The Lombards founded Gesualdo …Antonio told me…Antonio De Filippis, owner of La Pergola began to share a little history with me as he poured me a glass of Aglianico rosè spumante , Montesole.
In fact, the castle was the home of Carlo Gesualdo…you know, the nobleman/composer who murdered his wife…he continued.
I’ve got to see that castle I thought. But this afternoon, I was interested in lunch. I wanted a lunch prepared by Franca , Antonio’s wife. I wanted another long lazy pranzo in Irpinia stuffed with dishes packed with prodotti tipici and local recipes. The classics. Like their homemade bread and foccacia served straight from the oven.
The warmth and flavor from my foccaccia with potatoes and rosemary was the perfect way to begin a lunch as I warmed myself next to the fireplace. A fireplace that kept me company as I continued my lunch with dishes such as a... .
sfrormata di melenzane, a mini eggplant flan, frittata, stuffed pepper, and La Pergola’s borage parmigiana.
A plate as colorful as the fall colors that I enjoyed on my drive to Via Freda, 4.
Antonio decided to open up a bottle of Fiano di Avellino, Santari 2008 from Filadoro. A glass to accompany my next set of appetizers, my next palette.
A thin slice of pork on top of green vegetables, a sweet onion with pistachios, and a little package of cabbage all sharing the plate with a light drizzle of rich vino cotto.
The kitchen had more to share…
bread topped with a slice of cod on a bed creamy cannelloni beans.
Homemade chiattarini with chiodini mushrooms, tomato and pumpkin squash….
Their slowly cooked lamb…a recipe dating back to the 1700s…
While each dish was served, Antonio, now joined by his brother in law Roberto, shared a little tidbit of history, a little morsel of a recipe, custom, and traditions of their town. Another bottle of wine was opened…then another. Aglianico, of course…wines from Villa Raiano and Borgodangelo that fit in quite nicely with our little discussion of the territory. A discussion that peaked my curiosity and lead me into the kitchen to visit Franca. To see her prepare and present up her dishes with pride, con orgoglio.
Time for dessert…
I saved a little room for a mini chocolate cake, panna cotta and a strudel made with mela annurche, an apple made in Campania.
I noticed that the sun was setting, I looked at my watch. Wow…3 hours plus at the table. 3 hours plus discussing Gesulado, the Gesualdini, recipes, wine…3 hours plus that sparked my interest about yet another medieval town, high up on a hill in Irpinia.
When you come back, Antonio said, we’ll visit the centro storico together, maybe swing by Mario Carrabs, visit our vegetable garden…
And the castle?, I asked…a little curious about the composer who stabbed his wife.
Ok…vediamo anche il castello…
Ristorante La Pergola
Via Freda 4, Gesualdo (Av)