Sometime in the past six months, a Florentine woman became an Em-i-lis reader and is, now, a friend. In that funny, to-be-determined web way. She doesn't know my sister, and vice versa (so that's not the link), but it is my hope that all of us can meet in person at some point next time I'm in Florence. This kind of improbable connection is yet another reason I love the internet.
Eli recently told me that she believes Garofalo makes the best dried pasta. I wasn't familiar with it so did some research. It's a company based in Gragnano, a Neopolitan town named for wheat (grano), and that has been making pasta for more than two hundred years.
It's not available locally (as far as I could find) but you can order it via amazon, and so I did. Though I'm not a penne fan, the variety pack appealed to me because you cannot go wrong with gemelli and casarecce (similar to strozzapreti).
This evening, having cooked all day and then realizing T and I were hungry yet unprepared for dinner, I figured, "What better time to try a new pasta?" and so chose the gemelli.
I had some tomatoes that needed to be used and while basil is not yet in season, thyme always is, and keeping old Parmesan and Pecorino rinds in your fridge saves the day on a regular basis. Long story short, it was easy enough to whip up a fresh tomato sauce, and boy were we glad I did so.
This pasta is delicious. It's the sort in which al dente means toothsome but not remotely underdone. That's a tough line to bridge, so bravo Garofalo. I mean, you can see the texture in my photo, yes?? Creamy but firm, magnificent!
Mille grazie, Eli, per la tua raccomandazione.