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Only in Italy…& La Matriciana

Posted in Abruzzo, Caro Diario.(dear diary..), cucina, entertaining, Facts, recipes, Travel & customs, and Uncategorized

la-matriciana.jpgOnly in Italy can we get away with criticizing Italian food..who else in the world  would consider doing that? Italians take for granted the exquisite artisan treats such as Parmigiana-Reggiano  cheese, prosciutto, risotto, Chianti and other usual dinner table foods..

I still remember my amazement when my 3 year old and 8 yr old nieces in Italy exclaimed at the dinner table their appreciation for the quality of the parmigiano-reggiano cheese we had been served with dinner.  Were they born with this knowledge..where did it come from?  While in America a 3 yr old may clain their love for a brand of hotdogs, here in Italy you can expect a 3 yr old to be well versed in their choice of authentic parmigiano-reggiano cheese or prosciutto..

But Italians are also considered food snobs..who can blame them..even Barack Obama has admitted his  weakness for a great plate of pasta carbonara….and to make the Italians even more snobbish about their food an Italian chef has been invited to cook part of the Inauguration menu!

While Americans describe Italian food as being food that they have a weakness for and dream about,  Italians seem to sometimes take it for granted..

Well enough for my early 2009 observations, here is another recipe I have been working on in The Basic Art of Italian Cooking kitchen here in Italy..hope you enjoy.

This is a recipe from a famous restaurant in Rome I just visited read more about it here

La Matriciana

for 4 people

*1 lb of pasta (spaghetti, bucatini,rigatoni)

  • ½ onion
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • ¼ pound bacon (optional), cut into thin strips
  • 3 tblsps of extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup of dry white wine with ½ tblsp of white wine vinegar
  • 5-6 leaves of fresh basil
  • ¼ of a dry, hot ,red pepper
  • a pinch of black pepper
  • 2 lbs of ripe red plum tomatoes
  • ¼ cup of pecorino romano cheese freshly grated

Place olive oil in saute pan and warm, place in bacon and chopped onion, hot red pepper, garlic .Saute until onion begins to become golden. Pour in wine and let liquid evaporate. Then add in the tomatoes that have been fileted (seeds removed) and fresh basil leaves.

Saute on medium heat for approx 20 minutes, stirring frequently.

Cook the pasta till al dente. Drain and place in sauce, toss and place in half of the grated cheese, toss. Serve each portion with a pinch of black pepper and more grated cheese.

For more great recipes get your copy of the best selling book The Basic Art of Italian Cooking at

Mangia Bene, Vivi Bene


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