Reading Italian recipes

We bought the Corriere della Sera and the Corriere del Umbria at the Tabac this week. I will tell you we buy the newspaper because we need the newspaper for other uses, after it’s been read. Like cleaning out the stufa, or under the cat dishes, or for making a fire…Luther reads it online anyway. And I sometimes read the Umbria version.

So this week there was a whole section on cooking. I love cooking as everyone knows and so I read it avidly…if slowly. I am actually at a B2 level of Cooking Italian. I can normally read recipes and articles about cooking very easily.

I had already thawed a package of coniglio for dinner. That’s rabbit for those who want to know. And there was a recipe for it in this newspaper. I read through the ingredients and saw I had them all. I decided to make it for dinner tonight. One of the ingredients was a cup of coffee… I was intrigued, what an interesting thing to have in the dish. But when I read through the recipe instructions there was no mention of the “cup of coffee” being added. I needed a second opinion. Luther read it through and between he and I we figured out the “cup of coffee” was a “measurement amount” of an ingredient, not an actual ingredient.

This is really quite normal. They don’t use cups and teaspoons and tablespoons here. Most things are by weight so you need a scale. In addition to weights you will see a bicchiere of such and such, or a glass of it. And a cucchiaio of oregano – a spoonful. But I had never seen 1 tazza da caffe aghi di rosmarino. I thought they were two different things…a tazza di caffe, and the fronds of rosemary. But I never thought it was a coffee cup size amount of fronds of rosemary. Now in retrospect it is a funny misinterpretation on my part! You live and learn.

Here is the dish. It said to serve it with risotto con pesto. So I did. But this in itself is a major error on my part. An intentional error as I knew risotto is ALWAYS served as a primi. And alone as it should be. It is NEVER a side. The coniglio is served as a secondi. Never, ever together on the plate. We Americans are used to the meat, the veg, and the starch on one plate. But not in Italy! I’m sure the writer meant them to be 2 different piatti. We enjoyed both courses on our one plate. [recipe here]

Italian phrase. “Domani e venerdì” English “Tomorrow is Friday” pronounced, doe-mah-nee A ven-er-DEE.
Stay safe everyone. Andrà tutto bene 🌈

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