Tuesday, October 2, 2012
Feasting Italian style
The little town of Valle San Giovanne is home to about 400 people and it seems about half of them are related to Anita, the woman we are renting our house from. Village people love the Canadian visitors and make every effort to welcome us. For example, Anita's cousin Vanda and her husband (the handsome fellow shown above) have a little restaurant in Teramo and they love to host Canadians for an authentic Abruzzo dinner.
Six of us went the other evening at 8:00 pm (actually a little early by Italian standards) and we left the table at around 11:00 after consuming a six course meal plus red wine, white wine and a selection of kick-ass Italian liqueurs.
We started with a bottle of prosecco and selection of antipasti which included crostini with a selection of toppings (roasted peppers, mushrooms, plus other unidientifiable but delicious things), tripe and chickpeas (actually quite good!), caramelized onions, and deep fried cheese balls in tomato sauce.
This was followed by not one, but two separate pasta dishes, both with delicious handmade pasta. The tortellini with spinach and ricotta were fantastic. This part of the meal was accompanied with lovely white wine.
Then we moved on to the secondo, kebobs of grilled lamb, a green salad and carafes of Montepulcciano di Abruzzo, a gorgeous red wine.
Then dessert was served. It looked like this....
and tasted divine.
Finally, the liqueurs--limoncello, a deep green one called centerba made with 100 herbs, a lighter green version from the Gran Sasso called Genepe, and a deep almost black delicioius liquorice flavoured one. I think it was the liqueurs that did me in. I tried three of them. Everyone was feeling full and happy by the end of the meal. When the bill came it was 150 Euros for all six of us!
Here we are at the end of the evening with Vanda, her husband and chef Guiseppe. By the end of the evening we were all best of friends and doing the Italian kissing-on-both-cheeks thing.
Even the dogs in the town feasted as we were able to bring home the leftover meat for them.
I probably don't need to tell you that the next day we were all experiencing symptoms of excess-- but it was an amazing feast.