I am fortunate to have friends in Italy that welcome me to their home when I want to visit. I forget between visits what a good cooks Gloria and her mother, Maria, are.
The meals are a tasty variety of home-made dishes combined with good company. How lucky I am to enjoy this when I visit these wonderful friends.
My first meal on the evening I arrived last spring was one of my favourites – Pasta Genovese. This is a combination of pipe rigate pasta cooked with green beans and little chunks if potato and coated with a home-made pesto (olive oil, basil, pine nuts). Gloria chooses whatever pasta she cooks to match the sauce and it is always done to perfection. (Yes, Sherri Robinson, I have promised you the recipe for this and I have not forgotten).
In the morning I was greeted with some espresso coffee. Maria and Silvano (Gloria’s parents) had arrived before I awoke and brought with them some home-made ricotta cheese from the farm. I had brought some maple syrup from Canada and so our breakfast great was a little bowl of ricotta cheese drizzled with maple syrup. Cheesecake without the cake.
For lunch we had minestrone soup sprinkled with Parmesan cheese and torn pieces of Italian bread. This was followed by chunks of spare ribs with fresh strawberries ( in season here since late February) for dessert. All meals except the breakfast are accompanied by sloshes of home-made wine poured into juice glasses. The wine has a slight effervescence to it and makes a delightful pop when the cork is released.
We also always make a trip to a Pizzeria in Sassuolo run by Luca and Gloria’s friend, Antonio. He keeps serving us up pizzas that he makes up as he goes along until we are full. I always get something with truffles on it, my favourite. Well, this weekend, Luca sent me a photo of Antonio in his new Gelateria. Now, after pasta (and wine) my favourite indulgence in Italy is gelato. Nothing like it. Now that Antonio has his own Gelateria, I look forward to my next visit…dessert after one of his spectacular pizzas!