As many of you might know I just returned from a vacation in Ireland, Germany, and Italy (which explains my lack of posting the last few weeks). I loved the food the last time I was in Italy and it was just as good this time around. However I was a little more seafood adventurous this time. One evening we had a huge four hour meal that along with lots of wine and liquor included some of the foods below...
Tony, one of our tour guides, took us to the previous dinner and also gave us a long talk about what the best Italian pasta, olive oil, coffee, and wines were. He also gave us two pasta sauce recipes. I'm not one to try to cross Tony so I picked up some supplies in Italy and on Thursday night had my own Italian dinner.
De Cecco pasta cooked al dente with Tony's garlic sauce- extra virgin olive oil, garlic cloves from Kristen's garden, white onion, and my own twist of dried tomatoes also from Kristen's garden. The pasta turned out great. I guessed on all the measurements and cooked it on low heat. At the last minute it started to burn (when I was taking pictures of the insalata caprese) which made it a little crunchy in places. So next time I'll keep a closer eye on the sauce, but I kinda liked the crunch.
French Bread with balsamic vinegar and olive oil (not the Tony recommended olive oil, but instead the olive oil from Dag's). The balsamic vinegar is from Italy, but I bought this bottle for 2 reasons. 1. It was one of the cheaper brands at the Food Cellar next door and 2. The very attractive old guy on the label. My reasoning worked out because this vinegar is good!
My insalata caprese. When I was in La Madd Italy the caprese was just mozzarella, tomatoes, and basil. However in Tuscany they served it with lettuce leaves as well. So I went the lettuce leaf route to get some more greens in my diet. I also used my fresh basil from my window garden, which isn't the largest, but did add great flavor.