Saturday marked two years since my Yiayia’s passing. It’s funny how time works. In a way it numbs us to what has happened and our new life without someone, but no matter how many days or years fly by, the heartache of not being with that person still remains.
I hate the fact that it’s become normal not seeing her face when I see my Papou. That first summer without her ached so bad not watching her come out of the car and walk over slowly to our house, but now, I’m used to just seeing Papou there. I don’t think I’ll ever forget her little quirks, or sayings, and I know I’ll never forget that smile, and while they won’t erase from my memory, they’re not as vibrant as they used to be. Thank God for pictures and voicemails to keep her presence around.
I still have yet to go to her house since she died. For one, Papou likes his space (ha!) and we haven’t really ever talked about getting together at his house. A part of me doesn’t to experience the first time being in her house without her there. I don’t want being there without her to become another norm if that makes sense.
I can’t even count how many times I would go over to Yiayia and Papou’s growing up and Yiayia would make me pasta with mizithra. It was always in her refrigerator and I believe it was probably her favorite way to eat pasta. I’ll have to check with my Papou on that one. To honor her beautiful memory, I made it. I tweaked it and added some lemon and pepper. I know she’d loved it. The saltiness of the mizithra took me down memory lane and all at once, I longed to be sitting there with her enjoying her food. I’ll see you again, Yiayia. Love your, Marínikí.
If you end up making this recipe, don’t forget to tag #marinamakeseats.
Pasta with Mizithra Cheese
- 1 pound of bucatini pasta
- 1 cup of grated mizithra cheese, plus more for serving
- Juice and zest of one large lemon
- 1/2 tsp of freshly ground black pepper, plus more for serving
Heat a large pot with water over high heat and bring to a boil. Add a handful of salt to the water and add the pasta. Boil until the al dente time noted on the packaging. Reserve one cup of pasta water before draining.
Drain the pasta and add it back to the pot, adding the mizithra cheese, lemon juice and zest, and pasta water a 1/4 cup at a time. Stir to combine until the pasta becomes slightly creamy. You do not have to use all of the water, just use a little bit at a time to reach your desired consistency. Add the pepper and continue stirring to combine.
Serve the pasta immediately and top with additional mizithra cheese and freshly ground black pepper.