Friday, January 07, 2011

The heart of truffles & red wines

We now find our intrepid explorers in the heart of the Truffle region in Piedmonte: Asti.

We got here yesterday (Thursday) & have had a wonderful time walking the streets of this lovely town, sampling the dishes (& wines) of the region.

I introduced Tania to an Italian tradition yesterday: porchetta (a white roll of roasted pork, cooked for two days, with onions, chillies & roasted capsicum.....with a pinch of salt & a bit of mayonnaise).

OMG !!!! It is so yum !!!

This is me sampling a porchetta...below is what the porchetta looks like.

While wandering around Asti last night to find a nice place to eat, we found this bar at the tip of the main Campo that seemed to be happening (lots of people coming & going). We went in for a drink & discovered THE most amazing barman who spoke the international language of alcohol. I’m loving the Campari spritzers he does !!! And...the selection of tapas-like nibbles has to be seen to be believed.

But I digress !!! We went to dinner at this little place hidden off a side street. It’s called “Barolo & Co No. 1” & it served some of the most mouth-watering food we’ve had so far. We went in there with an idea of what we wanted to order, but as it turned out.....we had this mini-degaustation of:

rare veal with olive oil & parmigianno; a selection of Piedmonte cheese & boiled chicken with rocket

a plate of “maltagliatti” (rough cut) pasta with this amazing cream of truffle sauce. It was SO good !!

Tania had the Panna Cotta while I had a selection of local desserts (because I could !!)

Served with a Reserve Barbera D’Asti & finished with a cafe “corretto” made for the best meal.

Today was spent in the Truffle town of Alba where we went nuts buying a selection of truffle-related products including Porcini powder (we’re going to try to make our own Porcini pasta when we get to India).

The culinary highlight (so far) today...was Agnilotti al Pin con burro e salvia (Agniolotti pasta in a sage butter sauce.......yum !!)

Well...that’s it from us in this post. We’re off to Bologna tomorrow (the culinary heart of Italy : can’t wait to spend the morning wandering the great covered market).

Until then....take care.


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