A word about the boy and his mom:
American girls can’t help but fall in love with Italian men like Edo. He has long dark curls that bounce in joy when he walks, grayish blue eyes that sparkle with depth and intelligence, and a smile that loves to come out and parade itself around like a flamboyant diva of the Italian 60’s. And he dresses well. Yet when partially disrobed one finds that his arms and back boast tattoos of gruesome monsters and a naked girl with a bloody slitted throat. He is like a golden retriever on bad acid: a huge underlying heart laced with danger that has made many an unsuspecting woman fall prey to the mysterious waggings of his tail.
Edo grew up quite alone. He was an only child to divorced parents in the once-royal now-industrial snobbish city of Turin in cloudy Northern Italy. Unlike a typical mamma italiana, Edo’s mother worked full-time and was forced to leave much of Edo’s rearing to a series of hired hands. In the summers when everybody went to the seaside on vacation, Edo went with Irma and Lino, an elderly couple, to a rented apartment on the Riviera where his mother met him on the weekends. Though happy to be free to run around the beachside town, particularly with the five daughters of the family occupying the apartment below, two of which he kissed, Edo missed his mom and felt sad to be the only kid on holiday without a family. His mother, sad herself that she could not be with him, sent Irma to the shore with a list of her favorite recipes to make for her son. La mamma di Edo made her love and presence known through food.
This is one of those recipes.
(By the way, for all those ladies who are wondering, Edo is now a happily married man and does much of the cooking.)