Mediterranean birthday feast
I just finished reading this great book, Mediterranean Summer, by David Shalleck and Erol Munoz. David, a chef living in Italy, takes a summer job on a private yacht owned by a wealthy Italian power couple. He can't repeat any menu item, and he must only serve Italian food. (Il Dottore is outraged when David serves an Israeli avocado with prosciutto.)
More than just a travel and food memoir (my two favorite genres of books), it's David's personal voyage to find his culinary future and confidence. You must read this book! I couldn't put it down.
The book's final chapters are full of recipes for the mouth-watering dishes David serves along the Cote d'Azur and Costa Bella. Panzanella, halibut in crazy water, spuma di tonno, oh, the list goes on and on.
My boyfriend and his family lived in Naples for a few years, and he was weaned on classic Southern, coastal Italian dishes. I've spent a bit of time on Capri, Ischia and in Salerno with a good friend and his family. We're both crazy about Italian cuisine.
Tonight is his mother's birthday, and we're planning a dinner. In the Italian spirit, dinner won't start until quite late, but we'll still be rushing to get ready. We bought two baguettes yesterday with no hope of eating both before they went stale, so I'll definitely make panzanella. Fred's going to make his mom's classic red sauce, handed down -- I believe -- from his godmother, who lives on Ischia. From there, we're not sure. Perhaps a bit of limoncello with dessert. Any suggestions? We're much more fans of simple, light Italian fare. Any favorite Italian food memories?