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A quick interlude from Italy food adventures, and a bid to get back into blogging after a week away and a busy week last week preparing for the little sister’s 16th Mexican Fiesta Party.
I adore bagels, especially those from the Barbakan Deli in Manchester, and love their versatility. They taste great with so many different toppings and fillings.
Some of my favourites include a toasted bagel with a generous helping of salted butter, or a mashed avocado spread over bagel halves and topped with sea salt and black pepper. Oh, and a bacon and egg bagel is a whole new level to bacon and egg in a bread bap.
This bagel was lightly toasted so that the edges just started to go golden, then smeared with gooey brie that just started to melt from the warmth of the bagel. Finally, it was topped with onion marmalade, this one was shop bought by onion marmalade or caramelised onion is really simple to make.
I picked this pretty bunch of flowers and herbs from my allotment and back garden. It’s a mixture of pink and white cosmos, orange marigolds, yellow daisies, purple chive flowers, green mint, and delicate white parsley flowers.
I fear this may be one of the last sights of summer as the leaves are already beginning to change colour and fall.
We arrived in Naples on Friday lunchtime with bellies rumbling having eaten a couple of sorry chocolate-flecked brioche for breakfast.
After dumping our bags at our B&B – Donna Regina – set in the heart of the Centro Storico we headed out in search of lunch.
Only a short distance onto Via Del Tribunali there were lunch options all around us. Fantastic street food, incredible smells, people bustling about, scooters whizzing past.
In the end we chose a small shop front that seemed popular with the locals, a large queue outside who occasionally were invited behind the counter and swallowed up by darkness as they disappeared into the depths of the building. We could only guess that there were seats hidden away.
Behind the plastic counter top was a small selection of freshly cooked items. One of these items was pizza – pizza al forno, and this is what we choose. The pizzas were folded into a piece of paper and handed over to us for 1 euro each!
These delicious pizzas were spread with a thin layer of fresh tomato sauce and one small piece of mozzarella in their centre. The edges were singed black from the wood-fired oven they had recently been baked in, the gritty burnt taste I came to understand is vital to the flavour of a true Neapolitan pizza.
We made it as far as a bench on a small, grubby piazza before we tucked into these tasty pizzas. Throughout out holiday we saw people eating these kinds of street pizzas, folded in paper, during their lunch breaks. Even smart Italian women in their suits and high heels were seen tucking into them.
As we sat licking tomato sauce from our fingers on the small piazza, we spotted a gelato shop on the corner.
Here we order two ice creams – for me a ‘cioccolata’ (chocolate) and for N a ‘limone sorbetta’ (lemon sorbet). Both were homemade and incredibly tasty. My chocolate ice cream was a deep, dark chocolate flavour – the best ice cream we had all holiday.
On the way back to our B&B we stopped at a small cafe – Bar Tico – and had a cold Peroni (for N) and a small cup of lemon granita eaten with a spoon. These became our signature drinks for the holiday – photos of lemon granitas to come.
The B&B that we had booked into was run by a family of artists on the 4th floor of an ancient building. Reached through an unassuming wooden door off Via Luigi Settembrini and up many stairs made from large grey stone, inside it was tranquil and charming.
Our bedroom overlooked the street below, and despite the scaffolding on the building opposite was quiet and cool, sheltered from the strong Italian sun.
At dinner time we headed back out onto the warm, sticky streets and settled at a local pizzeria for another dose of good Italian pizzas.
N ordered a ‘Napoli’ pizza, topped with tomato sauce, mozzarella, anchovies and oregano.
Mine by called ‘Pizza Re’ and was topped with small chunks of fresh tomatoes, mozzarella, some other kind of cheese, and once cooked finished with rocket and olive oil.
Whilst eating our pizzas we watched them busily making pizzas – deftly spreading out lumps of dough into pizza bases in no time at all, adding the various toppings and sliding them into the wood-fired oven.
For our first afternoon in Naples, we had eaten incredibly well already, and couldn’t wait for the rest of our food adventures.
N and I got back from our week in Italy last night, having had a truly wonderful holiday in Naples and on the Amalfi Coast. I have religiously kept a food diary of all the food we consumed and can’t wait to share the high’s and lo’s with you all.
I have also got over 400 photos (I know!) to go through so there will be a couple of installments over the next week or more, so please check back.
Here’s a sneak peek in the meantime of some of the delicious food we found and ate on our travels in Italy…
I won’t be posting over the next week as N and I are off on our summer holiday! We are spending seven lovely days in Italy, and can’t wait to relax, soak up some sun, and eat great food. I promise to keep a food diary and take lots of pictures of all the food we see and eat. See you in a week!
Over the bank holiday we had a delicious meal with my family with trout caught by my little brother. You may remember this post back in May when he caught me a trout for my birthday which we barbecued on one of the only warm summer evenings we’ve had this year! Well, my mom had three that he’d caught when we went to visit for the weekend.
My mom and I served the trout with a herb butter, garlic roasted smashed potatoes, grilled tomatoes and green beans. The locally caught trout were cooked simply in the oven covered in foil. I disappeared into my mom’s garden to gather up a selection of herbs to make the herb butter – chives, thyme, sorrel, oregano, mint – you could use any mixture you wanted. I also picked a couple of calendula flowers and snipped the petals into the mixture, this flecked the herb butter with vibrant orange streaks.
The butter is easy to make – simple whip up some softened butter, add in the chopped up herbs and optional edible flowers, add a good amount of black pepper and salt. Add a dollop of the herb butter to your cooked trout and watch as it melts and oozes down over the delicate pink flesh.
My mom’s garlic roasted smashed potatoes were delicious – the softness of crushed potatoes, the crispy bits that had been roasted, and all of it infused with a yummy mild garlic flavour. Simply parboil your peeled potatoes. Drain and roughly mash up – just to break them up a bit. Pop the smashed potatoes into an ovenproof dish, sprinkle over some minced garlic, a couple of sprigs of rosemary, and drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Bung in the oven and cook for about 30 minutes until the potatoes are cooked and slightly crispy on top.