We were away for a week with my aunt Annie and some of my cousins.
It was one of those blissfully perfect beach days, that stretches long into the evening.
So long in fact that we all were sitting with grumbling tummies, still sandy and basking in the sun at 7:30!
What does everyone want?
No one wanted to go out. No one wanted to go to the store.
But there was almost nothing in the house.
Annie said Don’t worry. I’ll whip something up from nothing. Just come over.
Normally, I’d be afraid when someone said this. But not when my aunt said this.
We showered quickly and walked into the house and it was filled with the smells of onions sauteeing, bacon frying, and fresh juicy tomatoes being sliced open.
I’ve got two kinds of pasta, she said.
From the kitchen with nothing came a rich and filling pasta topped with sauteed onions and bacon, salty and fatty and delicious, and a second pasta topped with fresh cherry tomatoes and sauteed summer squash.
We all sat on the floor with plates of pasta and plastic cups of wine.
My cousin’s Ipod was on shuffle, and the breeze blew from the front porch.
It wasn’t fancy, but it was good.
And that’s really what Italian cooking is. Simple. Rustic. Homey. And from basically nothing.
Inspired by that meal, and with bare cupboards after a week away, we whipped up our own something from nothing. A can of black olives, some tomatoes we brought back with us from the farmer’s market and some mozzarella cheese (I’m Italian. There is always some kind of cheese, even if there is nothing in the house), tossed with olive oil and bow tie pasta.
We were listening to the sirens on 2nd avenue instead of my cousin’s Ipod, and the wine was in our new glasses (Thanks Mrs. Follis!) but we were sitting on the floor eating something from nothing.