Anne's Blog

Peppa’s October Umbria Rural Goodness

Date: October 15, 2018 - categories: , , , , , - 3 Comments

We often eat at Peppa’s.  Every meal is always an Umbrian rural feast, and although she’ll invite us over for “solo per un primo,”   it’s  never “just a first course.”

Lunch the other day was to be just the pasta. Buonissima.  Peppa had made the sauce with the last of her fresh garden tomatoes and the wild mushrooms her son, Giancarlo, had found.


…and of course, Peppa had to demonstrate how to clean up all that tasty pasta sugo with a piece of bread.  “Making the little slipper” (or “fare la scarpetta“)  was an essential “culinary moment” when she was a child:  the sauce added flavor to the bread and the bread cleaned the one plate of each in the farm family.

The plate had to be clean for anything which might follow – no mixing of the flavors for Italians! – although often very little else followed…

Nowadays, there’s abundance on almost every Italian table. Peppa’s too.  After the pasta, came a savory pork roast:

After the meat, panzanella, a central Italy summertime/early fall rural salad starring no-longer-fresh bread.  Purple onion, celery, cucumber, tomatoes and/or salad greens join in:

…and Peppa accompanies her panzanella with gestures as she illustrates the tenderest wild salads she’s foraged…

…and how much salt to sprinkle on…

…and Peppa’s “culinary gestures” accompanied dessert, too, as she demonstrated rolling out her mostaccioli, cookies generally made only in October with mosto (“must”), the new wine ….

And Peppa knows  the mostaccioli are best if dipped into red wine before nibbling…..

….and no, Pino and I couldn’t do justice to all those mostaccioli.   Peppa had the solution:  she wrapped them up for us to take home – along with the remaining panzanella, too.

(Note: many more notes on this blog on Peppa – and also on how to make her panzanella)




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