Cooking with Love

with Gianna Conte (Jan)

Cooking with Love

with Gianna Conte (Jan)

The autumn leaves remind me of cooler weather.

October Newsletter

The Fall is my favorite time of year, especially when thinking about food memories.

Here is a picture of what my mama used to make her fresh pasta.

October 2020

Just the mention of October reminds me of the weather starting to get cold and chilly. After lots of days with hot weather and no such thing as air conditioning, I looked forward to the cold weather. But along with the cooler weather, came a different menu by my mama.

Every Monday, mom would make Beef soup. She would use large beef bones which I would guess to be a flanken style of cut, except the whole bone did not have as much meat on it. She would boil the bones in water along with celery, one tomato, carrot, onion along with fresh parsley and one potato, that would be chopped later into the soup.

The soup would cook for hours, while my mother would start the fresh egg noodles. In those days there were no pasta machines. Everything was done by hand.

She would mix semolina flour, eggs, water, salt and make a well in the dry ingredients. She would crack the eggs in the center of the well she created and little by little, she would introduce the dry ingredients to the beaten eggs with a fork. Little by little, she would combine all of the flour and create a dough. It was such a pretty yellow color.

After letting the dough rest a little, she would cover it with a clean dish towel. She used a very large cutting board especially made for making fresh pasta (my older sister has it now). She staked a claim to it...darn it.)

Mom would cut a piece of dough and start rolling it out to a large rectangle. This is the part I loved to watch - she would fold this large rectangle into a fan fold. With a large sharp knife, she would cut medium wide ribbons of dough. They magically were all the same size. What a talent in my young eyes.                  

This is the beef mom would use in her Monday beef soup. We did not realize we were consuming the healthiest broth.

These are exactly like the noodles made fresh by my mama.

Monday Beef Soup

4-6 large beef bones with some meat attached

One gallon of fresh cold water

3-4 stalks of celery, large chopped

1 large carrot, cleaned and roughly chopped

1 whole onion, roughly chopped

1 Tbsp salt

Black pepper to taste

2-3 dried bay leaves

Bunch of fresh parsley

Directions:

In very large stock pot, add ingredients.  Bring to boil. Simmer on medium flame. When scum starts to gather, remove carefully with a small strainer. Get out as much as you can.  

The broth was cooked for at least 2 hours. When soup is done after tasting it, remove the bones and peel off any meat and return to the soup pot. This soup is definitely not hardy, but the flavor is wonderful!

The homemade egg noodles are then boiled for about 2-3 minutes, drained and placed in individual pasta bowls. Mom would ladel the soup into the noodles. Pass the grated cheese.

The bones were placed in my mom and dad's plates. Dad would scoop out the bone marrow and eat it.  My mom would do the same.  We never asked for it, could not imagine how it tasted, nor was I interested in tasting it.

However, not until 5 years ago, we were in a Spanish restaurant and had the roasted bone marrow appetizer. It was spectacular. It tasted like a tender soft piece of the fat of prime rib steak.

Orchiette pasta is another fresh pasta she would make on her board.

I leave you with this wish.....

I wish you a wonderful, healthy Fall. Remember to treasure all the memories of your childhood, whether they were about school, your family, your neighborhood, etc. 

You can't turn back the clock, so move forward with a positive attitude and make more memories, starting with YOU.

I leave you now and hope you remember to Cook with Love!

Gianna