Circular Saws, Flying Monkeys, and Polpette

September 7, 2011 § Leave a comment

After another failed attempt with the mailman to receive the second of my three awaited packages, I perched myself upon the chair for the third day in a row and continued working on my next painting masterpiece, which completely changes style and proportions with every sun.  Another door bell- I was ready to confront the mailman with my English-Italian dictionary to ask for my pacco again, but instead of the usual deep voice at the other end of the intercom was a squeaky “Fee Fee!”

So I open the door and up come my host’s dad and little sister; the latter carrying two fairy figurine toys and the former a huge circular saw.  I spend the next hour throwing lions, monkeys, and camels back and forth and chasing after light-up bouncy balls while Mr. Host Father assembled the saw on the last remaining spot of empty floor in the flat.  Unlike the previous attempt, this one works!  So, now we can start cutting wooden floors and finish remodelling the bedroom.  Which means, this flat will soon be a two-room building again, and I will be able to live in the living room, but can bed in the bedroom.

Dinner?  American’s idea of authentic Italian food: spaghetti and meatballs.  I learned that this dish is actually not very widespread here, and I could no longer refer to it simply as ‘spaghetti’ because while they have spaghetti with every type of seafood and sauce, meatballs aren’t generally in the picture.  But, regardless… I felt very Italian, with a crate of tomatos perched on the kitchen table and La Boheme playing in the background.

Tomato sauce made with tomato paste and tomato sauce, cut up cherry tomatoes, canned whole tomatoes, and also non-tomato ingredients: roasted garlic and onions, seasoned with parsley and basil and rosemary, modified with rice milk and a sprinkle of sugar, and dotted with raisins (after my Mum’s tradition).  Meatballs were made first, then frozen while the sauce simmered for an hour.  Then, after a few seconds of letting them brown in a mixture of olive oil and garlic powder and cherry tomatoes, thrown onto the pan and cooked until ready.

Not to toot any personal horns, but this was amazing.  Almost two hours of slowly letting all of the flavours mixed together, perfect moisture of meat, and very fresh Italian tomatoes and Parmesan cheese made this a success.  The wine, a Tuscan sangiovese (violet and slightly fruity and on now my Top Five Wines list) helped too :]

My Italian host gobbled it up and called it perfect; pretty much the highest praise I could have asked for, even if it technically wasn’t typical Italian.  Polpette means ‘little meatballs’, which makes it sound a bit more native.

Spaghetti and Meatballs

PS:  There is a little bakery right underneath our flat, and you can smell the wonderful bakery smells from 21:00 until early morning.  There’s something about their dough and homemade chocolate mix… every time I walk by and they offer me a chocolate ‘croissant’ straight out of the oven, I am helpless but to resist.  Tomorrow, I really start running and approaching the flat from the other direction.


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