Rome, summer heat, long days, bright skies and the humidity that you learn to love with time.
Throughout history so many painters have tried to immortalise the light of The Eternal City on the canvas, so many writers have made an attempt to recreate it on the pages of their books. One of the most loved writers in Italy, after having spent some time in Rome working as a film director, has stated that Rome doesn’t have one colour palette and has individual shades for every person. On the contrary, there are so many of them, for each citizen of the city and one for every day tourist. Not only that, the colours change according to the mood of the observer. Every person receives a sort of a personal gift that can only be shared in a small part.
The late lazy lunches are our form of indulgence and to capture that time of the day … I decided to lean towards the abundance of ripe figs, the season is so short that I just could not stop myself including them almost daily … and sweet but still refreshing Amalfi lemons with their gorgeous yellow colour that decorate and give a lift to the kitchen.
Summer heat almost prevents you from spending too much time in the kitchen….and there is no need for it. What makes the magic is the quality and choice of ingredients, all kept fairly simple and accompanied by a glass of chilled Prosecco or white wine.
The so called Italian ‘antipasto’ (a starter) is of great importance to me, it is the start and the introduction to the whole meal….
Burrata is always a great choice, mostly served here with tomatoes or anchovies, but I can’t resist the fig and ham flavour combination (some grated zest of lemon and drizzle of olive oil). By now I have chosen my favourite bakeries and the fact that they are not directly at my door step makes my stroll to them even more exciting. Starting with Piazza Del Popolo the route leads alongside the Pantheon, through Piazza Navona and finally it is time to cross Campo De’ Fiori…..Getting my bread has become not only an every Saturday pilgrimage but also a treat especially when stopping for a coffee and “cornetto” on the way.
At home we have pasta very often, so for a lazy lunch and a lazy cook during the summer months the most appropriate is a lovely and delicate “tagliolini al limone”. It is actually a recipe without a recipe.
You need a portion of fresh pasta that requires only about 2 minutes of cooking time, grated zest of lemon and it’s freshly squeezed juice added to gently melted butter with olive oil. Once the pasta is ready just toss it together in a pan with the lemon juice and adjust the seasoning to your taste. Add more butter if you like a creamy texture. Almost no work involved but good lemons are a must.
While on a fresh lemony note, chicken escalopes are served. Once again, almost not really a recipe. Flattened chicken breast takes no time to cook and beautifully absorbs the flavours of the sauce (created by deglazing the pan with some white wine and adding the lemon juice) while finishing off cooking the escalopes. Just sprinkle with freshly chopped parsley and the main course is ready.
Fresh fruit served as a desert was fairly new to me years ago especially coming from a country where cakes are served as a part of an afternoon tea or coffee ritual.
I absolutely adore it now and yet again, there is almost no work involved…
Whilst having a bit of the rest … an orange warm tone of (Roman) light has penetrated the apartment….Maybe a coincidence , who knows but we are having macerated apricots in Amaretto with a dollop of whipped mascarpone to finish our lazy lunch…