sabato 12 agosto 2017

Salsicce & friarielli / Sausages & broccoli-rabe


Sasicc’ e friariell’!!! Mamma r’ ’o Càrmene!!! Il re dei piatti napoletani non è la pizza. Non è gli spaghetti con le polpette. Non è la pizza di scarola. È le salsicce con i friarielli. Un piatto più grandioso, chi lo potrebbe mai inventare?!

Non posso immaginare una cucina senza una pentola di ghisa smaltata, tipo Le Creuset che di Staub. Il modo in cui questa pentola fonde i sapori e ritiene l’umidità ... è oltre ogni descrizione. Metti una sol cucchiaiata in bocca e dici: “Dio mio...” (Se non mi credete, provatelo. Fate qualsiasi ricetta che di solito fate in inox, e fatela dentro Le Creuset. Un unico assaggio, e capirete.)

E allora, come si fa questa ricetta regale?

Ingredienti
6 salsicce piccanti, incise con un coltello
2 mazzi di friarielli (broccoli di rapa), senza i gambi (che salvo in freezer per un brodo futuro)
4-6 spicchi d’aglio, interi
un po’ di evo (di alta qualità)
un po’ di vino bianco (di alta qualità)
sale marino
pepe nero, macinato al momento

Preparazione
Fate saltare l’EVO, le salsicce, l’aglio, sale e pepe. Appena le salsicce e l’aglio saranno rosolati alquanto (non bruciati), diglassate con il vino. Aggiungete i friarielli, aggiungete più sale, coprite e fate cuocere a fuoco medio-basso fino a quando sarà pronto. Coronatelo con pecorino, grattugiato al momento.
  Sasicc’ e friariell’!!! Mamma r’ ’o Càrmene!!! The king of Neapolitan dishes is not pizza. It is not spaghetti and meatballs. It is not escarole pie. It is sausages with broccoli-rabe. A more grandiose dish, who could ever invent?!

I cannot imagine a kitchen without an enameled cast-iron pan, such as Le Creuset. The manner in which this pan blends the flavors and retains the moisture ... it is beyond description. You put one spoonful in your mouth and you say, "Oh, my God ..." (If you don't believe me, try it.  Make any recipe that usually you make in stainless steel, and make it in Le Creuset.  Just one taste, and you'll understand.)

And so, how do you prepare this kingly recipe?

Ingredients
6 hot sausages, scored with a knife
2 bunches of broccoli-rabe, without the stems (which I save in the freezer for a future stock)
4-6 cloves of garlic, whole
a little extra-virgin olive oil (top-quality)
a little white wine (top-quality)
sea salt
freshly ground pepper

Preparation
Sauté the EVOO, sausages, garlic, salt and pepper. As soon as the sausages and garlic are somewhat brown (not burnt), deglaze with the wine. Add the broccoli-rabe, add more salt, cover, and cook on medium-low heat until it is ready. Crown with freshly grated pecorino romano.
Foto: SurLaTable.com

sabato 5 agosto 2017

Due belle ricette / Two beautiful recipes

Mondello
Foto: Andrea Calcagno (Wikipedia)
LE MERAVIGLIE DELLA TECNOLOGIA!

Due delle prime foodblogger che ho mai cominciato a seguire sono state Sara Drilli Barone e Serena Comacchio. Nel corso degli anni, ho presentato in queste pagine traduzioni in inglese delle loro ricette. Amicizie sono nate con ciascuna di queste donne, che durante gli anni mi hanno offerto una quantità straordinaria di consigli e di assistenza. Continua a rattristarmi il fatto che, ad oggi, non ho avuto l’opportunità d’incontrare di persona né Sara né Serena.

Nel frattempo, Sara e Serena sono diventate amiche virtuali con se stesse!  Provengono da lati opposti d’Italia. (Una è siciliana e abita a Milano; l’altra abita in Veneto.) Finalmente, hanno deciso d’incontrarsi.

