Cooking with Nonna
It had been raining, the earth damp and heavy. Greek oregano and lavender flowers swaying in the breeze of the morning sunlight. Cooking by the fireside, this was going to be a special meal – beans in an ash covered pignata with wild greens. As the red peppers stewed and the Campari tomatoes blistered, the scent of the wild boar hunted the night before comes wafting in from the butchers shed. A bouquet of sage, rosemary, and thyme danced a lovely prophetic ballet on the sauce. Nona’s secret recipe that can only be learned by doing. Passed down by generations before, her old and leathery hands twisting the made dough into casarecce. A pinch of sea salt sourced from the low waters of the Mediterranean Sea gets sprinkled into the sauce. The finishing touches are done as the table is being set. Family and friends gather to the long oak table under the olive trees. “Mangia!” shouts Nona. This is what life is all about.
notes by Thomas Cherry, master cellar rat