The Italian Job!

It has been a delight, sharing our home with Francesco and Nicoletta, this week. Despite the stressful circumstances surrounding their visit, they seem to have really enjoyed their time with us and the unexpected  opportunity to visit “your beautiful English countryside”.   

They are, of course,  no strangers to beauty themselves, living in the little known Italian region and well-kept secret (as far as most Brits are concerned ) of  Le Marche. It is the complete package: mountains, rolling countryside (to match Tuscany), charming medieval towns and beautiful stretches of coastline!

Francesco and Nicoletta live in the walled town of Jessi, where traditional Italian values and life skills are passed from generation to generation. The extended family, extended lunchtime, and also extended rolling pins are their prime consideration!

Yesterday Francesco insisted on repaying  our ‘hospitality’ by preparing the evening meal. It took him three hours to make the fresh tagliatelle, each strand lovingly shaped and cut by hand! He had learned the technique from his 83-year-old grandmother who, after his sixth attempt, proclaimed that he was good enough to make pasta that matched her own high standards!  The final dish, an Italian classic, tagliatelle ai fungi porcini, would have made her proud.  

It struck me  that this type of relationship between young and old and the passing on of traditions and skills is  now, sadly, largely   missing  from our own  society. It would not generally be considered ‘cool’ for a 20 something to spend time with and take cookery lessons from an 80 something, nor I fear, would many of our youngsters  have the required patience and perseverance to spend 3 hours making pasta – they’d rather buy a ready meal from Tesco!      

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2 Responses

  1. You should have listened to Miss Stubbs.

    • Although she did develop my culinary repertoire to the extent of eggs au gratin, apple crumble & cheese scones I wasn’t one of her favourites and she wasn’t one of mine!

      I wonder if Miss Stubbs (if she’s still around!) gets down to Meadow Lane. It was good to see Nottingham’s second club get promoted after so many off the pitch problems this year. Please thank your friend for the Man U programmes which are safely packed in my Zambia resources bag.

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