Here I sit, wine glass in hand. The aroma of a fresh Bolognese sauce fills the air. Pasta boils. Bread gently browns in the oven, awaiting the ricotta herb spread I’ve made from scratch. A salad made of fresh cherub tomatoes, mozzarella, and hand-torn basil patiently waits to be devoured.
My senses take me away to that country so flavorful, so rich, so steeped in history.
There’s only one issue–I’ve never been. I don’t know what tomatoes in Italy taste like. I don’t know what wine grown from vines millions of years ago feels like drifting down my throat. I certainly do not know the texture of freshly made pasta.
What I do know is that the food I make each Friday night takes me to this fantasy land I like to think is Italy; my own personal, intimate version of Italy. It is the Italy I’ve created for myself through the literature I’ve read–Petrarch and Boccachio–through the art I’ve researched–David and the Mona Lisa–and through the movies I’ve seen–Eat, Pray, Love and Under the Tuscan Sun.
This summer has been about seeing the world through a new set of eyes and I like what I see.