Sunday, 3 July 2011

la cucina di ischia

Bucatini with Rabbit

After what seemed like hours being awake and hours since I'd eaten anything that had vaguely resembled a fresh ingredient, I was ready to get my teeth into some island cuisine....and luckily, on the Sunday I arrived, I arrived at perfetto time.

It was time for pranzo (lunch)!

It is something of a culinary tradition in Ischia to have rabbit on a Sunday. Years of tradition. Years of practice. I love a bit of tradition and I especially love good, honest, hearty, no frills no fuss food that has been cooked by the nonna (grandmother) and one that you absolutely must mop up every last scrap of juice with a big hunk of bread. This is cooking at it's finest. Quality ingredients. Quality flavours. I'd lick the plate clean if no one was looking. Who could fault that?

Pranzo is served!
Plonk. Lunch is served.

' eat bunny?'

YES. Let me introduce myself...I like to eat pretty much anything!

Wow it tastes good. Every flavour hits your mouth in a way that it seems you've never experienced before. Oil, garlic, tomato, chilli...parmesan shavings, bread oh luscious bread to accompany. If you can get past the cute bunny image...well...after tasting...then it's NO problem to eat. Somewhere for me in between chicken and pork in flavour?

After a plate of this, who could snack on anything else? I'll never forget a temping position I had at the age of 21, where one of my colleagues in her 60's was having a hideous pot of cottage cheese and pineapple for lunch. AH. The Italians would gasp in horror!! No wonder she wolfed into cakes at 10am and more later on. How could that be satisfying.

Lunch here is 'importante.' My observation tells me it's the main meal. Time stops. The world stops. The town stops. People stop. Children stop.

Let's eat!

Past thoughts of eating at the desk, in front of a computer seem completely inadequate no? Sound familiar yes?

In other lunches...we have gnawed our way through more pasta and rice. Here it is WASTE NOT WANT NOT. Nothing gets thrown. Nothing is garbage. Everything gets used. The highlight of having good quality ingredients.

Did you hear that?..GOOD QUALITY INGREDIENTS = tomatoes taste like tomatoes. Now there's an idea!

Left over prosciutto...into tomorrows pasta. One more vegetable left...let's make a risotto. Even the stale bread makes it to the sea for the lucky pesce (fish) to feast on.

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