Todays' recipe is one of my grandmother's favourite as well as the tastiest pasta ever: Bucatini al forno. It is basically a baked pasta cooked directly into the tomato sauce which thickens and reduce so much that the surface of the pasta gets soaked with it....delicious.
Although the concept of Mediterranean Diet is shared pretty much by every Country bordering the sea, the inclusion in the world heritage list was promoted by 4 Countries from both the north and south shore: Italy. Spain, Greece and Morocco.
Lentils are a symbol to the Italians. Legend has it that if you eat lentils on New Year's Eve, at midnight, the next year will be happier, you will be lucky and you will get more money than the previous year.
You can actually make risotto with any ingredient you like: cheese, wine, sausage, vegetables, mushrooms and so on. There is basically no food wich cannot be used for making a good risotto, which is is pretty good because all of us are allowed to make our own special risotto regardless if we are omnivore, vegetarian or vegan: risotto is for everyone.
The recipe I am presenting you today is my mother's interpretation of a simple dish made with Broccoli and Cauliflowers, which she learnt from my grandmother, who also learnt it from her mother, and so on, till the beginning of times.
One of the most frequently asked questions I get from anyone visiting Italy is about the various nouns we use to name a place where you can have lunch or dinner. It should be very easy because in the rest of the world these places are commonly referred to as Restaurants, while in Italy we call them in several different ways and that is why sometimes, foreigners are confused and can't understand the difference between a Osteria and a Trattoria, or between a Taverna and a Restaurant.
One thing that most of the visitors often take for granted is that Italy has always been one single Country. The truth is pretty different. I think it might be useful to offer you with another perspective and suggest a different travel itinerary based on the process which led the Italian Peninsula to unify itself under the flag of a single Monarch: the House of Savoy.