Friday, November 21, 2008


There are not many things I miss about New York. I fell in love with Nashville and middle Tennessee shortly after moving here, and getting over the culture shock. For example, if you are walking on a downtown street in Nashville, and make eye contact with a stranger, said stranger will smile and or say hello to you. My New York friends will think that is some crazy shit, but it is indeed true.

I usually miss New York around this time of year, when the weather gets cold and I think of my Italian extended famliy gathering in Queens, around a big table, with really gorgeous food that I would kill for right now.

I would really like to replicate my Nonno's minestrone, but so far that has proved to be impossible, because I think it was infused with his soul as he stirred the pot over and over until it was ladeled into bowls.

There is another problem with growing up with Northern Italian cuisine and being far removed from a lot of Northern Italians. It is hard as shit to find certain products here in the South.

Perfect example: cappeletti. Oh, you say you are not familiar with this? Well, let me 'splain by all means. Cappelletti is a pasta extremely similar to tortellini, but they are smaller, and mostly consumed in broth as a first course for either a Christmas Day or Christmas Eve dinner. It is by far the most perfect and gorgeous soup I have ever had. I would not even bother asking a grocery store clerk if they carried cappeletti, because they would invariably scratch their noggin and be like "cappawhat?", so I would just be happy finding a good frozen meat tortellini, but alas I have not found any.

Sad y'all, so sad.

So I guess I will have to make the pasta myself, which is the textbook definition of labor intensive. It will be a chore for me, because my cooking style is quick, combine flavors on the fly sort of cooking, and this is more like manufacturing. But I am desparate, so I think this will happen before winter is over. I need a fix.


RRRainwater said...

Hi there, my sister says for you to try the new Trader Joe's in Green Hills! Maybe you will find all the items that you need!

Courtney said...

Wow, ain't that the way it is! I went to a place called Brixx, in Hendersonville. I was in the mood for pizza. Well, I lived in Queens for a bit (Woodside, actually), and there was a place right under the subway station called Peppino's. Pizza greasy as hell, bit to die for! This Brixx stuff...aweful :( If ya find any good pizza or italian food at all here, PLEASE let me know :)

Courtney said...

Oh, might try Bucca dePeppo's in Cool Springs. The pizza is OK and the meatballs there are actually pretty good :)

Not That Cool said...

You guys rock! I was planning on visiting Trader Joes today, and I will head straight for the frozen foods section.

I'm a good cook when it comes to other Italian dishes, but I am just not down with making pasta.

Courtney if you need a good Italian food infusion, I totally recommend Mama Mia's at the intersection of Trousdale and Harding. It is a hole in the wall byob place, but everything is made to order, and it is gorgeous food.

I really appreciate your comments!