Have you ever heard anyone not rave about the food in Italy? Rare, indeed. My last trip had the bonus points plugged in. Norma’s hometown was in the Veneto, along with relatives and friends that coming out of every door. Then, too, because it was a Sister City visit to Crespano del Grappa near Mt. Grappa, the Military Corps of the Alps, “the Alpini”, saw to it our celebratory evening was filled with delectables of every sort.
But one of the most memorable dinners was in Lucca, with my cousin Roberto and family. He refused my invitation but did allow me to participate in a sumptuous meal featuring Branzini. The local supermarket had a never-ending case of this sea bass and other fish of every description. Seafood is so prevalent throughout Italy and its freshness makes for a delicious selection on any menu. Roberto stuffed the fish and baked it in the oven, deftly removing its skeleton. To accompany this prize entree, there was Betty’s pasta con pesto, Christina’s special green peas, a remarkable Insalata fresca and strawberries for dessert lovingly cut by Francesca. It was a wonderful family dinner memory.