It is HOT today. Maybe not Houston hot, but for the first time in my adventure in Umbria I understand what some seasoned Italian travelers meant when they said it might be a little “uncomfortable” at the end of August in landlocked central Italy.
I feel like Italians have an almost pride in their pain the same way they do their regional pastas, so I wasn’t about to believe their doom and gloom scenario, either. After three weeks of mild, lovely weather with a few rain showers in between, I was convinced they were all just prone to this exaggeration in the same way they’ll pooh-pooh any shape of pasta other than the ones they were weaned on. I had no evidence to believe them when they said this loveliness was just a fluke and that soon I would roast under the Umbrian sun.
Roast we did today. Like beets at 450 degrees under tinfoil.
We were too steamy or “Panica-LAZY”, as Bossy proudly said, to make a third trip (a full fifty yards!) back into town to pick up arugula and vegetables for a lunch time salad. Our only other option: the sad tatters in our fridge, which seemed at the time like we were completely giving up, but turned out to be one of my favorite meals of my trip so far.
Bossy’s Impromptu Cabbage Italian Slaw Salad
A head of cabbage
A knife (thank God there is someone in this house that has command of her digits)
chop it up in thin slices
for the dressing
a little mayo
a tiny bit more mustard
some white wine vinegar
and kosher salt
emulsify it/ mix in a bowl
a few thin slices of guanciale
lightly pan fried in olive oil on low
sliced red onion
toss all together with a little of the guanciale/ olive oil drippings
*serve with leftover cannellini soup
** retreat to cool basement for DVD viewing of “Cinema Paradiso” or “The Godfather”
Pretty great for a free lunch. Which is particularly awesome since I need to make sure I have enough money to buy the gelato spoons that I know I’ll be wrestling Bossy for at the antique market in Florence tomorrow. She’s got the speed and agility, but I’m closer to the ground.