Sunday, December 12, 2010

Natale with Chef Antonio Pisaniello,La Locanda di Bu...and Red and White Reindeer


It was time to go back…or up, I should say. Up about 941 meters above sea level to Nusco. Nusco in Alta Irpinia (Av). To this small and beautiful centro storico with a fantastic view of Irpinia. Back to Vico dello Spagnuolo, 1. Back to Chef Antonio Pisaniello, his wife Jenny Auriemma, and their restaurant La Locanda di Bu.

It was unusually warm this December afternoon, but as soon as I opened the doors, I felt the spirit of Natale…The usual red and white interior was joined by a team of dancing reindeer. Reindeer who reminded me that maybe it’s time to write a letter to Santa Claus…to Babbo Natale…A letter like this one…

Dear Santa,

I’ve been a good girl this year. I’ve worked hard. For Christmas, I’m not asking for much…just a few items that coincidently are found on La Locanda di Bu’s menu.

1) A bowl of bean soup…Warm, creamy bean soup with a small vegetable ball on top.

2) Pumpkin bruschetta. Pumpkin from Jenny’s mother’s garden. Pumpkin that has been marinated in vinegar, then placed on top of lightly toasted bread. A touch of olive oil. I’d like two, please.

3) Zeppoline with broccoli.

4) A broccoli salad, warm, with truffles on top. Underneath the broccoli, I would like to find peppers, anchovies, and warm toasted cubes of bread.

5) Fried ricotta. Not just any ricotta, though. Ricotta from Montella (Av). Crispy on the outside. Then, Santa, it must be placed on a bed of broccoli sauce with a few cubes of pancetta from Venticano. I would like it decorated with aqua di pomodoro, anchovy oil, and potatoes.

6) Spaghetti. A warm plate of Spaghetti di Gragnano. Spaghetti that has been tossed gently in a velvety sauce of peppers and cacciota podolico. A light shower of black pepper on top.

7) Canazzi or ziti with a rich ragu sauce. The sauce must be made with lamb and sausage, then slowly cooked for hours under the watchful eye of Pisaniello.

8) I would also like some dinner rolls. Warm rolls straight from the oven. Rolls that have a potato filling. Or broccoli. Or sweet onions that have been simmered for hours. Perfect for soaking up my pasta sauce.

9) A pork rib. One that has been roasted in Pisaniello’s oven, and laid to rest on a bed of potatoes, apple and pistachios.

10) Flan al cioccolato. A little chocolate cake, just for me. It must be served warm, and as I place my fork in it, I would like melted chocolate to ooze out the middle. On the side, rum ice cream, please. Homemade ice cream, with raisins and a little chocolate.

11) A tray of little pastries. Little pastries starring creme brulè.

12) The sincere genuine smile of Jenny Auriemma as she expertly suggests new wines for me to try, like Greco di Tufo from Cantine Storiche di Marzo.

Yours truly,
Karen

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