abruzzo, italy


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…


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