MANGIA EN CEFALÙ

One of my greatest dreams is to be casually driving … or even better, riding a motor cycle…along a beautiful coastline of some romantic country ( in this case Sicily) and pass by some small restaurant and stop in and have the most delicious meal I’ve ever had! This dream is definitely right out of the movies, but I like to hold on to it , just in case
dreams do come true.

 

So after driving for several hours along the autostrade in Sicily, my friends and my husband and I pull off the road in the charming seaside resort town of Cefalù. The day was just perfect! The town was an Italian dream… an old village with narrow streets and charming shops. It reminded me of Venice sans the canals.
I knew instantly I could select any restaurant on the street and we would dine exquisitely.

Without much ado we walked into a small place and were graciously seated all by ourselves on the tiniest of balconies
overlooking a turquoise blue Mediterranean sea. It was totally glorious !

 

 


After filling ourselves with the most delicious pasta called Paccheri and a Sicilian salad of oranges and black olives, plus drinking a crisp white wine from the vineyards of Cuzumano, we sat perfectly still and drank in the beauty surrounding us.

 


Afterwards, we took a short stroll through the old town and peaked at some of the wonderful things for sale.
And then we were off again on our way to Alcamo and a brief stay at a vineyard. Ah, the good life…

 

Now you didn’t think I was going to leave you without those recipes , did you?

 

The recipes are simple, but all I managed to get from the waiter were the ingredients so remember, to use your judgment about quantities…and cook with a big Sicilian heart!

PASTA PACCHERI *

Fresh basil
Tomatoes, packed whole with tomato sauce in a can
Ricotta, drain out any liquid, preferable fresh
Onion, chopped
Black olives, no pits
Powdered garlic
Olive oil
Oregano, dried
Parmesan cheese
Salt
Pepper
Paccheri pasta*

1. Sauté the onions in olive oil in large frying pan until soft. Add olives and continue on low flame for a few minutes.
2. Add tomatoes to the pan and cook about 10 minutes until they seem
cooked through , smashing them as they cook.
3. Add salt and pepper to taste, a little garlic powder, and a little bit of oregano. Lower the heat to simmer.
4. In the meantime, cook the Paccheri in boiling water ( with some salt and a drop of olive oil) until al dente.
5. Add the ricotta to the sauce, but don’t mix it in, leave it in pieces. Add basil too.
4. Add drained cooked pasta into the frying pan sauce and stir until all is coated with sauce.
Serve with grated Parmesan cheese.

* This shape pasta is essential for the dish. You might have to do a little searching at your favorite Italian grocer to find it. It can be ordered on the web site GUSTIAMO.COM, one of my favorite places for ordering the most wonderful Italian products!

 

And to go with the Paccheri,

INSALATA DI ARANCE

Oranges, peeled and cut into small pieces
Black olives,without pits, cut in half
Oilive oil
Salt
Pepper
Peperoncino ,that have been cut into small pieces, sauted, and cooled.
Oregano, dried

Mix oranges, olives and peperoncino. Add olive oil, salt and pepper and oregano to taste.
Serve!

LET ME KNOW HOW THEY TASTE!

Ciao, ciao ’til next time!

FOOD…GLORIOUS FOOD…

Okay…obviously I am a foodie too as well as a design nut…can’t get enough of the good stuff from either one.  So on my last trip to Europe I couldn’t help notice how beautifully the food was displayed in cafes and bistros throughout Germany and Italy.  Just had to take photos because everything looked so “i gotta taste it” or ” i gotta buy it and taste it later.”

The desserts and chocolates lining  the display counters at the famous FASBENDER & RAUSCH CHOCOLATIERS in Gendarmenmarkt in Berlin were like little fragile buildings ready to be destroyed by hungry patrons…the use of colors and materials rivaling a well executed sculpture .

But the best siting of all was in Milano in a section called Torino,Ticinese…sort of like  an early  avant guard Tribeca, NYC area…where I was casually strolling  and I captured this photo of a shoe store window display. I just love it…the shoes are delicious and the pastries look marvelous as well.  Not sure which one I was supposed to eat and which one I was supposed to wear on my feet, they all looked so good !  One pair of the shoes looked like  striped candy canes and the other like chocolate bon bons. Crazy about the design concept of interlacing food and merchandise…so easy for people to “get it.”  DEZINGLICIOUS validated once again!!!!

 

Okay, I can’t leave you without giving you a “quickie” recipe that I got off the waiter in this wonderful trattoria in the Barea district in Milano called Torre de Pisa.  This place is definitely a local haunt  (yea, no tourists and strictly TLC by the wait staff and owner) and after having the most delicious lunch there I didn’t want to eat any place else.  Sorry the recipe is vague in details, but just use your best cooking  judgment and I promise you it will be deelicioso!!!!!! Here you go:

PARPADELLE WITH PORCINI MUSHROOMS

INGREDIENTS:  OLIVE OIL, GARLIC, MUSHROOMS  (THICKLY SLICED)

Saute all of this together. Then add beef broth, butter and a little bit of flour to thicken it every so slightly, S & P. Throw over al dente pasta , sprinkle with some good parmesan cheese and mangia!!!!!!!!!

Ciao, ciao ’til Monday!