December 15, 2011
We have mentioned our cookbook Italian grandmother, Marcella Hazan, in previous pasta posts. It turns out that Marcella, as kindly as she is (or at least, the way she is in the image we have created of her while we cook from her recipes) can be a bit of a tyrant when it comes to pasta shape choice. We recently made her amatriciana sauce (tomato sauce with pancetta and pepper) and she chastised us for not using bucatini. Yes, from the pages of her cookbook, she chastised us. And when we finally decided to make bolognese sauce she was not pleased that we didn't serve it over homemade tagliatelle - according to Marcella, "there is no more perfect union in all gastronomy." However, our choice of dry rigatoni was given a nod as a possible second choice; at least we didn't use spaghetti, since she claims that despite "the popularity of the dish in the United Kingdom and countries of the Commonwealth, meat sauce in Bologna is never served over spaghetti."
Oh well. I guess if you're going to claim someone as your Italian grandmother, and especially if that someone is basically responsible for introducing Americans to Italian cooking, you have to be prepared to accept a little bit of stubbornness when it comes to cooking.