Sunday, August 15, 2010
The advantage to not staying at a hotel in a vacation destination like Positano is that accomodations like Villa Pimpinella often come pimped out with a wood fired oven, full kitchen, and grill. And great local markets and shops are mere steps away. So we had to cook, obvs! The restaurants were fine and we had a few really great meals, but with our killer terrace and access to stellar ingredients, it was hard to not want to chill out with a glass of wine while enjoying the view and some tasty treats.
Nearly every morning Chad and I would hike up the 123 steps to our main neighborhood drag and hit the local butcher, fish monger, fruit stand, and general grocery to pick up ingredients for dinner. We were simply inspired by what we saw and grilled everything from eggplant to steak to pork chops to baby octopi. We also made a few pasta concoctions from local ingredients like zucchini and lemon; tomato, mozzarella, and basil (alla Caprese); and tomato with pancetta and peperoncini. We would then use leftover ingredients in breakfast frittatas or for a pasta lunch after a rigorous (to us) morning hike. Check it!
The main drag at the top of the steps to our villa. Strangely calm...
The local butcher where we bought all sorts of meat products.
Ah, that's more like it. Traffic galore. The only thing that's missing is a bus coming at us from the opposite direction. And there's Chad coming out of the market. Hi, Chad!
Non Solo Frutta, our favorite shop just across from the market pictured above. Non solo frutta! They sold wine, pasta, coffee, and...gasp...vegetables too!
The appetizer portion of one of our meals: grilled romaine. We bought it one night to make a salad and then decided that salad was...bor-ing! A quick toss with olive oil, salt and pepper, then a few minutes on the grill, a squeeze of lemon and...ta-dah!
This local sausage accompanied the grilled romaine. We were just getting the grilled warmed up for the meat fest to come.
The nightly table setting.
The wood burning oven. We could have opened our own pizzeria. For realz.
Grilling the eggplant.
Buona sera, Sr. Polpo!
The main local red grape variety is Aglianico and Taurasi is a specific wine region in Campania. We discovered another brand of Taurasi in a local restaurant and then tracked it down to a local wine shop. After two days of buying that particular wine, the shopkeeper turned us on to this particular bottle and it was spectacular. I think we bought them out.
Spiedini (meat skewers) made at the local butcher. Sausage, chicken, pork belly, lemon leaves...I have a feeling that they make them to sell the small pieces of meat that they wouldn't otherwise be able to sell. Well, it worked!
The kitchen where all the magic happened. Note the glass of red wine, the key to all good cooking.
Bag 0' fresh pasta.
Our version of pasta all' amatriciana.
Cold leftover pasta...Caprese and zucchini lemon.
Newly invigorated leftover pasta.