I've been quiet lately because as I mentioned, I've been off enjoying myself in Italy - probably the best place in the world - and whilst there I ate some particularly great food that I thought I would share with you briefly. I was lucky enough to visit two of the foodie hotspots of the country; firstly the lovely countryside of Urbania, which is next to Acqualagna - the official home of the truffle - and then onto some beachy fun in Rimini (part of the region Emilia Romagna which is generally agreed to be the jewel in Italy's gastronomic crown thanks to producing Modena balsamic vinegar, parmesan, parma ham and many many more of the Italian greats).
Here is some delicious capelletti (a small hat shaped filled pasta) stuffed with foie gras (I know) and literally covered in truffle. This was in a small local restaurant in the beautiful town of Urbino, but sadly the name escapes me.
Whilst we were in the region we also ate large amounts of amazing bruschetta covered in porcini and truffle, which was pretty special.
Onto Rimini, a town perhaps most famous for its piadina, a kind of tortilla / flatbread filled with a range of things like rocket and squaquerone (a soft local cheese) or parma ham combos. I've seen Niamh Shields of Eat Like a Girl trying these in Rimini and they looked great but no match at all for the fantastic pizzas and seafood around, which we absolutely hammered the whole time we were there.
This pizza was a bianca with Italian sausage, mozzarella and rocket. It was very nice indeed and was just from an indiscriminate bar restaurant on the main street Viale Amerigo Vespucci:
The next best pizza we tried was this one. Tomato and mozzarella base with roasted cherry tomatoes, more mozarella, green peppers and n'duja (which seems to be everywhere in London, but not so much in Italy). I was doubly glad I ordered this as I learnt to pronounce n'duja properly ('Nnn-dooya') - odd as Italians don't really 'do' J's, they go for a 'gio'. Anyway, here it is and it was immense. You can see how happy I am to be eating it:
The star of the show pizza wise though was this beauty. A bianca again, and this time just with mozzarella, BURRATA, and incredible parma ham. Look at the amount of burrata on there; look at it! So good we ordered it twice:
Our least favourite meal was at one of the most popular restaurants we found. We struggled to get in for a couple of nights, so were really excited and expecting quite a lot from it (Chi Burdlaz, Viale Amerigo Vespucci). During the day you could often see the ladies making fresh pasta for the evening, and the menu looked really good. Unfortunately it did not live up to its hype at all. I ordered Cantabrian anchovies for my starter and was presented with a tin of anchovies and some sliced bread - seriously. I know those bad boys are a labour of love but for €15, come on. For primi I had spaghettini with courgette flowers which were unrecognisable, but the pasta was good. Rich fared better with this 'maxikebab', but its not hard to grill meat well:
Aside from this slight blip, other excellent highlights included this swordfish and tuna carpaccio platter with oyster(s):