Italy

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Tradition:

  1. History
  2. Traditional foods
  3. Restaurants
  4. Chef
  5. Recipe
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Contents

Rome

Italian

Andrea Accordi

Caladre

Pizza, Pasta, Olives

No need to tip, and rushing your food is rude.

History

Italian cooking history begins with the Romans -who politically controlled the territory about two thousand years ago - integrated Greek civilization, and created an empire that laid the foundations of Western civilization. They imported all kinds of foods from all over the known world. Roman ships carried essential food, such as wheat and wine, as well as a variety of spices from as far away as China, to satisfy the Romans’ appetite for exotic ingredients

Local traditions result from long complex historical developments and strongly influence local habits. Distinctive cultural and social differences remain present throughout Italy, although today mass marketing tends to cause a leveling of long-established values. In a country so diverse, it is impossible to define an “Italian” cooking style, but traditional food still is at the core of the cultural identity of each region

Traditional Foods

Italian cooking is very difficult to pin down -- almost every city and town has its specialties, and there are regional trends too; the end result is a huge number of local cuisines rather than a single national cuisine. However, there are some dishes that you will find almost everywhere, and that are now standards among the many Italian communities scattered across the globe. These are: Pizza, Breads, Antipasti, Soups, Pasta, Baccala, Crustaceans, Roasts, Stews, Meatballs and Spagetthi.

Traditions are usually set in regional areas, with the calssic italian use of Olive oil being far from the truth, In many northern regions it was too cold too grow olive trees so butter abnd lard were often used instead.

Restaurants
Caladre: This is a charming restaurant in an unpromising setting, with very fine Italian food at almost absurdly low prices. I don't have detailed notes on the meal but the ingredients were classy and cooking was to a high standard throughout. When we visited in had 2 Michelin stars and the prices were a lot lower than they are now.

It has now been elevated to 3 stars, and good for them. Well worth a detour if you are travelling in the area. The chef came around to each table to say hello and at the end of the meal we had am "above and beyond" service experience. Our taxi to the station did not turn up and we were worried about getting the last train back to Venice. The chef asked his restaurant manager to give us a lift to the station! Don't try this at a UK celebrity chef restaurant.

Chef

Accordi is a 31 year old Italian Chef who set up base in the Czech city of Prague. After only a few months him and his team of 30 cooks had managed to get their first michelin star by serving traditional italian foods.

Accordi began his career in Mantova. He then spent some time in London, Switzerland and Saint Tropez. He received his first Michelin Star as the chef of Villa La Vedetta in Florence (Italy). In 2007 he moved to Prague where (in 2008) received his second Michelin Star. It was the first Michelin Star in the so-called Eastern Block.

You will need:
1 pound of baccala/cod
1 pound of pasta (I prefer linguine)
Basic tomato sauce (link to recipe)
2-3 cloves of garlic
Olive oil
Salt
Fresh parsley and basil

How you do it:

Once the baccala/cod is fully unsalted cut it into bit-sized chunks – I prefer 1 by 1 inch squares
Roll in flour
Mince garlic and add to oil
Heat oil and add baccala/cod – browning on both sides
Add pre-heated basic tomato sauce
Let cook for approx 1 hour at simmer
Now you're ready to cook the pasta

Bring large pot of water to boil and a pinch of salt
Add the pasta and cook until al dente, which means slightly chewy, not soft and mushy
Finally, you're ready to serve

5 Min's prior to sauce finished add chopped parsley and basil to taste
Add fresh ground pepper to taste
Pour sauce over pasta and enjoy

Recipe
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