Italian Recipes for Italian Kitchenettes

Sep 2nd, 2012, 02:12 AM
  #21  
 
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aguamineral - I agree with all your comments!

Originally from Scotland I have gone native in Italy. So much so that I hardly ever use butter except when I have ravioli with a spinach and ricotta filling - i.e. pouring over a little burnt butter and sage before serving. I use prodigious quantities of olive oil though. As for butter I buy the smallest size possible (125 grams) and generally end up throwing away at least half of it after sitting in my fridge for a couple of months!
nochblad is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2012, 05:28 AM
  #22  
 
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As for butter I buy the smallest size possible (125 grams) and generally end up throwing away at least half of it after sitting in my fridge for a couple of months!>>

why don't you freeze some if it, nochblad? it freezes very well.

ref the eating seasonally advice, you don't need to be in Italy or to be italian to do that, though I know that both or either will help!
annhig is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2012, 06:36 AM
  #23  
 
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Another interesting bakery to visit that should be close to your apartment in Rome is the Antico Forno del Ghetto, Via Portico d'Ottavia. The Jewish Ghetto also has many good restaurants
Vttraveler is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2012, 08:08 AM
  #24  
 
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I defintely agree that starting at the market for fresh ingredients is the way to cook locally (anywhere not just in Italy) rather than going in with recipes and trying to duplicate them there. And that simple preparations rule. And that Italian cooking is more than pasta.

Since you already know how to cook it won't be difficult.
suze is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2012, 10:16 AM
  #25  
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You guys are awesome - Thanks for all these tips! I cant believe I blanked on the large pot for pasta - how silly of me (I think these highlights are really starting to get to my brain )

When my family leaves town this afternoon, I will be able to sit and really read everything you guys posted... Thank you so much A_Brit_In_Ischia for providing the link to your pictures! That was so thoughtful!

Thanks Again Everyone!! I'll be back later for a real response
ReadyToGo586 is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2012, 10:50 AM
  #26  
 
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There is no point in eating seasonally or locally anywhere if you are going to cover up the fresh flavor with frozen butter!

One time in October in Italy, I was in a restaurant that offered a fresh mushroom salad as a special. When I ordered it, what arrived was a pile of fresh porcini mushrooms that had been sliced paper thin, with a few thin shavings of parmigiano reggiano on top. No lettuce, no tomatoes, no carrots. Niente! It was a true mushroom "salad." Salt, a pepper mill and a bottle of olive oil was placed on my table to dress it, and that was it. I cannot describe how delicious it was. It would have been horrible if it had been gussied up with truffle oil extenders or had the porcini even touched a wad of butter. (Butter is an incredibly strong flavor that blankets other flavors).

By the way, you can cook pasta in a frying pan.

http://www.chow.com/food-news/94799/...-a-frying-pan/
aguamineral is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2012, 11:03 AM
  #27  
 
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There is no point in eating seasonally or locally anywhere if you are going to cover up the fresh flavor with frozen butter! >>

who suggested that, agua? not me. and not anyone else here either, so far as i can see,

BTW, I was NOT suggesting that anyone cover up flavour with frozen butter, merely that it's a good way of storing it.
annhig is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2012, 12:04 PM
  #28  
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Ugh I just realized I mistyped in my original post! Kitchenettes in Rome, Manarola, and FLORENCE - I accidentally wrote Venice, where the place we booked is actually a small B&B. Whoops!
ReadyToGo586 is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2012, 02:09 PM
  #29  
 
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We've been travelling in Italy and France for many years and always staying in lodging where I can cook. Some kitchens are well equipped; some are minimal - but you can make do! I've finally learned to bring my own knife and sharpener as I think a sharp knife is essential. I agree with the above re the open markets, fresh produce, and just go look and make up your mind what to cook when you see what is available. Eggs taste like real eggs; chicken is so much better than I can get at home; there are real butchers who will help you with any cut you ask for perfect for the number you want to serve. Excellent advice and recipes come from Franco - he has made our times in Venice culinary delights! Enter Franco in the Search the Forums box, then scroll down to Franco's favourites...Venetian food and restaurants. His restaurant suggestions are great, and there are many descriptions of food as well as recipes. Some are specific to Venice, but can be adapted. Bon Appetit!
roamer is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2012, 02:36 PM
  #30  
 
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Ready - don't worry about it - i think that we got the picture.
annhig is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2012, 03:52 PM
  #31  
 
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To make the sausage and chard dish into supper without pasta, I do a version with red peppers and cannelini(sp?)beans -- it's filling, economical, and quick. Probably completely inauthentic, but yummy anyway!
SB_Travlr is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2012, 04:25 PM
  #32  
 