Giovedì mattina, Sara e Serena stavano prendendo il sole a Mondello, la spiaggia più famosa della Sicilia, e una delle più belle spiagge del Mediterraneo. A poco prima delle 6, avevo problema a dormire. Degenerato che sono, piuttosto che prendere un libro, sono andato su Facebook.  Ma in questo caso sono così felice di averlo fatto!  Poiché Sara e Serena sono andate su Facebook Live e mi hanno salutato da Mondello!  Ed io ero in linea, in tempo reale, per ricevere il saluto!

Che emozione! E che piacevole modo d’incominciare la mia giornata!

All’istante, ho deciso che per cena, preparerei due ricette – l’una di Serena, l’altra di Sara.

Durante la giornata ho esplorato i due bei blog. Ho scelto due ricette che non avevo mai fatto prima: la Pasta 4P di Serena, e gli Sandwich di Zucchine di Sara.

Le mie creature le hanno felicemente divorate, dichiarando che fossero “epiche.”

   THE WONDERS OF TECHNOLOGY!

Two of the first foodbloggers that I ever began to follow were Sara Drilli Barone and Serena Comacchio. Nel corso degli anni, ho presentato in queste pagine  Over the years, I have featured English translations of their recipes in this blog. Friendships formed with each of these ladies, who over the years have offered me tremendous advice and assistance. It continues to sadden me that, to this day, I have not had the opportunity to meet either Sara or Serena in person.

In the meantime, Sara and Serena formed internet friendships with each other! They are from opposite ends of Italy. (One is from Sicily and lives in Milan; the other lives in the Veneto.) Finally, they decided to meet in person.

On Thursday morning, Sara and Serena were soaking up the rays at Mondello, the most famous beach in Sicily, and one of the most beautiful beaches in the Mediterranean. At shortly before 6 a.m., I was having trouble sleeping. Degenerate that I am, rather than pick up a book, I went onto Facebook. But in this instance I am so happy that I did. Sara and Serena went onto Facebook Live and greeted me from Mondello! And I was online, to receive their greeting in real time!

What a thrill!  And what an incredibly pleasant way to start my day!

On the spot, I decided that for dinner, I would make two recipes – one by Serena, the other by Sara.

During the day I browsed the two beautiful blogs. I chose two recipes that I had never made before: Serena's Pasta 4P, and Sara's Zucchini sandwiches.

My children happily devoured them, declaring that they were "epic."

Recipe #1
Pasta 4P
Recipe by Sara Comacchio (Lo Sfizio Goloso)
Ingredients for 4 people:
320 gr penne
120 gr pancetta affumicata (otherwise known as ... bacon! 120 grams is approx. 1/4 lb, approx. 4 slices. Chop the slices into little squares.)
2 TB pesto genovese (of course you should make it homemade.  Instead of pine nuts, I used California pistachios!)
250 ml panna da cucina (heavy cream)

Preparation
In a large skillet, brown the bacon.  Don't discard the grease.  Add the pesto, stir well and shut off the heat right away.  Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the penne.  A minute before draining it, add the cream to the skillet and heat on high.  Drain the pasta, add to the skillet, shut the heat, and serve right away.

Recipe #2
Zucchini sandwiches
Recipe by Sara Barone Drilli (I Piattini di Drilli)
Ingredients 
1 large, round zucchino
sliced brie (see note below)
sliced speck (Speck is smoked prosciutto.  It is hard to find in America.  I used regular prosciutto, and smoked Gouda for the cheese. You can also use smoked mozzarella or smoked scamorza – something that will melt easily.  Naturally, if you can find speck, use brie & speck as per the original recipe!)
1 scallion
1 egg, beaten (a little salt added)
flour, sifted
fresh basil, chopped
extra-virgin olive oil

Preparation
Clean and slice the zucchino in fairly thin disks, tamp dry with a paper towel, dip in flour, then in the egg. Heat a skillet, add the olive oil, and fry the zucchini with the scallion. When fried, arrange on a pan.  While they're still hot, add the slices of cheese and speck, making "sandwiches."  Sprinkle with the fresh, chopped basil (DON'T use dry!), and serve.

