Matematica e Cucina, belongs the credit — or maybe the blame — for inspiring me to write this blog. I wanted to dedicate a recipe to Laura. Knowing that she is a math teacher, I decided to make this homage to my namesake, Leonardo Fibonacci.
The Fibonacci Sequence is easy to obtain: if you add a number and the preceding number in the sequence, you obtain the following number.
0 + 1 = 1, 1 + 1 = 2, 1 + 2 = 3, 2 + 3 = 5, etc., therefore:
0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, ad infinitum.
But the significance of the numbers is much more profound. One sees this sequence throughout nature — for example, the seashell:
1 fennel (if large, quartered; if small, halved), the fronds and most of the stalks removed
1 bottle (750 mL) Lacryma Christi del Vesuvio, or another red wine appropriate for braising
2 large onions, quartered
3 lb pot roast
5 garlic cloves, whole
8 plum tomatoes (if fresh, quartered; if canned, halved)
13 baby carrots
21 g (c. 1.5 TB) freshly-ground black pepper
34 g (c. 2 TB) fresh thyme
55 g (c. 3 TB) homemade lard (or butter)
(How much salt? Search me. 233 grains? 377? 610?)
So, with all these ingredients there are two possibilities. There is always the classic preparation:
- grease a large pan with lard
- fry the onion and garlic, then remove them with a slotted spatula
- rub the roast with salt and pepper, then brown it in the pan
- remove the roast, deglaze the pan with a little wine
- in a separate frying pan, brown the other vegetables
- put all the ingredients into the large pan, including the rest of the wine
- cook very slowly for 3 or 4 hours
You can purée the vegetables and the liquid in the blender, to make a thick gravy, Piemontese-style. But then you can't enjoy the whole vegetables, like the delicious fennel.
Another method: you can thicken the liquid with cornstarch or flour (or roux, but then you need more lard or butter). I don't do this method, either.
Thank you, Laura, for your inspiration, and accept this token of my sincerest esteem and friendship.