Rosa gives us a warm welcome in Sorrento, in her traditional Mediterranian-style home, furnished with a perfect meeting of antique and modern. Sorrento has a rich treasure trove of culinary delights such as pasta di Gragnano and Provolone del Monaco DOP cheese. It is also home to the world-famous Sorrento lemon, thanks to its ideal terrain and weather, and is therefore a powerhouse of limoncello production. The city boasts an enchanting view over the gulf which stretches from the nearby islands of Capri and Ischia to the silhouette of Vesuvius.
After several years of being a member of the Slow Food organisation, she became its secretary, which is a demanding role requiring a great deal of diligence and passion. Her passion for her work comes hand in hand with her passion for cooking: Rosa has always loved learning kitchen secrets, which all started under the expert guidance of her grandmother. She studied at the University of Gastonomic Science in Pollenzo, where she took two courses.
Our Taste Experience begins with a delicate ‘cup’ of ricotta with meatballs and a San Marzano tomato sauce. It is sprinkled with ‘tarelli’ crumbs, a savoury pretzel-like biscuit common in the Southern regions of Italy. They are made with a local lard, black pepper and almonds. To round off the starter, we have fried aubergine ‘a scarpone’ (meaning ‘shoe’) where the vegetable is hollowed out, and the insides are cut into cubes. The hollow aubergine is fried and then filled with a sauce made out of the cubes, together with tomato, capers, olives and melted cheese. .
For the first course, Rosa serves linguine with a flavoursome sauce of sarda fish, sea urchins or swordfish depending on what the catch of the day is at the market. The fish is cooked in a sauce made from Sant’Agata tomatoes, green peppers and basil. Next, we have squid with potatoes sautéed in oil, garlic, wine, tomatoes, a pinch of chili and a generous handful of chopped parsley.
We finish on a sweet note with bucchinotto, which is a typical pastry filled with lemon and black cherry cream, fruits which grow abundantly in the region’s fertile soil.