“You may have the universe, if I may have Italy.”
– Guiseppe Verdi
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“So what do you want for dinner?”
A common question asked by millions each day when the clock finally strikes to signify dinner. That clock in Italy, by the way, strikes at around 8 o’clock, if not later. Crazy to think in North America we consider eating after 7 p.m. a crime against our waistlines. Yet, in Italy this schedule seems to work just fine.
Making Time to Live
Though my roommates and I have been in Florence for almost a week now, I am just finally getting around to writing this post! Between the many trips to our local Conad supermarket, navigation struggles in the Florentine streets, and the start of our academic program, things have been hectic to say the least!
That being said, in the midst of our running-around we have eaten out only once this week. Not bad for three university students. We owed this treat thanks to loosing our power one evening, right around dinner time. Tired of sitting in our onyx-drowned apartment, we hit the streets and found comfort in our beloved paninoteca, La Fettunta ❤
Anyways, to christen our new home we decided to have our first supper at home. A pasta dish of some sort, maybe I’d even bake some banana bread for dessert; but then we were faced with a challenge…
Our rented Airbnb apartment is fantastic but there are some downfalls, namely from a culinary perspective. Though we have porcelain jars marked “sugar,” “salt” and “coffee” resting neatly above our rustic stovetop, only the coffee jar contains that which it says... If that tells you anything about the importance placed on coffee in Italy 😉
Unfortunately, with these ingredients missing, along with a few other kitchen staples, I had to revise my dinner menu. Cue several trips to Conad as the week progressed.
Who knew that I’d ever take the presence of butter, salt or even oil for granted!
Being the Masterchef that I am, along with some help from my trusty Pinterest board, we set off to make do with what we had, and it was actually amazing!
I found a one-pot pasta recipe that used lemon (one of the few things we actually had on hand). I had never tried cooking pasta in a large pot with its sauce, but the results actually surprised me!
Plus, both my roommates wanted seconds of the pasta dish so that was a good sign! Yay, they like my cooking!
All Together Now
As the three of us sat around the dinner table, our knees knocking together because our kitchen is European (a.k.a not as spacious by North American standards), I felt a strong sense of togetherness.
These two girls are going to become my family over these next few months. Each day and night we’ll be joined together around the dinner table sharing laughter and stories of the day.
Whether we’re woking together like cooks on the line or simply sitting curtsied eating a slice of pizza, these gals will be there for it all. Together, we will experience the #FirenzeFoodieFeat!
I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we did :)
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Pasta al Limone * Makes 4 servings *
350 g spaghetti
4 1/2 cups water
1 leek, sliced
1 garlic clove, smashed
6 sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
Zest + juice of 1 lemon
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, grated finely
1. Combine all ingredients (except cheese) in a deep pot or wok. 2. Bring the water to a boil and cook, stirring occasionally for about 10 to 12 minutes. 3. Combine Parmigiano and serve right away!
What's your favourite go-to dinner when you’re busy?