Southern Italian Lunch

If I could be anywhere in the world right now, I would be in Campania, Italy, along the Amalfi Coast. Since that’s a pipe dream at the moment, I decided instead to make myself what I imagine would be a creative Southern Italian lunch. In fact, this entry will be the first of four successive food and wine posts with an Italian flavor, starting with the most recent (today).

It begins with a single salt-packed anchovy from Cetara. It was removed from the briny jar, carefully rinsed and de-salted, made into two small fillets, and then placed gently in a skillet with olive oil and hot pepper flakes, on a very low flame. After about 5 minutes in the warm oil, the anchovy dissolved, and it provided a flavorful base for the dish. Mostly made from leftovers, here were the ingredients.

The rapini, (a/k/a) broccoli rabe, had been trimmed, blanched, and chopped a few days ago, when I was using the rapini blanching liquid to make a light broth for risotto. The torchietti was a new find, at Trader Joe’s last week during a shopping trip. Roasted garlic? Cooked in the oven last week and preserved in olive oil. Salami and Castelvetrano olives? Bought yesteday at Eataly Boston. Plum tomato? About to go bad, sitting on the kitchen counter, so it had to be quickly blanched, skinned and seeded for whatever was looking for a little acid. And the Falanghina was a wine from the Mucci brothers, imported from one of their producers in Campania, purchased yesterday at Social Wines. The olive oil was from Sardinia, a full flavored recent vintage from Gustiamo, a favorite supplier of all things Italian.

It came together beautifully, and I finished all in three portions for my lunch.

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