It has been a wonderful 10 days away. A week hiking in the awesome Sorrento region of Italy plus a few more days based in Naples. But my favourite outing was the ferry boat ride to Procida, a small less touristy fishing island not too far off the Amalfi Coast. My husband and I studied the guide books for special places to see and it was exciting to take a photo of the Procida fishing coastline, exactly what is on the cover of the Lonely Planet’s and Fodor’s guide books, so it must be special to visit. I’m easy to please!
Sadly, I cannot share all my travel photos with you here but I hope to inspire you with some of the delicious food I got to sample. We ate fresh local crusty breads every day, a garden of fresh vegetables and sauces, an abundance of water buffalo mozzarella (the smoked mozzarella was the best flavoured cheese I have ever tasted), pastas, and wood oven-baked pizza.
I wanted to give my kids a sampling of the food when they came over to dinner. Hence I share with you the return meal that we shared together once again.
The pizza on the left was the first Margherita pizza we ate in Naples. Wood oven baked, with just the toppings of sweet tomato sauce, buffalo mozzarella and basil. (The tomato sauces that we tasted in this region of Italy were slightly sweeter than what I used to make but I am adjusting my go-to recipe now). My homemade version on the right, with Ontario-made buffalo mozzarella that I found (I was so excited to find Bella Casara made locally), fresh basil on homemade crust…I must admit I preferred the wood oven baked one but I think I made a close alternative!
Eggplant Parmesan is a personal recipe — I enjoyed the one we had in Italy which had thin slices of Italian eggplant interwoven with thicker slices of mozzarella cheese, doused in sweet tomato sauce. At home (on the right) I baked slices of eggplant and layered them with buffalo mozzarella cheese, ricotta cheese and homemade tomato sauce made from canned San Marzano tomatoes.
My husband enjoyed his pasta salad with ripe tomatoes, giant green olives and arugula. I bulked my spiral pasta salad up with additions of baby spinach, blanched asparagus and basil leaves.
Every dish sprinkled with freshly grated Parmesan cheese, both in Italy and here at home. Memories to share with the kids and we all enjoyed a wonderful meal together. Italian-style….