A house is at its’ most beautiful when filled with guests ..today’s Sunday dinner, with a house full of people reminded me of the classic Italian movie Il Gattopardo (The Leopard)..some of the film’s most beautiful scenes take place at the table of this royal Sicilian Family filled with guests and their consorts..meals of many courses were well choreographed with banter as guests supped and interacted together….
But moreover today’s lunch reminded me of one of Don Fabrizio’s( the Prince played by the award winning actor Burt Lancaster) lines in the film
“If we want things to stay as they are ,things will have to change”
Today’s Sunday dinner ..
*eaten at a table of 25 dinner guests but filled with new faces, new family and friends
*new twists on traditional recipes…the Sunday ravioli, made with a melt in your mouth pasta but filled with a creamy pumpkin and amaretti filling not the usual ricotta filling..but the same delicious ravioli (pumpkin ravioli is traditional for the North of Italy not for the South).
*the dinner was eaten not in my grandparent’s house in the South Philadelphia neighborhood…but in a house located 10 minutes from where my grandfather was born… (Tagliacozzo Italy)
*same warm banter and feelings being passed around the table with many of the same courses but different faces…
*an after dinner coffee at a local coffee bar and a passseggiata was enjoyed in the town my grandfather was born in Tagliacozzo…Sunday dinner usually ended with coffee and my grandfather sharing stories, photos and songs about that very town..
My how things stay the same..my how things change..
Here is a recipe for one of today’s second courses
Flan di Pomodoro, Zucchini, e Formaggio (Zucchini, Tomato, Cheese Flan)
1 cup (200 gr) extra virgin olive oil
1 lb (500 gr) tomatoes pureed- fresh or canned
1 lb (½ kilo) zucchini-sliced
6 tablespoons (90 gr) cream
1 whole carrot peeled and cleaned
8 ounces Emmenthal cheese-grated
pinch of oregano
pinch of salt and pepper
Place ¼ cup (60 gr) olive oil in sauce pan and saute finely chopped onion till golden. Add in sliced zucchini and saute for 3-5 minutes over low heat. Remove from heat, Place zucchini, onion mixture in food processor with 2 eggs, 3 tablespoons (45 gr) cream, grated Emmenthal cheese, pinch of salt and pepper. Blend to a puree. Set aside.
Place ¼ cup (60 gr) olive oil in saute pan, heat, place in tomatoes, pinch of oregano, salt and pepper, whole carrot (to sweeten sauce). Let cook for 15 minutes over low heat.
Slice leeks into round slices. Place ¼ cup olive oil in saute pan, heat and saute sliced leeks. Saute till golden. Remove from heat. Place leeks in food processor with 2 eggs,remaining cream, pinch of salt and pepper. Blend to a puree.
Oil a loaf pan. Pour in a layer of leek puree. Then on top of that a layer of zucchini puree. Then add in layer of tomato pulp that has been cooked. You can make a zig zag design with the tomato pulp on top. Place loaf pan in another pan that had been half filled with hot water. Bake in oven preheated to 350 F (175C) for 40 to 50 minutes till firm. Remove from oven, serve.
For more recipes get your copy of The Basic Art of Italian Cooking: DaVInci Style here or the digital version exclusively at Kindle