Shortly after Bambina was born, the in-laws came to stay. My mother-in-law in her all “Italian-mother-takes-over-the-kitchen” wonderfulness, took it upon herself to feed us…often!
“We’a need’a la pasta!” she bellowed, her head rooted to the bottom shelf of the cupboard that houses pasta and rice.
“There’s some in the cupboard” I roared back.
“Questa?? Nooo, I’a canna use’a this’a one for’a la minestra. Andiamo (let’s go!)” she gestured to my husband with a swift raise of the arm as if to motion his backside from the sofa.
“La mamma canna do’a la minestra” he told me, raising his eyes to the ceiling. As she shuffled in behind him, her hands were poised with that Italian ‘what the..?’ stance…
“Per queeee? How’a ere’a you’av only the fusili and’a the farfalle?” she said with a huff. “No e possibleee!!”
You see, in Italy there a thousands of types of pasta. Supermarkets have whole aisles, massively long aisles, dedicated to it. Short, long, thin, fat, round square, some for soup, some for sauce.
Now, when my mother-in-law visits, for fear of finding a horses head in my bed, I make sure the cupboard is stocked with several pasta varieties.
Last weekend after having what the Italian would call an argument, what I’d call a debate, that England has more to offer than “a bow” (farfalle) or a “a twist” (fusili), he set about proving a point by making his own!
Loving that he chose a Union Jack tea towel to dry up his pasta…a little bit of England with a little bit of Italy! Love it!