In retrospect the antipasto was quite filling.
Rice balls. Marinated white anchovies. House cured olives. Formaggio.
This, while the ravioli boiled.
And then, roast chicken. Foraged mushrooms. Potatoes (both white and sweet). Rapini. Salad.
Bread in the shape of a holiday wreath.
The wine flowed, too. Red.
Espresso. Pumpkin pie. Panettone. Chocolate chip cookies. Chocolates.
I feel like I've missed something, but I haven't.
I was in the wings the entire time. Working away at other food-related tasks (washing lettuce, bringing things to a boil, setting the table).
Roberto pulled together a simple risotto for rice balls. Arborio. Onion. Chicken stock. Parsley. Butter. Salt. Pepper.
He would finish cooking it just as the pasta was set to drain. Then it would sit at the back of the stove to cool while we lingered over dinner.
The next day, while I prepared for the feast (30 minutes on our antique manually-powered ski machine at its highest incline), Roberto added bits of prosciutto and egg to the rice and formed them into balls stuffed with mozzarella.
By the time I had cleaned up, the rice balls had been dredged in flour, egg and breadcrumbs.
An efficient household, to say the least.
With dinner an hour or so away we were both anxious to get the rice balls fried. Actually, I was the anxious one.
I managed to convince Roberto that we should get it done early because we never knew when we'd get the dinner bell. Even with a designated time for dinner there was always a call to come over—the pasta's boiling!
With the last rice ball out of the oil, Roberto set the pot to cool.
A small stainless steel pan was the perfect vessel for transport. We covered it with foil and waited for the call.