(When I made it, the zucchini weren't quite soft enough. So I simply placed the pan in the oven and continued making the pasta on the stove.  They were perfect!  And, my kids and I both felt that they were even better the next morning, cold out of the refrigerator!)

giovedì 27 luglio 2017

In memoriam CARMINE TRUBIANO

Dear friends, 

A year ago today, I lost one of my dearest friends of my entire life, CARMINE TRUBIANO.  His profile could have been on an Ancient Roman coin – and his life-style bore some similarities, as well!  A man such as him you don't replace – you remember, and you mourn.

The following is the eulogy that I had the great honor of giving at his funeral.


I'm not going to stand here and tell you what a wonderful person Carmine was. If you didn't already know him and think that, you wouldn't be here right now. And I'm so happy that you did know him, because if you didn't, if you had never met him, how can I possibly begin to describe him? In my whole life, I can't think of anyone who was like him. And that is what makes this so hard. There's no one to replace him with.
There's no way to express who he was in a five-minute eulogy. So I'm going to share only a couple of personal memories.
I first met Carmine almost 25 years ago, when he was the manager at Filippo's Restaurant, which I used to visit frequently. We became fast friends. I called him “fratellino”, which means little brother, and he called me “fratellone”, which means big brother. This was very comical, both in terms of our ages and our sizes – although regarding the latter, as you can see I am catching up fast.
I have to tell you what an event it was, in those days, to visit him and his dear, unforgettable mother. At the time I was living in Revere, and I didn't drive. Even if I did drive, this was before the days of the Ted Williams Tunnel. So to visit 50 Washington Ave., either by train or by car, was something of a journey. Once, I showed up uninvited. Absolutely uninvited – he had no idea I was coming. With no surprise in his voice at all, he said, “Uhé, fratellone.” Within 60 seconds, I was seated at the table and there was food in front of me. From the fridge he pulls out a dish of hamburgers, made not from beef but from the meat of a deer that he himself had shot with Luigi Andreassi. While I'm eating that, he starts boiling some water for the pasta. Then he goes to the cupboard and pulls out a can of tomatoes. And as the sauce is cooking he goes to his freezer and pulls out a whole truffle, from which he shaves one tiny sliver into the sauce. And when the sauce is almost done, he goes to his freezer and pulls out a bag of homemade triangular maltagliati. And so the meal went. Later, when I moved in Natick, suddenly the long journey was only a five-minute car ride. And when he would call me and invite me over for quote-unquote “leftovers,” can you imagine how fast I drove over there?
One thing that struck me about Carmine was that he was utterly unjudgmental. He let people be whoever they were going to be. With one notable exception. He could not abide any sort of snobbery or pretension. He hated snobs so much that sometimes I think he downplayed his own education and culture and played the part of the peasant. This way, the snobs would be repelled, and then he could hang out with the people that he actually liked. With me, there was no pretension, and we had many long conversations about literature and art and every aspect of Italian culture. And by the way, he really could read and write Latin.
But there was a reason why he hated snobbery, and it's very important that I tell you. When I used to work at the mall, I used to see these rich, bored housewives come in and giddily buy a cast-iron pan that was recommended by their cooking instructor. Well, the Italians were using those pans 150 years ago. And stop to think for a moment that the peasants of those times, who couldn't even read or write, would once a year kill a pig, and with that pig would make the pancetta and the guanciale and the sausages, and they knew how to preserve everything perfectly, without any of the meat going bad, and the family would eat this meat for a whole year. You could go to Harvard Medical School for 25 years and not learn how to do all of that. Carmine did have a great intellectual curiosity. If he didn’t he wouldn’t have studied in Rome and France and gotten his Bachelors and Masters at BU and studied for his doctorate at Middlebury College. At the same time, he knew full well what real culture was.
This is why, without making a big deal of it, Carmine would teach us friends certain traditions that even in Italy are disappearing. This was another aspect of Carmine that not many people understood. If even in Italy people go to the store to buy sausages, why would he go through the trouble of inviting friends over for a sausage-making party? But this is exactly what occurred one unforgettable day about 15 years ago. There were five of us: Carmine, his cousin Cesidio from Italy, his cousin Carmine from Canada, Tony Onorato, and myself. There we were, in the basement of 50 Washington Ave., and on the table before us was 60 pounds of ground pork. “I usually make only 50 pounds,” Carmine explained. And he washed each casing by hand. And he measured the ground pepper carefully. And we made 60 pounds of sausages, our toil alleviated by gallons of Luigi’s homemade red wine. I won’t say that we imbibed too much that day. Then again, I won’t say that we didn’t imbibe too much that day. I’ll say only that if a mosquito bit any one of us that day, it would have needed a glass of water as a chaser.
At the end of the party, I was sitting on a chair, unaware of the fact that outside Carmine had lit the charcoal grill. Without saying a syllable, he handed me a dish with a grilled patty made from the leftover sausage meat, in a grilled bun. For whatever reason, remembering that moment reminds me of his incredible generosity and the lack of pretention with which he fed everyone around him. For him it was a normal thing to do to make a gluten-free lasagne and bring a piece of it to his physical therapist. Or the time that we were talking on the phone and I asked him about rabbit recipes. The very next day there’s a knock on my door. There he is, holding two plastic containers, one with rabbit “cif e ciaf” and the other with rabbit “in umido.” 
There just isn’t time to tell you all these stories. However, I would be remiss not to mention a birthday party of mine, about 20 years ago. Carmine drove to Revere and brought an entire lasagne and an entire porchetta. Enough to feed my entire family and friends. He did things like that. And come to think of it, in 25 years he never asked me a favor. He did a lot of favors, but he never asked for one.
Throughout his life Carmine loved to write poetry. During his final illness, while at the Eliot rehab here in Natick, he wrote several poems. They could have been written by someone born not in 1936 but 1886. One of them ended in Latin! Of these poems, there was one that struck me in particular. It begins “Here I am at the edge of the deep abyss that separates death from life.”

