Pranzo di Domenica
We have recently been in touch with a cousin of my husband’s who lives about an hour from our house in Monopoli. He has a lovely wife and two gorgeous children, who play beautifully with my daughter. We have been getting together pretty frequently lately, despite the distance, it is nice to have family so close by. We were invited this past Sunday to their house for lunch.
I love Sunday lunch in Italy, always delicious, always abundant and usually a lot of fun. We took a nice walk through Monopoli in the morning and came back with rumbling guts to prosecco, bought in a plastic bottle from a cantina in town, the best! We had steamed mussels as an antipasto, peppers stuffed with tuna, focaccia and taralli. My daughter even tried a mussel, which I was excited about, I didn’t try my first mussel until I was 16. She was more excited about the focaccia.
We had spaghetti e vongole for our primo, made with delicious “winter tomatoes”. These are tomatoes that are tied together with string and hung to age, they are old, they shrivel, but they are delicious and packed with juice. More on these later, I have a bunch hanging in my kitchen right now.
The secondo was what stole the show. We ate the most tender octopus that I have ever had. In Bari, and in its surroundings, fishermen beat octopus against a rock as soon as they fish them out of the water making them extra tender when you cook them. Octopus has a bad reputation for being tough unless you cook the hell out of it. I have also heard that if you freeze it, it will become tender, something I may try if they don’t beat their octopus on this side of Puglia. She prepared it with potatoes, as you would a chicken and cooked it at about 200°C for an hour, nothing to it. Simple recipe, but truly outstanding. As I was unbuttoning the top button on my pants I asked for a second helping. Not really, I wore an expandable skirt!
Dessert was also perfect in its simplicity, a tart made with dried strawberries and blueberries. Simple, light and delicious.
Two Years Ago: Sweet Potato, Pumpkin and Apple Puree