Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Seriously Now

Did you notice that the price of this Heinz Classic Cream of Tomato Soup is 3.29 euro? Seriously now, who pays that much for canned soup? Mind you, it's not even a large can. I can't imagine that Americans are paying that much for a taste of canned homeland. Are Italians paying that much to sample American soup? I doubt that either when here there exists soups like ribollita and minestrone. I'm glad that this store is progressive enough to offer items like this but seriously now,


Monday, April 12, 2010

Key Ingredients

Smoked pancetta, fresh garlic and dried red peppers are my secret weapon in the kitchen. These are the key ingredients to a guaranteed crowd-pleasing dish. They add a spicy richness to any pasta sauce, soup, frittata, you name it. Another secret of mine is that I first flavor the olive oil with the garlic. This is done by crushing the clove with the flat side of a knife and then allowing it to saute slowly over a low heat, browning it slightly. Then add the diced pancetta and pepper flakes. When the pancetta is starting to brown, I often add a splash of white wine and cook until it's evaporated. Now you're off and running! Get cooking!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Phase One

This is the year of the uber orto! I hired someone to help me so I won't be taking the lion's share of the credit but I am very excited about doing it right this year and having a decent yield. My gardener is a little, old guy named Giovanni who sometimes makes the scrunched face at me when I speak Italian. So far, the dirt inside the garden has been tilled and we're planting this week because it's the correct phase of the moon. I'm allowed to purchase beans, onions and lettuce. It's too early for tomatoes although they're available in the nursery now and I drool at them as I walk past. Apparently I'm at too high of an altitude. I often notice when I go down near the lake that things are already in bloom long before they bloom up here. But I figure I'm closer to heaven so it doesn't bother me. I can wait.