Happy birthday Domenico!
Domenico is one of my oldest friends in Italy. He was the first of my boyfriend’s group who I met when I first went to Milan to look for a flat for my stint at the University there, and he took us round the city on our search for somewhere for me to stay for 6 months. My Italian was verrrrrrry bad at the time so this was something of a lifesaver!
Yesterday was his birthday, and we all went for dinner at his house. Italian events, pretty much without exception, revolve around food; so we ate until we couldn’t move and then ate some more.
The menu included mozzarella and cold cuts, which is one of my favourite starters of all time – simple, but oh so good. This was followed by pasta al forno, that’s pasta bake, with aubergines, minced beef, tomatoes, eggs and lots of stretchy mozzarella cheese. They were so determined to get this to the table that I didn’t even got a photo!
This was followed by sausages with potatoes and… Tiramisu! Yes, the birthday cake in the picture above is Tiramisu. Here’s a close up:
Looks amazing, doesn’t it? Trust me, it was… I’ve never actually made a tiramisu, but after trying this one I’m going to have to give it a go.
Tiramisu, as you might already know, means “pick me up” (Tirami su) and there are lots of different stories about how this cake was invented and got its name. My favourite is the one about the nobleman who used to eat it before encounters with his concubines, claiming it had energy-giving and aphrodisiac qualities – hence the name. Probably not true, but still!
Stay tuned for a tiramisu recipe (or at least an attempt at one) after Christmas!