Pizza, Prosecco and a Pizzaiolo

We arrived in a little village of Monfumo very close to the picturesque village of Asolo. We were met by some very dear friends from London. Aah bliss, I love my family dearly but we all looking forward to some different company.

I remember once while visiting the island of Capri, we asked the waiter for two glasses of the local wine, baffled he looked at me and said ‘but madam we are an island we don’t have vineyards!’With panic he continued saying the nearest local winery is about 10km away. With ‘local’ the Italians mean literally next door.

proseccoWe are in Prosecco country – and yes this was strategically planned as my friend is a fellow bubble lover. Prosecco Superiore DOCG comes in two varieties: Prosecco Conegliano Valdobbiadene Superiore DOCG, which can only be made in the Treviso province of Veneto on the hills between the towns of Conegliano and Valdobbiadene (north of Treviso), and the smaller Asolo Prosecco Superiore DOCG, produced near the town of Asolo. We were delighted to find a collection of local wines and Prosecco in our villa – ready for us to buy. Our choice was a very local Prosecco, Biondo Jeo di De Lucchi Nadir, from the tiny village of Monfumo so small that I am sure we could probably see the vineyards from our back door. It is delicious, creamy, yeasty and buttery – it even convinced ‘the husband’ to have a glass or two.  A long catch up is much needed and I rummaged through the well stock fridge and herb garden outside, in search for some grown up toppings for my pizza dough, which is looking rather deflated, stale yeast perhaps? We fed the kids a generous helping of homemade spaghetti bolognese and we start digging into our ‘grown up’ pizzas!

  1. Pecorino, Parma, Pear and Sage
  2. Potato, Anchovy,  Fennel, Rosemary, Olive and Chilli – the potato slices was leftover from the previous night and I caramelised the fennel over a high heat till soft and slightly coloured.
  3. Tallegio, Mortadella, Pecorino and Bay
  4. Raddichio, Gorgonzola, Walnuts and Rosemary Honey – in a small saucepan gently heat a few tablespoons of honey with a twig or two of rosemary – take of the heat and infuse
  5. Romanesco Cauliflower, Courgette, Tallegio and Lemon Verbena

img_6013We decided there and then that we will book some pizza lessons in Asolo! After a ‘oh my goodness this is a good lunch’ at Hostaria Ca Derton, we headed for Ristorante Cornaro where we met Saverio the Pizzaiolo (a person who makes pizza’s). Saverio is exactly what you would expect from an authentic Italian chef, passionate, enthusiastic and can’t speak a word of english. Our translator struggled to keep up with Saverio’s enthuisiasm as he explained what is important when making a pizza. I hung on every word he said but thankfully I will not bore you with the detail (please email me if you are interested and I will happily pass the details along). You just have to love the Italians for their love of ingredients. Only ‘OO’ flour from Piedmonte will do and the Semolina is from Puglia. Everyone had a go at shaping their pizzas and we waited eagerly as Saverio popped them one by one in the wood fire pizza oven. Oh my goodness, pizza will never be the same again!IMG_5986.JPG

Venice Venice Venice – the sun was shining (a miracle in itself it seems these days) and it looked to be a glorious day. We took the train (buying and running for connecting trains an adventure on its own) and arrived to see the kids eyes grow bigger and bigger as we approached the magical city. We had a very easy going day trying to avoid the crowds while sampling local chiccetti’s and dolci’s. Cicchetti are small snacks, typically served in traditional “bàcari”. The little shop of Acqua e Mais on Campiello dei Meloni is not to be missed! I had stuffed octopus and a little cone filled with fritto misto of prawns and calamari. Trying to liaise lunch between 3 adults and 4 kids can be hard work and I would of happily sat myself in a corner and munched on these the whole day. Cheers!

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