I'm quite late on parade this week, but I have a good excuse for it. As I said in my previous post, we went away on holiday last Saturday. We spent a few days in Piemonte. Picturesque views, excellent salumi and cheese, in particular the toma and tomette, and great accomodation at Camping Margherita. But oh how we suffered at dinner time! The area where we we staying is renowed for ski resorts. Our trip coincided with the closing of the season, so most restaurants were 'chiusi per ferie'. It was a shame as I would have loved to get a taste of the typical dishes.
On Saturday we managed to find a restaurant open - Ristorante lo Stambecco. For starters, we shared a platter of cold cuts served with warm chestnuts in honey and bread. K had the pizza mediterranea, a Margherita topped with mozzarella di bufala cooked in their wood-fired oven, whilst I opted for the 'Bistecca alla valdostana', thinly cut tenderloin steak breaded and topped with prosciutto and fontina cheese and baked in the oven. Can't say I was overly impressed (I was expecting some juicy thick cut of meat, though it's partly - well mostly - my fault for ordering something without doing some research beforehand. Table close by had the 'carbonada', a thick meaty stew served with polenta - my original choice but was persuaded by K to opt for the bistecca - was very sorry afterwards ... grr). The salumi and pizza were good.
Sunday we went to Aosta. There we bought some coppa (a traditional Italian cold cut made from pork shoulder or neck, and dry-cured whole), a small toma (soft or semi-hard, Italian cow's milk cheese made primarily in the Aosta Valley), and a small goats' cheese coated with raisins. We weren't that hungry at lunchtime, having shared a pizza al taglio on arrival, so we decided to go out for dinner instead. BAD MOVE! All restausants were closed back in Valle d'Aosta. We ended up eating in - a platter of salumi and toma to share over some Montepulciano d'Abruzzo and potato gnocchi with Barilla ready-made sauce to follow (cooked in the microwave since the gas hob wouldn't function properly). No masterchef cuisine but it hit the spot!
Monday's highlight was Pasticceria “Caffe Lyskamm” - great tasting small pastries. Fearing that once again all restaurants would be closed, we had dinner at the first one we found open - a pub that serves food all day. That should have been of enough warning! All pizzas were marked as being frozen, and with not much other choice, I opted for a hamburger whilst K had the 'sausage'. We ended up with plates half filled with fries, the other half with lettuce - mine had a tiny burger (sans bread) plonked on the lettuce, whilst K's had a rectangularish flat meat patty (looked like 2 burgers remoulded). Bread was served separately in a brown bag, as were the condiments!
I'm afraid this trip was pretty much a disaster food wise - at least the baronetti and cavalieri (baguettes filled with different salumi) were good!
Back home, yesterday we had a concoction of chicken and smoked sausage stew/curry served with basmati rice. It was actually really good!
Today it's baked stuffed courgettes and roast potatoes.
Tomorrow, I will have a go at the Carbonada served with polenta.
On Friday, it'll be 'salumi e formaggi' with grissini and a side salad.
Saturday we're invited to a BBQ, so it'll be only a light salad for lunch.
On Sunday we'll most probably go out for lunch (no plans yet).