Eccomi all’orlo del profondo abisso
Che separa la morte dalla vita
Di vivere la spem quasi è finita
Solo mi sento come il crocifisso
Come lui di morir non ho paura
Perché male a nessuno ho fatto mai
Forse una volta o due anch’io sbagliai
ma l’alma mia rimase sempre pura
Del futuro non vedo alcun bagliore
Le tenebre mi dicon “Non sperare
fugge dai cimiteri anche la speme.”
Dentro di me qualcosa assai mi preme
Mi sento forte ancora da lottare
Pur se lottar vuol dire grande dolore

Less that two weeks before he died, I was on Facebook, and on Linda Onorato’s timeline there was a photo of a wonderful meal. Knowing how weak Carmine was, I figured it was from several years ago. She replied, “No, this is happening right now. Come over.” This was at 9:39 p.m. At 9:51 I was in Carmine’s driveway. Seated at the table were Linda Onorato, Kristin Brothers, and Linda Zaleski. There was the old lion, the charmer, reading his romantic poetry to these three blushing women, tears trickling down their cheeks.
The three ladies left. I remained for about 45 more minutes, until about 11:40. Just me and Carmine, talking. Our final conversation.
He was very tired, yet still he was the host of the Bacchanal. “Have some more wine. Have some more Centerba. Would you like some limoncello?”
I said to him, “Carmine, you’ve been such a wonderful friend to all of us, and in all these years you’ve never asked anything of us. Have we been good friends to you in return?”
He replied, “Of course. I don’t want anything in return. All that matters is the love.”

***

The following was his obituary (which I also wrote).


