Heart of Palm Salad
|Heart of Palm, Sun Dried Tomato Salad|
A tangy heart of palm salad with dun dried tomatoes . topped with Spanish almonds, basking in a light vinaigrette acted as a quick appetizer, to make and to eat.
Sweet Potato and Spring Onion Hash
|Sweet Potato and Spring Onion Hash|
Sweet potatoes were transformed by the addition of a few fresh spring bulb onions, greens and all. The was a nicely balanced hash , not too sweet and not over powered by onion taste.
Paprika'd Bucatini Aglio e Olio
|Paprika'd Bucatini Aglio ed Olio|
The main course was a tastier variation on spaghetti aglio e olio (garlic and oil) with the addition of some authentic Hungarian Paprika. I used as a replacement for pulverized dried "Peperoni di Senise" , dried sweet red peppers from Southern Italy and typical of my father's town , Malvito in Northern Calabria. Author Rosetta Constantino give a nice description of what these dried peppers are all about in her article on Peperoni Cruschi .
The trick I used with this pasta dish was to let the garlic cook, along with a few tablespoons of the paprika cook over very low heat for at leat 10 minutes, and doing so in a way that the garlic does not toast, nor burn but just starts to melt and soften as it absorbs some of the pepper essence.
By using Bucatini, I thought I would give the classic dish, a small push towards the more peasant style of cooking, and reflected this even more by keeping the pasta al dente, close to the point of borderline undercooked. Hey, as Italians that's not a problem, it is an experience in authenticity of texture.