Food & Nostalgia
A relationship with a grandparent is very unique. They’re allowed to impart life lessons, without having to carry all of the burden or responsibilities of a parent, unless of course you were raised by your grandparent. Both of my parents worked full time during my younger years, so my grandmother took on full parental responsibilities. As a result we have a very close relationship. I spent many summers living with her, sharing a room, and stories. She was my roommate, my best friend, my inspiration, my mom, and my grandma. She was stern with me growing up, but I am who I am today for fear of ever disappointing her. Parents, want to know how you can get your kids to refrain from drugs and alcohol? Guilt! My grandmother has friends EVERYWHERE!! I never behaved badly, for fear of her ever finding out, and tarnishing how she thought of me. While kids picked on me at school for being over weight, my grandmother always made me feel special, to her I was always #1. She is a great cook, and it is because of her that I love to cook so much. Every time I cook, I think of her and our summers together.
My boyfriend often speaks of his grandfather, who sadly passed away a few years ago. While his grandfather was a tough Italian man, my boyfriend’s fondest memories of him were made in the kitchen. He loved his Italian cooking, and advice about food. To take my boyfriend back to that special time, I prepared a dish his grandfather was known for, squid ink pasta. While he used a squid ink sauce, I used fresh squid ink pasta. The squid ink gives the pasta it’s dark color and unique shine. This dish is simple to make, because most of the work has already been done for you. I found the squid ink pasta at my local Italian market, Marios in Glendale, CA. Many Italian markets carry specialty pastas with unique flavors. The squid ink gives the pasta a seafood flavor, so you do not need to add much to the dish. I added good quality olive oil, graded parmesan cheese, red pepper flakes, and capers. I topped the dish with fresh parmiginao-reggiano and plated with prossciutto. I surprised him when he got home, and he was taken back immediately to times with his grandfather.
Squid ink pasta
Red Pepper Flakes
Boil water. Add salt, and a drizzle of olive oil to boiling water. Add pasta, and cook for 8 minutes or until pasta is aldente (has a bite to it)
Drain pasta. Add back to pot. Add olive oil, red pepper flakes, graded parmesan, and mix.
Add pasta to dish. Top with capers, and graded parmigiano.
Food means many different things to different people, but for most it’s comforting. Food can work as a time machine, taking you back to a time with loved ones. I hope you enjoy this dish with your loved ones.