day 26 – Homemade Pasta – Part One, Chapter One

My father loved homemade pasta. And in the era of Jell-O, Tang, Kraft Macaroni and Cheese, Rice a Roni and Ronzoni dried pasta – there was none to be had, unless, of course, you went into NYC and found a neighborhood dive in an Italian section of town that might still be serving fresh noodles.  We rarely ate out ever because my father pronounced my mom’s cooking so delectable – “Why go out?”

“Your dad is just cheap,” my mom would explain.

My parents immigrated to the USA from Argentina in the early 1960’s, and after a series of moves and efforts, finally settled on a long stretch of sand and loam called Long Island.  It lay sandwiched between Connecticut and the Atlantic Ocean, jutting out from the state of NY like a pencil.

My dad raved about his mom’s homemade pasta.  He described its texture, taste and feel frequently and with abandon. How it was chewy but didn’t stick in his teeth. How it somehow magically transformed flour, eggs, salt, oil and water into an alchemic delight.  How he only needed butter and cheese, no sauce, to authentically relish it in its most naked form.

My mom hailed from Spanish descent (Andalusia and Castile) and learned from another set of apron strings.   Or, maybe, she did not care to compete with her mother-in-law’s handiwork. Nonetheless, on the pretense of showing off our new life and first home, my paternal grandmother was summoned to come stay with us for a visit from spring to October back in 1971.  I was 11 years old and she was going to be my roommate.


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