I gotta say, I was thrilled with Emilia-Romagna, Italy. And the best part was, it was super-simple. My favorite blog meals are the ones that come together fast and taste delicious, which doesn't seem to happen a lot with traditional recipes.
| Emilia-Romagna, Italy. |
Photo by Giuseppe Moscato.
Besides being the homeland for that stuff that was once in every American kid's lunch box, Emilia-Romagna is also home to the world's oldest university. Plus it's a culinary center, and also the place where they make Ferraris, Lamborghinis, Maseratis, Ducatis and a bunch of other fancy cars I never heard of but will probably be familiar to you if you know something about cars.
As far as the food is concerned, this is where pretty much every Italian dish you like comes from. Lasagna, tortellini, polenta and Parmigiano Reggiano all come from here, and this is where basalmic vinegar is made, too. Of course, it's exactly the popularity of all these dishes and ingredients that makes it hard to choose a menu from this place, because so many non-Italians or people from elsewhere in Italy have adopted and adapted these recipes. So it's difficult to know what's truly regional and what isn't. Because of this, I went for some of the lesser known recipes, and here they are (these recipes all come from Emilia Romagna Turismo)
Tagliatelle with porcini mushrooms
- 10 oz tagliatelle egg noodles
- 14 oz porcini mushrooms
- 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed slightly with the back if a knife
- parsley, chopped
- 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp butter
- salt and pepper
- 8 cups flour type “00” (it's OK to substitute all-purpose)
- 1 1/4 cup ricotta cheese
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
- 3 eggs
- 1 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp whole milk
- 4 3/4 tsp active dry yeast
- 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp refined sugar
- 1 tbsp salt
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2/3 cup potato starch
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 4 eggs
- 2/3 cup milk
- 1/2 cup oil
- 1 packet of yeast for desserts
- Rind of 1 lemon, grated
So to make this, first tidy up the mushrooms by scraping them with a knife (don't get water on them, because that's not allowed). Then thinly slice them and set aside. Now heat the olive oil in a pan and add the garlic.
Meanwhile, cook the tagliatelle in salted water according to the package directions. When al dente, add to the pan with the mushrooms and toss to combine. Turn off the burner. If you're using truffle oil too, this is where you would add it--after the flame is off. A little goes a long way (I used maybe a teaspoon though I didn't measure it). Oh and I can't believe I'm going to say this, but don't put any cheese on this pasta because then you won't be able to taste the mushrooms.
First proof the yeast in warm milk until frothy, then add it to the the rest of the ingredients.
And finally, the cake. Beat the eggs together with the sugar in one bowl, and in another bowl beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until they form stiff peaks. Now add the milk and oil to the yolks, and sift in the flour. Finally, add the lemon rind and blend.
| I sprinkled powdered sugar over mine.|
It's OK, that's what the picture showed.
My oldest son, who is a gourmet at heart, also liked the pasta though he still can't bring himself to try a mushroom. The rest of the kids, well, I don't think any of them even tasted it. The bread on the other hand, I'm sure you can guess what happened to that. Five minutes equals gone. And the cake was a hit too, because what cake isn't? Well, there was that one from Iraq, but I'm not sure that was really a cake.
Next week: South Korea