.: Gratitude

Do you feel grateful? I do. Maybe some people have been luckier than me, but I feel I have received a lot. I have received love, I have been given care, I have things that millions of (past and present) people will never have. So, I feel extremely grateful. Among some of the simplest things I feel grateful for there is food. Some dishes are even dearer to me, just because they remind me sweet people and joyful moments in life.

One of them is pasta al ragù, because I love my mum’s ragù and so this is like “a mum’s emotion” food

And a new joyful emotion food is pasta with salmon, ‘cause I recently enjoyed it with a special person who changed my feelings and thoughts from sad to happy.

I am also grateful to the living beings who were there to become my food. To the people who worked for taking it to me. For the universe who made me be here in this time and space, to enjoy all of this. Do you feel this is a bit too much? I don’t know. Ma pensateci. Pensate quando fate una doccia calda, che non è una cosa scontata per milioni di persone. Pensate quando mangiate cibo che arriva da migliaia di km. Pensateci quando un medico riesce a risolvere un vostro problema con una tecnica di cui fino a 50 anni fa nessun essere umano sulla terra poteva beneficiare. Pensateci. Think.

Considero valore ogni forma di vita, la neve, la fragola, la mosca.
Considero valore il regno minerale, l’assemblea delle stelle.
Considero valore il vino finché dura il pasto, un sorriso involontario,
la stanchezza di chi non si è risparmiato, due vecchi che si amano.
Considero valore quello che domani non varrà più niente
e quello che oggi vale ancora poco.

Considero valore tutte le ferite.
Considero valore risparmiare acqua, riparare un paio di scarpe,
tacere in tempo, accorrere a un grido, chiedere permesso prima di sedersi,
provare gratitudine senza ricordare di che.

Considero valore sapere in una stanza dov’è il nord,
qual è il nome del vento che sta asciugando il bucato.
Considero valore il viaggio del vagabondo, la clausura della monaca,
la pazienza del condannato, qualunque colpa sia.

Considero valore l’uso del verbo amare e l’ipotesi che esista un creatore.
Molti di questi valori non ho conosciuto.

Erri De Luca
da “Opera sull’acqua e altre poesie”

.: A change is gonna come #2

Do you like changes? I hardly do. But I don’t like repetitions too (ah ah doesn’t seem so!). We are not always prepared for changes, but we often want them. Being human is being inconsistent, very often. La natura umana è spesso contraddittoria, ondivaga. Molte volte non siamo pronti al cambiamento, ma non sopportiamo nemmeno la monotonia. Siamo portati al cambiamento, ma spesso ci spaventa. Che fare ? Be prepared. We should try to anticipate change or sometimes we can experiment and try to find ways toward it.

We look at classics and immediately think: how could this be better done ? Everybody know Sam Cooke original and  Otis Redding’s version, but what about Aretha?

So today I wanted to make a simpler lasagna.

The original lasagna has bechamel in it, but I didn’t want either to make it or to go out and buy the ready one. So I made a cheese-lasagna. Prima di tutto dovete fare il ragù. First you have to make some ragù. So: brown some onion in oil

Add some chopped meat (pork and beef)

then add tomato sauce, some minced carrot and let it boil for a while. How long is a while ? Well… from 30 minutes on 😀 Ok quando avete fatto il ragù dovete tagliare unpo’ del formaggio che preferite, può essere mozzarella, Asiago o qualcos’altro che vi piace, non troppo saporito. * As you wait for the ragù to get cooked, you can cut the cheese (the kind you like, not one too tasty) and you start taking the pasta

You will have to boil it slightly, one layer by one, while you “build on” your lasagna

stain your oven pan with very little oil, then put pasta on the bottom and start putting some ragù on it

then add some cheese, then again pasta, ragù and cheese, until your last layer. You can top with some extra grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

In the oven at about 190°C for 15-20 minutes will do

and you will have a change that you can taste and compare

I also love Seal’s rendition, Leela James‘ one and, of course, Lauryn Hill‘s covering, but.. what about Greta Van Fleet ?? They sound different!

.: Mother

Mia madre è molto più brava di me in cucina. Diciamo che io ci provo, ma non sarò mai brava quanto lei… e le sue lasagne lo dimostrano

Mum is much better than me at cooking and her lasagna prove it. Once a week I have to be reminded she’s the best between the two of us 😀 and I’m glad of it. So if you really want to know what the true Emilian lasagna is, this is the place: it is a layered pasta. Layers are of 3 types:
1) pasta (sfoglia – lasagna is a format of pasta all’uovo)
2) béchamel – besciamella
3) ragù and parmesan

You will hear of all kind of variations and renditions of lasagna all over Italy and all over the world. But the only true original lasagna is this one. Don’t let’em fool you. Questa è la lasagna emiliana. Tutto il resto sono varianti e pasticci. Ok you can eat whatever kind of “lasagna” you want, because it’s ok to be creative. But don’t call them “true lasagna” 😀 Thank you mum !

the song is a rhetorical challenge to parents, primarily inspired by Tipper Gore (the wife of Al Gore) who, along with the Parents Music Resource Center, introduced the Parental Advisory warning placed on albums that contain explicit content.
Glenn Danzig explained further: “Al Gore wanted to tell people what they could listen to and what they couldn’t…it was basically coming down to the idea that he wouldn’t let anybody record any music that he didn’t think you should be doing. There was going to be an organization that would tell you what you could and couldn’t record. And certainly if you couldn’t record it, you couldn’t put it out. It was really fascist.”

.: Lil’ mushroom

I funghetti trallallà. Ok seriously, I think there’s a problem with kids exhibiting. But, we love to see what kids can do. Really they are the most powerful form of human being, and it’s easy for them to get attention.

So, let’s forget our “ethical”overthinking and just enjoy mushrooms and…

Lil’ Mushroom

So this is boscaiola, a sauce with mushrooms, tomato and grated parmigiano-reggiano, on the usual sautéed of onion. Una boscaiola semplice: funghi, poco pomodoro e parmigiano grattugiato.

with bavette integrali. Love ‘em. Cut the mushrooms or chop them fine, as you like. I make almost a cream of them. Put them in the pan with the tomato and cook it all a little

then add the (cooked in salted water) pasta, and add the (grated) parmigiano-reggiano in the end

you can also take a look at the lil 5yo Tavaris

and have some more boscaiola

.: Under a violet moon

Sometimes you need to feel like you are in an ancient tale, eating something really simple, warm and smelling like friendship and childhood. The atmosphere of a magic tavern, with someone singing old songs…

If you’ll cook my ragù and use it to dress some tagliatelle, you will try that feeling. But.. what are tagliatelle ? Do Italians know ? Well, some of them. Others would talk about fettuccine, but hey… the important thing it’s it is pasta with eggs inside. There are basically two kind of pasta: with eggs and without. The one without eggs is the most common one, like penne, spaghetti, maccheroni and so on. The one with eggs is mostly freshmade, but you can easily find it in the dried up version. My granny was a master in making pasta with eggs. Maybe it’s because of her that tagliatelle make me feel so nice… remind me of her. Sweet old days of bliss.