Pasta in forno, with ditaloni (pasta), ragu, aubergines, ham & cheese & hard boiled eggs. Wow! Looks good!
There are some recipes that I’ve been tip toeing around, because of their complexity, because of my ignorance; there’s the fear of being branded a cultural appropriater, the knowledge that I’ll get them wrong, but without a reference point to know just how wrong I got it.
So it is with Pasta al Forno. This is not a formalised recipe, like Pasta alla Norma. But then, it is THE recipe. A simple name, ‘baked pasta’, belies a complex, time consuming holy grail of dishes. YouTube it and there are more Nonna’s out there making Pasta al Forno, than are imaginable. It is a dish for Sundays, for celebration, a dish of a diaspora, for welcoming home the Prodigal Son. But more than anything it is the domesticity of Italian cooking distilled. It is sacrosanct. I’m terrified of this dish. Because I am not Italian…
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