Cooking Pasta in a Tuscan Country Home – Florence
Whenever I travel to far off places, I very often feel this sudden urge to enter homes there…just to be a fly on the wall and see whats going on. Just see the locals going on about their home doing their everyday things that they do. I want to go sit with them and ask them what their fears are today and what gave them joy. What do they treasure in their homes and what do they wish to change. Unless you have really good friends in strange lands, you rarely get a chance to actually enter homes. That is why i will always value all the opportunities I have had to go visit a typical home.
This wasn’t a friendly home visit. It was a paid-for one but yet i will cherish this one because it was not touristy at all. I met Majla in Florence when she came to pick us up in her very “homely” car. We drove out north from Florence towards the Tuscan countryside with Majla giving us proud descriptions of the trees and the villages. It was December already so these arent the best colours that Tuscany normally has to offer but i am going to resist putting up any pictures that are not taken by me. I am sure, the colours are so much more brilliant in the summers.
Majla lived with her husband, Marco and 3 children in this most beautiful fairytale like house with a big turret tower. The house had only the living room and the kitchen on the ground floor and all the rest were actually spread in different levels all atop each other in the turret. Majla gave us a very nice tour of the house which was not kept ready for tourists if you know what i mean. The children had left for school and some of their clothes were still strewn on the beds :).
We carried a glass of wine each and went up on top of the turret and admired the countryside all around the house. It did seem to be the centre of the village. Hearing the church bells suddenly give out their lingering tolls, Majla explained that it is a typical ring which is tolled when someone dies.
We came down into the house and Marco had thoughtfully put on some lively Italian music that set the mood. We soon rolled up our sleeves and got down to the serious business of kneading, rolling and cutting the Pasta. It was tough work for an hour.
Marco cooked us a fabulous meal and some of it with the fresh pasta that we had rolled! The poached pears were to die for!
If you think about it, it is perhaps nothing out of the ordinary but it will always stay with me. Was it the Italian music? Was it the old German house with the old fireplace? Was it the way the children had kept their books? or was it just very simply the Italian white wine??