Jasper wasn’t going to let his sister be the only kid featured on the blog today. He took a break from shoveling hummus into his mouth with his hand (and smearing it on his giant Legos) to let me know. What a handsome fellow!
We’re thinking about taking the kids over to Italy next year. Anyone done a trip with diaper-age kids overseas? Thoughts on the challenges it presents?
One of things you’ll invariably notice as you travel in Italy is how fresh everything tastes. While you can’t always feasibly duplicate the ingredients list you’ll enjoy in Italy (my meager kingdom for those anchovies and sardines you can get in Venice), you can still get the essence of the Italian palate on your dinner table with the proper sourcing and use of fresh sage, nettles, basil, onions, peppers, tomatoes, artisanal cheeses, etc found at your local farmers’ market or organic grower. One thing I’ve learned–the aromatic ones like basil really profit from freshness and being added to the dish as late as possible. If you toss chopped basil into your sauce while it’s still cooking, the kitchen will smell great, but that great smell is the essential oils being boiled off and leaving little of their joyful flavor in the dish.
Here Sawyer helps daddy by pulling the wagon as I thought about how many types of basil I could get to grow in the back yard. She didn’t seem super enthusiastic about my request to keep moving down the aisle. What’s the hurry daddy?
A very agreeable buy. $15 at my local liquor warehouse. Not as young as the other Dolcetto I tried last week and thus a bit less acidic as I recall. Try it if you see it.
Not a typically Italian preparation given my ingredients list but I’ll share it here anyway as it’s ridiculously tasty.
Olive oil, a pat of butter, and minced garlic in a stainless skillet. Warm it up and toss in the ahi tuna fillets and warm them up. Sprinkle of salt, ground black pepper, and a splash of teriyaki. Wet the butter and oil with a few ounces of sherry. Flip the tuna to cook evenly and add a few capers and a pinch of red curry paste for some spice. When it’s ready to serve toss in the spinach and wilt it, and serve.
Our local wine bar had this very agreeably priced Dolcetto. A bit acidic as Dolcetto goes but not unpleasantly so. Great color. If you find it, I’d say pick some up. It’s everything that’s good about Italian wine–light on the wood, savory tannins, and good with food.
Imagine sitting down for a meal here; when you get off the beaten path and find the boutique family-run restaurants, you start tasting the real Italy. Just reading this make me hungry.
I generally disagree with Rick Steve’s assessment that aren’t “non-touristy” restaurants in Venice. But one surefire way to get the flavor of Venice is stopping for prosecco and the Venetian version of small plates/tapas known as cicchetti–fresh ingredients and diverse flavors. Some of the more fun things to eat in Venice.
We do more than just Italy (though we do mostly Italy). For our European friends, we also do private tours of Washington DC and New York City. Last weekend Doug took some French folks on a sight seeing tour of Manhattan (he was born and raised in New York and got his degrees in art and art history from Pratt in Brooklyn, and is a fun, fun guy to have with you in the city that never sleeps).
ETA: You don’t have to be from Europe for us to show you around New York! Feel free to engage us any time from anywhere to see if we can help; our NYC biz is mostly so far word of mouth however, and typically has come from people who’ve used us in Italy who are European and want to come see the US. But it’s a short jaunt for Doug via the Amtrak to get there, and if you want to see the city he’s your guy.
Drawing Classes with Raphael Sassi
Raph’s classes at the Colorado Fine Arts Center are listed here. Inquire within!