I grew up in a mixed Jewish/Catholic family, no big deal really… At least unless you had the fortune of sitting at the table with us for a holiday celebration. Because of my father’s Kosher’s restrictions our menus have always been kind of unconventional, especially at Christmas: no Cotechino, no cold cuts, no seafood, no lasagne… I know, it sounds a bit depressing. As I think about my youth, when my grandfather (he was jewish too) was alive and performing his duties of “Master of Ceremony” during our family’s Christmas Lunch, a few details pop straight to my head: his salmon appetizer station, his smile getting bigger and bigger as he opened one bottle of champagne after the other, and my aunt teasing my father with pork jokes… and my father always getting bent about it. All of it seems so far away now, I live on the other side of the world and not every year I have the luck of being able to return home and celebrate with the side of the family that lives across the Ocean. I used to be the one smuggling alcohol under the table to my youngest cousin to get him drunk, now he has grown old enough to take care of that specific task on his own… I sincerely miss all those moments, but then I pause and I tell myself with immense joy: “But now I can cook whatever I want to celebrate my very own Christmas”.
As of now only two items made it into the menus that I will be working on this holiday season: my very favorite Pandoro cake and this wonderful pasta dish. No, I won’t be preparing a seven fishes meal, but I will make sure that most of the things I like and my favorite ingredients will be represented at the table. I will try to post all the recipes I will use this year, get ready for a month of continuos food posting to help you make this December and unforgettable and never-ending feast.