Thursday, November 12, 2009

Tasty intrusions on the road

It never fails. If you want to find a good restaurant in Italy, you should go after places with a queue. The more people the better the relationship between price and quality.

Giuliano di Roma is not much more than a bump on the road between Frosinone and Latino. A small village with a fabulous view. On this road there is an overgrown kiosk, which upon closer inspection turns out to contain a bar, a restaurant and a Bed & Breakfast. And the parking lot is bursting with cars.

L'Intruso as the restaurant is called, seats 30-40 guests, and the dining room with a panorama view of the valley is packed full. The menu offers a limited selection of three antipasti, three primi, three secondi and three desserts, which costs a 4-7 euro per serving, but first every guest gets an extra starter on the house consisting of a big hump of grilled bread with chopped tomatoes and plenty of olive oil. Then the action starts.

A giant helping of thin-cut prosciutto crudo and great mozzarella di bufala is served as antipasti along with a plate of 6-7 different salumi and a good pecorino. Then follows an excellent ragu with homemade pasta and ditto gnocchi alla Sorrentina served on rough wooden plates. We round off with a cup of coffee and a bill of around 25 euros. The Italians at nearby tables continued the binge with huge Bistecca alla Fiorentina and mountains of fritto misto. It seems deeply unfair that they can consume food in such large quantities, when in average they only take up half the space of a North European, but that is just one of those things, I guess.

Since the visit to L'Intruso I have been searching for a recipe for gnocchi alla Sorrentina. It does not appear in the 1-2 metres of Italian cook books I have standing on the shelf, but it did not take long to find is on the Internet and it appears that gnocchi alla Sorrentina is one of the easiest recipies in the world. See eg. this recipe on Giallo Zafferano or the slightly different English version on aglio, olio & peperoncino

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