Here's a photo of the illustrious Vincenzo, who has probably made more appearances in this blog than most people. Today he decided he would teach me how to cook authentic italian food, and I really hope I can make everything taste as good as it did today when I get back to the states. He made this amazing tomato sauce and the only ingredients were onions, canned tomatoes, salt, basil, and a secret ingredient: a red bell pepper which he cut in half and cooked in the sauce for the flavor and then removed and discarded at the end. Kate told me that she had learned that americans tend to get carried away and put way too much stuff in our sauces, and this was so delicious and yet so simple that I have to agree with her. The sauce was the base for Penne alla Norma, which is pasta smothered in the tomato sauce with sauteed eggplant and fresh mozzarella and basil on top. But the main dish of today was polpette di uovo, which means basically egg patties. It consists of eggs, milk, 3 day old bread crumbs, parsley, parmigiano and salt, and the patties are sauteed in olive oil on the skillet. They are heavenly bites of golden goodness, and can be served alone as an antipasto or with the tomato sauce over them as more of a main dish. The thing I love most about Italian cooking is that the cooking, the eating, and the time together are all part of the same experience- there is no need to put the water on to boil so the pasta will be finished cooking at the same time as the sauce, like I always try to make happen. Just cook, eat, talk, and be, and everything will taste better. Here are the polpette glistening in the pan and getting ready to be devoured by me.