An Ocean, an Airplane, and Two Countries Full of Kisses (Ch. 7, Opera in the Kitchen)
This past weekend, just like we've done every year since the boys were young, we gathered in my parents' kitchen to make homemade tortellini for our Christmas dinner. It's a long-standing tradition in our family, and one which generates many precious memories.
A few days earlier, on our family WhatsApp page, there was an ongoing bet to see how many tortellini we would make this year. Here were some of the guesses:
Paola -- 600
Tiziana -- 751
Maria -- 843
Luciano -- 958
Martha -- 300
Laura -- 654
Now, you're probably thinking ... whoa. All those numbers are high. That's an awful lot of tortellini.
And you would be correct. But we have a large family that gathers at Christmas, and we serve tortellini both in a savory broth and a cream sauce, so we make a lot (and leftovers are GREAT).
There is no denying that it takes a lot of work--buying the ingredients, cooking the filling (made with chicken, pork loin, mortadella, and prosciutto), preparing the pasta dough, rolling the dough, cutting it into squares, filling each one, and then folding each one by hand. Then, because we make the tortellini several weeks before Christmas, they are left to dry and then placed in the freezer.
This year the tortellini making involved three days (working a few hours each day). The first day I helped my mother cook and prepare the filling, on the second day we made about 500 tortellini, and since we had some leftover filling my mother rolled some more pasta dough and I returned for a third day to help make a few more.
So what's the GRAND TOTAL?
(and since I won the bet I get ALL the leftovers ;-)
folded, 812 tortellini
my mother, preparing the filling
my dad, rolling the pasta dough
my parents received these as wedding gifts
over 50 years ago
in the past, Timothy helping Nonno
(I love Timothy's Duplo tower on the counter)
in the past, folding tortellin with my mom