But the one I'm referring to is that I've decided that I'm going to devote each month of the year to only cooking from one region of Italy. This mostly applies to dinners and occasionally lunches (i.e., soups and such). There are some exceptions here and there, but I'm going to try to stick to it as much as possible. Couple this with trying to do the typical seafood and vegetable-only Lent and I think I've laid down a little challenge for myself! My cookbook library is almost 90% Italian with several regional-specific books in there as well, as well as a host of old Molto Mario's I've taped, so I'm doing well in the reference department.
So first up is Friuli-Venezia-Giulia. Chief references are the MM tapes, Plotkin's Terra Fortunata (a Christmas gift), and various Friuli chapters in other cookbooks.
I haven't been able to stick exclusively to it thus far as we've had Holiday leftover meals. But here's what I've managed to make so far:
>An "antipasto" meal mostly from Plotkin's book of radicchio and prosciutto "wallets", broiled scallops with horseradish, and crostini with an apple, ricotta, and chive spread.
>Chestnut, potato, and cabbage soup
>Musetto with vinegar and polenta: Musetto is a sausage product made largely of the face and particularly snout of a pig. Everything I've read says that its closest resemblance is cotechino, which I just *happen* to have sitting around! Sliced up the leftover cotechino, seared them in a pan, deglazed with red wine vinegar. I dry-toasted some polenta in a pan first and then made it in the usual method (I seem to only be able to find instant, not that I'm complaining).
This weekend I'm doing a lamb and horseradish dish "braised backwards" from Darrow and Maresca's Tavola Italiana book. Accompanying it will either be pappardelle or gnocchi with poppyseeds, Montasio cheese, and Prosciutto San Daniele, and sweet and sour beets. I haven't decided what the other night's dish will be yet.
So, thoughts? Recommendations? Is this worth keeping a running commentary on here?
Edit: Has anybody ever done this? Do you generally stick to one "region" of Italian cooking, or ever cook meals entirely from one area? Any favorite or intriguing regions of Italy you'd like to know more about?
Edited by Kevin72, 07 January 2005 - 08:44 AM.