A Chili-Olive Oil Infusion

In the Alburni Mountains

 

 

 

Lucia in her kitchen

 

A Chili-Olive Oil Infusion

Un’infusione di olio di peperoncino rosso

After our visit to Terranova, we went to Sicignano degli Alburni to find someplace for lunch. A local guy recommended a trattoria in nearby Scorzo called Si Ma Quant Sit? Every meal we had in Italy was excellent but that two hour lunch at Si Ma Quant Sit? was the best. And we just found it by a lucky accident.

Dopo la nostra visita a Terranova, siamo andati a Sicignano degli Alburni per trovare un posto per il pranzo. Un ragazzo del luogo ha consigliato una trattoria nel vicino Scorzo chiamato Si Ma Quant Sit? Ogni pasto che abbiamo fatto in Italia è stato eccellente, ma quel pranzo di due ore al Si Ma Quant Sit? era il migliore. E l’abbiamo appena trovato per un fortunato incidente.

A Chili-Olive Oil Infusion
The menu was on a board on the table listing antipasti, pasta, and prima piatto. We started with the antipasto – some local cheese, prosciutto, capicola, and soprasade. We thought that would be it, but the owner, Raffale kept coming to our table adding things to our dishes – frittata, eggplant parmigiana, eggplant in vinegar, and on and on.

Il menu era su una tavola sul tavolo che elenca antipasti, pasta e prima piatto. Abbiamo iniziato con l’antipasto – alcuni formaggi e prosciutto locale, capicola e soprasade. Pensavamo che sarebbe stato il proprietario, ma Raffale ha continuato a venire al nostro tavolo aggiungendo cose ai nostri piatti – frittata, parmigiana di melanzane, melanzane in aceto e così via.

A Chili-Olive Oil Infusion

We were afraid we wouldn’t be able to eat the pasta course but we did.


A Chili-Olive Oil Infusion

We said we were too full for dessert but Lucia gave us some strawberries in wine anyway.


A Chili-Olive Oil Infusion

From Lucia’s garden


A Chili-Olive Oil Infusion

Raffale’s dogs wanted Bridget’s doggie bag.


Raffele and Simone


a Chili-Olive Oil Infusion


Chili-Olive Oil Infusion

A Chili-Olive Oil Infusion

Raffale asked if I wanted some pepper for my pasta. He put a little jar of olive oil infused with dried chili on the table. It wasn’t just spicy, it had a distinct pepper taste. I asked how it was made. He gave me some to take home and got Lucia from the kitchen and she explained.

Raffale mi ha chiesto se volevo del pepe per la mia pasta. Mise sul tavolo un vasetto di olio d’oliva infuso con peperoncino secco. Non era solo piccante, aveva un sapore di pepe distinto. Ho chiesto come è stato fatto. Mi ha dato un po ‘da portare a casa e ha preso Lucia dalla cucina e lei ha spiegato.

a chili-olive infusionRemove the stems and coarsely chop dried red chilis

A Chili-Olive Oil InfusionHeat them in a dry frying pan for a few minutes until you can smell them.

A Chili-Olive Oil Infusion

Add some oil and sauté on low until the pepper softens. Put it all in a jar, add some more oil and in a few days, it’s ready.


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The Village of Terranova

The Village of Terrnova

Terranova in the distance.

 

The Village of Terranova

We hired a car and driver to take us to the village where my grandmother Nicolina’s family had lived and where she was born. Simone showed up at our hotel in a new black Mercedes and Nicki (Nicolina’s namesake), Bridget and I started the trip inland. We were going to Terranova, a village in the province of Salerno and the Comune (municipality) of Scignano degli Alburni.

As we drove up into the Alburni mountains the lemon groves that were along the coast gave way to chestnut trees and it got colder and mistier as we went higher. After about an hour and a half, we reached Terranova.

The Village of Terrnova

Nicki made some friends. When my Aunt Lena visited in the 1970s she saw goats in the streets. We only saw a dog and some cats.


The Village of Terrnova

The old and the new fountain.


The Village of Terrnova

Farmland in the valley below.


The Village of Terrnova

Streets too narrow for cars.