Carmine A. Trubiano, age 80, of Natick, died peacefully on July 27, 2016 at Brigham & Women’s Hospital. He had recently been diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia.
Mr. Trubiano was born in Castiglione a Casauria, a town of 850 inhabitants in the Italian province of Pescara, the eldest child of Ivra (Ranella) Trubiano and Lucio Trubiano. He attended the Liceo Classico Ovidio in nearby Sulmona, where he studied Latin Language and Literature, as well as Classical Greek. After further studies in Rome, he lived in France for three years, where he learned both welding and French cuisine. He worked in Holland for seven months before emigrating to the United States in October, 1960. (He would become an American citizen in May, 1966.) From 1960 to 1963 he worked for Westinghouse Electric in Boston, while studying English at Wellesley High Night School. From 1964 to 1973 he co-owned a welding business in Framingham. He received a B. A. in French at Boston University (1973), an M. A. in Education and Italian at Boston University (1975), and completed coursework for a D.M.L. in Italian at Middlebury College (1978). After a brief tenure teaching Italian at Watertown High School (1975), he taught Italian Language and Literature at Newton North High School from 1975 to 1981. In Newton and Middlebury he directed several plays, including Pirandello’s “La giara,” Tozzi’s “L’uva,” Fratti’s “Il dentista e la dentista,” Pirandello’s “La favola del figlio cambiato,” and his own “L’apologia di Don Venanzio.”
In the 1980s and ‘90s, Mr. Trubiano was a well-known figure in the North End of Boston, where he worked as a manager for several important restaurants, most notably Ristorante Filippo. He was also a member of the Massachusetts Foreign Language Association, the Italian-American Educational Club (Wellesley), and the Dante Alighieri Society (Cambridge).
Mr. Trubiano was a prolific poet who continued to write poems right up to his death. His poetry includes two collections, “America amara” (115 poems) and “A Najwa” (38 poems).
Mr. Trubiano is survived by three sons, Luciano, Enzo, and Mario; and siblings, Pasquina Gaspari of Italy, Reno Trubiano of Framingham, Mario Trubiano of Rhode Island, Dino Trubiano of Natick, and Fausto Trubiano of Natick.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, September 10th at 1 p.m. in the chapel of the John Everett & Sons Funeral Home, 4 Park Street at Natick Common. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Natick Visiting Nurse Association (www.natickvna.org) or Bay Path Elder Services (www.baypath.org).

domenica 9 luglio 2017

Il mio pasto estivo preferito / My favorite summer meal

ZUCCHINE CON SALSICCE, “POMODORINI UVA” & MAGGIORANA DEL GIARDINO
ZUCCHINI WITH SAUSAGES, GRAPE TOMATOES, & GARDEN MARJORAM

Questa ricetta richiede la cocotte in ghisa porcellanata, tipo Le Creuset. Senza questa casseruola, onestamente, è difficile fare questo piatto speciale.

Le “pomodorini uva” sono fedeli al loro nome: sono a forma d’uva, più piccole dei “pomodorini ciliegini” che, fedeli al nome loro, sono a forma di ciliegia.

La zucchina e la maggiorana: uno dei migliori matrimoni della cucina. La maggiorana ho colto dal mio orticello minuti prima di metterla in casseruola.
   This recipe requires an enameled cast-iron Dutch oven, of the Le Creuset type.  Without this pot, honestly, it is difficult to make this special dish.

"Grape tomatoes" are true to their name: they are grape-shaped, smaller than "cherry tomatoes" which, true to their name, are cherry-shaped.

