Alimenti: Food and fuel
In an episode of Commissario Manara, someone is worried about having to pay alimenti (alimony).
Sto aspettando il divorzio dalla mia ex moglie e...
I'm waiting for a divorce from my ex-wife and...
conoscendola quella... veniva a saperlo,
knowing her, that one... if she found out,
poi mi tartassava con gli alimenti.
she would have hit me hard for alimony.
Captions 66-67, Il Commissario Manara - S1EP5 - Il Raggio VerdePlay Caption
But there’s much more to this word than supporting one’s ex. The various forms of the word have to do with fuel, energy, food, and nutrition. Here are a few related terms:
And speaking of alimentazione sana...
Elegant finger food
In an episode of La Ladra, there’s a discussion about pinzimonio between Eva and her new cook, Dante.
Come vuole Lei, solo pensavo che con il suo pinzimonio
As you wish, I just thought that with your raw vegetable dish
una salsa in più ci stesse bene. Eh?!
one more sauce would fit in well. Huh?
Captions 24-25, La Ladra - EP. 1 - Le cose cambianoPlay Caption
There’s no good one-word translation of pinzimonio, but it’s certainly worth explaining (and tasting). Basically, it’s an elegant method (called in pinzimonio) of eating plain raw vegetables by dipping them into a little dish filled with good olive oil and salt. Pepper, vinegar, and other ingredients may be added at the diner’s discretion. You can’t get simpler than pinzimonio, but if the olio extravergine d’oliva is of good quality, and the vegetables are fresh and appealing, then it’s a wonderful way to eat a light second course, side dish, or appetizer.
Vegetables used for la verdura in pinzimonio are, to name a few: carote (carrots), cipolla fresca (fresh spring or green onions), finocchio (fennel bulbs), young tender carciofi (artichokes), cetrioli (cucumbers), il sedano bianco (white celery), la belga (Belgian endive), peperoni (bell peppers), and ravanelli (radishes).
The verb pinzare means “to clamp” or “to pinch closed,” so it’s easy to visualize holding a piece of carota or sedano between thumb and fingers in order to dip it in the olive oil.
And for those (like most Italians) who love their pasta...
Yabla has a series about cooking called L'Arte della Cucina (the art of cooking) and in a segment about chef Gualtiero Marchesi, he talks about il raviolo. Usually we see this word in the plural, i ravioli, because there’s usually more than one of them sul piatto (on the plate). In this particular case there was just one large beautiful raviolo on each plate.
Un giorno, sentendo un'amica
One day, talking with a friend
che diceva che aveva mangiato dei ravioli tutti aperti,
who said she had eaten ravioli all opened,
sai, quando stanno [ci sono] i banchetti, così,
you know, when there are banquets, and such,
mi venne in mente così di fare il raviolo aperto,
that's how it came to mind to make an open "raviolo,"
è stato un tutt'uno.
it was all one thing.
Captions 26-28, L'arte della cucina - I Luoghi del MondoPlay Caption
We’re talking here about pasta ripiena (filled pasta). With the exception of Marchesi’s “open” raviolo, there are normally two layers of la sfoglia (fresh egg pasta dough) with a ripieno di carne (meat filling) or ripieno di spinaci e ricotta (spinach and ricotta filling), but there are many variations.
Ravioli, tortelli, tortelloni, agnolotti, or pansotti each have their traditional forme (shapes), ripieni (fillings), and condimenti (sauces), which range from simple burro e salvia (butter and sage) to an elaborate ragù (meat sauce). Tortellini and cappelletti are filled pasta, but are bite-sized, and almost exclusively made with a ripieno di carne. One favorite way to eat them is in brodo (in broth). Don’t forget the parmigiano!
Ravioli and other types of filled pasta are best eaten in restaurants where they’re a specialty. There are plenty of calories in pasta, and especially in pasta ripiena, so why not follow it (or precede it) with a pinzimonio to maintain un’alimentazione sana!