Sorry about missing last evening but I was occupied with other things. Tonight Diane made her Panzanella rather than me making Jamie Oliver’s and hers was vastly superior although it took a little more time. I could eat it every night, it was so good. Probably the main difference was that Di toasted the cubes of bread whereas Oliver only wanted them torn from an unsliced loaf; the other ingrediants were the same. If you make this Panzanella be sure and use the best and freshest ingrediants because, for instance, I used an old onion and it was far too strong for the salad. It was all that we had in the house but I would suggest a white “salad onion” for use in the panzanella.
The two following course were also excellent; Diane prepared a main of Orecchiette with Peas, a little chopped ham and some onion and stock. For stock we use a dried stock called Vegeta from Croatia. Orecchiette are “little ears” meaning that they are normally handmade (at least in the old days) by neighborhood women in front of their homes for extra money. Traditionally they are sauced with something, naturally, that fits in the depression of the pasta like: peas, broccoli or caulifloweretts, vegetables that fit into the pasta depression. Diane uses a little stock mixed with the pasta water to add a wettness to the sauce.
Accompanying this meal we had a bottle of Umani Ronchi Montepulciano D’Abruzzo with a lttle bottle age from 2008.
Her salad was a simple affair with lettuce as a base and tomato pieces,cubes of avocado and sliced mushrooms.