I grew up with lovers of international food. My dad, whose family was one of the wealthiest 1% in Korea prior to moving to the states in the 1970s, indulged in delicacies very few could imagine eating at that time. My grandpa exposed my mom to American snacks and sweet from an early age, and since then, she has cultivated an immense appreciation for different cuisines. In fact, our family’s comfort food is not rice but mozzarella, basil, homemade pesto, and pasta. Al dente farfalle smothered in fresh tomato bruschetta takes me back to my childhood and teen years when I’d immediately brighten up after eating a spoonful during lunch at school. Cooped up in the newspaper room, fixing up layouts and editing articles and finishing homework after pulling all-nighters for my other classes, I’d scoop the cold pasta my mom packed for lunch into my mouth. I was stressed and maybe even frustrated with my staff, but the warmth and love encapsulated in the seemingly small bite cheered me up.
An Italian at heart, as I always say, I can rarely decline the perfect combination of warmly toasted slice of wheat bread, homemade pesto, fresh buffalo mozzarella, roman tomato, and basil either. That is unfortunately my guilty pleasure. It was never the cakes, pies, or chocolate that swayed me. It was the magical herb, cheese, and olive oil; they elevated the rather banal bread and red fruit/tomato to a whole new level.
I love living in Little Italy at home, albeit not an exact replicate of the real Italy. But it doesn’t hurt to use our imagination, so ladies, lovers, gentlemen… treat yourself to a night out in Italy on this grand Friday evening.
Buffalo mozzarella, farfalle, fresh tomato bruschetta, sea salt (boil farfalle in sea salt), pesto, tomato, basil, sourdough/bagel/baguette