I’m dutifully writing up a homework assignment for Saturday’s food writing course. We are supposed to write a food article. I’m having a serious flashback to our trip to Italy while I’m researching this slow travel piece. (It is cleverly entitled: When in Rome. But I won’t give anything else away).
What I will serve up is what we ate the four days we stayed at Le Magnolie, an agriturismo in the Italian region of Abruzzo. (Caution – they have a crazy multimedia website).
Here is a sampling of what we ate:
Night 1 Antipastos - steaming bowl of onions, egg and cheese, sheep cheese with hearty bread, green beans with vinegar and olive oil (Of course. Everything served here swam in a little pond of olive oil. Yum), brushetta with peppers, oil and sundried tomatoes
Pasta - Fettucine with simple tomato sauce
Main - Roast chicken and roast potatoes
Dolce - Dark cherry torte
Night 2, which I had to cook myself because the kitchen was closed on Wednesdays:
In the end, I cobble together: antipasto (salami, bread, cheese), pasta (fettucine with italian sausage, fresh tomatoes, onion, garlic and olive oil) and a salad with more fresh tomatoes and buffalo mozza cheese. It was simple, but we must have been starving because it was so good. I think it was the olive oil…pure magic.
Night 3: Antipasto - parma ham and bread, cold red and green roasted peppers with big pieces of garlic, fried artichoke hearts, warm runny roasted tomatoes.
Pasta - linguine carbonara (funny I have not seen any spaghetti. Maybe that’s a regional dish? Or Western?). The carbonara is perfect – when I’ve made it, it has been scrambed eggs. This is silky and smooth. I love it.
Main - salty salad and veal, which we eat, even though we do not eat veal. Well, when in Abruzzo…do as Abruzzos do.
Dolce - also my favourite - pizzelles like my grandma used to make, with cherry jam sandwiched in between. And it is warm. And dusted with icing sugar. Yum yum.
Final night: Antipasto - soft cheese with honey (Is there a better combination of foods?), fried potatoes, big fat portabello mushrooms, eggplant with mozza, tomato and parsley
Pasta - gnocchi with tomato sauce and garlic (about ten thousand times better than the bought gnocchi. Did I mention Nonna makes all her pasta from scratch?)
Meat - moist dark duck meat. Sorry Donald Duck. Salty salad, ricotta like cheese because the orthopedic surgeon guest is a vegetarian.
Dolce - little sugar doughnuts.
I have to say that what we ate last night for dinner in Edmonton (pork chops -even with sage and apples, broccoli and baby potatoes) pales in comparison.
Thanks for the memories, bella Italia. We threw a coin in the Trevi Fountain in Rome, so we hope to be back…