Anne's Blog

Peppa’s Umbria Cuisine is Always for a Buon Appetito

Date: February 8, 2020 - categories: , , , , , - 5 Comments

….and if you don’t have a good appetite, you will as soon as you walk into Peppa’s kitchen and take a whiff of that tomato sauce simmering on her stove.

On a winter noontime, she was cooking spaghetti in her big battered aluminum pot. With a fork, Peppa pulled one boiling spaghetto out to see if the pasta was al dente, quite sure that it probably was.

Si, naturalmente. Peppa deftly drained the pasta, stirring it into the sauce.

As she stirred, she asked me to bruscare il pane (in Umbrian dialect, “toast the bread”) for bruschetta on her wood stove.

Pino was already on the job:

For Pino, “buonissima la laruschetta” – also because it was drenched with Peppa’s “new” olive oil, just pressed at the local mill:

And then time for that Peppa pasta goodness. You never know what Peppa will put in her sauce: this time, she’d sautéed a bit of beef, some pork and meat from a chicken with carrot, celery, garlic and onion in her olive oil. Then came the tomatoes she’d put up last summer.

So simple. Yet….buonissima. Always.

As is the rural custom, Peppa passed us bits of bread to clean our plates after the pasta with a quick “fare la scarpetta” (“make the little slipper”). She methodically cleaned her own plate:

In most farm families, there had been one plate per person but no mixing of flavors in Italy. The tomatoes Peppa served us simply could not be placed on remainders of sauce from our pasta.

Peppa served me tomatoes only after seeing that my plate was clean:

We’d brought the wine that day: the wine that Pino had made this fall.

Peppa took a sip…..

…and then swished it around in her mouth in thoughtful analysis.

Finalmente, giving il vino di Pino a vote of approval: “Bravissimo, Pino!”

…..and bravissima, Peppa, queen of Umbrian cuisine.

Read more about Peppa and fare la scarpetta

Read about – and see! – the making of the vino di Pino

Read many more notes about Peppa – and our other rural friends

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