I don’t really have much of a bucket list probably because being anywhere in Italy is always at the top. I’m happiest when I’m here and when I’m not, I’m dreaming about when I’ll come back. Anyone who really knows me knows that my other great passion is food and cooking so yesterday I combined my two loves-I learned to make cingul’–the pasta native to Calitri-the birthplace of my grandparents.
When I knew we would be spending time here this spring I enlisted the help of B.( an American who moved to Calitri and just happens to be our neighbor here) to help me find m a class to learn the art of cingul’. B. knew two local women who were happy to help out and they volunteered to give up their morning to give us a hands on class. Lina was the teacher while her friend Titti acted as translator and I was happy to say that I understand most of what was being said!
We started with making the dough which is just two ingredients-semolina flour and hot water-no eggs involved in this pasta. I did attempt this once at home but now realize that I used the wrong flour and didn’t knead nearly long enough-this dough needs fifteen minutes of serious kneading. No wonder mine were a bit too heavy.
Lina was quite patient with us and if I thought kneading the dough was difficult, it was nothing compared to the actual forming of the cingul‘. There’s certainly an art to this and I now have a new found respect for my grandmother whipping up batch after batch of this delectable pasta. I have no doubt with some practice I will be able to properly form the dough, but let’s just say that the ones in the photo below were Lina’s, not mine.
You can see from the photo at the top that we made quite a few cingul‘, but I’ve yet to cook them. We popped ours into the freezer for tomorrow’s supper. The photo of the finished product is from our favorite restaurant in town-Tre Rose. I can only hope that the ones we made are as good as these were. I was instantly transported right back to Sunday lunch at my grandmother’s table.