Zucchini and marjoram: one of the best marriages in cooking. The marjoram I picked from my garden minutes before putting it in the pot.
Ingredienti
evo
3 salsicce dolci (c. 275 gr), a medaglioni
½ cipolla rossa, a grandi fette
3 spicchi d’aglio, dimezzati
3 zucchine, a medaglioni
c. 500 gr pomodorini uva
sale & pepe, macinati al momento
maggiorana fresca
   Ingredients
extra-virgin olive oil
3 sweet Italian sausages (c. 3/5 lb), cut in medallions
½ red onion, cut in large slivers
3 cloves garlic, halved
3 zucchini, cut in medallions
1 pint grape tomatoes
salt & pepper, freshly ground
fresh marjoram
Preparazione
Fate riscaldare l’evo. Fate rosolare le salsicce insieme con la cipolla, l’aglio e il sale & pepe.  Aggiungete le altre ingredienti, abbassate la fiamma, mettete il coperchio, e fate cuocere lentamente finché le zucchine cambiano colore. (Difficile dire quanto tempo –
magari un’ora.)

N.B.! Ecco la gloria di questa ricetta: non aggiungete manco una goccia di liquido, né vino né brodo né acqua. Tutta l’acqua contenuta dentro le zucchine e nei pomodorini, tutta tenuta dentro la casseruola dal pesante coperchio di ferro, emerge e crea un brodo che non potete immaginare! (Per ancor più brodo, potete mettere un foglio di alluminio tra il coperchio e la casseruola.)
   Preparation
Heat the olive oil. Brown the sausages together with the onion, garlic, and salt & pepper.  Add the other ingredients, lower the heat, put the cover, and cook slowly until the zucchini changes color. (Hard to say how long – perhaps an hour.)

Note well! Here is the glory of this recipe: you don't add so much as a drop of liquid, neither wine nor stock nor water. All of the water contained inside the zucchini and tomatoes, all kept inside the pot by the heavy iron lid, emerges and creates a broth that you can't imagine! (For even more broth, you can put a sheet of aluminum foil between the lid and the pot.)


Vino raccomandato: Potere andare in entrambe le direzioni, sia bianco per le zucchine, sia rosso per le salsicce e i pomodori. Io suggerisco un pinot noir francese, cioè un rosso leggero. (Un rosso potente sarebbe un grade sbaglio.)    Recommended wine: You can go in either direction, be it white for the zucchini, or red for the sausages and tomatoes. I suggest a French pinot noir, in other words a light red. (A powerful red would be a big mistake.)


sabato 17 giugno 2017

Sauce or gravy???

Il ragù napoletano di Mimmo Corcione (screenshot from YouTube).
The Neapolitan ragù by Mimmo Corcione (screenshot from YouTube).
Da decenni, gli italoamericani portano avanti un’accesa discussione: il sugo domenicale, si chiama “sauce” o si chiama “gravy”?

Il dibattito è difficile spiegare agli italiani in Italia – perché la parola “sugo” può significare sia  “sauce” (salsa) sia “gravy” (sughetto denso), ma anche perché il sugo domenicale nella casa italoamericana è un rito religioso, tenendo un’importanza che in Italia non ha equivalente.

Quelli che ferocemente insistono che “gravy” sia la parola sbagliata non sanno la storia dietro il ragù napoletano, che nacque durante l’occupazione borbonica del Sud, il Regno delle Due Sicilie – i tempi dei “Monzù” (1734-1861).

In nuce:

* L’epoca vide l’impollinazione incrociata fra la cucina francese e quell’italiana.
* I francesi fecero gli stufati deliziosi con tante carni e tanto vino, cotti per molte ore in grandi calderoni di ferro.
* L’influenza italiana introdusse dentro queste stufate sempre più pomodori.
* Un dì, qualcuno scoprì che il sugo di queste stufate rosse facesse un bellissimo condimento per la pasta!

Quindi, il sauce fu davvero il gravy rimasto dalla stufata!

Allora, cos’è la ricetta dell’autentico “Sugo Domenicale ”, il Sacro Graal della cucina italoamericana?

La ricetta più autentica in lingua italiana è quella di Mimmo Corcione, il dio della cucina partenopea.

La ricetta più antentica in lingua inglese è quella di Frank Fariello, il dio della cucina italoamericana.

Certo non intendo tentare di superare le ricette di quei due dei.  Ma cos’è la mia ricetta personale del sugo?

