Thursday, June 2, 2011

Cucina povera

Treppo Carnica, June 2, 2011—
A VACATION FROM VENICE, not entirely voluntary: it's such a busy weekend our apartment had been rented out for this weekend a year ago, so we have to get out of town. Let's go to the mountains!

We rented a car and, having consulted the Slow Food guide Locanda d'Italia, which lists "slow" places in the country (and the cities) where quality of life trumps trendiness, drove a couple of hours north deep into Friuli, a part of Italy we've never explored. I'll write elsewhere about the town, the albergo, and the area — if I pry myself away from the table.

Having lunched in the car, in a way, we had to wait for dinner to find out what we'd got ourselves into. Heaven, I think. I started with a magnificent plate of salumi: prosciutto, guanciale, salami, and bresaola, with a couple of hot little peppers stuffed with anchovy paste. My pasta was soft and delicate gnocchi flavored with silene, which grows wild as a weed but is harvested as a vegetable. (Lindsey had delicious little soufflées flavored with the same herb, for her antipasto.

My secondo was a simple slice of roast veal, nicely cooked, salted, and flavored with its own meat, with mashed potatoes on the side; and a simple green salad and the local cheese — both fresh and two years old — finished things off. What a fine dinner. "Cucina povera e semplice," the cook said to us — simple, poor people's cooking. "Ma cucina buona," we replied.
White and red wine in carafe
Albergo Cristofolo, Treppo Carnico, Friuli

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