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Tomato Passata sauce, part 1

Tomato Passata sauce, part 2

Car trouble

Strozzapredi pasta with chestnut cream and black truffle


On Sunday morning it was my turn to open the barn door for Hilda and make coffee for us. The sky was a deep blue and the air fresh and clean. It seemed the beginning of a fantastic day. Then all of a sudden I realized that something was not right, our Jeep  was missing!!

The first thing I thought was that someone had stolen her. But, then I remembered that the keys  were on the kitchen table .  Why would somebody go through the hassle of hot wiring a car when right next to where the jeep had been  was our little green Fiat, unlocked and with the key’s in the ignition. ( I know that this must sound strange to you….but we are in the country side…and here no one locks their cars ).

 I couldn’t work it out, but the car was gone. Immediately I called  Nick and together we stood outside wondering what could have happened.
There was no other option. The jeep had been stolen .  We’d have to phone the Carabinieri and inform them… Then just as we turned to go back in the house and finish our coffee ,we had a small breakthrough in the case . Nick noticed that there were very faint tire marks  in the grass … … .. going down the hill across our field and disappearing amongst the bushes and trees about a 100 meters away   !!! Off we went following the trail . Suddenly there she was, stuck half way up a bank and wedged against a tree, leaning dangerously on her side looking ready to roll over at any moment.

At that point and much to our embarrassment , our neighbors began to gather ( some still in their pajamas ). Everybody stood there trying to work out exactly how Nick had managed to park the car like that !
Mamma mia,  it was just 8.30 am on a Sunday morning and we hadn’t even managed to have our coffee ,yet. .. It was time for a confession.” Ok , it’s my fault ,said Nick .I must have forgotten to put the hand brake on yesterday and there was an extremely strong wind last night”.

Everybody agreed that must have been what happened and much to our delight offered to help us get the jeep out.

 Fortunately, Gianni and Simona  had a small tractor to do the towing, plus our other neighbors Alessandra e Sante  had a chainsaw we could use to start cutting her free . We were all ready. Once , Gianni had taken his tractor down the hill and attached a rope we started cutting  the branches wedged  under the car. Everybody got involved and with a lot of good hummer we started to drag the jeep back up the hill.
With the car returned to its proper parking space ,we thanked all our neighbors and everybody returned home ( if not a little upset that the show was over )  to their morning coffee.

 We were very happy that although the car had been through a lot there didn’t seem to be any real damage .

I can’t help thinking how relaxed Nick was throughout the whole episode and wonder if he would have been the same if it had been my fault ! You know how men can be about their cars. Anyway , now I can have the fun of reminding him of this little incident whenever necessary!!

That evening we celebrated our good fortune for having such friendly and helpful neighbors with a very tasty pasta and a good glass of wine.

4 people:
500 grams of Strozzapreti pasta
200 grams of boiled chestnuts (without the skin)
160 grams of milk
1 / 2 bunch fresh parsley, finely chopped
a drop of EVO oil
a knob of butter
1 clove of garlic
40 grams of truffle  (pure)
How it works:
Chop the chestnuts and keep a few aside for decoration. Cook the remaining chestnuts with 120 grams of milk for 5 minutes on very low heat. Drain and let cool. Combine the remaining milk with cooked chestnuts add a teaspoon of parsley, a dash of Evo oil and a pinch of  salt. Blend until creamy.
In a nonstick pan toast the remaining chestnuts for your decoration   and set aside.
 In a pan cook garlic and butter for less than a minute , remove the garlic and add the chestnut cream . Cook the pasta. Remove few tablespoons of water from the boiling pasta and combine with the chestnut cream. Drain the pasta very much al dente and keep cooking  in the pan with the chestnut cream, add salt. Mix together and keep cooking for a few minutes. Add the truffle and continue to stir the ingredients. Serve with a sprinkle of parsley and crispy chestnuts on top.

1 comment to Car trouble

  • Bill Steiner

    This does my heart good, sorry to say. The other day, I parked my car, got out, and had to jump back in as it started to roll away. I too forgot the brake or to put it in gear. I thought I am simply getting old and hopeless. So to see this happen to you young people makes me smile. Maybe I don’t have a weak mind?!?

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