A lot of vitamin D here: mackerel, eggs and butter…. and a lot of taste. A quick and substantial lunch or aperitivo dish. With a glass of dry traditional method sparkling wine, you’re in for a “bubbling” tastebud adventure.
Fried zucchini flowers are one of Italy’s most elegant and graceful street foods. Like so often in Italian cuisine, the variants are numerous, and every region has its traditional recipe. Then you can make your own variations to the theme of course. When its delicately crunchy surface gives in to the soft filling, is a magical moment for the senses. It’s an authentic sensation, unique. Normally sparkling water is used in the batter, but I made a sparkling wine variant to the theme, that I thing is matching perfectly with the mild flavor of the flower dumplings. The chopped chive is also giving a mild contrast to the cheese in the filling. A romantic tête-à-tête dinner or an elegant appetizer. This is your dish.
Baccalà, salted cod is an ingredient I adore, and I am definately not the only one. This fantastic ingredients that comes from my ocean of origin, the seas around Iceland, has been and continues to be a great inspiration for cooks all over the world. In the Mediterranean diet there exist numerous dishes including this versatile and delicately sapid ingredient. One of those is the classical baccalà potato mash, that has become a worldwide favorite spread, that is an ideal appetizer for a fish based dinner or whenever you need an elegant fingerfood.
When I make those butter fried slices of bread for late Sunday breakfast or whenever I need extra sunshine into my morning, the lines from Richard Rodger’s score of “Oklahoma” automatically come to mind: “Oh, what a beautiful morning, oh, what a beautiful day”, and I feel like Gordon MacRae admiring the golden meadows on a super sunny day. That is what food can do to us. In addition to nurturing us, it takes our spirit on the most incredible “voyages”. Use the fruit you have in season for topping.
In difficult times and crisis, the thirst and hunger for art seems to become a general need. Pablo Picasso wrote a sentence that crystallizes in a glimpse what art means for our soul: “Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life”. So true and a beautiful metaphor at the same time. Just think of what a difference it makes, if you just pay attention to your breakfast, that it is not only nurturing, but as colorful as possible, that you inhale some extra minutes the enchanting perfume of your favorite coffee listening to a great song or symphony. In everyday life maybe we take art too much for granted, and don’t make the most of our own private moments, creating small works of art out of our lives. In times of crisis it is the soul who seeks by itself its food, as if telling us it has to be nurtured, it needs to rejoice, to be caressed caress it in midst of a storm. Art reconfirms itself yet another time as our official food for the soul.
I visited Rome two days in pre-spring, vivid, charming and fresh as ever, embracing the rinascimento season with its timeless flavors & perfumes, its warm gazes full of profoundly rooted joie de vivre and gestures loaded with centuries of savoir faire. I put on the timeless and comfortable ballerina shoes of Audrey Hepburn (the style of shoes she loved to wear), ideal for tippling quietly yet elegantly through one of the city’s most characteristic neighborhoods, Trastevere, tasting, observing and odouring its magic, its genuineness, its passion for life and the beauty that lies in the little things. Accompanied as before by beautiful Berta. Let’s dream together of Rome and try to imagine the sensations produced by its numerous flavors, perfumes and colors. Rome is resting now like all Italy, resting and fighting like all Italy in order to make this beautiful spring continue, more vivid and colorful than ever before.
Simple things are often the best things. Let’s think of the omelette, a freshly made bread with simple butter….. and a simple pasta with sugo, a heartwarming tomato pasta sauce. In this case meatless, just canned tomatoes, oil, garlic, onion, carrot and some aromas. All ingredients that you very probably have in your kitchen cupboard and that will save your day. Freshly grated parmigiano cheese on top would then make it just perfect. Buon appetito!
There are few things more romantic that I can think of than Rome in spring, or should I say breathlessly charming? Observing Flora’s season exploding with its million colors and perfumes into the timelessness of the city is somewhat unique.
When I think of Rome, and when I go there, my spirit automatically travels back at least to the mid fifties and sixties when Audrey Hepburn had already left her inimitable footprints in the eternal city, first with Vacanze Romane (1955),
and later living there for many years. Celebrating International Women’s Day by getting into her beloved ballerina shoes and tap through her most dear Trastevere neighborhood in the company of the border collie Berta and photographer Danilo Mecozzi.
Lemon curd is a wonderful combination of North and Southern Europe cuisine. Butter & eggs meet Mediterranean lemons. Lemon curd is English of origin, and is an established spread for afternoon teatime onto scones and bread as for filling for cakes and pastry. This beautiful yellow cream is great onto cheesecake for a zesty contrast to the fatty cheese flavor, gorgious in French Lemon Pie, into morning yogurt, to fill your pancakes, and I love it with ladyfinger biscuits and a cup of ginger lemon tea.
This dish is definitely on my list of things worth living for. Isaac Davis (Woody Allen’s character in his film Manhattan), makes his list including amongst other things Louis Armstrongs’ recording of “Potato Head Blues”, Swedish movies, Sentimental Education by Flaubert, the incredible pears by Cézanne and the Crabs at Sam Wo’s. These creamy tagliolini are highly quoted on a similar list of mine. The dish is Napoli originated and has conquered the tastebuds of Italy and the world. Like so many Italian dishes, it’s so simple, but as always it is the quality of the ingredients and the attentive cooking that rule the outcome. You can of course make this pasta dish with normal spaghetti, but fresh egg tagliolini are exalting in the most delicious way the creaminess of the clams and delivering the salty lightly spicy taste of the sauce.