Now you may have noticed that I am quite keen on food. Cooking it, eating it, shopping for it and I also have a love hate relationship with it too, well my thighs do especially.
I have always adored Italian food, I think it is one of the reasons I have always loved it here so much. I love the flavours, the ingredients and I love the simplicity of it welding such gorgeous results when so few ingredients are put together. I mean who does’nt like fresh bread dipped into olive oil and balsamic vinegar?
Whenever we have visited Italy in the past the moment I have stepped out of the taxi/bus/train from the airport it just smells of Italy. Freshly baked breads, garlicky aromas, rich tomatoe sauces simmering away, lemon juice being drizzled over freshly caught fish, a deep, rich olive oil oh I could go on and on. And I will warn you now I most certainly will over the coming months!
So imagine my delight of being able to cook whilst being here in our own apartment at Lake Garda! First off the supermarkets I have been visiting are just heaven, like large delicatessens full of all this gorgeous produce we are used to seeing squeezed into one aisle in your local Tesco! Fruit and vegetables from the mountains across the lake from our village, local meats, local fish, handmade pasta’s, local wines, local oils all at unbelievably reasonable prices (much cheaper than France and far superior in quality) and all a taste sensation. I have not used a recipe yet and even if I do say so myself we have eaten some delicious food. Using what is seasonally available, making risotto with fresh stock from the chicken I roasted stuffed with lemons and garlic, using sun ripened tomatoes to make the sweetest tomatoe pasta sauce, having delicious salads made with raw fennel, courgette and asparagus in fresh lemon juice and olive oil. Grilling prawns in garlic, lemon and olive oil. Oh I could bore you senseless.
Every evening I have been concocting some mini aperitivo bits and pieces to have with a little sun downer tipple over looking the lake as the sun set’s. Ricotta fritters, melon and prosciutto, oozing tallegio cheese, bruschetta with tomatoes marinated in balsamic vinegar, ricotta and rocket balls, vegetable crudités dipped in olive oil and pesto, slices of mortadella, I will stop before you doze off.
So you would think with all this eating (and drinking wine) I would now be a size of a house but I actually feel as if I have lost a couple of pounds, and I think I know why. Firstly the food is all so fresh and so delicious and much more healthy so you are much more satisfied and don’t overindulge, secondly I have been adopting the Italian way and only having a small breakfast of fruit or just a piece of fruit and yogurt and thirdly I have not had anything between meals aside from espresso mid morning and normally sometime in the afternoon. I have eaten 3 pizza’s in the last week (more than I have ever had in my life) as they are cheaper than a roll or salad at lunch sometimes and the difference being is that they are wafer thin, and have only a scattering of mozerella. I have also been ordering a marinara, which is just topped with tomatoe and oregano, no cheese at all and it is delicious. So even pizza is better for you here!
I will stop now because I could go on forever waxing lyrical about the joy’s of Italian food and that really is no big surprise, also it is time for me to make my evening masterpiece!!!!