Thursday, March 2, 2017 | Category: Reflections, Travel Stories, Travel Writing
It was one year ago this month . . .
First, a huge box arrived. It took two of us to drag it into the kitchen. Like the “important award” box in A Christmas Story, the box said in bold letters: FRAGILE. Only this box really was from Italy.
Inside was a cornucopia of all things Abruzzese. There were wheels of pecorino cheese, and there was grated pecorino cheese. There was a well-used chittara and an antique rolling pin. There were many kilos of Pelino confetti. There was salumi — sliced and whole — of every description. Prosciutto, guanciale, mortadella. There were the famed protein-packed lentils of Santo Stefano. There were books and brochures and CDs and recipe cards and display pieces galore.
We already had the wine: a gift from Pietrantonj of their fabulous Montepulciano. We filled in the selection with Trebbiano and Pecorino and our favorite: the piquant and rosy Cerasuola. Of course, Prosecco was involved as well.
Vicky and I went shopping in Revere for the right “OO” flour for the pasta, bread crumbs for the shepherd’s balls, and passito for the sauce. We bought many pounds of sausages. We bought garlic and carrots and celery and olive oil and dozens and dozens of eggs. And Novelia gave us orders about what to buy so she could make her famous chocolate cake. We found the secret ingredient (no, I’m not going to tell you) in the North End.
A few days later, armed with pots and pans and serving dishes, we headed off to the first of four cooking classes.
Participants snapped this opportunity up faster than we ever imagined. And four
friends offered their rather large kitchens and dining rooms for the events. Two in Salem, one in Winchester and one in Danvers. Men and women, old friends and new, came from all over the North Shore — even one from Rhode Island, one from Pennsylvania and one from California — and were delighted. And boy, did we eat well! Mangiamo bene!
And to top it all off, Marco Malvestuto, filmmaker and man about town in Sulmona, was here to capture the moments on video. Herewith, I give you Cucina Abruzzese a la Marco.
Enjoy! And let me know if you want to do it again in 2018!!