After getting fully stuffed for two consecutive meals of Christmas celebrations, I was ready for something simple and light for dinner. I was deliberating between a plate of pasta or just salad. In fact, I was convinced that I would be having just a simple plate of pasta when we went back to our hotel in Scala. The restaurant proprietor proposed tagliatelle alla boscaiola. Riccardo doesn't like mushrooms so a plate of scaloppine al limone (veal scallops with lemon) was suggested.
My immediate thought was when was the last time I had it myself? I love scaloppine al limone when they are very tasty and tender. I ordered the same, and was awarded with a genuinely delicious dish. The signora handling the kitchen took our order, cooked and placed the plates in front of us in no more than half an hour. It's a simple & quick recipe. I had the best scaloppine al limone in my life.
The strength of the lemon always depends on every person. At home, we all love it strong, like how it should be. I couldn't wait to reacquaint myself with my kitchen as soon as we arrived home. The first meal I prepared was scaloppine al limone using one of the different kinds of lemons of Sorrento that I took home. My travel motto is never return home without any gastronomical souvenirs. I went home with lemons of different colossal sizes and forms of Sorrento, bottled anchovies of Cetara, local cakes of Amalfi Coast and I think the best of all, homemade jams & mandarin liqueur as Christmas gifts of the hotel.
Above are pictures of the celebration on the 24th at the hotel. A typical Italian Christmas dinner on the 24th is centered on different kinds of fish. The dinner starts with antipasti (appetizers) of different kinds. We had four. Other times, we had six. One or two plates of pasta follow suit. Or even three, if the person in the kitchen is inclined to cook. Then comes the secondo (main course) and the vegetable side dishes. We had five kinds of main courses and a couple of vegetable side dishes. If there is still space, it's refreshing to have a piece of fruit. But it's ok to skip it because it's unforgivable not to arrive to the dolci (cakes). You get a whole table of Christmas cakes, depending on the area you are in. We had six. Coffee and liquor after. Now that I enumerated what we ate, I am overwhelmed at the amount of food we ate.
But the marathon of food doesn't end there. There is still the 25th to redo everything all over again. Traditionally, you eat less elaborate dishes of meat. One important dish that shouldn't go astray is a bowl of tortellini in hot broth. This year, we decided to be non-conformists and ate our way through a seafood lunch and completely forgot about the tortellini. Not as much as the dinner but equally delicious. We don't get to stay at the Amalfi Coast often so we had to make the most out of their specialties. We couldn't actually order meat, can we?
Perhaps one of the terraces I have been to with the most breathtaking view is the Terrazza dell'Infinito (Infinity Terrace) of Villa Cimbrone in Ravello. The villa's structure was originally from the 11th century but was radically altered to its present state in the early 20th century by Ernest Beckett, an English politician. It left a minimal trace of its original state.
Ravello was founded in the 5th century as a shelter place against the barbarian invasions which marked the end of the Western Roman Empire. It later became an important town of the maritime republic of Amalfi. The Duchy or Republic of Amalfi was strong and important during the 10th and 11th centuries until it lost to the Republic of Pisa in 1137.
Traveling entails a myriad photos and I am your classic tourist with an incurable clicking bug. But I cannot put all of my shots in one posting or you will curse at me. I will post pictures of the other towns of the Costiera Amalfitana (Amalfi Coast) in the next posts.
Scaloppine al Limone (Veal Scallops with Lemon)Ingredients:
- 1 lemon
- 1 kilo veal scallops
- flour for dusting veal
- salt & pepper (white preferably)
- extra virgin olive oil
- 50 grams butter
- 1-1/2 tablespoons flour
- Pound the veal scallops with a meat tenderizer to make the slices thinner.
- Dust the meat with a thin layer of flour. Shake off the excess.
- Heat a saucepan with extra virgin olive oil on medium fire.
- When the oil is hot, brown both sides of the veal scallops. Set them aside.
- On the same pan with low fire, melt the butter and immediately mix in flour. Whisk while butter is melting. Squeeze the juice of 1 lemon (if you like it strong) or 1/2 lemon (if you prefer it milder). Whisk together. Season with salt & pepper.
- Put back the veal scallops and let them absorb the sauce. Cook for 1 - 2 minutes.
- Serve hot.