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Sunday, January 29, 2012

Northern Italy Pizza

Years ago when I visited Italy I landed in Milan and expected the kind of Italian food that we Americans associated with Italy.  What I was surprised about was that the food in Milan was more French than what I thought to be Italian.  Until I reached Rome and Naples did I find the Italian food I expected.  Pizza in Milan and Venice was not quite what I expected.

Yesterday I recreated the pizza that I remember from Milan.  It had a tomato sauce with a beef stock and burgundy flavor.  I sauteed some mushrooms, added beef stock, garlic, red wine vinegar and a little plum sauce to cut the vinegar.  After sauteing  I added the tomato sauce.  For the cheese I used a mixture of goat cheese and mozzarella. I always put the cheese down first and then squeeze the tomato sauce on top.  I put the sauce in a zip lock bag and snip the corner of the bag to squeeze out the sauce. Put some sliced cherry tomatoes and smoked pancetta on top and cooked at 550 degrees on a pizza brick.  Good pizza.

About 10 years ago I noticed that landscaping companies were using pansies for some color during the winter.  I have done a little research and found that we are in what is considered Zone 7 of the plant hardiness map.  This puts us right at the edge of the region for being able to use pansies in the winter.  Above Baltimore you won't see many of the pansies. This year our temperatures have been closer to the normal temperatures probably 200 or 300 miles South of here.  The pansies sure looked nicer than the winter cabbage that had been used before in the winter.  With the mild winter and lack of snow I have been noticing how well the pansies are holding up.  Usually by now the color has faded from the pansies because of cold weather and snow.

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