Since Gloria has been gone, I haven't been eating that much pasta. It's not that we eat a lot of pasta anyway, but usually Gloria is the one who wants pasta and makes some amazing authentic Italian sauce. I was poking around in the kitchen last night, trying to decide what to cook and realize it had been months (well since I moved in with Sam in January) since I had Ragu.
Ragu, I have come to learned, is a meat sauce. Gloria makes hers with ground beef, bacon or cubed prosciutto, spices, maybe a chili and tomato sauce. It's often tossed with penne or fuscilli or bowtie pasta. So last night, I pulled out the meat, put a pot of water on to boil, got out some sauce and fished the penne out of the cabinet and proceeded to make my own ragu. Moki took great interest (he always gets some Ragu - that fabulously spoiled doggie!) and stood by my side in the kitchen. Finally I drained the pasta, put it in the big green bowl and poured my ragu on it.
All the while I was making the ragu, I kept thinking about the stories Gloria told me about her grandmother - Nonna Tesoro. About her cook books, about the stories of visiting her. You, dear readers, have a treat, because when I opened up Gloria's blog today, she wrote all about Nonna Tesoro! I was thinking about many of these same stories last night as the ragu bubbled away. I was missing Gloria and our conversations. Cooking with and for each other. I miss the breaks in the day, walking Moki around the neighborhood and our discussions about our various projects.
I started feeling all nostalgic for Gloria and Nonna Tesoro. I never met her, but I feel something. I think Gloria feels some what of the same for my Grandmother - Grammy Grace - who died last year. Most of the furniture in our house, including the plates we eat off of, the glasses we drink out of and the silver ware - actually silver plated silverware were hers. We both refer to Grammy Grace as Grammy - as if she is both of our Grandmothers - and why not? If Grammy Grace had known Gloria, she would have liked her - and I'm sure would have shared some of her crazy traveling stories.
All these things are percolating around in my head and I'm in the kitchen. I pull down one of grammy's beautiful blown glass wine glasses - it's holds barely a drop of wine - and look for some wine. I fill the glass, take the bowl of tossed penne with ragu and sit down to eat. I raise the glass and make a toast - to Grandma Tesoro (and Grammy Grace). As I devour my ragu and pasta, Moki is licking his chops too - he's just finished his dinner - doggie kibble tossed with ragu.
We all try to eat well in the future!