Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Visit local market and cooking with Gabriella

We started the day at the local market. Too much fun! The highlights at the market included: the last of the season's fresh figs; amazing porchetta sandwiches; baby olive trees to plant in your yard (I wish!); Cashmere sweaters; and shoes, shoes, shoes, among other things!

Traveller's hint: don't touch the fruit and veggies - the stand vendor will serve you! Non tocare!

Joanne and Sidney relaxing on the terrace between stints in the kitchen with Gabriella.

We learned 4 easy pasta sauces and of course sat down to enjoy all of them, with a little break between the first two pasta courses!

We made the following sauces: Amatriciana, Puttanesca, Carbonara, and Caccio & Peppe.

My favourite was Caccio & Peppe, which I had never had before. It's so very simple, and so delicious. Caccio is the latin word for cheese, so the sauce is literally 'cheese and pepper'. It's made with a vegetable stock (empty your fridge of vegetables, eg zucchini, onions, tomatoes, etc, and simmer 45 minutes to make the stock). A stainless steel bowl is warmed by placing it as a cover over the pasta water. 3 handfuls each of pecorino and parmigiano are added to the bowl, along with the warm vegetable stock, and lots of freshly grated pepper. This is tossed with mezzo maniche, a fairly substantial pasta, similar to macaroni. Extra vegetable stock is added if needed. Amazingly simple and so so good. The cheese is the star in this dish, no embellishments required.

Tom and Dale enjoyed Gabriella's pasta and our lunch conversations.

What wonderful travelling companions!

Gabriella and Madi at the table, enjoying Gugliermo's stories.

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