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


Portfolio  and  Yelp

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


Click here for updated GALLERY II

Portfolio  and  Yelp

 

 

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


Portfolio  and  Yelp

Trip to Salerno

Trip to Salerno
A View of the Amalfi Coast by Edmund Berninger

Trip to Salerno

I’m going to southern Italy. I’ll be spending some time on the Amalfi Coast and then inland to the hills of Salerno. My destination is the village of Terranova where my grandmother Nicolina was born in 1878.

Trip to Salerno

I may not have an internet connection and it’s likely that I won’t be posting for at least a couple of weeks. I’ll continue when I get back in October.

Trip to Salerno

Pasta with Porcini Mushrooms

Pasta with Porcini Mushrooms

Pasta with Porcini Mushrooms

I adapted this from I recipe by Rhonda Carano that I saw in a Ferrari-Carano wine ad. It works for me.

Pasta with Porcini Mushrooms

Pasta with Porcini Mushrooms

Instructions:

In a small pot, heat chicken broth to a boil. Add porcini mushrooms and take it off the stove.

Heat the oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the onion and fry until translucent. Add the garlic. Remove the casings from the sausages, break them up and cook until lightly browned.

Remove porcini mushrooms from broth and reserve the liquid. Chop mushrooms and add them to skillet with rest of the ingredients. Add the Marsala, stir and deglaze the pan. Add the tomatoes and the reserved chicken/mushroom broth. Add oregano, bay leaf, and salt and pepper to taste. Lower heat and simmer covered for 30 minutes.

Pasta with Porcini Mushrooms

Cook the pasta until it’s almost done. Strain it and add it to the pan where the sauce is cooking. Remove bay leaf and turn off the heat. If necessary, add some pasta cooking water to thin the sauce. Add cheese and chopped parsley, blend and serve

Pasta with Porcini Mushrooms


Click here for updated GALLERY II

Portfolio  and  Yelp

“Italian” Food

Italian Food

To many people, “Italian” food means tomatoes, garlic, and gooey melted cheese in the form of things like spaghetti and meatballs, garlic bread and veal cutlet parmesan.

Italian Food

Well, that’s not what Italians eat, especially not Italians in Italy. The food of Italy varies by region, and it’s not what’s typically served in American “Italian” restaurants. (I suppose the same is true for Chinese food. Tourists are disappointed when they go to China and expect to find spare ribs, fried rice and egg rolls.)
What may be common in Palermo might be rare in Milano. Types of pasta and sauces, aromatics, herbs and spices and preparation methods are so varied throughout the regions of Italy that America’s Olive Gardens couldn’t possibly keep up with it so they make up their own “Italian” recipes.Italian Food

“Italian” Spice – What exactly is it? I see it often in recipes – “add one teaspoon of Italian spice.” Try Googling Italian Spice and you’ll find dozens of combinations of spices including everything from garlic and fennel to dill and basil. Keep it simple and use the spices that fit the other ingredients in your recipe and not somebody else’s mix of what they think tastes good. Try asking for Italian Spice in a store in Italy and they won’t know what you’re talking about. Use good, fresh ingredients and limit the variety of spices – more isn’t necessarily better.

Italian Food


“Italian” Breadcrumbs – So what makes breadcrumbs Italian? It makes sense that they would be made from Italian bread but no, that’s not it.

Read the ingredientsNiacin, Ferrous Sulfate, Thiamin Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Folic Acid], High Fructose Corn Syrup, Corn Syrup, Vegetable Oil (Soybean And/Or Cottonseed And/Or Corn And/Or Canola Oils.

Italian Food

I’d rather have just breadcrumbs in my breadcrumbs. Season whatever it is that you’re going to bread. Coat it in flour, dip in an egg wash and then plain breadcrumbs. Fry it in good oil and leave out the chemicals listed above.

“Italian” Salad Dressing – This one is a lot like Italian spice. Everybody has something else to add. The Olive Garden actually uses Miracle Whip in their so-called Italian salad dressing. Miracle Whip – can you believe it?

Italian Food

Here’s a simple version of dressing that’s common in Italian-American homes and in Italy too.

Sprinkle salt and black pepper on the greens. Then a drizzle of olive oil and red wine vinegar (use balsamic if you like). Use more oil than vinegar. Toss and serve – that’s all.

Try this simple dressing on some cut up orange sections with a mix of arugula and romaine.

 

And don’t get me started on “Spaghetti Sauce.”

