© 2018 pastificio inc.

Inside Pastificio's Kitchen

day 17 of quarantine.

Wake up. It’s rainy today. Cold. Windy. Ugly. Do I sleep? Do I stay in bed all day? Best not to. Literally, the first thoughts that popped into my head as I was getting out of bed - “what is it going to be like the first day after the lockdown? How can they be so sure it is safe to leave the house? What will the regulations be? I mean, you can’t just have millions of people running outside their houses like chickens with their heads cut off, right?!”


As I sip on my tea with my hydrating face mask on 🙃 (got to maintain bellezza, even if on lockdown), I continued to ponder this idea.

Seriously though - how will it be on the day we are “freed”?


I mean, everyone, and I mean everyone, will be running out their doors like there is no tomorrow. Or, so it seems.

I mean - yes - we will be over-the-moon ecstatic that the lockdown is over. Yes - we will be more than ready to get our normal lives back in routine. But, and I don’t mean to put a damper on this happy thought, how are we to be so sure that the virus is, indeed, under control.


Although, it is slightly morbid to think, how will this affect trust between and among people? Will it be better or worse? How will it help prevent us from finding ourselves in a similar situation down the road (God forbid)? How will we perceive medicine and governmental standards after? The list of questions can go on forever. But, they are questions we can’t avoid.


I find myself asking more and more questions with each and every passing day. The days are longer. And, on days such as these - cold and gloom - it’s harder to not feel lazy and somewhat blue. I’m beginning to see more and more people struggling to stay positive - couples fighting, people becoming stir-crazy and restless, and children longing to be with the friends. It’s not an easy situation, and nor was it ever going to be. But, as we are nearing to three weeks, it’s becoming more of a melancholic reality.

It might sound a bit overstated, but the days when the city was running free seem like ages ago. Much like a memory fading as the years go by. It really does seem surreal that only a few weeks ago, I was sitting at a table of an outside bar enjoying an aperitivo and some nice conversation with my friend…that I was lingering along the beautiful streets of Firenze, stopping at several stores to shop for my weekly “spesa.”

I know we will get there again. I just sometimes seems so far away.


On to a more positive note - as I am the queen of positivity…

For lunch, I made orange tofu - much like orange chicken but with tofu 😀. I didn’t have any fresh oranges, so I used some mandarins. I bought a huge bunch at the store for so cheap. And, they are delicious - sweet and tart.


Anyways, as you may know, the recipe calls for the juice. So, after my lovely lunch, I had all the pulp and peels of the mandarins leftover. Obviously, as I mentioned before in one of my posts, I don’t like wasting food. So, I decided to make some orange peel marmalade.


Super easy, and no waste!


First, I divided the pulp from the peel of each mandarin. Then, I washed the peels very well under water. Then, I finely chopped the pulp and peel.



Next, I put the pulp and peel in a pot with some water, sugar and star-anise. You can most certainly use any other spices you’d like. I just like the vanillay-licoricey flavor it adds. I let it simmer until it reduced into a nice marmalade.



I had some left over lemon halves that I used for the spaghetti al limone I made the other day. I didn’t want to throw them out, so I decided to use them to clean my microwave and oven. To clean the microwave, I just put one lemon half in a cup filled with water and microwaved it for 5 minutes. Once the timer went off, I carefully removed the cup and continued cleaning the microwave with a sponge and rag. The lemon acts a disinfectant and when heated with the water, creates a steam that helps loosen any grim.


The same method was used for the oven, only this time used a baking pan. I filled the pan with water and the lemon halves and heated at the highest temperature for about 25-30 minutes. Then, I turned off the heat and allowed the oven to cool without opening the oven door. You will see steam as the oven cools down. Once cool enough, continue cleaning with a sponge and rag.


Super simple, and no waste!



Now, I’m off to read. Finished one book; on to a new one! 😍