Verrà l’estate

On the piazza in Ravello, it will always be summer.

On the piazza in Ravello, it will always be summer.

On a soggy sunless October day, I couldn’t get the song Verrà l’estate out of my head.
The stirring duet from Italian pop singers Pacifico and Malika Ayane always makes me smile.

The tune celebrates the simple joys of summer, but, for me, it becomes a reason for hope in life itself.

The single Verrà l'estate is from Pacifico's CD Dentro Ogni Casa (Inside Every House).

The single Verrà l’estate is from Pacifico’s CD Dentro Ogni Casa (Inside Every House).

Verrà l’estate
sarà nel vento
nel fiato caldo dietro le persiane

There will always be the summer
it will be in the wind
the hot breath behind the blinds

Sempre ti aspetto
salvami stanco e infelice
Nell’aria la tua luce

I always wait for you
you save me from fatigue and unhappiness
your light in the air

Malika Ayane has collaborated on several songs with Pacifico.

Malika Ayane has collaborated on several songs with Pacifico.

Click here for the complete lyrics.

This lush video of Pacifico and Ayane’s performance is the official release of the single from Sugar Music.

I prefer this bare bones video. The sound quality is terrible. It seems as if someone taped it at a media conference judging by all the camera flashes. But, for me, the expression on the singers’ faces conveys the pure joy of the song.

I know winter is coming to wrap me in its icy embrace but I’m not worried. . .

Verrà l’estate!

Add a comment

A Taste of Di Palo’s Essentials

By Tess Sanders

The Di Palo family’s shop has been a vital presence in Manhattan’s Little Italy for more than a century. It began as an unassuming latteria that Lou Di Palo’s great-grandparents opened to to serve immigrants mostly from their area of Montemilone in the region of Basilicata.

These days Lou and siblings Sal and Marie run a full-fledged grocery store. When visitors ask who owns the store, the current shopkeepers gesture to their great-grandparents’ photo on the wall. Di Palo’s moved only once at the turn of the 21st century and still boasts its exquisite dairy products. “Cheese is our life,” Lou says.

In the newly published Di Palo’s Guide to the Essential Foods of Italy, Lou shares generation-spanning stories that feature key Italian ingredients as their characters. For Lou, it’s a book about relationships. Relationships between food and people.

Lou worked with food writer Rachel Wharton to create a narrative that glides as smoothly as Di Palo’s signature cannoli cream–from the origin of the family’s life and shop in New York into the stories of the foods that form that life. The book tells the tale of eleven essential Italian foods, from ricotta to sea salt ending with piave and speck. Lou worked with Rachel to fold in many personal reminiscences “for other people, to invoke memory for them—their ancestors, what they did and how they did it.”

The tales of how these essentials are created and savored makes for a compelling and informative reader experience. An interaction not unlike the customer’s experience shopping at Di Palo’s where the staff prizes the sharing of flavor and knowledge above all else.

Speaking with Lou in the wine store Enoteca Di Palo that son Sam Di Palo opened next to the grocery, it became clear that he could pen another book’s worth of essentials right now. Working within the space confines of a printed book, Lou had to select the essential essentials.

 

Lou Di Palo continues the family business, located on Grand Street in Manhattan's Little Italy, with his brother, Sal, and his sister, Marie. Photograph courtesy of Di Palo Selects

Lou Di Palo continues the family business with his brother, Sal, and his sister, Marie (photograph courtesy of Di Palo Selects).

He revealed to SimpleItaly some other essentials that didn’t make it into the volume:

read more about Di Palo's

Read 4 comments or add your own

Tomato September Song

Allow garden or farm tomatoes to ripen at room temperature to develop deep flavor.

Allow garden or farm tomatoes to ripen at room temperature to develop deep flavor.

The calendar says it’s the first day of autumn. This is indisputable science. The equinox, those brief few days when the daylight and the dark are “equal,” will soon tilt (as the Earth’s axis does) to bring days of less sunlight and more darkness.

