And then there were two! Two triumphant goals by ‘Super’ Mario Balotelli, narrowing the 2012 Euro Cup down to two teams, Spain and Italy. As Spain no doubt had plenty of food for thought as they watched Italy defeat Germany, so did we… but it had nothing to do with game tactics.
Maybe the key to the football success of these two countries is the fact that they both serve up incredibly delicious food. Or maybe that’s just us looking for another excuse to eat more pizza. Nevertheless in the spirit of the Azzurri, we’re taking you on a culinary day trip to Italy.
Mario Balotelli grew up in the Province of Brescia, in Northern Italy. So one would presume that during his childhood he would have woken up to the smell of sweet polenta for breakfast, as Brescia is famous for it.
Polenta is basically mushy cornmeal, so when created into a sweet breakfast, polenta dolce, for us it would be like an exotic oatmeal. The polenta is heated up, milk is added, and like English oatmeal it’s best served with a lot of brown sugar.
We’re not playing bias here, you’ll see that we did give Spanish food time in the limelight, If you look back to part one – A Day of Spanish Food. There you’ll notice a mouth-watering picture of the tapas dish, patatas bravas. What would be an Italian equivalent? Well gnocchi of course! Those soft little potato dumplings that melt in your mouth.
When made traditionally, they’re not as dense and heavy as many non-Italian restaurants may make them. So for lunch, we suggest a favourite in Naples, Gnocchi alla Sorrentina. Gnocchi in tomato sauce, with mozzarella, basil and Parmigiano. It’s baked at a high temperature before serving and will no doubt keep you satisfied until it’s time for your pre-dinner aperitif.
Yes, the traditional aperitif with friends and family before dinner is genius. Many enjoy wine or cocktails, but the popular drink of the moment is the Spritz. Perfect for Summer, it can be made with dry white wine or Prosecco, mixed with either either Aperol or Campari. Bellissimo!
Now when it comes to dinner, what do you choose when there’s just so much to choose from? Pasta, pizza, calzone, parmigiana. Well, there’s one dish that’s so close to home for many Italians, you’ll no doubt hear them say, ‘it’s good, but my Nonna’s is better.’ We’re talking about lasagne!
All those layers of goodness. Bolognese, deliciously sandwiched between pasta sheets, oozing with bechamel and tomato sauce, and melted together with cheese. Italians really do do it better.
But will they do it better in the finals on Sunday? If you want to vote on who will win the 2012 Euro Final and win some yummy food in the process, then head to our competition page for your last chance to win a £20 hungryhouse voucher.
If Italy does win, then you’ll be wanting to treat yourself. Gelato anyone? Defeat is best served frozen.