Candlelit Lunches

Candlelit Lunches

Why not light some candles at lunchtime? Where is the rule book that says candles only at dinner?  It’s been sort of gloomy and foggy the past few days, so we’ve lit the candles…sort of silly, sort of romantic, a small bit of fun.Parm_soup_1

Yesterday’s lunch featured ‘parmigiana soup’. Over on eGullet, there’s been a discussion about Italian soups and using the ends of the parmigiana in the soup. It did always seem a shame to throw out that last bit of precious cheese. There is a tradition of chopping up the rind and using it in minestrone, vegetable type soups.  Seemed pretty interesting, but last summer, we ate at Locanda il Sole, outside of Bologna, and they featured an outstanding parmigiana soup. I’m happy to report, that my version was pretty good too! It’s makes the whole house smell divine, and its one of those comforting soups.Lunch

Today we had "Maiale Arrabiata"  or Angry Pig, Cauliflower a la Dina and a sliced, raw artichoke salad.
Maiale Arrabiata calls for chunks of pork, marinated for about an hour in white wine, fresh sliced lemons, and bay leaves.  Gently sauté some garlic, fennel seeds and uncut chili peppers, add the pork and brown, then add the wine marinade and cook until the pork is done and the liquid is mostly gone.  Add olives and serve immediately.  If you like your pig a little more angry, chop up the chilis.

Cauliflower a la Dina
Dina runs the small trattoria right outside the walls of Montone. It’s a modest sort of place, but very homey, and going to Dina’s is soft of like going to Mom’s. Actually Dina reminds both of us of Jeff’s mom.  Anyway, she makes this fantastic cauliflower, a traditional Umbrian preparation.
Chop up the fresh cauliflower, put in a pot and boil in salted water until the cauliflower is all mushy. Served with slices of garlic  bruschetta (grill slices of bread,  after grilling, rub the bread with a clove of raw garlic, drizzle with oil, spinkle with a little salt).  Another variation is to make the bruschetta, place it in a shallow bowl of chicken broth and cover the bread with the cauliflower mush. Sounds very simple, it is simple to make, but very addictive.

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