Click here for updated GALLERY II

Portfolio  and  Yelp

Goetta – a Cincinnati Breakfast

Goetta – a Cincinnati Breakfast

Goetta - a Cincinnati Breakfast

If you’re from the Cincinnati area you’ll know what this is and if not, you should try it. Goetta (ged-da, silent o, pronounce like feta) is a hearty breakfast side made of oats and meat that’s fried and goes great with eggs. It’s of German origin and I can’t think of anything to compare it to, so taste it and form your own opinion. It may not be Italian but it’s certainly cucina povera in that it started out as a tasty way of preparing a hearty breakfast when there isn’t enough meat to go around. Goetta - a Cincinnati Breakfast

Goetta - a Cincinnati Breakfast

A couple of points to remember:  (1) you must use steel cut oats, not rolled or instant and (2) some people use ground beef with the pork sausage and others use ground pork, it’s up to you.

Add oats, salt, pepper, and bay leaf to the boiling water. Return to a boil, lower heat, stir and simmer until the oats are cooked and thick (1 to 1 ½  hours), stirring occasionally.

Goetta - a Cincinnati Breakfast

Fry the onion in oil until soft and transparent. Remove the sausage skins and discard. Add the sausage meat, chopped meat,  and garlic, seasoning with salt and pepper. When it’s done, set aside the meat-onion mixture.

When the oats thicken, remove the bay leaf and add the meat-onion mixture and blend thoroughly. Cook for another ½ hour. If it’s thick enough for the spoon to stand up in, it’s done. If not, continue cooking. If it’s too dry, add a little water.Goetta - a Cincinnati Breakfast

Let it cool a bit and then pour it into a greased baking pan. It doesn’t matter if the pan is too big too big. Spread it to about a ½ inch thick layer. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Goetta - a Cincinnati Breakfast

Turn the pan over and cut the goetta into serving sized pieces. I got 12 out of this recipe. Fry and serve as a side with eggs or anything else you’d like. You can freeze any left-over pieces but wrap them separately so they don’t stick together.

And it’s not just for breakfast.


Click here for updated GALLERY II

Portfolio  and  Yelp

Ninja Diet

Ninja Diet

In the past, I’ve done the gladiator diet and the sumo diet. Today it’s the ninja diet. The ninja were pretty much vegans. They avoided meat, fish and dairy. They also avoided foods that have an odor so no one could smell them when they were sneaking around in the dark.

 

What they did eat was mainly whole grain rice and wheat, potatoes, mushrooms, chestnuts and pine nuts.

 

To quench their thirst the had “thirst balls” made of plum pulp, rye ergot and sugar. For hunger, they used hunger balls – carrots, flour, yam and licorice root steeped in sake.Ninja Encyclopedia

 

All in all, I think it was easier and tastier to eat like a gladiator or sumo wrestler than a ninja.


Click here for updated GALLERY II

Portfolio  and  Yelp

Potato Croquettes

Potato Croquettes

This is the first time I’ve ever made potato croquettes. They were pretty tasty but it wasn’t easy. Mashing the potatoes was hard work and breading and frying the croquettes was time-consuming and sloppy. Maybe it gets better with practice but the next time I want potato croquettes, I think I’ll just go to a Sicilian-run pizzeria and buy them.

 

Boil the potatoes in their skins for 30 to 40 minutes. Drain them and let cool 15 minutes then peel. Mash the potatoes and let them come to room temperature uncovered so they dry out.

Add 2 eggs, the Parmigiano, 5 tbsps. flour and parsley. Taste and season with the salt and pepper. Use an ice cream scoop or a spoon and take some of the potato mixture and form it into a small canoe-shaped roll.

Roll the croquettes in the flour and shake off excess. Then dip the beaten egg. Drip off excess and then roll in the breadcrumbs. Let the breaded croquettes rest 20 minutes before frying.

Heat oil until a bit of the potato dropped into it sizzles. Fry the croquettes turning until they are evenly golden browned on all sides. This should make about 20 to 25 croquettes.

Drain and serve warm.


Click here for updated GALLERY II

Portfolio  and  Yelp

Pier I Cafe

Pier I Cafe

There’s a stretch along the Hudson River on the Upper West Side that used to be train yards and other industrial uses that is now the Hudson River Park. There are sculpture installations and an old gantry crane that’s sculptural in its own right.

Pier I Cafe


At about 70th Street you’ll find Pier I Cafe. (Use the park entrance at 68th St.) You place your order at a counter and they give you your drinks and a pager that will notify you when your food is ready.

Pier I Cafe


MENU

Pier I Cafe


 

Pier I Cafe
Pier I Cafe is dog friendly

Pier I Cafe


Pier I Cafe

Pier I Cafe


Portfolio  and  Yelp