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Continuing my ‘Gastraonaut’ travels in Italy..in Pescara to experience some of the artisan foods, but also to view the new pedestrian bridge that was opened this year…
But on the way made a stop in Rapino, a medieval town in the province of Chieti..Besides the ancient ruins..the menus that 4 of the restaurants there offer for lunch or dinner were spectacular..but since I could only stay for lunch and experience one menu it was a difficult choice and I spent an hour on the important decision.. but in an hour you can reflect poetic on the splendid view from Rapino a city that is’ media montagna’ (in mid mountain)….What would you choose?:
Menu 1-Potato & Truffle mini gnocchi,Pappardelle pasta, palotte cace e ove (‘meatballs’ without meat made of cheese and eggs) fresh fruit in season
Menu 2-Cavatelli pasta with beschamel sauce, with zucchini and saffron from Navelli ( a town nearby),Pappardelle pasta with tomatoes, Raosted rabbit with roasted potatoes with rosemary and fresh mixed greens,fruit in season
Menu 3-Ravioli with nut sauce, Pasta alla Chitarra with meat sauce (ragu),Roasted lamb and roasted potatoes,mixed fruit in season
Menu 4-Pasta alla Chitarra with bacon (pancetta) and arugula, roasted wild boar, roasted peppers, fresh fruits in season.
A lot of eating for one lunch..but after a long reflection and a visit of the Grotto del Colle and the church of San Giovanni… I chose Menu 1 because of the appetizer of mini gnocchi (Gnoccchetti) and the local specialty of ‘pallotte cace e ove’ (Meatless meatballs made with cheese and eggs). I slowly savored every bite of this meal, that was certainly a 100 mile meal (all ingredients came from nearby-100 miles or less) so everything was fresh and flavorful… after the meal a long walk around the mercato for artisan crafts (held in August) to relax
Here’s a recipe for a local specialty from Menu 1-
Palotte Cace e Ove.
(this is in dialect of region of Abruzzo, palotte means small balls and ‘cace’-short for ‘cacciocavallo’ –a type of cheese;ove is dialect for uove-which means eggs
2 whole eggs
1/2 cup grated pecorino cheese or a mix of pecorino and romano or parmiggiana cheese.
2 garlic cloves
handful of fresh parsley leaves chopped
bread crumbs (freshly made)
pinch of salt
pinch of baking soda
4 tablespoons olive oil (for frying)
In a bowl place in chopped garlic, eggs, grated cheese, chopped parsley, pinch of salt and baking soda. Mix with a fork. Little by little place in bread crumbs and mix by hand. Place in enough breadcrumbs to be able to roll the mixture into the consistency of firm meatballs. Heat oil in frying pan and fry till brown. Serve plain or with some tomato sauce (sugo).
Sept 9-12-Hudson valley Wine Fest,Rhinebeck, NY. For more info or to sponsor The Basic Art of Italian Cooking by Maria Liberati tm onstage demo email: Info@marialiberati.com
Oct 29-30th- Gourmet Food & Wine Show, Philadelphia at the Valley Forge Convention Center, Valley Forge ,Pa The Basic Art of Italian Cooking by Maria Liberati tm will be onstage. To attend or sponsor one of the onstage cooking demos email: Info@marialiberati.com