Non è tanto una “ricetta” che una procedura, o più precisamente una filosofia. (Vedrete che assomiglia molto a una stufata!)

   For decades, Italian-Americans have carried on a fierce debate: is the Sunday sugo called "sauce" or "gravy"?

The debate is difficult to explain to Italians in Italy – because the word sugo can mean either "sauce" or "gravy", but also because the Sunday sugo in the Italian-American home is a religious rite, holding an importance that has no equivalent in Italy.

Those who ferociously insist that "gravy" is the wrong word do not know the history behind the Neapolitan ragù, which was born during the Bourbonic (i.e., French) occupation of Southern Italy, the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies – the days of the “Monzù” (1734-1861).

In a nutshell:

* The era saw the cross-pollination between French and Italian cuisines.
* The French made delicious stews with many meats and much wine, cooked for many hours in great iron cauldrons.
* The Italian influence introduced more and more tomatoes into these stews.
* One day, someone discovered that the sugo from these red stews made a wonderful condiment for pasta!

Therefore, the "sauce" was indeed the "gravy" remaining from the stew!

So, what is the recipe for the authentic "Sunday sugo", the Holy Grail of the Italian-American cuisine?

The most authentic recipe in the Italian language is that of Mimmo Corcione, god of the Neapolitan cuisine.

The most authentic recipe in the English language is that of Frank Fariello, god of the Italian-American cuisine.

Certainly I don't intend to surpass the recipes of those two gods.  But what is my personal recipe for sugo?

It is not so much a "recipe" as it is a procedure, or more precisely a philosophy. (You will see that it closely resembles a stew!)
Ecco il Sugo Ciampiano:

1.  Molte carni – le carni che ti piacciono. Fatele friggere nello strutto di maiale oppure l’evo, con cipolle tritate, degli spicchi d’aglio dimezzati, sale & pepe.

2. Appena saranno sigillate, aggiungete 375 ml vino o rosso (stile più meridionale) o bianco (stile più centrale).

3. Appena il vino raggiungerà il punto d’ebollizione, aggiungete:

   a. tre scatole (2,4 kg) pelati San Marzano, intere
   b. 375 ml acqua
   c. qualche carota
   d. qualche sedano
   e. un mezzo peperoncino (facoltativo)
   f. niente zucchero! (Il vino dà tutta la necessaria dolcezza. Se volete anche più dolcezza, aggiungete qualche pomodoro secco al sole.)

4. Fate cuocere lentamente per alcune ore.

5. Rimuovete le carni dalla pentola, e passate il sugo con un frullatore ad immersione. (Perciò avete aggiunto l’acqua invece del brodo – gli ortaggi aromatici sono frullati con i pomodori e tutti i liquidi, dunque il “brodo” c’è sta.)

6. Tornate le carni alla pentola. Continuate a far cuocere il sugo.

7. Se usiate le braciole, le aggiungereste (già fritte) un’ora prima della fine.

8. Se usiate le polpette, le aggiungereste (già fritte) 30/45 minuti prima della fine.

9. Le foglie fresche di basilico si aggiunge allultimo momento!
   Here is the Ciampa Sauce:

1. Lots of meats – the meats that you like.  Fry them in pork lard or EVOO, with chopped onions, halved garlic cloves, salt & pepper.

2. As soon as they are sealed, add 375 ml (half a bottle) wine, either red (more Southern Italian style) or white (more Central Italian style).

3. When the wine reaches the boiling point, add:

   a. 3 cans (2,400 gr) San Marzano whole peeled tomatoes
   b. 375 ml water
   c. a few carrots
   d. a few stalks of celery
   e. half of a chili pepper (optional)
   f. no sugar! (The wine gives all of the necessary sweetness.  If you want even more sweetness, add a few sundried tomates.)

4. Cook slowly for several hours.

5. Remove the meats from the pan, and purée the sugo with an immersion blender.  (That is why you added water instead of stock – the aromatic vegetables are puréed with the tomatoes and all of the liquids, therefore the "stock" is already there.)

