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Benvenuti al Tutti!

Welcome to Luigi's Tastes of Italy

This blog is my small dedication to Italian cooking, and is abolutely 100% free of pretentiousness, complicated ingredients, or any effort to present Italian cuisine as anything other than it really is, very simple.

Hope you enjoy reading my posts and maybe trying out some of the recipes.

Saturday, 28 August 2010

Ferrari's and Cima Di Rapa!

Shopping is not really my thing, unless its for food, or something particularly exciting.

I just find (as do many men i'm sure) the task of walking around countless shop after shop, staring and looking at things, i'm never ordinarily going to buy, frankly, quite tedious.

I mean I do shop for clothes, but I generally know what im going to buy.

So it was with real effort that I went out with the mission of buying a few "essentials". Things like nappies, new changing mat, etc, while baby stayed at home and got his favourite milky cereal fed to him.

Long story short, rather like the tale of that boy Jack (Jack and the Beanstalk, google it) sent out to sell a cow for market, and coming home with magic beans, I managed to forget half the things I was supposed to buy, but I did come home with this!!

Yes, its inappropriate for a 7 month baby.
Yes, it was relatively expensive.
But it's a Ferrari racing car!
A Formula 1 racing car, thats baby sized.
To an Italian, the sight of the blood red gleaming curvy body, the yellow and black prancing horse emblazoned on the side it is as I explained to my wife, an impossible lure to avoid.

As happens I imagine to many husbands who have made impulsive purchases, I had to quickly justify the purchase. On this occasion justification would be achieved by testing wether Sergio liked it, or else it was going back to the shop.

Fortunately he did, and like any great racing driver, he immediately set about adjusting the brake balance, fuel mixtures, and engine mapping.

I think he figured it out. The face of a contented Italian, sat on his prancing horse, if ever I saw one.

Which is probably similar to the look of contentment on my face, when I saw that our Cima di Rape was ready to harvest!  Almost like a bunch of flowers.

Basically it comes in a few forms locally, 40, 60, 90, 120 day varieties, the slower growing ones being the bigger, and having the best taste. I normally grow 40's and 90's. The idea being the 40's give you something to eat, very quickly, while your waiting for the slower varieties to mature. Using that method, means we have at least 3-4 harvests a season, which keeps us nicely stocked.

Apart from eating this with pasta, as mentioned in earlier blog posts, it also makes a delicious side to all kinds of meals, or is even great allowed to cool, and placed between chunky bread. Essentially the cooking method is the same, just wilt them down (heads and leaves) in a frying pan, with garlic, and few crushed dried chillies.

It is a real shame that British supermarkets don't stock these, as the unusual bitter taste, is absolutely delicious.

If anyone in the UK wants to give them a try, just google "seeds of italy" and you will find Paolo Arrigo's website, they stock the full range of Franchi seeds, including these (very inexpensive) which are literally throw in the ground and forget crops. Enjoy!


Joanne said...

You are such a boy at heart, Luigi. Now lets be honest. Who liked that car more, you or your son? :P Too bad they don't make it in adult-size versions.

Yay for growing your own cima di rapa! It is one of my favorite veggies!

natalia said...

Ciao Luigi ! Mi sembra felicissimo Sergio ! Carlo era più da trattori e autobus. Le cime di rapa sono fantastiche ! E così buone che mi è veuta l'acquolina !

chamki said...

Cime di rapa, che buone! con la cotoletta di maiale arrosto e il tutto spruzzato di limone. Anche io non amo fare shopping eccetto cibo ah ah ah devo avere una mente maschile! Bacio al bimbo!

Ty'sMommy said...

OH, that is hysterical! Don't feel bad, Luigi, I thing every daddy does somethign similar at one point or another.

And what a beautiful little race car driver he is!

Velva said...

Your greens rock! Your Sergio and his new ferrarri rock too.

Sergio is growing-up so fast.

Karolina said...

I totally understand you! Ferrari rules! ;)

Carla and Michael said...

Absolutely adorable! The baby and the Ferrari. Cima de rapi? Is that the same as broccoli rabe?

Mari said...

OMG he is getting so big and handsome!!!!!!! I love his smile =)

Lol boys and their starts at a young age =)

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