Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas with...Chef Francesco Rizzuti...Antica Osteria Marconi in Potenza (Basilicata)

This year for Christmas (weather permitting) I’ll be sitting down to a traditional Christmas dinner in Lorton, Virginia with my family. You know, turkey, stuffing, candied yams…

Chef Francesco Rizzuti
I couldn’t help but think, however, if I was in Italy, what choices I would have for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. I decided to ask a few chefs. One chef was CHIC chef Francesco Rizzuti, Antica Osteria Marconi in Potenza. He shared with me a menu that was rich in fish.

On Christmas Eve he suggested spaghetti with clams, oysters, and lobsters. His Cucina lucana is not complete without baccala…cod. Batter fried cod. Appetizers would include baccala with scarpedde di pasta which are fried together with anchovies or peppers. Cod can also be served a ciuadedda; onions, tomatoes, olive di ferrandina…all stewed together. The sauce can be used for a rich plate of spaghetti saving the cod for the second course. Cod that has been joined by crunchy peppers and pepperoni cruschi. Side dishes? Vegetables? How about fried cauliflower or fried artichokes? How about a vegetable minestrone?

Christmas Day?

Well….the chef recommends chicken…home range, please. Chicken with an egg and sausage stuffing that produces a sauce so rich that it is perfect for homemade pasta; s trascinati , orecchiette or cavatelli. His tradition also calls for pasta al forno…baked pasta…a baked lasagna.

After enjoying your pasta and chicken, oven roasted lamb is next on the menu. A lamb that has been roasted with potatoes arraganante style. That means they have been seasoned with bread crumbs, Pecorino di Moliterno, garlic and parsley.

Dessert? Casatedde: sheets of dough fried and served with honey or cooked must.

Ok...I may miss this year, but I believe I will be spending next Christmas with Francesco...

Antica Osteria Marconi
Viale Marconi, 233,
85100 Potenza, Italia. Tel.: +39.0971.56900.

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