My Grandmother’s Finest

By Betty Boyd

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My grandmother on my Dad’s side was very sweet and kind. She lived in Altoona, PA, and we would visit as often as we could. I remember her voice was mellow and warm when she greeted us, and there was such a softness about her. Grandmother Rose was a full-blooded Italian, and a marvelous cook. Her best dish was homemade pasta and gravy(sauce).

She had a small kitchen and I did my best to help her. The smell of the wonderful sauce permeated the air. The gravy was filled with richness from the tomatoes, basil, parsley, and other spices. Not to be outdone were the meatballs that were cooked alongside the fabulous sauce.

While the gravy was on a slow simmer, the meatballs were added to the pot. Then we made the pasta. Grandmother Rose would roll out the dough for the pasta. She put it through a simple pasta machine, not like the ones they have today, for this was in the early 1970’s. The pasta had to dry before it could be cooked. Once it had dried, then the real fun began.

She brought the water to a boil, then placed the pasta, a little bit a time, into the water. Grandma Rose made enough for several meals, since it was such an arduous task to put the dough through the machine and could take two to three hours to complete the process.

Once all the pasta was cooked, and the sauce was simmered to perfection it was manga time! The freshness of the homemade pasta and gravy were beyond anything I have ever experienced. I have made my own sauce which will never compare to Grandmother Rose’s or even my Mom’s. I’ve never attempted to make homemade pasta, because I just wanted to remember how my Grandmother Rose’s tasted.

Cooking with your family can bring back some great memories. So, go ahead and plan doing a great meal together, and see the chef come out in you.

Here is an on-line recipe for meatballs: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchen/italian-american-meatballs-3363213. Enjoy!

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