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Friday, November 19, 2010

Roman Markets, Friendship, & Pasta all' Amatriciana

An early-morning bonjour from sunny Provence!  We've been blessed with sunshine for the past two days & it's amazing what a few extra rays will do for the spirit. I've been busy cleaning my small "office", studying French, and starting to dig the Christmas decorations out of storage. And France is surely a welcome surprise when it comes to Noel-deco, they've got so many beautiful things for the home, it's hard not to want to buy-out the entire store (I'm talking Eurodif here for any decoration-lovers).

But mainly I'm incredibly giddy with excitement for my trip to Rome next week.  And even though I've got visions of never-ending pasta bowls dancing through my head, I'm really making the trip to Rome to spend some time with one of my best friends, Jennifer.

The last time I saw Jennifer, or Super Jenny, as we've come to call her (she's simply fantastic you see) was last Easter when we met for an extended weekend of market shopping, gelato-eating, and cooking.  It was a wonderful way to celebrate the holiday, and truth be told, if I had to point to one thing that is most important to me in the world, it would have to be my dear friends.

And Jennifer is just not any friend (returning now to her "super" qualities), she's an accomplished writer, caring educator, translator, expert on all things Italian, and pretty-much knows everything about everything - art, history, literature & how to cook a mean Pappardelle all' Amatriciana. Did I mention she does martial arts in her spare time? This girl's fierce.

Jennifer basically grew-up in Italy & has lived there for almost 13 years. She went to high school in Florence and Arezzo, stayed on for art school in Milan, and then worked in publishing and teaching in Milan. After a stint in NYC, she moved back to live in Rome in 2006 & has been there ever since. Oh, and she just happens to be writing a novel set in Florence which beautifully captures the essence of the city as maybe only someone who lived there could. Just sayin'.

So, as I'm less than a week away from being spoiled with quality Super-Jenny time, I'd just like to take the time to thank her for her friendship, support, and maybe above all, her awesome Italian cooking.

You can click here for a link to a Spaghetti all' Amatriciana recipe & bon weekend à tous!


  1. We have been getting 1 day of sun per week - as if Mother Nature is selfishly rationing the sun while binge-drinking & pouring rain on poor Tuscany like she's got nothing better to do. I'm so glad you have sun in Provence! AND I had to just say how much I love the post about your dear friend - how I adore my dear friends, especially when we are around the table together! Salute to you & Super Jenny - and a little sun in Roma for your visit!

  2. Dearest Tuula, when taking the measure of whether my life thus far has been well lived, I think this post definitely tips the scales in my favor. I cannot express how much what you've written here means to me (I know, writers should never admit that they are incapable of expressing something, but you have left me quite speechless). I have uprooted myself often enough to know that it is not the place that makes you feel like home, but the people who experience it with you - companions in adventure, partners in (figurative and mischievous) crime, fellow explorers. A good friend is a person who writes your history on their heart alongside their own, who remembers 'that day when' as well as you remember their memorable moments. A good friend is the person at whose house you know you can drop by unannounced for a laugh or a cry, or just to kick back after a long day, where you'll always find an open door, excellent company and a bottle of wine ready to be opened in honor of your impromptu visit. Need I say that Rome has not felt quite so much like home since you've been gone? My dear girl, I will cook you all the amatriciana in the world. Just get yourself down here. Love always, Super Jenny

  3. I absolutely adore pancetta with pasta! Just made it the other night, nice and crispy, then added chopped spinach, with olive oil and lots of cheese.
    Tuula: Have a wonderful time, and we all look forward to lots of pictures and updates!

  4. Thanks so much Tanya, very sweet of you :)

    Lol Valerie, great comment! Wish I could send some sunshine your way, but then again, you are in Tuscany lucky girl! Really happy that you liked the post...having good friends makes a world of difference, especially when you're living abroad. Hope you have a great weekend...& that you get some sunshine :)

    Super Jenny! Thanks for dropping by on your post, lol, and so (super) happy that you liked it...can't wait for our time together next week!

    Libby, pancetta with the Amatriciana is the best. Think there are more than a few Romans who would kick you out of their homes if you thought of serving it any other way :) Thanks for the well-wishes & I'll be sure to snap lots of photos, xo

  5. Super Jenny indeed!! And I'm totally cooking that recipe! :-) xo

  6. Looks like you'll have an amazing trip! Nothing better than visiting best friends :) Have a great time Tuula!

  7. Tuula - What a fantastic post on so many wonderful things - friends, Rome and Amatriciana. Enjoy your time in Rome!

  8. Ohhh, what a fabulous tribute to your friend, Tuula! :-) I LOVE that you call her Super Jenny!! As soon as I read that I thought of my own Super Jenny who is also amazing and wonderful. We are SO blessed with good friends, aren't we? :-) Hope you have an absolutely marvelous time!! :-)

  9. Have a fabulous time in Rome! Friendships like these are worth celebrating :)

  10. Okay, all I have to say it's that as tears run on my face, friendship is one of the most beautiful treasures God has given us. Ladies, you are such a good example of that love.