Assunta and Rosanna have known each other for years and years. They are both teachers at a local middle school, where they got to know each-other and became the best of friends, finding out they had a strong passion in common: cooking. Together they offer some of the foundations of the Neapolitan tradition: on the one side the passion for past and present great cooking, on the other the attention to an always warm and welcoming reception, a trait of Naples and its people.
Our Cesarine welcome us into a beautiful house in the historic Santa Lucia district, just a few steps away from Caracciolo seafront, which opens onto the splendid Neapolitan gulf. In this lovely location Assunta and Rosanna guide us through the discovery of Campania’s culinary culture, which is a mix of rich local traditions and international influences.
The secret of the Cesarina
Our philosophy is all about eating well, even with your eyes.
To begin this journey into Neapolitan tradition, Assunta and Rossana make us delicious little shortcut pastry boats, a dish which has some French influences but can be considered fully Neapolitan. The flavour of the butter pastry is tied together with a filling of local aubergines, eggs and peas, and the result is very tasty. All this is accompanied by an aperitif of sparkling wine and in season fruit.
As a first dish, our Cesarine serve zucchini vermicelli (long, spaghetti-like pasta), a familiar version of the more famous vermicielle che cucuzielle. In this version, sheep ricotta is used to dress the pasta instead of parmesan cheese, giving it a particular and genuine flavour. To follow, a friarielli stuffed meatlof with potatoes. Friarielli, a typical product of the Campania region, are small rapini broccoli pan-cooked with garlic, oil, salt and pepper. As a side dish, other than the potatoes, tasty papacella peppers are served: a quality of peppers known for its sweet pulp and strong aroma. Assunta and Rosanna stuff them with a tasty filling made of bread, capers, black olives, anchovies and a few secret ingredients.
To finish, the choice of dessert could be no other but babà. As per tradition this dessert, also of French origin but typical of Neapolitan pastry-making, is enriched with the flavour of rum and whipped cream. Neapolitans swear that once you taste them you will never be able to forget such a flavour. And if you can do so while looking at the Caracciolo seafront…