Monday, November 1, 2010
Food in Italy (It's Good!)
In Italy, there was sooooo much great food to be eaten, and we ate tons of it! From the street food, to the restaurants-even the highway rest stops-the food was just amazing everywhere. The whole attitude towards food there was different too...people weren't rushing around with grease-soaked bags of fast food, running to work while drinking super-sized sodas. Food was for the most part prepared simply and with fresh ingredients.
Zucchini flowers, a rare find in the US, were all over the place and in all kinds of delicious dishes!
Simple fresh seasonal ingredients were the real stars of the dishes in Italy. We finally tasted things like olive oil and tomatoes like it was the first time ever. Maybe it was the clean air, or the fact that we were drinking (lots of) good wine on a daily basis, or that we were on vacation and had no real responsibilities...hey, let's not put labels on things!
These were the best mussels that we have ever had...we were starving after walking for hours, and found this place right on the water in Capri. BTW, mussels with garlic and white wine broth are best served with some good Italian beer and wine!
While in Ravello, which is a beautiful little town on the Amalfi Coast, we spent a day at Mamma Agata's Cooking School. This was definitely the food highlight of the trip! We spent the entire day there, starting out with delicious lemon cake and espresso while sitting on the outdoor terrace overlooking the coastline and the Tyrrhenian Sea.
Lemon cake, this time with some homemade limoncello!
Then we were introduced to the family and Mamma Agata's charming daughter Chiara, who was our excellent hostess for the day. Here's what we made:
Pasta of the Farmer
Pasta with sausage and peppers
Mamma Agata shows us how it's done!
We made this amazing chicken dish again the first week we got home. It was that good!
All the ingredients we used were grown on their farm, which extended all the way down to the sea! The importance of fresh ingredients cannot be overstated.
The cooking school was one of the highlights of the trip, and I would recommend it to anyone visiting Italy. All of the food was amazing! The memories, views, smells, flavors, and the people we met there were totally worth the cost. Not to mention that we came hungry, and left stuffed (we made lots of other things that I didn't get pictures of) and didn't eat anything for the rest of the day! (Unless you count the late-night gelato run, but no one counts gelato!)
We miss the wonderful people from Mamma Agata's Cooking School...but the good news is that we are seeing them again very soon! And you can too!!! They're in NYC right now, and will be signing their new cookbook tomorrow, November 2nd at Rizzoli Bookstore so come check them out! You can bet that we'll be there!!!