.
J.J. learned to prepare this Southern Italian recipe from a friend in Artena (South of Rome) during our stay with him and his family. The story goes that the Italian government wanted to put a tax on tomatoes. To deflect this unwelcome taxation, a party known as Carbon (White) came up with tomatoless pasta sauce. The Carbonara that J.J. makes has bacon (or Prosciutto ham when available), lots of garlic, fresh eggs and grated cheese. Yes, we can enjoy this every day. :-)
Aloha -- Cathi