This is probably the holiday recap you had all been waiting for: a bite by bite exploration of Italian cuisine.
Needless to say that it’s impossible not to mention food when discussing a trip to Italy. Italy is food. Italians talk about food as if they were talking about their lovers and all Italians cook with their hearts. Italian food is like a love affair: intense, pure and incredibly satisfying and exciting.
The most remarkable thing about Italian food is its simplicity. Less is more. With often less than 4 ingredients, they were able to put a plate in front of me that just blew me away. Pure and honest flavours.
Simple but never ever ever under-seasoned. And that, is the trickiest balance to get right.
So are you ready to see the evidence of my foodie Italian adventure?
Here we go!
1) Let’s start with the antipasti:
Aubergine millefeuille: so simple and yet so delicious!
Wonderful carpaccio di Pesce Spada with fennel and almonds ( of which I –boohoo– forgot to take a picture)
Just to give you an idea of what it looked like:
(just imagine the thin slices of fennel and almond flakes on top 😉 )
Amazing Vitello Tonnato: the best vitello Tonnato I have ever eaten in my entire life, I swear! (again, no pic, I was often just too mesmerized by the food that I couldn’t be bothered to so much as think about taking a picture)
2) The primi piatti:
The most delicious black tagliatelle with sea food: H-E-A-V-E-N!
Bigoli pasta with… donkey sauce! Yes, sit in awe and be amazed!
Raddicchio and taleggio risotto: the best risotto ever! (and woops, no picture)
But it looked a bit like this:
Parsley risotto with shrimps: this sure packed a punch!
Intense fresh egg pasta with hard goats’ cheese and pepper: sounds very basic but it just blew me away! (which, I guess, is the reason why I forgot to take a picture)
Potato gnocchi with celery and mushrooms: mmm, I love gnocchi!
Vegetarian cannelloni stuffed with Mediterranean vegetables and a regional type of Hüttenkäse
3) The secondi piatti:
Grilled pesce spada à la Siciliana: soooo good!
Seppia gratinato (cuttlefish) stuffed with shrimp and tomatoes: the cuttlefish was cooked to perfection!
Monkfish cooked al cartoccio with clams, mussels, vegetables and pesto: divine!
Grilled vegetable tart with mozzarella: pure and delicious!
Tagliata di manzo with rocket, parmigiano and balsamic syrup: a classic!
4) Lots and lots of dessert: as always!
As you could read (and see) in my previous posts, I ate quite a lot of gelato, and why wouldn’t I? It’s just sooo good.
So beside that cone with a scoop of flora and cioccolate fondante, I devoured a cone with Malaga ice cream and biscotti ice cream: probably the best flavours on the planet!
I also had a rather gigantic Amaretto ice- cream bowl: chocolate, coffee and hazelnut ice cream drenched in plenty of Amaretto and topped with amaretti biscuits and whipped cream. Oh boy!
In an attempt to eat more healthy: a giant bowl of frozen yoghurt with caramelized nuts and honey. I know, not really authentic Italian but oh so good!
Apart from the gelato, I absolutely adore the Italian pasticceria as well!
A plate full of biscotti, which you were supposed to dunk in sweet dessert wine! Oh my God!!
Moorish nutty caramel cake with coconut ice cream and sour cherries: seriously one of the best puds I have ever eaten! (And I’ve eaten quite a lot in my lifetime!)
Südtirol has a lot of Austrian influences, especially in its cuisine, which is a lovely melting pot of Mediterranean Italy and Alpine Austria. And I simply couldn’t resist all those traditional Austrian Torten und Kuchen: I ate the most wonderful Topfenstrudle (it was so delicious that I forgot to take a picture) and ate the world famous Sachertorte not once, but twice.
The list above is, of course, not a complete list of all the lovely and delicious things I ate during my stay in Italy but it would have been simply too much for you to handle! 😉
But before I go, I would like to give you a sneak peak of an Italian dish I cooked myself while I was over there:
Antipasti with a large variety of cured meats, and a salad of scamorza cheese (smoked mozzarella), sweet and juicy nectarine, basil and freshly ground pepper.
Followed by grilled vegetables and spicy gnocchi with dried chillies, cherry tomatoes, fresh basil and monte vecchio cheese.
So who’s hungry now? 😉