Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Question of the Day #649

Last night, I went out for pasta with friends. We drank red wine and slurped up linguine, penne, papardelle and fusilli. Some indulged in heavenly cream sauces and others in tomato sauce. I went to bed full and happy.

H commented on what a huge treat pasta is. I agreed. Generally, I try not to eat it. Semolina has no nutritional value and the carbs are scarier to me than a sausage mcmuffin. But I love it. It's comfort food. Probably because throughout my life, pasta has always played a huge role.

When we were little, my father used to make me and my brother "Special Spaghetti." Special because it didn't have sauce, just butter, olive oil, garlic powder, salt, pepper and Parmesan cheese. Recently, while on he phone with my brother, I told him I was grumpy and having a bad day. He said, "Have some Special Spaghetti."

I did. And I felt better.

My Granny called pasta "macaroni" and her Sunday sauce full of meatballs, sausage and braciole was called "gravy" not "sauce." Dinner at her house was better than any Italian restaurant I've ever been too. And I'd trade anything for one more.

In the late 80's, when my mother and new stepfather instituted "Be There or Die" Sunday night dinners, my mother went into a pasta craze. She tossed fresh veggies and anything else she could find in the fridge with spaghetti and over those meals, a new family formed.

So before I go dig into my leftovers, how has pasta played a role in your life?



  1. Pasta has never played a leading role in my world, but has always been a reliable source of yummy goodness when needed.

    Soup on the other hand, that's where the stories are! ;)

  2. Love this post--all those memories tied to meals. My mother was a terrible cook, but her spaghetti was tolerable. I prefer light toppings nowadays and usually make penne with fresh tomatoes, basil and olive oil. Then a dusting of Parmesan. Now, that's heaven. In fact, it's what I'm having for dinner tonight. :)

  3. Love this question and you sharing your family memories!

    I, natively from NYC and now in NJ, have the opportunity to share in lots of Italian families' pasta dinners especially making the Sunday Gravy, meatballs, and pasta.

    How has it played a role in my life? Well my family's version of pasta is different - it comes in the form of noodles or spatzli since we're German.

    My husband's mother is full-on Italian though and thru her I get to enjoy unbelievable homemade lasagna, Sunday Gravy, and fabulous holiday pasta meals. Mmmmm, thanks for the trip down Memory Lane Suzi!

  4. Pasta was one of my three food groups during college based on its price.

  5. Yum. Tomorrow is my daughter's birthday, and she asked for angel hair pasta with egg cutlets - a favorite dish my grandma used to make.

  6. I was lucky enough to be brought up on homemade macaroni and sauce. My Noni is still making it at 95 years old and I'm still trying to perfect her recipe. I swear it's impossible to recreate. I think part of her secret is in her pans and the other part is in pure experience.

  7. I'm Italian. Need I say more? Well, ok... My aunt owns the Colander, a small restaurant in Trail, BC. MANY Italians live there and her sauce is world-renowned. I have a few jars of it in my pantry, used only in special occasions. YUM.

  8. It hardly counts as real pasta, but ...


    When I was little and my mom made tamales or liver, she always let me have Spaghetti-Os for dinner.


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