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Inside Pastificio's Kitchen

day 39 of quarantine.

I haven’t written recently because - honestly - there is not much to write about. The days are beginning to merge together, and I’m becoming blind to the time. I literally had to count on my hands the number of days that have gone by. This is not to say that the passing days are all gloomy and sad. I pass them with as much happiness as I have to give at this time.

When I think about the days, I think of each day as an individual cloud floating in the sky…passing by slowly or merging into the others creating random shapes of puffy whiteness. Not dreamlike, not whimsical, just floating in its indifference.

About two weeks ago, the lockdown was extended until May 3rd, pending further assessment, of course. During this time, the President of the Regione Toscana, Enrico Rossi, signed an ordinance that states it will be mandatory to wear masks outside. To ensure this, free masks were delivered to the houses of every resident of the region. With the help of volunteers, in Firenze alone, 20,000 deliveries were made each day during the last week. Upon delivery, each resident was given two free masks. Obviously, given the fact that time is needed for the successful delivery to all the residents, the ordinance will officially take place on the 20th of April.

Starting on Monday the 20th, in all of Toscana, free masks will be available at pharmacies and supermarkets for all residents. Upon request, each package will contain 5 mono-use masks and will be delivered free of charge. A total of 30 masks can be requested per month.

As for the overall situation, it is slightly better. Personally, I don’t think it has changed enough to really be considered an improvement. If I must be honest, I haven’t been following up on the daily health bulletins; I don’t see the point of it now. The situation feels stagnant, and therefore, I believe that if there is a major improvement, a big announcement will be made by the President. I refuse to stress myself everyday about something that is out of my control. We are to just wait patiently in our homes until something REALLY changes.

Moving on to brighter things……………FOOD ☺️

The other day, in an episode of From La Posta to La Pentola: Italia Under Lockdown, my family and I virtually prepared “together” our Easter Sunday dinner - meatloaf. Naturally, given that I am alone, I could not finish the entire loaf! So I had a lot leftover! And knowing me, I hate wasting food so……..I made meatballs! So much more fun than making a version of meat sauce!

The Process

Step 1:

In a bowl, break up the leftover meatloaf.

Step 2:

Finely chop some shallot, garlic, and sage (I used sage because it was the only fresh herb I had), and add it to the meat. Then, grate and add some parmigiano. As you may know, meatballs and croquettes need a binder in order to keep their shape. So, I used egg and breadcrumbs. If you don’t have any breadcrumbs at the moment, you can also soak some day old bread in some milk. Once the mixture is soft, squeeze and use as the binder. If bread is not desired, rice is a good substitute. After seasoning generously with salt and pepper, combine all the ingredients well.

Step 3:

Once combined, roll into balls and place in the refrigerator for about 15-20 minutes. This helps with keeping their shape better when pan-frying.

Step 4:

While the meatballs were resting in the refrigerator, I made my sugo! To do so, I began by chopping some leek. I heated some butter, oil and garlic in a pot over medium heat and then added the chopped leek. I sautéed until golden brown.

Step 5:

Once browned, I deglazed with some white wine. I allowed the alcohol to dissipate, added the passata di pomodoro (tomato purée) and seasoned with salt and pepper. Lowering the heat to medium-low, I simmered for about 10 minutes. Then, I added some leftover stock I used to cook the meatloaf in and continued to simmer on low for about 30-40 minutes.

Step 6:

In a separate frying pan, I heated some sunflower oil and began to pan fry the meatballs. Once the meatballs were fried, I placed them on a tray lined with paper towel to absorb any extra oil. I, then, put the meatballs in the sugo and simmered them on low for about 5-10 minutes.

Step 7:

Dig in and enjoy! 🤗


“There isn’t enough darkness in all the world to snuff out the light of one little candle. Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decrease by being shared.”


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