sabato 5 agosto 2017

Due belle ricette / Two beautiful recipes

Mondello
Foto: Andrea Calcagno (Wikipedia)
LE MERAVIGLIE DELLA TECNOLOGIA!

Due delle prime foodblogger che ho mai cominciato a seguire sono state Sara Drilli Barone e Serena Comacchio. Nel corso degli anni, ho presentato in queste pagine traduzioni in inglese delle loro ricette. Amicizie sono nate con ciascuna di queste donne, che durante gli anni mi hanno offerto una quantità straordinaria di consigli e di assistenza. Continua a rattristarmi il fatto che, ad oggi, non ho avuto l’opportunità d’incontrare di persona né Sara né Serena.

Nel frattempo, Sara e Serena sono diventate amiche virtuali con se stesse!  Provengono da lati opposti d’Italia. (Una è siciliana e abita a Milano; l’altra abita in Veneto.) Finalmente, hanno deciso d’incontrarsi.

Giovedì mattina, Sara e Serena stavano prendendo il sole a Mondello, la spiaggia più famosa della Sicilia, e una delle più belle spiagge del Mediterraneo. A poco prima delle 6, avevo problema a dormire. Degenerato che sono, piuttosto che prendere un libro, sono andato su Facebook.  Ma in questo caso sono così felice di averlo fatto!  Poiché Sara e Serena sono andate su Facebook Live e mi hanno salutato da Mondello!  Ed io ero in linea, in tempo reale, per ricevere il saluto!

Che emozione! E che piacevole modo d’incominciare la mia giornata!

All’istante, ho deciso che per cena, preparerei due ricette – l’una di Serena, l’altra di Sara.

Durante la giornata ho esplorato i due bei blog. Ho scelto due ricette che non avevo mai fatto prima: la Pasta 4P di Serena, e gli Sandwich di Zucchine di Sara.

Le mie creature le hanno felicemente divorate, dichiarando che fossero “epiche.”

   THE WONDERS OF TECHNOLOGY!

Two of the first foodbloggers that I ever began to follow were Sara Drilli Barone and Serena Comacchio. Nel corso degli anni, ho presentato in queste pagine  Over the years, I have featured English translations of their recipes in this blog. Friendships formed with each of these ladies, who over the years have offered me tremendous advice and assistance. It continues to sadden me that, to this day, I have not had the opportunity to meet either Sara or Serena in person.

In the meantime, Sara and Serena formed internet friendships with each other! They are from opposite ends of Italy. (One is from Sicily and lives in Milan; the other lives in the Veneto.) Finally, they decided to meet in person.

On Thursday morning, Sara and Serena were soaking up the rays at Mondello, the most famous beach in Sicily, and one of the most beautiful beaches in the Mediterranean. At shortly before 6 a.m., I was having trouble sleeping. Degenerate that I am, rather than pick up a book, I went onto Facebook. But in this instance I am so happy that I did. Sara and Serena went onto Facebook Live and greeted me from Mondello! And I was online, to receive their greeting in real time!

What a thrill!  And what an incredibly pleasant way to start my day!

On the spot, I decided that for dinner, I would make two recipes – one by Serena, the other by Sara.

During the day I browsed the two beautiful blogs. I chose two recipes that I had never made before: Serena's Pasta 4P, and Sara's Zucchini sandwiches.

My children happily devoured them, declaring that they were "epic."

Recipe #1
Pasta 4P
Recipe by Sara Comacchio (Lo Sfizio Goloso)
Ingredients for 4 people:
320 gr penne
120 gr pancetta affumicata (otherwise known as ... bacon! 120 grams is approx. 1/4 lb, approx. 4 slices. Chop the slices into little squares.)
2 TB pesto genovese (of course you should make it homemade.  Instead of pine nuts, I used California pistachios!)
250 ml panna da cucina (heavy cream)

Preparation
In a large skillet, brown the bacon.  Don't discard the grease.  Add the pesto, stir well and shut off the heat right away.  Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the penne.  A minute before draining it, add the cream to the skillet and heat on high.  Drain the pasta, add to the skillet, shut the heat, and serve right away.

Recipe #2
Zucchini sandwiches
Recipe by Sara Barone Drilli (I Piattini di Drilli)
Ingredients 
1 large, round zucchino
sliced brie (see note below)
sliced speck (Speck is smoked prosciutto.  It is hard to find in America.  I used regular prosciutto, and smoked Gouda for the cheese. You can also use smoked mozzarella or smoked scamorza – something that will melt easily.  Naturally, if you can find speck, use brie & speck as per the original recipe!)
1 scallion
1 egg, beaten (a little salt added)
flour, sifted
fresh basil, chopped
extra-virgin olive oil

Preparation
Clean and slice the zucchino in fairly thin disks, tamp dry with a paper towel, dip in flour, then in the egg. Heat a skillet, add the olive oil, and fry the zucchini with the scallion. When fried, arrange on a pan.  While they're still hot, add the slices of cheese and speck, making "sandwiches."  Sprinkle with the fresh, chopped basil (DON'T use dry!), and serve.

(When I made it, the zucchini weren't quite soft enough. So I simply placed the pan in the oven and continued making the pasta on the stove.  They were perfect!  And, my kids and I both felt that they were even better the next morning, cold out of the refrigerator!)

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