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Ann's Italy Food Journal - Part One  Ann's Italy Food Journal - Part Two    Judy's Italy Food Journal The Reluctant Parisienne    
 
     

 

Ann's Italy Food Journal - Part Two

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Roma Dinner - BruschettaFor dinner, I cooked a meal consisting of bruschetta - delicious bread grilled over the open flame on the stove top - rubbed with fresh garlic and drizzled with olive oil - Villa Antica from Venturi in Perugia.  As I only had one pot, I first boiled water and cooked green beans until they were cooked but still crisp to the bite and I cooked Farfalle pasta, al dente, drained the pasta and reserved. I then poured out the pasta water, reserving a cup just in case I needed it for thinning out the finished sauce.

Roma Dinner - Pork ChopIn the same stock pot I then browned the pork chops in a bit of olive oil- looking at the raw chops, I just knew they were going to be delicious - the meat was so pink and slightly marbled.  I removed the browned chops to a plate and prepared the sauce using the canned tomatoes, fresh basil (again the best basil I've ever had) garlic and dried oregano adding a pinch of Italian sea salt and ground black pepper to taste.  I returned the pork chops to the sauce and heated them through and  added the cooked Farfalle.  I didn't need the pasta water after all, but it's still a good cooking tip to reserve a cup of the pasta cooking water just in case the sauce needs thinning out. 

Roma DinnerI plated the dish with the cooked green beans, pork chop and pasta - yes, all on the same plate.  I know, I know....Italians eat their pasta first, and then they eat the meat and vegetables.   But I just wanted it all on one plate!  One taste of the pork chop and we were amazed!  The most delicious pork and so simply cooked. The wine was a Terra del Sole Sangiovese, 2005 from Sicily -   absolutely fabulous!

 

Our last weekend in Italy was spent with friends that we met in New York while they were visiting a mutual friend.  They invited us to visit them when we came to Italy and so we were delighted to accept their invitation.

We traveled by bus (note to self: next visit take the train) to Pescara in the Abruzzo region which is on the Adriatic coast. The great wine of this region is Montepulciano We would also visit the towns of Loreto Aprutino where our mutual friend has a small house and to a neighboring town of Atri which is an extremely interesting and historic town set in a mountainous landscape.

 
   
Our friends, Eraldo and his sister Sonia drove us around pointing out interesting ancient Etruscan sites, and so many hills covered with olive trees but the site that amazed me was seeing the Adriatic and the beach.  Eraldo and his sister belong to a beach club and every summer season they have their beach chairs and umbrella and their spot on this beautiful beach.  I know it isn't logical, but somehow I did not associate "Italy" with a beach - hence my amazement.

As our hosts know about my love affair with food, of course a trip to a supermercato was on our itinerary.  The supermarket was in an open-air mall with lots of other stores and restaurants but we were there to buy food for lunch at Sonia's home along with their father.  The name of the supermarket is "SIMPLY".  I asked about the name and what it means .... "simply what?"  But no one had an answer! 

While strolling around enjoying the beautiful produce department, the incredibly inexpensive wines, I decided to use this opportunity to buy some dried porcini to bring back to my foodie friends.  Another note to self:  don't buy dried porcini anywhere near a tourist-y area for an outrageous price - buy reasonably priced dried porcini only at a supermarket or a farmers' market!  The wine we bought to have with lunch was a Montepulciano d'Abruzzo 2005 for 2.70 which is approximately US$3.70.   

The deli counter was just like American deli counters in major supermarkets with a large rotisserie roasting chickens.  Sonia's lunch menu was going to include these great looking chickens but the best part of tasting them was yet to come. 

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NYC Culinary Tour  Ann's Italy Food Journal - Part One Ann's Italy Food Journal - Part Two Judy's Italy Food Journal The Reluctant Parisienne