Sunday, August 18, 2013

Buon giorno, principessa!

ROSAMARIA: Ciao bellas! This morning your intrepid reporter is coming to you from Cipressa, a small coastal town in Liguria, Italy.

I was not supposed to be here.
The plan was for me to go to Mozambique in late September with Habitat for Humanity, but that trip was cancelled due to upcoming elections and the fear that there might be unrest in the area. Jeez, I remember when unrest meant you had noisy neighbors at the all-inclusive resort.

So we were looking at a long (for us) stretch of time between trips. A old friend was celebrating a milestone birthday at this home in Provence and we had thought we wouldn't be able to make it with all the trips we had planned (lest you think I'm some madcap heiress this included trips to New Brunswick, NJ, Suffield, CT and Brooklyn, NY.) But now we were free.

The party was lovely - I felt quite the worldly author surrounded by agents, publishers and an assortment of colorful characters worthy of their own book or short story. But even the best hostess wants you to come and then eventually wants you to leave, so we kept our stay brief enough so that they'd ask us back - and then set off for Italy.

I've never been to this part of Italy before but I will keep you posted on how it goes! If my other trips to Italy are any indication - Molto Bene!

In the meantime, here's a tasty recipe from the Ligurian region. I trust I'll be eating lots of pasta with pesto....
Trenette with Pesto

1 lb trenette pasta

For Pesto

  • 1 oz basil
  • ½ oz pine nuts
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 2 oz grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
  • 1 ½ oz grated Pecorino cheese
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 20 minutes preparation + 12 minutes cooking

    Place into a mortar (or mixer) well-washed and dried basil leaves, finely chopped garlic and pine nuts; add the necessary oil bit by bit.
    Once you have quite a creamy mixture, blend in cheese to bring everything together, and salt to taste. Cook the pasta until “al dente” in abundant salted boiling water, drain well and pour into a tureen.
    Dress with pesto sauce. Sprinkle with grated cheese and serve immediately.

    Rosamaria's addition - serve with wine. Centanni'!


    1. So . . . will those colorful characters make it into a future book?
      Have a wonderful trip!

      The recipe sounds marvelous, and this is the perfect time to give it a try since my herb garden is currently overflowing with basil . . . .

    2. Rosamaria, I love fresh pesto and your recipe looks fabulosa. It's a little different from mine. I look forward to trying it out, although I gave up the mortar and pestle when Auntie Cha-Cha Chico pulled out the Cuisinart one day, tossed in all the ingredients and zip-zip all done.

      Sounds like a great trip despite not being able to visit Mozambique. Have a wonderful time!

    3. Abrazos y besos, Rosamaria. Disfrute!

      (Gosh I love Google)

    4. What fun that sounds like Ro--I hate to say it, but a lot more fun than building houses:).

      Going to make some pesto this afternoon.

      Don't know what Jack said, but travel safely!

    5. I love Italy.

      When we were last traveling in Italy we watched Shrek on TV. I love that movie, and the fact that it was dubbed in Italian (which I do not speak) made it even better. Since then we've called our daughters the principessas (preen-chee-PAY-sa)

    6. Isn't that the famous line from It's a Beautiful Life? Such a great movie.

      So, so jealous, Rosemary! A friend's husband is from there, so they have a tiny flat in Liguria and a condo here. They've been in Italy all summer.

      I just made pesto last week, and then realized I'm going to have to get creative to use it, since I can't have regular pasta. Maybe spaghetti squash. Love the idea of using peccorino romano, which is such a good cheese, so thanks for the recipe.

    7. What a great spur-of-the-moment trip, Rosamaria! And the recipe will get a workout here since our basil has gone wild this year with the milder temperatures.

      Jack, I hate to disappoint you, but Google let you down. Your message was in Spanish. :-)

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