Sunday, April 22, 2018

Fantastic First, Quattro Passi, Nerano (Na)

An excellent opportunity to go for a drive.  The Campania region, after a winter particolare, decided to get back to normal with a weekend of sunshine and nearly summer temperatures.  Great for me, since I had decided to head back to Quattro Passi, Nerano's 2 Michelin starred restaurant.  Nearly a year had passed since my last visit and I was very curious to check out what Chef Antonio Mellino had planned for the 2018 season. Chef Antonio was out of town, but no problem!  I was in the capable hands of his son, Chef Fabrizio Mellino,  young in terms of age, but very mature and confident in the kitchen.  Mellino served several first course dishes, but this one  hit me hard.
Risotto with peas and pea sprouts.  Sounds simple, but the flavors were, well, fantastic!

I spoke with Mellino and here's what he had to say...

Riso e germogli di piselli, qui abbiamo fatto una tostatura secco di riso, abbiamo cotto il riso entiramente nel acqua del vegetazione dei piselli, al mantecazione abbiamo aggiunto il nosto germogli di piselli - pr un lato un po' piu' teritorrio, un po' meno fruttato, ci piaceva di giocare sul questo lato un po piu vegetale.

Rice and pea sprouts,. We dry roasted the rice, then we cooked the rice entirely in the  water used to cook the peas.,Towards the end, we added the pea sprouts -to give it a little 'more' territorial'  and a little less fruity flavor. We enjoyed  playing with the vegetable flavors.

I asked myself  Why?  Why did this particular dish hit me so hard? 
The first spoonful gave me a kick of pea sweetness that can only be found during the spring season. So I thought back.  To my memories of sweet peas.  Those that we usually frozen, or in a glass jar/tin can stored in pea juice (?).  Vegetables that could be found all year long.  Meaning that there was nothing special about them.  Zero anticipation, and often zero flavor.  Here, Quattro Passi's simple risotto dish embraced the spring season.  Embraced a simple sweet pea at the height of the spring season and helped it to express the fabulous flavors of spring...
of la primavera...
of Quattro Passi...


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