We arrived to find what I had expected – a small village, population 60, and a church – Chiesa San Giovanni Battista. Simone said he’d try to find someone to unlock the church for us. A woman came and opened the side door as Simone returned with the priest who told us some of the church’s history. The poor people were interred in the crypt below the church so we were standing over the bones of our ancestors. The church was built in 1300 and the stone baptismal fountain was at least that old although a modern cover had been made for it. Nicolina DiAntonio was born in the village in 1878 and her father Lorenzo, grandfather Luigi, great grandfather Antonio, and her great great grandfather Onofrio who was born in 1740 were all baptized there. (That’s as far back as I was able to research.)The Village of Terrnova

Chiesa San Giovanni Battista


The Village of Terrnova

The old stone baptismal font with its new cover, and San Antonio and a recently exposed original fresco of Santa Lucia.


The Village of Terrnova

Terranova


The Village of Terrnova

To be continued – Lunch at Si Ma Quant Sit and a chili-olive oil infusion.

Spaghettata con Limone e Tonno

Spaghettata con Limone e Tonno

If you’ve been following my blog you know that I don’t use packaged food products – until now. I was browsing in a grocery store in Amalfi in Southern Italy and noticed a clear cellophane package of dried lemon, onions, capers and other things called, “Spaghettata con Limone e Tonno.”

Spaghetttata con Limone e Tonno

It was only 2 Euros so I bought it. The English translation of the preparation was a little confusing but I figured it out.

Spaghetttata con Limone e Tonno

All I had to do was add 3 ingredients – water, olive oil, and tuna.

Spaghetttata con Limone e Tonno

The preparation was easy and it was delicious. I tried to Google a location where I could buy some more but no luck. I guess next time I want it, I’ll have to go back to Amalfi or make it from scratch.

From scratch –
Ingredients:
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 finely chopped garlic clove
  • grated zest of 1 lemon
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • 2 tbsps. chopped capers
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1 – 8 oz. jar of imported tuna packed in olive oil
  • 1 lb. spaghetti
Start a pot of water for the pasta.
Heat the oil in a large pan. Add garlic, zest, lemon juice, and capers and sauté for a few minutes. Taste for seasoning. Add tuna and the oil it was packed in and break into bite-sized pieces.
When the pasta is almost done add it to the sauce to finish cooking.

Spaghetttata con Limone e Tonno


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Il Principe e la Civetta

Vietri sul Mare


 

Il Principe e la Civetta

Toward the end of our stay in Salerno, Emanuele arranged a special dinner for all of us at Il Principe e la Civetta (The Prince and the Owl) in Vietri sul Mare. The décor was elegant, the wine excellent and the food was from heaven. There were also two very good musicians – a guitarist and his beautiful accordionist partner who sang Neapolitan songs for us as we ate.

I hope this Google translation works for my Italian friends.

The Elegant Decor

Il Principe e la Civetta

Il Principe e la Civetta

Il Principe e la Civetta


A Sampling of Their Excellent Wine Selection

Il Principe e la Civetta


Some of Their Heavenly Food

Il Principe e la Civetta


Neopolitan Songs

Il Principe e la Civetta


In Chef Antonio’s Kitchen

Il Principe e la CivettaIl Principe e la Civetta

Il Principe e la Civetta
Antonio and  Emanuele

If you’re on the Amalfi Coast, stop at Il Principe e la Civetta for a special dinner.

Il Principe e la Civetta

Il Principe e la Civetta


Il Principe e la Civetta

Buona Notte


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Buffalo Mozzarella

2600 hundred-year-old Doric temple in Paestum.

 

Buffalo MozzarellaBuffalo Mozzarella

Near Paestum, a UNESCO  World Heritage site, and not too far from where we stayed in Salerno there was a buffalo mozzarella farm.  It was some of the best mozzarella I ever tasted. Each buffalo had an implanted chip that kept track of when they were milked and when they ate. It was more like a buffalo spa than a farm.  They could get a spray of water to cool off and have a massage whenever they felt like it.

Buffalo Mozzarella

Buffalo Mozzarella


They were milked in the morning and we ate it fresh in the afternoon.

Buffalo Mozzarella

Buffalo Mozzarella


The final product –

Buffalo Mozzarella


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