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Sun dried Tomatoes

Tomato Passata sauce, part 1

Tomato Passata sauce, part 2

The judgment panel.

Paccheri pasta with a monkfish and zucchini sauce, squid ink and thyme



I know it’s been a while since my last update so I thought I’d better give you some news of what’s been happening here.

Thankfully my pans have been  constantly bubbling away on the cooker and my remaining free time has been spent in the vegetable garden making sure  my 80 tomato plants grow beautiful and strong this summer! Honestly that’s the truth, 80 of them ..
However, while I am waiting for my cooked spelt to get cold, the pesto to finish blending and my sabayon mousse to reach the right consistency … I must tell you this story .

A couple of days ago my brother Riccardo, who is  currently working part-time in a seafood restaurant in Fregene, near Rome, came to Umbria to do some culinary experiments with me . Riccardo has also very kindly offered to give me a hand when I have large groups to cook for and, all in all ,I must be honest, I do think we  make a great team. Perhaps we share a  common passion in the kitchen or perhaps like all the members of my family we just love to eat good food! However  on this occasion, as gastronomic  critics, we decided to call Rome for backup ( not the Pope ) but my father and mother to test 4 different types of pasta with seafood……….   Believe me we looked like a crazy family!!!!

There were those who loved one type but pointed out that because we are not totally in the tomato season yet, the sauce was a little acid ,but it was still devoured in about  2 seconds flat, and then the texture of the fish was discussed and was considered very good  but of course that was because it was fresh and so connected well with the pasta, in fact my mamma considered it to be” bene  bravi ” But best of all was my father’s reaction, who every time we came out with the next dish  looked very excited and ready with his fork, a bit like Oliver Twist, but instead of a very meek “please can I have more ” it was.. .. “Ok  guys,  it’s all very nice but can I please have BIGGER portions  now???”

Anyway Nick did managed to get home just in time for the final dish….I must admit. I was a bit concerned that having a long excited conversation with me and 3 members of my family about pasta would be a bit too much for him …… but I must say he managed very very well ,  he opened a bottle of wine,  light the BBQ. and then we were all ready for the next course !!

Ok ciao for now .

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