Oh, how I miss them! Way back when the Sopranos were still on the air, back when I lived in my first college apartment (probably the most posh pad I lived in!), we made a weekly tradition of Sunday dinner. Brian bought The Sopranos cookbook and every so often, we'd make a recipe from it. From scratch gravy, chicken cacciatore, lasagna. One thing that was never in short supply was the good friends and flowing beverage. By the time 9:00 rolled around, HBO was a little bit blurry, our belts were a lot bit tighter, and a warm afterglow of a good night permeated the room.
I miss that camaraderie. I suppose that's why I try so hard for '80s movie night to be a success. It was initially, but trying to do it weekly in D.C. is a bit tough. Once a month is more doable for most, though the number of occasions with more than 4 attendees are few and far between.
Flash to tonight. Big, loud, Italian dinner resumes. I actually didn't have enough chairs. First time I've had that many over for dinner. What'd I make? My Pinch-of-this, Pinch-of-that Sauce over homemade gnocchi. Yeah, that's right. I made gnocchi from scratch. To be fair, I had 3 pairs of hand to shape them properly and cook them up right. For what occasion did we undertake this elaborate meal? Mom's in town.
Want the recipe? I learned it from my mom, who learned it from hers, who learned it from hers in turn. One of those, yeah.
Peel the potatoes, boil them. Put them through the potato ricer. Let them cool enough to handle. Knead with some flour. How much? Enough. Add an egg to bind them. Roll the dough out on a floured surface, and cut them into knuckle-sized morsels. Drop them individually into boiling water. They're done when they float. Sauce 'em and serve 'em. Mangia!
Notice how that recipe doesn't really have quantities? Yeah, that's how I learned it, and that's how I remember it. Just like polenta. But that's another day, another meal.