Soave is a small town at the feet of the Lessini mountains, halfway between Verona and Vicenza. It is a small village with a great history of over a thousand years, as shown by the town walls which surround its centre and the precious Scaligero castle, which offers an enchanted view of lake Garda and the Po valley.
Aristide welcomes us to his beautiful home not far from the centre. Cooking is a real passion for him, one developed as a young man. In fact, his love for cooking blossomed during his military service, when he guarded the barracks and had to cook for all his comrades. “On those occasions - he tells us - our Commander himself would come down from his lodgings upstairs and he would bring food back to his whole family”. Aristide still expresses this passion today, through his recipes, which embody the rich and tasty gastronomic tradition of the Veronese table.
The secret of the Cesarina
Cutlery and utensils are important in the kitchen. I have a real passion for forks and knives, and I collect them.
To inaugurate this journey among the flavours of tradition, Aristide relies on the “prince of the Veronese winter”: red radicchio. This vegetable, which taste is both intense and bitter, enriches our Cesarino’s appetiser: prosciutto rolls on a fondue of Monte Veronese, a sweet and delicate tasting typical local cheese.
To follow, we have delicious homemade tagliatelle in broth, with chicken livers and giblets served on the side. The second course is well worth the wait. A 'bollito misto' of various cuts of lean meat, with 'cotechino' salami, is served with two of Aristide's speciality. We have the 'pearà', a creamy pepper sauce, which makes use of stale breadcrumbs, stock and marrow, which is delicately aromatic and spicy. Next, we have 'krén', which uses wild horseradish that grows on the local mountainsides.
To finish, a 'sbrisolòna' cake, which similar to a crumble, and can be traced back to as early as 600 BC in Verona. It is similar to a Neopolitan dessert of the same name, but is also enriched with almonds and Amarone grappa, which is a local spirit produced from grapes. A truly sublime and original dish.