A view of the crystal clear water of Santa Sussana well
“If I am a river, you are the ocean
Got the radio on, got the wheels in motion
We were silenced by the night
But you and I we gonna rise again
Divided from the light
I wanna love the way we used to when”
Nope! This is not a post about love. However, I could not find a better way to star this post without citing the song Silenced by the night from my favorite band – Keane -. Not just because we always play their music while we are driving, but because we were also heading to a river with the stereo on (with Keane’s Strangeland of course!) and our wheels were in motion to Rivodutri, where you can find a marvelous restaurant specializing in fish river called La Trota (the Trout).
In my past post , “How to make Pesto like a Ligurian” , I shared the secrets of the ancient pesto recipe. Having unveiled the ingredients and the method to make pesto alla Genovese, I thought that you may also want to know how Ligurians eat their pesto – right? Well, they combine it by using different pasta shapes that go really well with pesto – trofie, trofiette and trenette. While ago I was going down the pasta aisle of my nearest supermarket, and I came across a box of pasta Barilla. What caught my attention was not only the shape of the pasta – trofie , but the recipe on the back of the box – Ligurian trofie with pesto, potatoes and green beans…Potatoes with pasta? Did I read well? A weird combination, isn’t it? What added value could potatoes give pasta? Since this is a traditional recipe of the Liguria region (and there might be a reason why Ligurians use potatoes), I then decided to give it a try and find out by myself.
I used to make pesto with my food processor. I just had to blend all ingredients and there you have – a quick and easy sauce. Little did I know that using a mortar and pestle would change the taste of this ancient recipe. Indeed, pesto dates back to the mid 800’s and – of course – Ligurian cooks did not have any electrical appliances back then.
Losing an Euro Championship final match to Spain was not an easy thing to digest for Italy, a country with a great football (soccer) tradition. However, this is as far as football I am going to get since I rather write about the one thing Italians and Spaniards can agree on and are proud of …and that is: their culinary tradition.
Last week we had some friends for dinner so I wanted to come up with an appetizer using a recipe from Andalucía, a Southern Region of Spain, Salmorejo, which is a cold soup similar to Gazpacho with the difference that Salmorejo is creamer because it has bread on it. The traditional recipe – named Salmorejo Cordobés because it comes from the city of Córdoba – is topped with hard boiled eggs and Jamón Ibérico (dry-cured Spanish ham).
During my last trip to Favigana, Sicily, I bought a book of Sicilian recipes named – Ricette di Osterie e Genti di Sicilia (Recipes of Taverns and People of Sicily) – Slow Food Publishing. As the title says, this book is a collection of recipes from different taverns and well known cooks across the fascinating Island of Sicily.
Having woken up late this morning, we decided to have a light breakfast in one of my favorite places in Rome – Settembrini. Over the last year, this has become of one hottest spots in Rome for its great food, service and atmosphere. It is important to highlight that Settembrini is open for breakfast, lunch, happy hour, dinner and after dinner!!!
One of the most popular, versatile and delicious Italian appetizers are bruschette (plural for bruschetta in Italian) or bruschettas.
I love making them anytime of the year since I can choose from a vast array of fresh, seasonal toppings.
However, during this time of the year I get this weird sensation: I don’t know if it’s summer or autumn (judging by the produce available now), just as the wonderful blog Olives and Artichokes cleverly stated on its latest post Summer or autumn?
It seems Summer in Italy is still going to stay with us at least for now. Since these days temperatures in Rome are in the 90’s (about 32°C), Romans are still going away for the weekend for their last beach getaways.This past weekend we were off to Umbria’s countryside, where my parent’s in law have a lovely country home.
Before coming to Italy, I was not keen on seafood; I was a red meat and chicken lover. My seafood culture would not go beyond a great Honduran ceviche (yes we do have great ceviche!!), or grilled shrimp on a skewer. This was probably because, despite our beautiful Caribbean seacoast, in Honduras we mostly eat chicken and red meat, specially in San Pedro Sula – the city where I was born and raised – where people do not have the habit of eating seafood (unfortunately). However, in the Bay Islands area – off the North coast of Honduras, seafood is a very common staple. It is quite interesting that despite being a small country, Honduras has a vast and rich gastronomic culture: we have influences from Africa, Mayans, and Spain. Yet, someday I am going to go deeper on this argument, hoping I can blog from my country.
I have always wondered what was “cooking” behind the kitchen door of a great restaurant. This time I had the privilege (and what a privilege) to witness some of the most delicious recipes – and secrets – of the Southern Italian cuisine.