Tag Archives: italy

Have I Got a Ragu for You

imola

The sauce was red, runny, and pungent, with bits of tomato-esque matter and oregano floating in it.

I was reading the other day in The Daily Beast about Mario Batali’s friendship with Jim Harrison and their “search for the genuine.” Harrison’s final book, A Really Big Lunch, a posthumous collection of his madman essays on food and drink, was about to be published. My mind turned to a favorite subject and my search for the genuine.

Ragu. Continue reading

Il Sentiero

cass

If it’s agriturismo, it’s got to be good

Above, a local delight called cassone.  The flat bread they make in the Marche and Emilia-Romagna, called piada, is folded over mixed greens or tomato and mozzarella or onion and sausage or mixed grilled vegetables, then grilled and cut.  You can make a meal out of cassone. Often, however, they are served as a little appetizer with apperitvo. Shown above, an exceptionally good cassone from Il Sentiero, an agriturismo in the Marche region. Continue reading

I Malardot

the room

I Malardot–local dialect for malridotto–those who are in bad shape

The drive, the ambiance, the food–all well worth it at I Malardot.  Start with the food. We’ve eaten at I Malardot 4-5 times now.  With confidence, you can begin with a tagliere, mixed sliced meats and cheeses. For primo piatto our current favorite is artichoke ravioli with fosse cheese.  That might well qualify as a desert island food for me.  I could never tire of eating it. Continue reading

Pasta with Young Poppy Leaves (le Rosole)

File Mar 14, 7 52 52 AM

It’s not the same, but almost. And mind-blowing good to eat.

In Santarcangelo, where legend has it the Sangiovese grape gets its name, my wife and I have lunch and dinner at Trattoria del Passatore. We go there for many things, chief among them ravioli served with a rosole sauce.

Rosole, also known as papavero in Italian, are young poppy leaves. You see fields of poppies in Italy, with their brilliant red flowers. The leaves are harvested and used in a pasta sauce, well before the plant flowers. Continue reading

Pomodori gratinati al forno (tomato, oven, heaven)

tom-1

Wait ten minutes and your kitchen smells like heaven.

For the longest time, I thought of this as a summer dish. Perhaps because I was conditioned to seeing my mother-in-law bring in a haul of tomatoes from her garden and work her magic on them. Then I saw the error of my ways—the utter foolishness of denying myself the pleasure of pomodori gratinati al forno–oven-roasted tomatoes–in the off season.  Continue reading