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What's for dinner?

Nice! Well done.

The thing that makes me curious are the asparagi themselves: I’ve never seen them so big and so white.

The ones that I’ve always eaten are these ones:

they are tight and dark. We find them on the first mountains of the Appennines during Springtime and eat them without peeling. Perfect for omelettes :slightly_smiling_face:.

They are pretty common (“standard”) in Germany.

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Same in the Benelux. :slight_smile:


IAnd in northern Italy, too. @Gffp, I’ve seen the ones you posted, but quite seldom.

I’m curious about what an “italian dressing” is supposed to be. EVO, vinegar and salt, I guess.

EDIT: I watched again the white asparagi… actually the ones common in northern Italy are like those, but quite more greenish. Oh, we also have the purple ones, which are white/purple indeed


Yes. Also some ground pepper and a variety of herbs in my case.

It’s so typical of foodstuff naming that Italian dressing in unknown in Italy :smile:.

Tonight I made risotto for my wife and a girl friend of hers.


Today’s lunch pretends to be Venetian style calf’s liver (according to this recipe), though I guess it’s nothing like the real thing.

Delicious nonethelss :slight_smile:.


I bet it is delicious and I have no reason to think it is worse than “the real thing”.
But there’s one detail that proves it wasn’t made in Italy. Pasta. Pasta is never served as a garnishment, because pasta is considered a soup, not a siding :blush:

Next time, if you want to make it more like the “real thing” I suggest you to use pork or veal liver and to eat it with polenta instead of pasta. I suggest a Merlot red wine with it. And don’t forget to dip your bread in the sauce on the dish when you have finished! :wink:

Somebody gave me as a present 5 kgs of peaches from their garden… so my wife made a nice jam with it yesterday… while today we made a pie:


Looks delicious :yum: Say hello to her from me.

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Hello, pie!



What is in the bottle? Ginger or a lemon? :slight_smile:

That sounds odd (though I guess I know what you mean: pasta would be the primi piatti and a meat dish (or something non-pasta) the secondi piatti). In Germany you’d have indeed actual soup first, followed by the main course. Though the amount of soup is usually small compared to what follows. In Italy, the two seem to be more equally nourishing. But then I never really had proper Italian dinner, so my assumption might be wrong.

I’m wary of polenta. You rarely get it around here, and when you do it rarely tastes good. In fact, I only remember one instance where I had polenta and said to myself, hey, that’s not bad at all. Then the next time was a huge disappointment. I stay away from it since.

The regular side that goes with liver in these parts of Germany would be mashed potatoes, but I am not a great fan of anything potato, unless it’s either potato dumplings or a proper Bavarian potato salad. So it was either pasta or rice, and pasta won :smile: .

Lemon. Not sure how ginger combines with (cold) tap water; I’d only have that hot (and preferably with a bit of lemon too).

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Polenta tastes pretty decent. A popular brand here in Belgium is Valsugana. It’s not really any different than “maïsgriesmeel” (aka semoule de maïs) though, which is also easily found. Especially in bio stores. Polenta is basically just a fancy foreign name for it.

There’s simply no tradition of serving polenta in the family, nor is it part of the regional cuisine. So the only samples to my name come from restaurants, where it usually manifests in the form of a gratin (with the appearance and taste of a brick of clay). Doesn’t exactly inspire me to try it at home :slight_smile:.

The good one must have been in an Italian restaurant, and it was more like a mash, fluffy and moist. I guess I could aim for that experience, but there’s not enough precedent for me to want to give it a try.

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Your assumption is not wrong.
A traditional italian meal has TWO main courses. The first course is a soup (strictly speaking), or a pasta, or a risotto. The second course is generally a meat or fish course with a siding of vegetables (either vegetables or salad, neither pasta nor rice).
Elderly people believe that a healthy meal should always have this structure. It obviously implies that you’ll have a small portion of both, but they think that’s better than a big portion of a main course.
One notable exception is risotto alla milanese, which can become a “piatto unico” (unique course) when prepared with ossobuco (marrowbone) or quaglia (quail). But to understand that, you must think that milanese cuisine has a lot of influence from north (Milan used to be part of the austrian empire).
Anyway, since in the last years we have developed a lot of fancy and tasty “antipasti” (starters), usually when you go out for dinner you ask for a starter, then a first OR a second course. Some people (me included) often still go for the classic first+second.

I can imagine. Sometimes it is difficult to find a good polenta even in Italy.
In northern Italy we eat pasta as a first course, too, but that’s a recipe from the south. Traditionally, the first course in northern regions was a soup or a polenta.
And in poor times, polenta was the main and only food for our ancestors, just as potatoes were for you in Germany.

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That’s the traditional home way to eat the leftovers of polenta of the day before. Eaten alone it is not appealing, but it becomes great if you let some gorgonzola cheese melt on it. Fresh polenta il fluffy and has the consistency of mashed potatoes.

They used to sell these polenta sausages here. (Or whatever you call a heap of polenta in sausage shape.) I don’t think they’re available anymore. You could cut off slices to fry them up.

It is a bestseller in Italy, too, it’s very easy and quick to make (making polenta from scratch can be a real pain), and it definitely tastes quite decent.

It took me more than a while to get you were talking about polenta in shape of sausages and not of polenta WITH sausages. :sweat_smile:
I’m quite sure you won’t find any “solid” polenta for sale in italian shops, but just powders to make polenta. So the idea of the “shape of polenta” is something similar to the “shape of water” to me.

I found various “proper” names for it in English. Polenta rolls, polenta tubes, tubed polenta.

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