What we recommend this week:
- A dish to try
Lasagnette al Pesto, Liguria
Basil is the star ingredient of Ligurian cooking. The leaves grown near Genova are considered the most fragrant in Italy. Pestling the leaves with local pine nuts, olive oil and parmesan into a ‘Pesto’ has become a favourite way to capture the fantastic ingredient all over the world. Made with Ligurian basil, pesto is elevated into something divine to be eaten very simply. Our favourite way is smothered over the thinnest layers of fresh pasta, as a sort of collapsed lasagna called Lasagnette al Pesto. Da Laura in portofino serves a delicious version.
2. A town to see
Capalbio, province of Grosseto, Tuscany
Capalbio sits at the boarder of Lazio and Tuscany in the seclusive area of Maremma. It is a handsome hilltop town which also benefits from having wonderful views of the Tyrrhenian Sea. It is a great place to head for a stroll around the pretty city centre and then dine on the delicious local cuisine which features local mushrooms, wild boar and to finish a glass of the local vin santo. In the afternoon in the summer head to the enchanting garden of the artist Niki di Saint Phalle, the Tarot Garden, complete with shimmering mosaic rainbow coloured sculptures.
Photo credit: Marcopolo,tv
3. Something to see
Scrovegni Chapel, Padua
The Scrovegni Chapel is unassuming from the outside but within the ceilings and walls are adorned with Giotti di Bondone’s masterpiece frescoes. The chapel was commissioned in the early 1300’s by a local Paduan banker, Enrico Scrovegni and is now considered one of the most important works in Western art. The intricate fresoes are wonderfully animated and depict the lives of Christ and the Virgin Mary. Walking into the chapel and being welcomed by the rich blue walls and gold stars is an otherworldly experience and well worth the trip to Padua.
4. A restaurant to try
Passetto Restaurant, Rome Piazza di S. Apollinare, 41, 00186 Roma RM
Passetto hails from Rome’s golden age, when Hollywood would come to town and drink along the Via Veneto and then head to Passetto to dine in the glamorous dining room next to Piazza Navona. Fast forward to 2018 and the restaurant has recently been aquired by new owners and brought back to life with the help of legendary Roman Chef Arcangelo Dandini. The menu is changed seasonally and features Roman classics with a refined modern twist such as spaghetto olio, aglio e peperoncino with Sicilian red prawns. There is also fantastic pizza using the dough from La Gatta Mangiona, cocktails and live music.