A pinch of culture, a spoonful of friends, and a dash of great memories
Fresh scents of tomatoes, basil, pasta, and an array of herbs and spices lured us into the house as soon as the front door opened. As we piled into our Italian professor’s casa for an end of the year celebration dinner, we couldn’t contain our excitement for the delicious food to come.
“Ciao! Ciao! Entri prego,” he welcomed us. Cheerful Italian music danced around us as we filed in with our arms full of groceries. The kitchen and dining room awaited our arrival, set with pots, pans, cooking utensils, and every sort of seasoning known to man.
For our final assignment in our Italian class at John Cabot University in Rome, Italy we had to pair up with another student, select a recipe and bring the ingredients to make our dishes together for a great feast. My partner Lauryn and I were making pasta with pesto sauce.
Our professor had made some appetizers for us to pick at while we went to work on our own recipes. Plates filled with tomato and mozzarella topped bruschetta tempted our taste buds along with sweet onion crostini with pancetta, and toasted ravioli in a savory tomato sauce. The overwhelming blend of scents that distracted us from the task at hand was too tempting to ignore.
In between bites we tended to our pesto recipe. We placed small handfuls of basil one at a time into the food processor until it was chopped finely before adding in walnuts and some garlic cloves. The scent was amazing!
We then added parmesan cheese and olive oil into the processor and mixed it until it became a smooth pasty consistency. Coming from a meager cooking background with experience in areas such as mac n’ cheese, and heating canned soup, making this little pesto pasta felt like quite the accomplishment. After we poured the pesto sauce over the cooked penne, it looked like a real meal!
Meanwhile, my classmates were putting the finishing touches on their dishes that all looked and smelled incredible. The entire house was filled with good spirits and our bellies were grumbling in anticipation of the final products of our hard work.