~ Summer ~
Between solstice and San Giovanni, we have finally reached those moments of the year that mark the passage, when nature expresses itself with the maximum potential and every gesture of the past speaks to us of an intimate and internal dialogue with the earth.
These are the days of nocino, hypericum, dew and summer. These are the days when, gathered in bunches tied with a string and 7 knots, St. John's wort, mugwort, lavender, rue, garlic, sage and rosemary are left to macerate in the dew, to be able to collect a cosmetic water capable of purifying the body and the spirit. These are the days when the same bouquets are placed under the pillow at night, to encourage divinatory dreams.
These are the days when, before John the Baptist collected these anniversaries under the aegis of religion, the themes were woman and fertility and the marriage between sun and moon, of which bonfires remain traces in peasant cultures.
It is a very fascinating topic, of which you can find many references here on the web.
I leave you a couple of sites from which I also took the information that I reported, to begin with:
(for the link, have a look on the IT version)
To celebrate the beginning of summer I propose this dish of fresh and aromatic pasta, embellished with an aged balsamic vinegar of Modena.
Ingredients for 4
200 gr of single-spelled fettuccine (I used: see the IT version)
120 gr of whole square spaghetti (I used: see the IT version)
30 ripe Datterini tomatoes
The green and fresh leaves of 4 carrots
1 clove of new garlic
20 basil leaves
20 mint leaves
4 tablespoons of aged Modena balsamic vinegar (12 months)
extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper
Bring plenty of water to a boil.
Wash the cherry tomatoes and cut them into 4 parts. Wash the carrot leaves, separate them from the stem, drain excess water with the help of a salad drain and chop them thinly with a knife.
Wash the mint and basil leaves, pat dry with a clean cloth (or disposable paper, like paper towels) and cut them thinly (chiffonade). Peel and mash the garlic, mince it. In a bowl put the cherry tomatoes, garlic, carrots, herbs, 2 pinches of salt (6 g), 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, 1 grated black pepper and mix the ingredients.
When it boils, salt the water and cook the pasta (pay attention to the cooking times of the two types and in case of staggering).
Drain the pasta and pass it quickly under cold water (an operation that is only good for the domestic kitchen, otherwise drain it and pour it into a large plate, wet it with a little oil and pass it in a blast chiller).
When the pasta is at room temperature, pour it in the bowl with all the other ingredients, mix it well, let it flavor for at least 30 minutes and serve it as it is, with a few aromatic leaves and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar on each plate.
If you have some lavander flowers, you can add them on top.