I had the very good fortune to be invited for dinner at the Auckland home of our friends Salvo (from Sicily) and Raul (from Puerto Rico).
Like most Sicilians, Salvo is passionate about food. Unlike many Sicilians, however, he has also lived in many different countries, and appreciates many different world cultures.
But our dinner was a strictly Sicilian affair.
After our pre-dinner drinks and nibbles, the meal began in earnest with a tantalising spread of salads and cold tapas-like plates.
I loved the Sicilian citrus salad, the roast peppers which Salvo had prepared in the summer when they are sweetest, and preserved for the whole year, and above all, his delish pumpkin, with a yummy secret dressing.
As if this weren’t enough to fill us completely, the star of the show was still to come.
I’m a big fan of gnocchi done well and a harsh critic of bad gnocchi. There is such a difference!
I’ve enjoyed potato gnocchi many times. How would flour gnocchi compare?
Thanks to Salvo’s dedication in the kitchen, they were every bit as amazing as my usual favourite flour gnocchi. A good example of how practice makes perfect – perfect texture, flavour, appearance – what a wonderful experience!
We finished with a simple but effective dessert of poached pears with star anise and other spices – divine!
Salvo is a dedicated and experimental cook, and I’ve asked him to share some of his wonderful recipes as a guest on this blog. Fingers crossed we’ll hear from him soon!
Thanks Salvo and Raul for sharing your wonderful food culture!