6. Return the meats to the pan. Continue to cook the sugo.

7. If you're using braciole, add them (already fried) an hour before the end.

8. If you're using meatballs, add them (already fried) 30-45 minutes before the end.

9. Add the fresh basil leaves at the very end!
Quel gran momento!
That great moment!

giovedì 15 giugno 2017

Insalata di arance / Sicilian orange salad


L’insalata di arance è un piatto preferito in casa nostra. La chiamiamo Sicilian salad (“insalata siciliana”), anche se sia stata possibilmente di origine spagnuola.

Ci sono tante versioni di questo piatto, ma io fortemente preferisco quella semplice semplice: arance affettate, grumolo affettato di finocchio, sale marino, pepe nero (macinato al momento), olio d’oliva e aceto di vino rosso, punto e basta.

Si potrebbe aggiungere qualche oliva kalamata, o qualche foglia di menta. A volte aggiungo i frondi del finocchio come decorazione. Ma io assolutamente non aggiungerei nient’altra cosa.

Dalla nostra tavola alla vostra – Buon appetito!
   Sicilian orange salad is a favorite dish in our house. We call it "Sicilian salad," even though it might be of Spanish origin.

There are many versions of this dish, but I strongly prefer a very simple one: sliced oranges, sliced fennel bulb, sea salt, black pepper (freshly ground), olive oil, red wine vinegar, and that's it.

One could add a few kalamata olives, or a few mint leaves. Sometimes I add some fennel fronds for decoration. But I absolutely would not add anything else.

From our table to yours: Buon appetito!

mercoledì 7 giugno 2017

Tramonto a Montefalcione / Sunset in Montefalcione

Screenshot dalla video di Donnachiara / Screenshot from Donnachiara's video
Il seguente video, pubblicato dalla Cantina Donnachiara, mi ha fatto sentire molto orgoglioso di essere discendente di Montefalcione! E mi ha fatto domandare perché la mia famiglia abbia mai lasciato quel posto!

I panorami di Donnachiara sono i più belli di Montefalcione. (E naturalmente, i loro vini sono altrettanto belli – alcuni dei migliori che io abbia mai assaggiato nel mondo!) Questo video, preso al tramonto, vi toglierà il fiato.

Vi prego di notare che venerdì sera è la Grand Opening del "Temporary Restaurant" da Donnachiara. Secondo Donnachiara, "I Temporary Restaurant sono l'ultima novità nel settore della ristorazione. Come spesso accade, la tendenza arriva da NewYork, dove i primi Temporary Restaurant sono nati dall'esigenza di soddisfare la domanda di location sempre nuove e diverse. Donnachiara è sempre al passo con i tempi e sensibile alle nuove tendenze. Vi aspettiamo a partire da venerdì 9 Giugno con lo Chef Marco Merola del Ristorante PepeNero di Montella."
Per prenotazioni : 0825 97 71 35
Francesco : 3385682847
Marco: 3289633567
   The following video, published by the Donnachiara Winery, made me feel very proud to be a descendent of Montefalcione! And it made me wonder why my family ever left that place!

The panoramas from Donnachiara are the most beautiful in Montefalcione. (And, of course, their wines are equally beautiful – some of the best that I have ever tasted in the world!) This video, taken at sunset, will take your breath away.

Please note that Friday evening is the Grand Opening of Donnachiara's "Temporary Restaurant." According to Donnachiara, "The Temporary Restaurant is the latest trend in the restaurant industry. As often happens, the trend comes from NewYork, where the first Temporary Restaurants were born out of the need to meet the constant demand for new and diverse locations. Donnachiara always keeps up with the times and remains sensitive to new trends. We look forward to meeting you starting on Friday June 9th with Chef Marco Merola of PepeNero Restaurant in Montella."
For reservations: 0825 97 71 35
Francesco: 3385682847
Marco: 3289633567