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04 November 2013

Pasta and Lentils With Crispy Bacon & Zucchini


The long weekend has passed. With all the excitement of my kids to celebrate Halloween, we just ended up sporting masks and hats at home and eating potato chips and popcorn in front of the TV while we watched Ralph Spaccatutto (Wreck-It Ralph). I felt bad that we didn't plan anything. Halloween is something new to Italy. I still remember years ago, when I moved here, I was all worked up to celebrate Halloween but I couldn't find a single decor or any mention of it. It curbed my enthusiasm. Prior to my move to Italy, I loved decorating the house, dressing up, taking my nieces and nephews around, seeing excited kids in costumes hollering "Trick or Treat!" and handing out candies to the neighborhood kids. It was always one big fun event! After waiting year after year, I gave up hoping to go around trick or treating here. Aside from being an American tradition, it can also be difficult to go trick or treating here because the majority live in buildings with small elevators. 

However, there is something that makes this period special for kids. For All Souls Day, Sicily has a pretty peculiar tradition. The loved ones who already passed away "give gifts" to the kids on that day as a way to remember them. My kids got their gifts coming from their Nonno (grandfather). My husband went through it throughout his childhood, receiving a gift from the closest relative who passed away. He recalls the feeling of being scared and excited at the same time. Being in a child's shoes, I think I would be too. 


On our table, traditions and classics continue. A lentil and pasta dish is always something to enjoy. While I added Parmigiano Reggiano (parmesan), toasted zucchini and crispy guanciale (pancetta or bacon if you can't find it on your side, but keep in mind that they're not the same), the dish takes shape into something spectacular. The pasta can be anything just make sure it's very short and small. With this dish, I used the Sardinian one called fregula. This is one of the pasta dishes that keeps on repeating on our table.

The recipe can be accessed at She Knows. Click on this link to see it. If you want to see the other recipes (and travel articles) that I have created there, click on this other linkEnjoy your week!