Umbria Bliss: the Homemade Pasta of Chiarina
Farm neighbor Chiarina was dicing the carrot for her pasta sauce when I dropped in one recent morning, her husband Marino nearby and how he beamed when I asked him about his wife’s culinary skills:
And these are the ingredients Chiarina had prepared for her sauce which I told her I’d call “il sugo di Chiarina” (“the Chiarina sauce”): finely-diced onion, carrot, celery, and pancetta (literally, “the little tummy,” i.e., bacon).
Their olive oil and garlic joined the ingredients, too.
Flour and their fresh eggs flanked the ingredients, ready for pasta-making:
And how proud Marino was of his pancetta:
All the diced ingredients…
….would simmer in tomato sauce and their olive oil on the stove (cooking time: about 20 minutes)
We made a video of Chiarina making her sauce and homemade pasta, too: soon to be on my Youtube channel.
Chiarina stirred her sauce now and then and as the sauce simmered, she made the pasta fresca:
…and when the dough was formed and ready to roll out, Marino gladly joined Chiarina for a photo, telling me, “…e come sai, Anna, che la pasta che compri non e’ buona come questa” (“and as you know, Anna, store-bought pasta is not as good as this”):
And as Chiarina rolled out the dough, we laughed as I reminded her of my first pasta-making lesson with her in fall of 1975 when Pino and I had moved to the land. And how she’d taught me to put the pressure of wrists on the mattarello:
Chiarina was a strict teacher: for my first lesson, it took me about an hour to roll out la sfoglia as fine as she wished it (I had to see her cutting board through the sheet of pasta). I was very close – and it tore. I remember asking Chiarina if we could just “patch it up.” She laughed, shook her head know, balled it all up and had me start over!
But I was grateful for her lessons – and made all our pasta for year (until our children were born – and then time was too limited…)
The other day as she rolled out that sfoglia, Chiarina poked holes in the pasta sheet more than once, lamenting “it’s because I forgot to take off my rings today.” But she just “patched up” the perforations and continued; of course, I had to kid her about doing what she hadn’t permitted to me years ago…. and we both chuckled.
Chiarina’s sfoglia was soon transparent enough to roll up gently and cut:
When the salted water was boiling in a large pot, Chiarina slid in the fettuccine. Cooking time? Just a few minutes:
After draining the pasta, Chiarina gently folded in the sugo di Chiarina, then dished up the goodness:
Care to join me for lunch with Chiarina and Marino?
Let’s do it soon.