Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Italian Cucina

What’s the best thing about Rome

The Coliseum?

…Or the Sistine Chapel?

Well, both places are breathtaking, but they’re not half as memorable as the food.  I’ve always been a fan of the Italian cucina but sampling it in the nation’s capital, Rome, knocks spots off any Italian restaurant I’ve ever visited.

Meat stuffed pasta with a meat ragu
A splendid antipasti plate featuring those zucchini....and roasted peppers
Soup Verdura - a cacophony of color!

During our three day visit we managed to cram in both lunches and dinner, followed by the ubiquitous gelato pit-stop. 

Highlights of our culinary tour included:

* Antipasti
* Zucchini with garlic and mint (an interesting combination to which I am now addicted. See next post for the genuine Roman version)
* Veal Saltimbocca
* Polpetti – meatballs served with pine nuts
* Grilled fish
* Caprese salad made with freshest mozzarella imaginable...

I was delighted by the simplicity of this food; the Italian kitchen relies on stunning ingredients rather than fancy tricks in the presentation.  The food speaks for itself.

Now is the perfect time to attempt to reproduce these dishes; you can readily find top-notch late summer produce at Farmers Markets, roadside farm stalls and of course the produce merchants such as Iovine Bros at the Reading Terminal Market.

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