I do not know what kind of relation you have with your neighbours but my is definitely food related. I live in a tiny village on a hillside, there are about fifteen families living here and they are all quite nice, some nicer than others as always happens. We are fortunate enough to be living in a separate house with our own garden while the others live in clusters of old houses (some are medieval) that are attached to each other. Although we live quite close to each other we rarely meet all at the same time but every summer we have a big village dinner open to everyone and where we all bring food to be shared between us. It is a nice occasion but this summer unfortunately it was cancelled because of one of the big quarrels that pops up at even intervals here. (We always managed to keep out of them so far but it still affects us as it makes transversal socializing more complicated! ) These dinner are held in the open and we usually sit until late, eating, laughing and discussing everything worth discussing while we slowly finish everything that can possibly be eaten…

Our closest neighbours are really the best you could ask for. When we moved here 11 years ago, our oldest daughter was two and a half years old and I was three months pregnant with our second child and I remember how they were continuously bringing me food because of some obscure Italian saying that I never really understood the meaning of but it had something to do with that pregnant women never should be without the things they desire to eat because it can affect the child in some way. Anyway, every weekend someone brought us wonderful dishes to eat and often we were invited over to have Sunday lunch with them. It was a wonderful welcome! We still meet and eat, not so frequently anymore as life has changed many things here over the years but food is a strong bond between us as it is for most Italians and to me eating together remains one of the best ways to socialize!

4 servings

400-500 g/14,1 -17,6 oz spaghetti of your favourite brand
1-1 ½ tblsp salted capers
75 g/ 2,6 oz pine nuts
½ clove of garlic
1 small bunch of parsley
1 small bunch of fresh basil
3 anchovy fillets
Olive oil

– Put on the water for the pasta and let the pasta boil while you make the pesto.
– Let the capers soak in water for half an hour before you blend them together with the pine nuts, garlic, oarsley, basil and the anchovy fillets mixed with 2-3 tblsp olive oil. Blend until creamy.
– Add about 1 dl of the hot pasta water to the ‘pesto’ just before the pasta is ready and mix it well before you put a couple of tblsp of it in a bowl. Add the pasta and pour over the rest of the pesto, stir well and serve. If you want you can add same freshly grated parmensan cheese.