Alla Mussa!

Saturday 19/2/2005

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Diary and Notes

After yesterday's rant about ready meals, today's dinner was a perfect example of what I was trying to say, but served on a plate, without the need for words.

I went to visit my friends Marcello and Marika for dinner. I've mentioned them before and had them over for dinner a few weeks ago, this time they were repaying the compliment - and did they buy a ready meal from Sainsbury's or some pre prepared nosh from Marks and Spencer's? No, being Italian they would never dream of such a thing - apart from the bread, everything was home made - everything.

This is how it goes:

Antipasti, some little canapes, some with tomato and cheese, others with prawns and a little sauce.

Me: These sun dried tomatoes are good, really juicy, where did you buy them?

Marcello: Marika's mum made them, she grows her own tomatoes, dries them and then preserves them in oil.

Me: Oh, and what about the wine?

Marcello: An old guy in our village makes it and we bring a few crates over every time we go home.

Pasta, Pansotti, little stuffed half moons of pasta filled with ricotta and spinach in a tomato and porcini mushroom sauce.

Me: Good pasta, did you buy it fresh?

Marika: No, Marcello made the pasta by hand (not just the filling, the actual pasta).

Me: And the wine?

Marcello: This one's from my village too, the man who makes it knows my dad.

Dessert A home made tart filled with apricot jam and a glass of herb liquor.

Marcello: And my Mum made the herb liqour, she goes into the country to pick fresh wild herbs and then flavours spirit with the herbs and sugar.

This is what I mean by home made! Why don't people in Britain have this attachment to their food? Who ever heard of anyone making their own sun dried tomatoes (OK so we don't have the climate, but you get the idea). How many people make their own pasta? Most people are too lazy to even make their own sauce.

Today marks the day that I am now over 1/3 of the way through my challenge and I'm becoming more radicalised as time goes on. Join me brothers and sisters in a new movement for home cooked food made from fresh ingredients. Throw away your Dolmio and Ragu, that's all they're fit for. Give your frozen ready meals to the birds. Tear down the bastions of processed food and build markets and fairs in their place. Smash the microwaves! There's a time for revolution and the time is now.

And our battle cry shall be "Alla Mussa!" - which apparantly is Genovese for "Cheers!", though not used in polite company.

Cake Blog

Crostata: It's nice to know the word for jam tart in Italian. This was a very tasty home made, apricot jam and pastry thing. It went down very well with a cup of esspresso after dinner.


  • Canapes.
  • Pansotti al sugo di porcini
  • Crostata di marmellate di albicocca