Italy Trip part 3

As I mentioned in Part 2, El Pompiere was the best place we ate in Italy.

Before I continue, let me post this “Google” picture of the awesome restaurant we had lunch at when we were in Verona.  As I said, it set a high standard for all the other meals we had in Italy. And thanks to our driver from Sunny Tuscany for the great choice.

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After shopping the market for ingredients, we went to Emanuela’s home (a lovely flat tucked in a private courtyard in the center of Venice). I was so stunned at the views from any windows in her home, I had trouble concentrating on what she was sharing with us. In Italy most kitchens in older building are small. As we teach here in our classes, mise en place is essential to a well executed menu. Ours was Pizza, and a wonderful tomato timbale. I will share the recipe for the pizza in this post.

As soon as we entered the flat, we were shown the work area.  Mise en place was in envidence.

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Even though kitchens in Italian apartments are typically small and compact. The food that comes out of them is anything but small. I loved looking at all the different types of equipment that Emanuela had in her kitchen. She made the most wonderful espresso I have tasted.

Emanuela and her housekeeper prepared the sauce for the pizza. It needed to cool, so she started it before we went to the market.

IMG_3630 (1)Each ingredient was carefully measured. The dry flour was weighed, not measured from a cup measurement. The pizza dough was mixed, kneaded, and left to rest. The girls volunteered to slam it against the workbench (which helps develop gluten).


PIZZA

800g plain white flour

200g wheat flour (gran duro)

600 ml warm water

5 tablespoons olive oil

25g yeast

1 tablespoon honey

15g salt

for the topping

two cans of skinned & crushed tomatoes or fine chunks (or prepared sauce like Mutti).

350g mozzarella cheese

1 small jar anchovies

1 small jar capers

salt

Dissolve the yeast in the water and add the honey, then gently mix in the flour and, lastly, the salt

and the oil.

Work the dough very well, beating it to give it elasticity – this means picking it up and pounding it

down on the board. A hundred times will do nicely.

Allow it to rest for two hours in a warm place away from drafts.

Lay the pasta down on a baking tray, extending it with your fingers. Spread the crushed

tomatoes/tomato chunks, anchovies and capers on top and place in an oven pre-heated to

200°C.

The mozzarella goes on 5 minutes before the pizza is finished cooking.

The pizza should cook for about 20 minutes.

IF YOU AREN’T SIGNED UP FOR NOTIFICATIONS ON NEW POSTS I HOPE YOU WILL DO THAT WHILE YOUR HERE.  SEE YOU SOON.

Tuesday Morning, OUR ITALY TRIP Part 2

The trip from Verona to Venice was beautiful.  Not only did we have an amazing lunch,

An amazing meal in Verona, and this was only the appetizer.
An amazing meal in Verona, and this was only the appetizer.
Lunch in Verona. It was wonderful
Lunch in Verona. It was wonderful
Of course, pasta.
Of course, pasta.

but we also saw some beautiful countryside.  I love the red tiled roofs of the little hamlets sprinkled among the neat tidy rows of the vineyards.  It is a symbol of the proud heritage of winemaking that is handed down from one generation to the next.  There are 20 major growing regions in Italy, including Sicily and Sardinia, with more than 2000 grape varietals.  Most of us have heard of Tuscan Chianti, but that is only one of many kinds of wine produced.

The beautiful countryside. The villages were breathtaking

It wasn’t harvest time yet when we were there, but our first trip 4 years ago was during harvest.  On that trip we took a car trip from Rome to Florence, and stopped at a winery near Siena.  We loved Siena, and if you are planning a trip to Italy, it is a wonderful town to add to your itinerary .  The cathedral in Siena is one of the most beautiful spots in Italy.

Venice was established in 421AD as a trading post.  Yes I meant to say 421AD.  It was built out in the lagoon as a way to prevent invaders from surprising the inhabitants.  It is a World Heritage Site, as are many of the towns in Italy.  We arrived at our meet point where we left our driver and met our Venice Guide, and our friend, Edward Smith.  As I mentioned in my first post, Edward was our guide on our first trip.  His contact is directors@myfriendinvenice.com.  If you want a guide who can get you access to places very few other can arrange, then Edward and Andrea are who you want.

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Even though the temperature was well above 95 degrees most every day, it didn’t stop us from seeing the sites.  It just took a little longer for me to get there.  And a lot more Gelato to keep us cool.  I can’t imagine moving an apartment’s worth of belongings in a boat, but that is what Edward had done a couple weeks before we arrived.  An apartment change in Venice requires a lot of logistics, both wet and dry.

One of the things the girls wanted to do while in Venice was take a cooking class and learn to make REAL Italian pizza.  Edward arranged for us to spend a wonderful day with Emanuela Notarbartolo di Sciara.  She is a well known guest speaker and Chef in the Venice food scene.

Our day started off with a trip to the Market.  Then we returned to our hostesses home and proceeded to enjoy making Pizza, and an amazing tomato timbale.  Next post we will see the steps to the perfect Italian Pizza.  In the meantime, look at the photos and “dream a little dream with me”.   🙂

Oh how I wish it was available all year long here in Kansas City.
Oh how I wish it was available all year long here in Kansas City.
TRIMMED ARTICHOKE HEARTS. Merchants hand trim artichokes down to the heart, then place it in acidulated water.
TRIMMED ARTICHOKE HEARTS. Merchants hand trim artichokes down to the heart, then place it in acidulated water.
Prawns
Prawns

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Everything you can want is in a stall or store in the market area. No box stores anywhere around.
Everything you can want is in a stall or store in the market area. No box stores anywhere around.
Love the streets and shops.
Love the streets and shops.

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