Panini Girl

My obsessions-Italy and Cooking

September 7, 2011


Practice Makes Perfect-The Great Cingul’ Experiment

Why didn’t I ever pay attention to what my grandmother was doing in the kitchen when I was younger? Back then all I was interested in was the meatball or two plucked from the pot of gravy (tomato sauce) that we were rewarded with while my grandmother toiled away. At the time I didn’t understand how very special it was to have handmade pasta week after week for our Sunday lunch. I just took it for granted and was just happy to eat the fruits of her labors.

Now I’m all grown up, obsessed with all things Italian and want to recreate the food of my youth. My grandmother’s cingul’-a specialty from her home town of Calitri-is the dish that I dream about. I’m not shy about trying to try new things in the kitchen and for the most part, I’d say I’m pretty successful at whatever I attempt in the kitchen, that is, until now.

A few years back I tried making this pasta and I have to say I was disappointed. Recently I’ve made it three or four times, each time hoping that one bite would transport me back to my grandmother’s table. Well, not quite. Cousin C., if you’re reading this, I know these don’t look like grandma’s jingles and they don’t melt in your mouth like hers, but I’m not about to give up. My cingul’ are pretty good, but they still aren’t what I know they could be. Maybe I need to go to Calitri and find a nonna to give me a lesson. And if I’m going, I will make sure that I’m there for the Cingul’Festival!

10 thoughts on “Practice Makes Perfect-The Great Cingul’ Experiment

  1. Your Cingul’ look delicious… When I make similar pastas –especially gnocchi– strangely my hands stop being mine and become my long departed grandmother’s, I just sit back and watch Nonna rolling away… You’ll soon know what I’m talking about. Might you one day post the cingul’ recipe along with one for the sauce in the photo? Grazie per i foto.

    • Gian-yes, I will publish the recipes. I plan on making these over and over until they are lighter. I’ve only made gnocchi once so I need to try those again too.

      • Please, yes, I’m anticipating the recipe!!! We all will be happy to have it!!!. Soon making cingul’ will soon become second nature to you… Fifty years ago I tried and tried to make a perfect loaf of Mediterranean bread, always without success, then one day as though gifted from the heavens above my loafs started tasting and looking just like the real McCoy, without me knowing it the subconscious was working things out.

  2. Panini Girl,
    It is me cugina C. They may not look like grandmas “jingles” but they look close enough.I can taste them now. Watching you form them on the board reminds me of how she rolled them wit her finger index so quickly. What an art! We were too busy palying hide in go seek to realize the art being ade in the kitchen. At least we have the memories and had the BEST Sunday dinners any family could have. Cingul’ in Calitri. What a goal! I’m in.

    • Cugina C-let’s make a pact that we will some day go there together! I’m trying to figure out how I can find a nonna there to take me in and teach me everything. I’m sure we must still have some relatives there.

  3. Thanks for your visit. I love this post and now a follower.There is nothing like fresh pasta and this looks like something I will definitely attempt.

    Can’t wait to go through your posts.


  4. I’m from Calitri.. if u need an help! 🙂

    • Vincenzo-I do need help!I am determined to make cingul’ that resembles my grandmother’s. I hope to come to Calitri for a month and rent an apartment and use it as a base to explore the area and learn more about the food there.

      • Hi paninigirl. I don’t know how old this post is, but I have just come back to England from calitri (my holiday home) and made cingul at the cingul festival. There were lots of nonna’s available with their wonderful knowledge instructing us how to make it. Maybe try going at that time? If you haven’t been already? You’ll find someone to instruct you at any time as they are all so welcoming and friendly. There’s a bit of calitri that lives in my heart. Love it. Terry.

      • Hi Terry-I wrote this some time ago. Since then I’ve been to Calitri twice, each time for a week. This past May I got to take a cingul class with a local woman and it was the highlight of my trip. I’ve made them a few times since we got back. Some day we hope to be there during Sponzfest. How often do you go there? Do you rent your place out when you aren’t there? Thanks for looking at my blog!

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