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Orecchiette

The practical lessons in making orecchiette and fresh pasta which Nonna Rosa holds weekly at Serragambetta are not only a gastronomic event but a theatrical one as well. Certainly, you won't understand all the words that she uses (she was born at the beginning of the last century and therefore speaks in a Puglian dialect mingled with Italian) but, if you haven't pulled the knife in the right way on the “tavoliere” (a board for making pasta on), or turned the pasta over your finger to make the right shape, you will know simply by looking at her face: her gestures and expressiveness don't leave any room for doubts! At the end of the lesson after careful examination of the finished product and the manual dexterity of all the participants, Nonna Rosa ranks the offerings in 1st, 2nd and 3rd place. When her satisfaction for the finished product reaches its peak, and it doesn't happen very often, she exclaims 'well done' and “very well done!!” In the meantime midday approaches and empty stomachs demand their reward for all the hard work. And so the orecchiette (whether pretty or just plain homely) all end up in the large pasta pot. A few minutes later they are on the table dressed with plenty of tomato “sugo” (sauce) basil and the local caccioricotta cheese satisfying the hunger of the tired out budding pasta chefs.