But wait! I’m not giving up that easily. The sun is warm on my face today and the temperature is approaching 70 degrees. I still have plenty of locally grown tomatoes on the counter. I’ve chopped them and added extra-virgin olive oil, garden basil, and garlic.

After this heady mixture macerates for a few hours, I’ll toss it with cooked, drained rotini. The aroma will be like an intoxicating distillation of summer. The taste will be like sweet-tart sunshine.

Uncooked tomato sauce is macerated at room temperature before tossing it with hot pasta. Don't refrigerate the sauce. It would blunt the flavor.

Uncooked tomato sauce is macerated at room temperature before it’s tossed with drained cooked pasta. Don’t refrigerate the sauce. It would blunt the flavor.

The calendar says it’s the first day of autumn but, in my kitchen, it’s summer.

Rotini with Uncooked Tomato Basil Sauce
Print
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Italian
Author:
Serves: 4 to 6
Use any short pasta--such as rotini, penne, baralotti, campanelle, or shells--to capture the rich tomato juice.
Ingredients
  • 4 large or 8 medium very ripe tomatoes (about 4 pounds), cored and chopped
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup torn fresh basil leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon plus 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 pound dried rotini
  • Ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, combine the tomatoes, oil, basil, garlic, and 1 teaspoon salt. Stir to mix. Set aside for several hours at room temperature.
  2. Set a covered large pot of water over high heat. When the water boils, add the remaining 1 tablespoon of salt and the rotini. Stir. Cover and return to the boil. Uncover and boil, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes, or until al dente.
  3. Drain the rotini and return to the pot. Add the tomato mixture. Toss to mix. Set aside for for 5 minutes. Stir and serve.

 

Add a comment

SimpleItaly on WFMZ-TV

Sharon Sanders (L-R), Chef Mike Pichetto of Vintage Restaurant, Eve Tannery, Ron Martin, and Walter Sanders.

Sharon Sanders (L-R), Chef Mike Pichetto of Vintage Restaurant and 3rd & Ferry, Eve Tannery, Ron Martin, and Walter Sanders in the WFMZ-TV Sunrise Kitchen.

This morning, Chef Mike Pichetto of Vintage Restaurant and Wine Bar,  and SimpleItaly’s Sharon Sanders cooked up a sneak preview of the sumptuous dinner that will be served at the RMG Insurance Golf & Gourmet event to benefit the State Theatre Freddy Awards on Thurs., Sept. 18 at the Club at Morgan Hill, Easton, Pa. Chef Mike prepared Gorgonzola Chicken Thighs with Braised Red Cabbage and Sharon made Panna Cotta with Caramel Sauce and Raspberries. Both recipes are from Cooking Up an Italian Life. We were in the WFMZ-TV kitchen with News at Sunrise host Eve Tannery and Ron Martin, the maestro of the annual charity event, from RMG Insurance. Click here to watch the segment–Sharon’s demo follows Chef Mike’s–and get the recipes!

Creamy Panna Cotta is the dessert equivalent of a white silk blouse. Here, it's accessorized with caramel drizzle and fresh raspberries.

Creamy Panna Cotta is the dessert equivalent of a white silk blouse. Here, it’s accessorized with caramel drizzle and fresh raspberries.

 

Add a comment

Pasta the Italian Way

Published by W.W. Norton with illustrations by Luciana Marini and photographs by Gentl & Hyers

Published by W.W. Norton with illustrations by Luciana Marini and photographs by Gentl & Hyers

Unlike pasta which is often best served right after cooking, this post has simmered on the back burner for a few months.

I wanted time to peruse the 400 pages of Sauces & Shapes: Pasta the Italian Way by Oretta Zanini De Vita and Maureen B. Fant, which was released last fall to rave reviews. De Vita is an authority on the history and variety of the country’s regional cooking. Fant is a writer and native New Yorker who has made Rome her home for more than 30 years.

Reading the book has been like a conversation with trusted culinary colleagues. In some sections my head bobbles up and down in affirmation. At other times, I cock my head as a fresh idea leads me to consider something in a new way.

read more about Sauces & Shapes

Add a comment