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  • Sunday Pasta
    Page 2 of 2
    Continued from page 1

    by Flora Mitidiero Raehl

    I relay the theory to her about all these Italian-American cooks and how they say you should never break your spaghetti in half and she proceeds to tell me this little story.Many, many years ago there used to be this little store front in Alessandria that sold pasta. Now you might be thinking this is impossible because everything you ever heard was that everyone made their own pasta and NEVER EVER bought it anywhere else, but there were some women whose husbands left Italy to find work in other countries and they were left to tend the fields or work the vineyards – they just didn't have time to make their own pasta so they would buy it.

    In this little store, the pasta wasn't sold in any kind of packaging like we know today, but kept in barrels so you could buy as much or little as you needed for that day, and as it turns out, the spaghetti was much longer than what we're used to. In case you were wondering, today's store bought spaghetti is about ten inches long, and back in the day, in Alessandria del Carretto, the spaghetti was much longer in length, so it had to be broken in half, sometimes in three, to be able to fit in the pot! Just hearing this little tidbit of information brought a smile to my face.

    Every time I come back to this magical town I feel a connection to everything before me and I felt so proud to have my cooking compared to all the matriarchal women of this town. The next afternoon as I sat on the balcony I could smell something wonderful coming from a nearby kitchen and as the memories of long-ago Sunday dinners came flooding back to my mind these wonderful aromas felt like a comforting embrace from my mom and grandma and I was happy – happy to be in Alessandria, happy to be experiencing this Italian life, and happy that I learned a little bit more about the people who lived here before me.

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    Article Published 9/20/2011

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