13 January 2010

Lorenza’s Antipasti

Lorenza de’Medici runs famous cooking classes at Badia a Coltibuono. There is always an afternoon break featuring a glass of white wine and an antipasto. She reminds us that no matter how it has been mistranslated, antipasto is NOT something you have before pasta, but something you have before the meal. Of course, she is not opposed to you eating antipasto as an appetizer, a lunch, or even a midnight snack.

The history of antipasto traces back to the ancient Romans who featured antipasto as a stimulant before the main meal. It evolved from two very different cultural conditions – extreme wealth and the poverty of necessity. The wealthy use the antipasto as a prelude to a multi-coursed banquet. For the poor, antipasto was a street food eaten while working or shopping.

Lorenza’s Antipasti is filled with recipes to fulfill your antipasto needs, whiter that is a little snack or the beginning of a grand meal. After going through the recipes in the book, you will probably want to fore go the banquet and instead, make a long table full of antipasti. This recipe involves two of my favorite things, cheese and pears.

Tartufi Di Pere E Formaggio

300g/10 oz gorgonzola cheese
300g/10 oz/1 1/4 cups mascarpone
2 Bosch pears, not too ripe
Juice of 1 lemon
120g/4oz/1 cup freshly grated parmesan

Mix the gorgonzola and mascarpone cheese together until well blended. Peel the pears, then core and cut the flesh into small dice. Sprinkle with juice and combine with the two cheeses. Using a spoon, form the mixture into walnut sized balls then roll them in the parmesan to coat well. Arrange on a platter and refrigerate for a couple of hours before serving.

White wine, a roaring fire, Tartufi Di Pere E Formaggio, what could be better.

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