August 30, 2017
As I am writing this, my husband’s Great Aunt Fidalma and cousin Massimo are visiting us from Tuscany. We’ve had quite a week of eating and drinking. Every night, actually, was something like a party. At the lowest head count we were 6, but more often 9, and once 20!
Last night I fried a bunch of zucchini flowers to accompany cocktails. Zia Fidalma made little elongated meatballs (polpette) with ground beef and mortadella seasoned with onions, garlic, and herbs. I made risotto with mushrooms and my mother-in-law made long-simmered green beans in tomato sauce, something like my green beans in tomato sauce with bacon.
While we were sitting at the table after dinner doing what Italians do (talking about growing food, talking about preparing food, talking about food we’ve eaten, and talking about the next meal) Zia Fidalma started to describe a dish of thinly sliced beef cooked in tomato sauce with capers.
“Carne di Manzo in Umido!” I said. She concurred.
I told her that Carne di Manzo in Umido was, in fact, the long-planned blog post for Wednesday.
It is a dish I had at her home in Tuscany about 20 years ago. I wrote down the recipe in a combination of English and Italian and American and Metric measures sitting at her kitchen table. It took me a while to get it right but I think I’ve nailed it.
Here’s a quick rundown of the food we’ve had over the past week:
August 24th: Tiella (being posted in September), Grilled Hot and Sweet Italian Sausage, Grilled Broccolini drizzled with Olive Oil, and more Cherries in Brandy, Homemade Limoncello, and Homemade Bay Leaf Liqueur.
August 25th: Zia Fidalma’s Rouladen (German, I know, but Zia Fidalma lived in Germany for many years), Mashed Potatoes, Corn on the Cob and, you guessed it, more Cherries in Brandy, Homemade Limoncello, and Homemade Bay Leaf Liqueur.
August 26th (for 20 people): A Massive Antipasto Platter thanks to cousins Paul and Kim Phillips (and a shopping spree at Cheesemongers of Santa Fe), Baked Penne with Ham, Peas, Mushrooms and Roasted Garlic Besciamella, Porchetta, Corn Sautéed in Butter, Sformato di Spinaci, and Italian Almond Torta with Raspberries and Plum Crostata (thanks to Rich DePippo). Then there were those ever-present Cherries in Brandy, Homemade Limoncello, and Homemade Bay Leaf Liqueur.
August 27th brought some sanity as we had leftovers from the 26th. (We could still feed a small army with the remains of Paul and Kim’s Antipasto Shopping Spree.)
August 28th: As described above, meatballs, risotto, and green beans.
I neglected to mention that we went through cases of wine and then there was a dark chocolate cake from Chocolate Maven Bakery in Santa Fe that kept making its appearance most nights right before we broke out those cherries.
Eating will slow down a bit now that the relatives have left. As I finish writing this the house is perfumed from a large pot of chicken broth that will get portioned and frozen ready to be pulled out of the freezer in the coming weeks for wave after wave of risotto made with the freshest vegetables the market has to offer.
Click HERE to join our mailing list and you’ll never miss a recipe again!