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!