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We run a cooking school in Lucca twice a year, and it is totally based on what is at the market. One week in July last year, our guests chose rabbit and artichokes, the following week there was not an artichoke to be seen.
Don't ignore the insalata and antipasto. In a little restaurant in Orvieto, wee had the most amazing finely shredded zucchini, drained and served just with parmesan and a little balsamic. To die for. Similar to Aguamineral's experience with the porcini.
Campo di Fiori has fantastic produce already trimmed for the pot. Does anyone know the name of the tiny pale green flowerettes that look like a cross between cauliflower and broccoli? And the tomatoes are to die for. Serve them with a little basil and bufala mozzarella, or simply toss with garlic, basil in olive oil and throw over pasta. Also the veal scallopine is very quick and easy to cook in a frypan. Takes a couple of minutes. You can just use olive oil and lemon, or be a bit more adventurous and do a saltimbocca. Enjoy - the shopping will be just as much fun as the cooking. I find "ette" the easiest way of buying salumi and formaggi.
Sarvowinner is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2012, 07:30 PM
  #33  
 
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Personally, I'd never boil chard. Steam it in a tablespoon or so of balsamic or wine with some finely chopped garlic. Makes a wonderful lunch with some crusty bread. Don't know if that's Italian, but is sure is delicious.
uhoh_busted is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2012, 09:33 PM
  #34  
 
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>>Does anyone know the name of the tiny pale green flowerettes that look like a cross between cauliflower and broccoli? <<

it is Romanesco broccoli

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romanesco_broccoli

>>Personally, I'd never boil chard<<

Italians, probably for historic sanitary reasons, cook many of their greens in boiling water, and for a very long time, until they break down completely. It is a modern fashion not to do this, and while it has caught on in some parts of Europe, it really hasn't caught on in Italy.

Boiled chard "sure is delicious" too. Here is a recipe from Lidia Bastianich that pairs it with potatoes.

http://lidiasitaly.com/recipes/detail/611
aguamineral is offline  
Sep 3rd, 2012, 09:39 AM
  #35  
 
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Yes, crunchy veggies are not a common dish in Italy, unless they are totally uncooked in a salad. However, they are generally delicious. It is quite disconcerting however to order a meat dish served with warm boiled chickpeas (ceci) - no sauce or flavouring at all.
Sarvowinner is offline  
Sep 3rd, 2012, 11:17 AM
  #36  
 
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Ha! I guess we were lucky to hit restaurants with chefs that cook to suit modern tastes . We had lots of wonderfully grilled veggies as sides in Rome.

Another reason to savor cooking to your own tastes when you are travelling. But my MIL's generation of Southern cooks certainly did like to boil their veggies until they were truly dead. I must admit some greens benefit from cooking until they are well-broken down.
uhoh_busted is offline  
Sep 3rd, 2012, 11:35 AM
  #37  
 
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Fruit & veg, seafood and meat are priced by the kilo but it's OK to ask for a certain number, e.g. 6 oranges or 12 scampi. Don't *ever* handle fruit & veg on market stalls or in small shops. If you are buying it in a supermarket, use one of the gloves provided and don't touch the produce with your bare hand.

Since we now have (OK, DH now has )the problem of cooking in a tiny Venice kitchen full-time, it's become natural to cook & eat more simply, Italian-style, and let the quality of the main ingredient shine through. I suggest you spend some time before you go, looking through an authentic staple Italian cookbook like 'The Silver Spoon' and noting typical ways of preparing ingredients you like and which will be in season.

Holiday apartments we've rented in the past have been adequately equipped for a week or two, although if you are that keen a cook you may want to consider bringing a favourite knife with you (assuming you are not travelling carry-on only!) - the knives are never very good.
caroline_edinburgh is offline  
Sep 3rd, 2012, 09:38 PM
  #38  
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Roamer and Caroline - I think I will be packing my knife in my checked bag! It had not even crossed my mind to do so before reading your responses, but as I am pretty attached with my cutlery, that is a wonderful idea!

I have the feeling I am about to completely change the way I cook... I have never prepared food so simply and delicately as I am reading here. I cannot wait for our first restaurant meals to sample these methods and try to replicate them later!!
ReadyToGo586 is offline  
Sep 9th, 2012, 02:20 AM
  #39  
 
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I've just noticed the comune website has lists of what's in season each month with a handful of suggested recipes - http://www.comune.venezia.it/flex/cm...a/44518#c71cc3
caroline_edinburgh is offline  
Sep 9th, 2012, 04:10 AM
  #40  
 
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hi caroline - thanks for the link. I love the dialect versions of the food - some are easier to work out than others!

I'll have to have a closer look at those recipes when I've got time to sit down with a dictionary.
annhig is offline  

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