I am not displeased with myself. I managed to make 4 beds (for 5 guests), clear up enough boxes in the rooms so as to make the beds visible to the naked eye and shop for enough food for 10 people for 2-3 days - all that 20 minutes before they were due to arrive. Whew!
But getting dinner out for 10 was a bit delicate when I was still in unpacking mode (I'm not a multi-task person) and had to take more time to reflect/think/act than usual.
I started out with a plate of Parma Ham on Melon and a plate of Mortadella Ham downed with a chilled bottle of Moscato d'Asti.
Followed by Tomatoes and Mozarella Cheese with Basilic, Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar.
And at the same time, Rocket Salad with Parmigiano Reggiano, Olive Oil and 3 year-old oak barrel-matured Balsamic Vinegar. Served with Asti.
Very Italian, right? And so far no labouring over the hot stove...
Then I offered my guests and family a choice between two pastas : Spaghetti al Ragu (aka Bolognesa) and Tagliolini Gamberi e Zucchini. The votes were spilt 50-50.
Photos were inexistent on this evening. Firstly as we started eating late and even with the grace of Summer, it was dark by the time we reached the main course. Secondly as it was stressful getting dinner out as 9 hungry people literally waited for the food to arrive at the table -I'm not audacious enough to ask them to wait further as I try taking a few pictures!
Accompanied by a bottle of Coteaux du Languedoc 2001 MAS des BROUSSES.
For dessert, a Fruit Salad.
Special note must be made of the Tagliolini Gamberi e Zucchini. The guests who chose this pasta loved it. Me too, it gave me a chance to wok out :-).
500g of fresh Tagliolini
500g of Raw Prawns (peeled)
500g of Zucchini (cut into cubes)
10 cloves of Pink Garlic (finely sliced)
1/2 Tsp of Thyme
Generous amount of Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper
As a general rule, I prefer to use thin/fine pasta (e.g. Linguine, Tagliolini, not too thick Tagliatelle) for seafood and the firmer and more consistent Spaghetti, Penne etc for Ragu. The kind of pasta we choose does affect the outcome of the whole dish. For broth, Macaroni, Tortellini for example are usually used.
I got this big citronella-filled wax to burn through the dinner as part of the battle against mosquitoes. It didn't seem too bad, but I'll need a few others, I think.
It's difficult to concentrate on blogging, I keep getting distracted by mosquitoes, flies, black bugs, moths and now I think a tiny grasshopper managed to get into the plastic bag behind me and I should just give up trying to kill everybody and go to bed directly.