One of the reasons I was most excited to do this Tasty Tuesday series actually had nothing to do with food. I knew a photo shoot at my Nonna’s house would be imminent, and to be that meant one thing: I would be allowed access to The Good Room. What is The Good Room exactly? It is a common trait among European families to have a secondary lounge room that purely exists for show. In my experience my Nonna’s good room is positioned at the front of her house, with the door always wide open so guests/electrical technicians/friends from her bingo club get a fleeting glimpse as they walk down the corridor to the rest of the house. This passing glimpse communicates that Nonna can preserve one room, and keep it in immaculate condition like it’s Marie Antoinette’s roped parlour in Versailles if she chooses, but she doesn’t trust you enough to sit in it. Instead we’re all relegated to sit on the 3-piece corduroy couch from Fantastic Furniture in the child proof/adult proof/espresso stain proof living room at the back of the house with Italian cable playing.
I once broke into the The Good Room when I was three and did a little Matisse magic in pink texta on the drapes. I had been in exile since, but my sentenced finished the day we shot this room for this series. And let me tell you, freedom feels good. Nevertheless, there was one benefit to being relegated to the ‘other’ living room at the back of the house, and that was all about proximity to the kitchen. While Nonna cooks she will often call us in the to taste the food as she prepares it. Because of this, I have sampled deconstructed versions of pretty much every Italian dish in her extensive repertoire. However, my favourite is her eggplant parmigiana.
I once broke into the The Good Room when I was three and did a little Matisse magic in pink texta on the drapes. I had been in exile since, but my sentenced finished the day we shot this room for this series.
It is real comfort food. Let me set the scene. Imagine individually crumbled and fried eggplant slices, layered with homemade Napoletana sauce and bitty Reggiano-Parmigiano in between, topped with breadcrumbs and baked in the oven. HEAVEN ON EARTH (or at least in Moonee Ponds). And on that hyperbolic note, I bid you arrivederci, as I present the final recipe from Nonna Corso’s kitchen.