Italian pasta with lentils is said to bring families around the world good luck for the new year!
This recipe is being simultaneously posted on the Learn Italian! blog for my website, www.learntravelitalian.com, where all authentic Italian recipes for the home cook that I personally use and have blogged about for the last 3 1/2 years are found. Below is an excerpt. Click on the link for the entire method!
And I would like to wish all my readers:
Buon Anno 2019 – con salute, amore, e prosperità! Happy New Year 2019 – with health, love, and prosperity from my family to yours
Pasta with lentils or lentil soup is a New Year’s tradition in many Italian households. The lentil dishes are said to bring to luck to the family on New Year’s Day. I am not sure if anyone really knows exactly why lentils are supposed to be good luck. Maybe it is because they are shaped like small coins?
Whatever the reason, pasta and lentils is a hearty and delicious winter combination. Lentils are rich in protein, and the pasta/lentil combination was probably an important contribution to family nutrition in the days of the “cucina povera” cooking in Italy. Flavored with a bit of pancetta (Italian peppery bacon), garlic and tomato, the lentils make a delicious sauce that coats the pasta beautifully.
I used “maltagliati” or “poorly cut” pasta for this dish, which to me is reminiscent of its “cucina povera,” origins but also because the lentils cling nicely to the short, flat noodles. If you cannot find maltagliati pasta, lasagna noodles broken by hand into small, irregular pieces will give a similar effect.
Buon anno 2019 a tutti! Try my pasta and lentils dish on a wintry day for a warm and comforting meal. -Kathyn Occhipinti
Do you want to speak Italian more easily and confidently by the end of 2019? Well, let’s start-off running toward our goal this January by learning how to use the Italian verb piacere to say, “I like it!” in Italian.
The Italian verb piacerewill allow us to describe an important part of our feelings – our likes and dislikes. And, piacere is a very important verb for the traveler to Italy to know because there are so many places and things “to like” in Italy!
As I’ve said before, I believe that “commonly used phrases” are the key for how we can all build fluency in any language in a short time.
If we learn to form sentences in Italian describing the places and things that we like, we will be on our way to building own personal vocabulary of“commonly used phrases.” Read below and you will see what I mean.
This post is the 18th in a series of Italian phrases we have been trying out in our Conversational Italian! Facebook group. If you’d like to read the earlier posts in the series, “Italian Phrases We Use EVERY Day!” just click HERE
Many “commonly used phrases” that allow us to describe our feelings
start with the phrase “I like …”
In order to describe what we like in Italian,
we must learn how to use the verb Piacere
Piacerewill also allow us to describe what we don’t like!
See below for how the Italian verb piacereworks. Then see how many more ways you can think of to use piacere?
The rights to purchase the Conversational Italian for Travelers books in PDF format on two electronic devices can also be obtained atLearn Travel Italian.com.
How to Use the Italian VerbPiacereto Say…
“I Like It!”
The Italian verbpiacere literally means “to be pleasing.” Italians use this verb when they want to express the idea that theylike something. It is how Italians say, “I like it!”
It should first be noted that piacerehas an irregular conjugation. Also, because the verb piacere is most often used to refer to one or many things that we like, it works differently than the regular Italian verbs that have an -ere ending. In effect, the subject of the sentence that uses the verb piacerewill be the thing or things that are liked,and therefore the conjugated forms of piacerethat will be used most often are the singular and plural third person.
The singular third person form of piacere is piace and the plural is piacciono.
So, rather than conjugate the verb piacerein its entirety, for now we will focus on the two most important conjugations of piacere listed above. Simple enough! But, the tricky part is actually how to use the verbpiacere! First, we will discuss how we approach the topic in English. Then, read on to see how we must really learn to think in Italian when we use piacere to say, “I like it!”
In English, when we say we like something, we mention two things: what thing is being liked and by whom. So in English, we would say, “I like the car,” and fulfill these two requirements with the subject pronoun “I” and the direct object “car.”
But in Italian, the indirect object is used instead of the direct object, to describe to whom the thing is liked by or is pleasing. If we want to change up this same English phrase into the Italian way of thinking, we could say, “The car is pleasing to me.” You will hopefully find the mixed Italianized-English phrase “is pleasing to…” to be very helpful to understand howpiacere really works!
The tricky thing about this type of phrase in Italian is that the conjugation ofpiacerewill have to agree with the number of things that are being liked. Remember that the subject of the sentence in Italian is actually the things themselves.
So, if one thing is liked, piaceis used.
If many things are liked,piaccionois used.
Italians then put one of the indirect object pronouns –mi, ti, Le, le, gli, ci, vi, or gli –before the verb, at the beginning of the sentence, to denote to whom the thing is pleasing.
As a refresher, here is the meaning of the indirect object pronouns in this situation:
to you (familiar)
to you (polite)
to you all
Now, lets put this all together!
For our examples below, let’s pretend we are in a store to buy a new dress – either for ourselves or someone we know. The actual object we like is not important – the only thing that matters is if there is one or many of them. The grayed out lettering is mixed Italianized-English to help us to understand how the verb piacereworks.
Piace — to be pleasing
Use these phrases if one thing is liked
Mi piace il vestito.
The dress is pleasing to me.
I like the dress.
Ti piace il vestito.
The dress is pleasing to you. (fam.)
You like the dress.
Le piace il vestito.
Gli/Le piace il vestito.
The dress is pleasing to you. (pol.)
The dress is pleasing to him/her.
You like the dress.
He/she likes the dress.
Ci piace il vestito.
The dress is pleasing to us.
We like the dress.
Vi piace il vestito.
The dress is pleasing to you all.
You all like the dress.
Gli piace il vestito.
The dress is pleasing to them.
They like the dress.
Piacciono — to be pleasing
Use these phrases if more than one thing is liked
Mi piacciono i vestiti.
The dresses are pleasing to me.
I like the dresses.
Ti piacciono i vestiti.
The dresses are pleasing to you. (fam.)
You like the dresses.
Le piacciono i vestiti.
Gli/le piacciono i vestiti.
The dresses are pleasing to you. (pol.)
The dresses are pleasing to him/her.
You like the dresses.
He/she likes the dresses.
Ci piacciono i vestiti.
The dresses are pleasing to us.
We like the dresses.
Vi piacciono i vestiti.
The dresses are pleasing to you all.
You all like the dresses.
Gli piacciono i vestiti.
The dresses are pleasing to them.
They like the dresses.
Now that we understand the Italian way of thinking used to describe the things we like, we can use the same method to describe how much we like what we are doing.
Simply follow the indirect object and the verbpiacerein the third person singular – piace – with an infinitive verb! Notice that the infinitive Italian verb can be translated two different ways in English.
Mi piace viaggiare in Italia.
I like to travel/traveling to Italy.
Ti piace studiare l’italiano.
You like to study/studying Italian.
Gli piace guidare la macchina nuova.
He likes to drive/driving the new car.
And, to say that wedo not likesomething, or something we are doing, just add“non”beforepiace. Below are our same three example sentences in the negative.
Non mi piace viaggiare in Italia.
I don’t like to travel/traveling in Italy.
Non ti piace studiare l’italiano.
You don’t like to study/studying Italian.
Non gli piace guidare la macchina nuova.
He doesn’t like to drive/driving the new car.
Finally, if youreally like something,addmolto after piace!
Mi piace molto il vestito!
I really like the dress!
Remember how to use the Italian verb piacere,and I guarantee you will use it every day!