My Daily Italian Plate

 

7 a.m. The alarm wakes me up. Another day is starting.

 

Every morning, my first thought goes to my espresso. From my bed, I can feel the amazing smell of coffee that is waiting for me.

I go downstairs and find the moka full of incredible dark and strong coffee. The moka is the common tool Italian people use to prepare coffee at home. I usually drink my coffee without anything else (no milk or sugar); it’s called a liscio, and it is exactly what here is known as single shot. On the other hand, my mum prefers the macchiato, a shot with some foamed milk. Another really famous choice of coffee is the cappuccino, which has a major quantity of milk and foam than the normal macchiato.

(A useful advice for you if you want to visit Italy: don’t order a latte if you want a coffee, because you will receive only a cup of milk! Latte is the Italian translation for milk, so if you want a coffee with a lot of milk inside, you should ask for a Latte Macchiato.)

 

Back to my breakfast, the best thing ever is soaking some cookies in my hot espresso. The cookies I’m talking about are completely different from the American ones. They are simple and made exactly for breakfast (type “biscotti Mulino Bianco” on Google— you will better understand what I’m talking about.)

Another typical choice of breakfast common among children is a Nutella sandwich. The classical “pane e Nutella” has been my breakfast for years: two slices of American sandwich bread and a layer of Nutella (chocolate and nuts cream) is considered as a paradise for every children (and of course also for a 22-year-old me!)

 

After the breakfast, I run to the university. I’m always late.

I usually have lunch with my friends at the university, but only today I will return home. Not only because my lunchbox is sad to describe (basically tuna or quinoa salads everyday), but also because today I’m craving a pasta.

 

When I arrive home, I find my brother preparing me a simple tomato sauce pasta. He is passionate about inventing new recipes (once he prepared a Vodka Pasta, not exactly the traditional recipe you could think about!), but I prefer the most classical ones.

Among the most known choices of pasta you can find:

  • carbonara (uncooked eggs and bacon)

  • amatriciana (tomato sauce and bacon, really spicy)

  • pesto (originally from Genova, made of basil and nuts)

  • cacio e pepe (typical of Rome, made of typical Roman cheese and black pepper)

  • aglio,olio e peperoncino spaghetti (simple spaghetti with olive oil, garlic, and spicy pepper)

 

I know that now you want to ask me: “Is it true that Italians eat pasta every meal?”

Actually, the answer is no. At least, I don’t do that.

Talking about my family, I have to mention my grandma now. She is the best in preparing gnocchi and pasticcio (otherwise known as lasagna). It is difficult to explain what they are but, another time, just search on Google, and you will be surprised!

 

Today is special because there is an important soccer match. Yes, as every other italian, I follow soccer, and I am a Juventus supporter (do you know Cristiano Ronaldo? He now plays for my team!). On a special occasion like this, we will order a pizza (another Italian stereotype destroyed: we don’t eat pizza everyday!). So I’m really looking forward for ordering my favourite one: the Bufala.

The Bufala is like a margherita, but with buffalo mozzarella. The mozzarella is put on the pizza at the end of the cooking, so it remains fresh and soft. When you cut a slice, the milk inside the mozzarella spreads around the pizza and it is delicious!

My mum choses a pizza with grilled vegetable (Ortolana), my dad a Tuna and Onion (Tonno e Cipolla), and my brother a pizza with arugula, cherry tomatoes and Parmigiano. My boyfriend isn’t a Juventus supporter, so he isn’t here right now, but he would have definitely chosen a pizza with sausages and chips. Other typical choices are: the Capricciosa (artichokes and ham), the Prosciutto e Funghi (ham and mushrooms), or the Salamino (I don’t know why you call this one pepperoni pizza! Pepperoni is the Italian translation for bell peppers).

 

The pizza is eaten, and we are going to watch the game. But first, I wanted to explain that Italy has several different food cultures around the country: each region developed its own tradition and recipes, and I only mentioned the most common and known ones.

 

After the game (my team won, of course) we eat our dessert: gelato!

I surprisingly discovered that there are really good brand of gelato in the U.S. The only difference is that Americans developed strange flavors of gelato: peanut butter gelato, Oreo gelato, mint and chocolate, and the absurd root beer float (Italian readers, don’t try that!)

However, Italian classic choices of gelato are: nocciola (nuts), tiramisù, chocolate, fiordilatte (only milk), stracciatella, vanilla, amarena (black cherry), foresta nera (chocolate and black cherries).

As always, I combine the chocolate ice-cream with a fruit ice-cream (usually strawberries or berries gelato).

 

It’s now 11 p.m., and I’m tired but extremely satisfied.

After a day with espresso, pasta, pizza, and ice cream, I can really go to bed happy. Tomorrow will be a normal day, and I won’t have gelato and pizza at night (having all the best Italian food in the same day is definitely an exception!). But what will never change is my morning espresso: even tonight, my last thought of the day goes to it.

 

Elisa Moras