I love Italian food. I mean I really do. And thankfully, I keep finding excuses to eat. Like being hungry! Or not.
I plan on recording many of our meals with the hope that I can replicate them when I get home. Like I mentioned before, I love all the fresh ingredients, vegetables, and tasty recipes.
Right now we have a lovely woman who is cooking for us in the evenings. She has a remarkable background and is such a kind person as well. And I can’t explain how amazing it is to have someone cook and clean up when that is something I generally have to do on my own nearly every day. I love to cook, and I enjoy feeding my family, but it is wonderful to be served delicious food that I had nothing to do with.
I have learned a bit more about the proper names of the courses. Here we go:
L’antipasta: appetizers of any variety
Il Primo: often pasta, or soup
Il Secundo: meat with vegetables
Il Dolce: dessert
When you go to a restaurant, the menu is arranged as above, by courses. But when you order you don’t have to feel obligated to order all four courses, you can just order what you like. But the chef who has been cooking for us has been making all four courses every night. And I have been eating them. With help, of course!
So, here are the menus for the last two nights.
Caprese salad, mushroom bruschetta, black cabbage frittata
Roast rosemary chicken with rosemary potatoes, salad greens
Gorgonzola mushroom tart, stewed vegetables with toasted bread
Pork loin with white wine and sage, roasted potatoes and fennel
Chocolate ricotta tart
I make caprese salad often at home in the summer, when I have tomatoes and basil. I have also made pesto, which is one of my favorite flavors. The roast chicken was cut up and roasted with the skin on, and was so tender and juicy. The lemon tart was served warm and was perfect! Not a super lemon flavor, but just fresh and custardy. It did not taste at all like a lemon meringue pie. It was definitely lemon, but not so sweet. Another highlight was the Artichoke risotto. I love risotto, and this was some of the best I have had. The pork loin was covered in fresh sage leaves and was also so moist for such a lean cut, especially. The chocolate ricotta tart was also delicious, with a layer of cooked ricotta custard topped with chunks of dark chocolate.
I think dinnertime has been my favorite so far. We have had such lovely conversations! The four courses are eaten slowly with lots of time in between for us to relax and visit. I wish we had more time at home to both cook and eat, but it seems that a lot of the time I barely get dinner on the table in time for people to snarf the food and head out to various evening obligations. I think this summer I will insist on some leisurely dinners!
Black cabbage frittata