There are so many Italian words we use every day, from pizza to paparazzi, that don’t cause us any trouble at all. The word for pine-nut, however, is not one of them; we sprinkle chopped perfectionists into our pasta sauces in continuazione. Here’s what I mean:
pinolo (peen-oh-lo) is a pine-nut
pignolo (peen-yo-lo) is a perfectionist; a painstakingly meticulous, hair-splitting, persnickety sort of person; you know the type.
So you see, there’s a difference. It’s best to stick to pinoli when you’re cooking, and with the pignoli, well…abbi pazienza. And while we’re at it, it’s bru-SKET-ta, not bru-shet-ta; this is another ubiquitous error that drives me crazy! Please help reverse the trend.
(Now who’s the pignola?)