Mamma Miaaa! Now THAT was a Genuine Italian Dinner!
Brent and I are currently living in Matera, Italy, doing co-living (sharing accommodations with other digital nomads) at a place called Casa Netural. But Casa Netural is more than just co-living; it's working toward a vision of connecting the entire world in a myriad of ways. Talk about ambition!
That happens in part by having the folks staying here at Casa Netural doing presentations for both other nomads, as well as local residents. This week Brent and I will present at an event sponsored by the local LGBT group.
And last night we had the privilege of being part of another Casa Netural initiative: the Mamma Miaaa project. The idea is to bring people together all around Europe through food and storytelling. Participants are asked to choose a family recipe that has meaning for them, then to invite a group of people over to hear stories about the recipe and to help prepare the food.
This was a special treat for Brent and myself, because not only did we get to participate in this great program, we got to experience a proper Italian meal with actual Italians. Trust me, this isn't an experience you get staying at an Airbnb or a hotel. Being invited into an Italian's home to share a meal with them and their friends is truly a special experience.
It also involves lots of food. And wine, lots of it. Imagine a lot of wine at a dinner. Now double that. We probably still drank more than that.
Our hosts were Andrea and Mariela, the founders of Casa Netural. We were joined by our fellow digital nomad Gillian, an assortment of Andrea and Mariela's friends, as well as one incredibly cute baby.
After we snacked on fava beans (note to self: shell fava beans before eating them!), fantastic olives, pistachio nuts, and of course, wine, we helped Andrea prepare a delicious risotto that had been taught to him by his mother and grandmother. After we ate the risotto, we then prepared and ate fried squash blossoms, a light and crispy dish quite like tempura, only better.
Did I mention we drink wine?
That was followed by a salad course with bread. (And wine).
Then we had dessert. Excuse me, desserts! First we had cookies, then we had Italian gelato that is worth killing for. Seriously. I would maim anyone who tried to take my portion from me.
But no wine over dessert.
Ha! Fooled ya. We didn't have wine, but we had a locally produced sweet liqueur known as Amaro Lucano.
Then Andrea and Mariela suggested we could have a pasta course if we wanted.
Seriously. We declined.
By that point, we'd been eating and drinking and talking for four and a half hours. Even though the conversation had been wonderful (despite a detour into discussing Trump), Brent and I finally had to say good night.
But as we left, the Italians were still going strong. I'm honestly not sure how they do it.
Mama mia, indeed!