Tuesday, August 7, 2012

An impromptu cooking class...

I'm getting better at my Italian (poco e poco), but there are still a lot of things I unknowingly agree to or "think" I've communicated that don't ever end up coming to fruition...It doesn't bother me too much anymore and I don't feel nearly as "lost in translation" as I once did - All this to say that today I got a pleasant surprise when the women who help me clean came over all prepared to clean AND to teach me how to make Pasta alla Norma (a quintessential summer Sicilian pasta dish!) I think I mentioned that I liked it the last time they were here.
As with my arancini lesson last week, Pina and Piera were kind enough to bring over their homemade salsa pomodoro - which made things much easier and quicker!  One of these days I'll have to get a lesson their fresh tomato sauce (yum!)...but once that is prepared, here are the additional steps necessary for preparing this delicious Italian dish:
After the eggplant is peeled, it gets soaked for 10 minutes in salt water.  
Remove excess water from the eggplant slices and add them to a pan with sizzling hot olive oil.
It takes about 10 minutes for the eggplant to cook and brown properly.  They need to be flipped once during that time.
We love Pina and Piera!  They're so sweet to the kids and so dear to all of us.  Caleb thought the food smelled amazing and he was so excited to put his apron on and join in the cooking fun.

Ricotta Salata is a salted Italian cheese, typically made of sheep or goats milk.  It is firm enough that is can be grated so it is typically served on top of this pasta.  
Pasta alla Norma - Prepped and ready to eat!  

Tonight when we were sitting down to eat, Josh said, "The longer we lived in Japan, the more I realized I didn't really like Japanese food...but the longer we live in Italy, the more I really like Italian food."

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