“Logghiu consa a ‘nsalata!” Socrates Sciusciapinseri. “The oil fixes the salad!”
The phrase was one of the historic ones, as historic it would have been that New Year’s Eve in the tavern La Casa del Sogno Antico, the magical heart of the old quarter of San Pietro.
Even Mazzacanagghia bit his tongue and said nothing.
Ammuccabanneri, however, came out with his usual laugh and asked:
“What piripitollerie you tell us, professor?”
“If you don’t understand them,” retorted Mazzacanagghia, “they must be intelligent piripitollerie!”
In truth, that night, thanks to the professor’s mysterious friendships, a very secret meeting had to be held. The head of the League and the president of Fratelli d’Italia would arrive at one o’clock together. At ten past one o’clock the three five-star leaders and the secretary of the Democratic Party would have knocked on the door. Italia Viva and a couple of loose dogs would have appeared last, but it was known that they already had the firm intention of contesting the meeting … and the menu as well.
“But, exactly, who and how many are coming tonight?” Ammuccabanneri asked again,
“Better not put the knives on the table!” Mazzacanagghia exclaimed.
“I don’t think there is a need,” said the professor. “Dog doesn’t eat dog.”
“Yeah!” Mezzacanagghia approved. “It is the eternal story of the thieves of Pisa, who bickered during the day and went to steal together at night.”
“Not so!” Exclaimed the prof. Sciusciapinseri. “You think like suburban bullies and not politicians …”
He lit a cigarette and took the serious expression of when he put together his two great passions: reflection and cooking.
“Politics,” he went on, “if it is good, it must be like Mallia oil, extra-virgin olive oil and cold-pressed. Oil brings even the most contrasting flavors into line. For this reason, we will explain the concept tonight with a dish that may be a little heavy, but tasty. We will prepare an Abruzzo recipe, the Minestrone della Virtù … We will put together half a kilo of legumes – including broad beans, beans, lentils, chickpeas and a few grains of wheat – We will boil a foot of pork and one hundred and fifty grams of pork rind. In addition, we will boil a kilo of mixed vegetables – chicory, beets, carrots, celery, envy, onion, basil, parsley and a clove of garlic -. Everything will be cut into small pieces and put in a deep saucepan, adding four ripe tomatoes cut into small parts, salt, chilli pepper, nutmeg and a pulverized clove … ”
Here the professor stopped and began to put cookware and ingredients on the marble table.
“When it comes to table, then …” he said softly and thoughtfully, “politics will make, that is our oil, will make its appearance. All those flavors that, up to a moment before, were insulted will find mediation, to give life to something new and worthy of a grateful memory! “