Good Morning! Here I am, Isotta, to speak to you again. As you can read in our bio I am quite chatty ,and I like to write and tell about what I am passionate about, post on Instagram and Facebook about what we cook and eat, anyway… as you can tell I am the outgoing one of the couple! Eatsperience is also our baby, I feel proud and happy and I want to share my struggles and successes with you and with all the people who want to know more about our social dining experience in Madrid.
Last week I shared our 5 favorite gastronomic corners of Madrid, and as I anticipated, today I am going to tell you the story of my 5 most beloved homemade recipes. It would be better to say my first 5 most beloved homemade recipes, because there are many more and they all occupy a special place in my soul. The reason why these are My 5 most beloved homemade recipes, is because they hold a special place in my heart. With each recipe I will tell you something about my family, and you can travel with me to Savona and live some memories of culinary family moments.
Very soon you will be able to see the preparation of these dishes on our YouTube channel. It is very new so be patient and eventually we will upload videos of recipes and social dining moments.
MY 5 MOST BELOVED HOMEMADE RECIPES
Raw meat. It’s that simple, it’s one of my favorite recipes since I was a child. My maternal grandparents had a butcher shop in Savona and my mother still tells me that when I was very young, instead of the typical meals for children I always preferredmy grandparents’ meat. Growing up I became a fan of many different dishes cooked by my grandmother and my mother, and the one that could never miss every time I went to nonna Rina’s was just raw meat. This dish and another one I’ll tell you about later. To prepare raw meat, the way it has always been done by my family, you have to choose beef or horse meat of very good quality and chop it, then mix it with salt, fresh sliced parsley, garlic, extra virgin olive oil and lemon. Mix it well, smash it a little down on the plate so that it spreads well over the surface and on top of it, add Parmesan flakes. Paradise. Between university and work I have been away from Savona for many years, and even now, whenever I return, I ask my parents to prepare raw meat for me. When nonna Rina was still with us, I had her prepare some for me and then ask my parents to do the same another day, I like this dish so much that I could eat it everyday during the holidays!
Breaded meat. Another favorite of our family. You will realize that meat has always been the protagonist, and having butcher grandparents it was very difficult not to love it. We call it fetina impanata, and have it with my dad’s, Paolo, recipe of mashed potatoes – another delight. Perhaps it could be number one on my list of 5 most beloved homemade recipes. I already told you, these recipes are not put in any particular order, I list them for convenience, but they are all in first place. A good lean tender cut,, first you cover it in the beaten and salted egg and then in the breadcrumbs, repeat the operation if you want the outer layer very thick. Another option is to pass the meat first in the flour, then in egg and finally in the bread. I remember my grandmother telling me that her younger brother and butcher in Savona, my uncle Vincenzo, had told her that crushed cereals could be used instead of bread to give it a crunch. The same cereals that you have for breakfasts, but without any sugar. We tried once and indeed the result was wonderful, but we remained faithful to the tradition and continued cooking the breaded meat as we had always done. From time to time it is a pleasure to meet friends and cook this star dish that brings me back to so many happy memories with my family.
My father’s mashed potatoes. Paolo Peira is the king of mashed potatoes. It is so delicious that I could eat it alone, and for many days at all hours -I never get tired of it! Both my dad and my mom are very good cooks, but I can definitely say that I inherited from my dad the passion to mix flavors and let myself be inspired by creating new dishes only by taking the ingredients that are available in the fridge. On the other hand, I have also inherited something from my mother: the blindness, the too small nail of my little toe, and the ability to write … The latter has come in handy when it comes to creating content! – Mom, that’s a joke, I’ve inherited many beautiful things from you! The fundamental rule of mashed potatoes is: the more butter, the more delicious it will come out. Boiled potatoes are mashed and mixed with abundant butter, salt, extra virgin olive oil, milk and a lot of grated Parmesan. It is mixed thoroughly so that the result is a homogeneous and very thick -we like mash very very thick (and without lumps). I can show off that my dad’s version is an almost perfect version -almost.
Scaloppine al marsala. I think about this dish and see my sister, Ariela. Her scallops al marsala are spectacular. She is a little more than 4 years older than me and we have shared many moments, before she decided that she wanted to live her life independently, buy a house, and finally abandon me instead of putting her life on hold and waiting for me to grow up so that we could leave our parents’ house at the same time. (If you don’t notice my tone I confirm it, yes, I’m still offended). I think I forgive her just because thanks to her independence I now have two nieces and a nephew that I love with all my soul. Many years have passed since the last time I scalped in the marsala but this time has not been enough to forget her opening the kitchen cabinet, getting a little on her toes (she is a bit shorter than me) and getting the marsala bottle. In that memory we were so young that we did not even drink, because if not in the same memory we would have served a glass of the same wine! First, you pass the meat in the flour and in the pan you put oil and butter and when it begins to heat you put the meat, as soon as the two sides begin to caramelize you put the marsala and let it reduce until you have a cream. We clearly eat these scallops accompanied by my father’s mashed potatoes.
My mom’s lasagne with her Bolognese sauce. Almost everyone says the same thing: “The best lasagna in the world is my mother’s.” And it is always true. As I have been telling you for a while, food not only has to do with the taste itself, but with all the feelings it awakens in your heart, and the areas that it activates in your brain. And the love of your loved ones is the most powerful ingredient that exists. My mother’s name is Enrica, she is from Savona and is the daughter of nonno Mario and nonna Rina, the butchers I talked about before. She has no culinary traditions of Emilia Romagna, but her Bolognese is the one I like most in the world. I doubt her recipe is the original one, but it’s incredible. How many Sundays or holidays we’ve spent preparing the house for a big lunch, with my mother who kneaded the lasagna pasta with the rolling pin on the wooden table (As my great grandmother Aurelia did, while my grandmother Rina used the Imperia machine that she later gave me), my father who cleaned up the house, my sister and I who, I do not remember if we helped with anything or if we only created more chaos. Happiness until we all started fighting, then we made peace and everything ended in a great meal, always preceded by a snack just between the four of us. Fresh homemade pasta, Bolognese sauce cooked slowly for several hours (more liquid than usual because it dries out in the oven), and abundant homemade bechamel. A tip for the pasta: you have to boil the pasta quickly before putting the lasagna in the oven.
I could go on for centuries, when writing about my family and our recipes, the box of gastronomic memories – and my stomach has opened up. Time has run out, Andrea will be home shortly and we are both hungry, and I haven’t had time to cook anything yet so I have to go. I hope you liked my 5 most beloved homemade recipes, and now that you know a little more about my family, next week I will tell you about my other part of the family, the one that lives in Bolivia. I will tell you about Bolivia and Andrea’s family in the next article: the 5 Bolivian dishes that take me to Bolivia.