Friday, February 02, 2007

Cena di donne italiane - a casa mia!

This month I decided that our Italian women dinner would be a little different. Instead of going to the restaurant, I wanted to host the dinner at my place, and I asked everyone to bring a dish typical of their region, or some wine in case they didn't like to cook.
I already mentioned how varied Italian cuisine is, and so, I though it would have been a pretty nice experience for all of us! In fact, it turned out to be a very good and fun dinner.. and we had plenty of wine :) :) :)
This is a picture of all the people who attended, and if you read more you can have a look at our menu.
Left to right, top to bottom: Marta, Angela, Danila, Giovanna, Ross, Cindy (top); Donnaliz, Julie, Ross, Antonella (bottom).

French cheese and crackers
Eh-ehm - this was brought by Antonella.. not really typical of Rome.. but this diversion was very appreciated :)
San Francisco salad
One of our friends is American, from San Francisco - our group welcomes anyone who speaks Italian, and so we have a few people who are either married to Italians, or lived in Italy for a while, without being born there. So, the San Francisco salad was a mixture of green, boiled shrimp, avocado with a 'Thousand Islands' sauce, and Cindy also brought the typical bread from San Francisco, i.e. sourdough.
Peperoni con la bagna cauda
This is a real Italian dish, and to be more precise, it's a Piemontese dish! So it comes from my same region, but it wasn't made by me. Luisa prepared it and it was delicious. It's roasted peppers served with a sauce made with a lot of garlic, anchovies and olive oil, which has boiled for a long time, until everything is dissolved like a delicate mousse. I love it. :)
Risotto alla Milanese
This was made by Ross. It's 'rice Milano style'. It's basically just rice, saffron, butter and parmisan. I'm not sure if it's baked, and not only cooked in a pan like a usual risotto.
Melanzane alla parmigiana
I must have had already quite a lot of all the wine, at this point, considering how bad of a picture I took :)
Anyway, these are 'eggplants parmigiana style', and are typical from Sicily. They were made by Maia, and they were delicious. She explained to us that she sliced the eggplants, put some salt on them for ~30 min to remove the bitterness, rinsed them, then fried them in olive oil. Then, she made different layers of eggplants, tomato sauce, parmigiano cheese, ending with parmigiano as the last layer, and she passed them in the oven for a few minutes to make the cheese melt. They were really good!
Dulce de tres leches and Bunet
'Dulce de tres leches' (on the left) is a typical South american/Mexican dessert, and it was brought by Julie. It was really good. The name means 'cake of the three milks', due to the fact that you use three kinds of milk to soak it into (condensed, evaporated and cream). It's a soft and sweet dessert, which I already tried in the Mexican version made by Luisa, and it's really good. 'Bunet' (on the right) was the Piemontese chocolate/amaretti pudding that I already gave the recipe for - I made it, and I was pretty happy of how nicely it layered. I also made some of my good biova bread to go with the dinner.. and the two big loaves were all gone in the end!!

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