Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Dolce Vita: Rome and a Caprese Recipe

Antipasti and Dolcis. Caffè or Vino. Pesce and Carni or Frutta and Formaggio. The Italian cuisine is one of the most famous around the world. And it definitely isn’t all about pasta and pizza! Every time I go down to the south it seems like the to-eat-list doesn’t has an end(I’m right that everybody has something like that? C’mon foodie friends!).  

This time it was the capital: Rome, school trip - 5 days full of partly-exhausting sightseeing but fun too. Not the whole time dolce vita but mostly. The city was just gorgeous: sunny even though slightly sultry weather and so much to experience. From the noticed original Italian cuisine, nice people, late night card plays and getting lost along the streets we had a little bit of everything!

- Nice vehicles (left side) were all over the place and the Fontana di Trevi (right side) -

The first evening started right up with the dream of finding an authentic yet cheaper restaurant (trattoria or osteria) near our hotel – reality hit hard: all we found were restaurants used to much tourism and used to their likings. Some basic gnocchi with tomato sauce and mozzarella were chosen which served their purpose but didn’t really make your yaw drop. This disappointment grew a little day for day – I was eating something Italian, but it didn’t matched my expectations (used to something really authentic here due to Italian friends…). The last day we finally went to an Osteria and some delicious antipasti (this time grilled veggies) followed by some carne made up for everything :D. Nevermind that shortly before I finally got to visit a small Pasticceria where I could get some perfectly baked pastries – calls for running some extra laps in the following weeks ;).
- On the right side: Olives on the Palatin right next to the Colosseum (left side) -
The sightseeing led to some great impressions of old roman architecture, art and monuments (Pantheon, Trajian’s Column, Colosseum or the pieta). Just amazing what the people could do 2000 years ago! The amazeness of course gets shadowed by the cruelty experienced in most buildings (e.g. the Colosseum)or it is why most buildings were built in the first place (triumphal archs). There's a strong feeling of concentrated european and world history - like so many important events are linked to this city.

- Mandatory: an italian Pizza Margherita (look at those fluffy air bubbles!) -
After a long day in this city, a nice Cena (dinner) is what you need! One of my favourite dishes is an authentic Caprese in the national colours: plain tomatoes (red) with mozzarella (white) and basil (green) accompanied by some olive oil and balsamic vinegar on the side to use according to taste: so yummy! The subtle sweetness of sun-ripe tomatoes match the mild mozzarella perfectly and the dressings add just the right amount of flavours to the fresh picked basil leaves – summer in your mouth! J
- Caprese: Not only as a salad, but also on a panino (sandwich): typical italian goodness, accompanied with some spinach -
And it’s so easy to make – you just barely notice the preparation process: slice up the tomatoes and mozzarella, layer them on a plate and garnish with some basil leaves: off you go with a restaurant-worthy appetizer or main (best accompanied with some green salad).

Italian Caprese
- serves 3-4 as an antipasto
- 125g or one piece of Mozzarella
- 3 Tomatoes
- some fresh picked basil leaves (I only had red ones)
- Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar

1. Cut the Mozzarella and tomatoes in slices (~0.5cm) and layer them on a plate according to your liking.
2. Garnish with some basil leaves and serve with Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar on the side for individual dressing. Enjoy!

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