Was it you who took all the pasta from the supermarket shelves?
Who knew that that was our go-to food in time of crisis.
Italian Mammas, of course, have been serving pasta as a cure-all since Julius Caesar were a lad, with that special ingredient of love.
Here’s a dishy Italian treat…
Now this one is the easiest of the lot with Prosecco or Campari as a kicker… or my choice the Venetian favourite, the Aperol Spritz: Prosecco, Aperol and soda water.
Bruschetta, Central Italy: Or maybe as far back as Classical Rome with the Latins’ verb ‘bruscare’ meaning ‘to roast over coals’.
But you knew that?
The bruschetta is what you make it, and you will have all this around your cucina.
Garlic-rubbed grilled bread, salt, pepper, tomatoes, basil leaves and oil.
Risi e Bisi, Padua: Now it’s always good to know that you have the Anthony Bourdain seal of approval.
I was also guided to Anthony’s fave Risi e Bisi by my hosts in Padua.
It looks easy too and in fact is so this is something you can rustle up in double jig time.
Now I’m reliably informed by Anthony that the peas and rice float in a vegetable broth made from a simple base of onion and pancetta — the fatty, cured-pork cut.
And that it was always served at the Doge’s Banquet on April 25 which sounds like a good idea for an Italian-themed night at home.
Now this is where I get confused… my Italian friends variably tell me this is a main course.
But my old Italian teacher Donata said that it’s a primo and that the secondo be chicken, meat or fish along with the contorno of vegetables.
Chicken cacciatore, all across Italy: Should you decide a bistecca is not for you and object to, or just don’t like, veal then pass up on the Bistecca alla Fiorentina.., besides its serving suggestion isn’t well done enough for mio.
The simple to make (and most Italian dishes are) chicken cacciatore which involves frying chicken cuts with base ingredients of onion, garlic and tomato is something even I could cook.
Particularly as I’ve been shown my penne from my tagliatelle by my friend Catherine Fulvio at her Ballyknocken House & Cookery School https://ballyknocken.ie.
Fragola Gelato, Rome: Now, you might be expecting a tiramisu here but I’m not a coffee, creamy signore… in fact the only cream I like is ice cream.
So dish me up a fragola (strawberry) gelato and you’ll not get a peep out of me (well, maybe!). See https://www.rome.net.
And I’m going to deviate from the script here with una ciocolatta calda densa, a hot chocolate that is more of a thick chocolate pudding.
A Grappa perhaps, or a Limincello… and the latter has made it over in our move from Ireland to Scotland.
And returned to our freezer. And now that mia moglie has gone into the distilling business with her alcohol sanitiser then it’s a small step surely to making Limoncello.
Now we just need some lemon trees and a Mediterranean diet.
Of course a full Chianti or Valpolicella is usually what il dottore ordered.
But instead I’ll opt for a pinot grigio seeing that it’s a white meat dish.
And seeing that I want to evoke Rome and an al fresco family meal just outside the Pantheon.
Then I’m going to plump for due bottiglie di Lazio Pinot Grigot Cantina Gabriele.
And we’ll maybe slap on some Vivaldi and look up at our painting of the Castello Sant’Angelo in Rome and know that we’ll be back.
Because, of course, we threw some coins into the Trevi Fountain.
Lire, naturally… I am Scottish!