Don’t you like watching the same favourite movie over & over again? Compare to a new not so good or boring movie. Well if given a choice to me and the limited time I have, on a lazy sunday afternoon, I would end up watching an old favourite most of the times.
Same theory applies for me in food. I would love to eat old family favourites over an over again.
We drool on our Masi’s (Aunt) spaghetti. Every time she invites us to eat at here place, one request as always her spaghetti in tomato sauce, no change in menu.
This is the ultimate dish, I owe my love for Italian food and all my Italian dishes to her.
Years back, almost decades back. She lived in Italy and whenever she flew back home, she would cook this spaghetti for us.
As she would get down from the flight and wait for here baggage, I would be watching her from the airport glass. She would be wearing a well fitted jeans folded neatly at the edge, loofers, leather hand bag , stylish sweater and beautiful silver earring, bracelets and a stylish bob hair cut. I would think, “what a stylish woman my Masi is, I want to grow up and look like her” I own a lot of my fashion sense to her as well as my love for Italian fashion and its simplicity.
She would bring with her a blue packet of barilla spaghetti with her in her suitcase as good quality spaghetti could not be found here. Those where also the times when basil would also not be available. Either she would add dry basil which had travelled with her from Italy or coriander.
Our request for spaghetti would start the minute she had got into the car from the airport.
When she made it, me and my cousin brothers would hog like crazy. When we would be eating my mom would constantly tell us, “eat slowy, food will not go anywhere, pleasedon’t swollow,chew…there is lots, you will get seconds.”
Even today the story is same.
The other day we had a girls lunch at her place. As we entered her house, the smell was so good, the wait for the spaghetti was impossible.
Once food was served to me and my two sisters no one was talking, everyone was concentrating on eating. It was like ‘Lambi khamoshi’ no chitter chatter just hogging.
Here sauce is so simple. Tomatoes, green chilies, oil, garlic, basil and salt yet its impossible to replicate.Its the combination, the balance of flavours, the love, we can never make the same. She takes 3 days to just ripe her tomatoes. One by one she puts them in in the fridge. Its because of her patience and perfection as well the sauce is to die for.
It have tried en number of times to replicate her recipe but it can never be done. In fact her recipe is one of the first things I learned to cook.
Masi had made spaghetti in this huge pot for 4 of us. In the end there was only some sauce left at the bottom. All the three of us were looking at it. Me being the eldest thought,” kurbani dega kaun? Ofcouse me!” So I moved away letting the two younger ones decide. My sister looks at it, probably thinking the same, tells our youngest cousin to take it. So the last sauce was packed for her.
Later while leaving for home my cousin forgets her sauce in my car. Like a big sister I whatsapp her about the lost sauce. She leaves me a message “you have it..” wah lottery lag gayee…
Next day morning I tell my husband I have a gift for you , yes gift!.. the sauce! as for years I have gone on and on about my masi’s sauce and there was never a chance when he could taste it and today is your golden opportunity. I insist he should have it for lunch, this is the best gift I can give you, to let you have this sauce. Husband was a bit confused,probably he thought I was over exaggerating it.
When he has his Pasta finally he understood what i was talking about.