Virgene taught me the art of making pasta almost 20 years ago. The pasta machine with the hand crank, (you sissies with your power tools!) would be run by the menfolk while we gals sat around and sampled the wine. when the pasta was finally cut and resting, we would bring out the bagna cauda to resuscitate and reward the men.
I hadn't thought about this until Merril posted the recipe and cookbookchick asked me to post my version--so here 'tis. —lorigoldsby
I learned to cook with my Gran. I can still see her reading a recipe and figuring out how she would make it better. She was fearless about substituting ingredients--but also knowledgeable. She approached food in the same way she built her antique business--appreciate quality ingredients and workmanship, but don't be a snob. I think I carry those same beliefs in my approach to cooking. I love family style dinners, I love a fancy ladies' luncheon with my wedding china, or a backyard seafood boil to celebrate my husband's birthday...I love to share food with others.