On October 1st I started walking…in Italy, the country which is often considered the centre of gastronomy. Along the way I have had the pleasure of sampling some of the most exquisite food (and wine!). And also, I have had the opportunity to cook for people who have hosted me. For those who have known me over the last few years, you’ll know that I enjoy dinner parties, and cooking for friends and family…and their family and friends as well!
I have spent the last 5 days as a guest of the wonderful Zampiello family – Bruno, Luciana, Virna and Camilla – in Fondi.
They found me walking the Via Francigena outside their house, cold and wet after a night camping in the rain on a mountainside. I must have looked a little weather beaten, and they invited me to stay at their house, which happened to be just 100 metres away! And it was here at Casa Zampiello, during a recent evening cooking for their friends, that I was christened with a new nickname: Il Cuoco Vagabondo – The Vagabond Cook!
Me and Bruno had been discussing Sicily during the day, and like many conversations, the focus turned to food. Anyone who has visited Sicily knows how incredible the food is, especially the arancini. For those who have never tried one, arancini are rice balls filled with gooey mozzarella and sauce, and then coated in breadcrumbs and fried. They are divine! And so we decided to make them. And it was an especially happy occasion because Lucia Bricco came to visit from Rome. And she arrived just in time to help make Arancini!
And the final word on the Arancini goes to Bruno: Buonissimo!!!
So who is the Vagabond Cook? I guess for me it is the part of the journey which encompasses anything to do with food! Whether it’s making, growing or learning, it will be recorded here. So I imagine that there will be some recipes to follow as well!
For the Arancini recipe click here