October 19, 2010

Morning in Lapio...

Here is where we enjoyed morning cappuccino, the view from my uncle's large wrap around balcony was fabulous. On a clearer day you can see the Alps. It is just outside Vicenza (the home of Palladio, Jefferson's inspiration for Monticello, see picture below of a villa designed by Palladio in Vicenza), in the Veneto region of Italy. Venice is about forty miles away. We took the train to Bolzano, Venice and Florence. Eating our way there, of course. Beneath his large three bedroom apartment was a wonderful antica style restaurant, owned by good friends. The specialty of the house as well as the region was a pasta called bigoli. A thick, round, long, pasta, it was handmade with a unique contraption. My uncle has actually made this himself after a lesson from Guiseppe, and ordering a bigoli maker online. He has promised to show me how to make it on a future trip to his home in Maryland. It is especially suited to rich deeply flavored sauces. Particularly the thick meat Ragu, or as we sampled another day in Vicenza, a rich duck sauce. We were told by Guiseppe and his wife that they had just been to the northern italian fields the day before to pick wild mushrooms and greens. No contest, the first night that we ate there I opted for the Bigoli with Funghi sauce, rich and flavorful as my primo. Mr. B. chose the Bigoli with Ragu. Both were amazing! The bigoli was as big a star as the sauces, so light for a thick pasta. Ian enjoyed his bigoli with a simple tomato sauce. Secondi, wood fired mixed grill and those delicious fresh greens, sauteed with olive oil and garlic, a squeeze of lemon. The wine was a delightful rosso and the after dinner homemade liquor with espresso, a perfect end. We were happy to climb the stairs and tuck into our beds.

October 13, 2010

I am back...

We arrived home from our European vacation last night. I am still very tired. Five hundred pieces of mail and lots to catch up on!
I will share a few pictures after I get them downloaded. Istanbul was fantastic, exotic and colorful. Mr. B. went on to Moldova  for business reasons. My bags need unpacking, my laundry needs doing, my house needs cleaning and my doglet needs loving! See you soon...
R.