Dinner at the Villa

Do you know how it feels to befriend an oak tree that you have known since before you can remember, that stands always where it was planted and has a place in its roots where you fit.

Last night at Villa Scarpaccini, we were served food that has been prepared in the same way for a few hundred years.  There were cardoons, long stalks that are cousins of artichokes, fried in  an extra virgin olive oil that came from the trees surrounding the house, then slowly braised in the oven with tomatoes and parmesan.  The chicken was basted in a sauce of no more than what the chicken itself had to offer after roasting in the oven, with a good white wine, a little olive oil and parsley.  The lettuce greens were as soft as a petal.  For dessert we had frittate, slivers of a delicate cake dough rolled out to tiny circles and on top of each one, chunks of blood orange that had been sprinkled with sugar.  The edges are brushed with egg to seal them, and then another circle of dough is laid on the top and pressed around the edges before frying.

It is always a pleasure, and a gift to have someone cook for you food that is their story and their roots.

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