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Friday, April 6, 2007

'Rufioi' (and more) by Franca & Lucia Merz

Here in Trentino, 'Rufioi' stand for a traditional type of ravioli filled with Savoy cabbage and laced with cinnamon. They are typical of a valley called 'Valle dei Mocheni', but we normally have them at one of our favourite 'trattorias' in the region, in a beautiful high valley (Altopiano di Pine') situated at about 1000m altitude.

The trattoria is called I Due Camini (Localita' Vigo, via Pontara, 352, 38042 BASELGA DI PINE', Tel: 0461 557200). It is run by Signora Franca Merz (with her mother Lucia) who is also a wine (and cheese) expert.
Entering this place is like entering somebody's living room (note the 'camino' - fireplace - on the right):

There is also a larger room upstairs. And if you look carefully you can take a glimpse in the kitchen of an authentic Italian 'nonna' (Granny), i.e. Franca's mother Lucia, 85 years old and still going strong, toiling at work with undiminished passion:And here are the rufioi, garnished with sage and Trentingrana cheese:
There are other tempting choices, too, in the changing menu. Here are the 'gnocchi with porcini and luganiga' (gnocchi with cep mushrooms and a local type of sausage):

And why not wash this down with the local king wine, Teroldego Rotaliano? This time we went for a fine Mezzacorona production called 'Nos' (meaning 'ours' in the local dialect): a superior expression of this unique grape.

The night we took the photos we also had venison with juniper (the venison coming from neighbouring New Zealand - well...that's globalisation for you! Milder tasting than other ones but actually quite pleasant and very well cooked), pork coated in mustard, and a shared dessert. All this for €70 (for the two of us), a not insignificant part of which went on the (very reasonably marked up) wine.

With a cheaper choice of wine (there are plenty of those in the carefully and intelligently selected list) you can have a splendid, filling and truly 'home cooked' meal for two for around €60! One of the best value for money we are aware of anywhere.
And at lunch you can burn it all off with a 2 h
our easy walk around the scenic nearby lakes.

We conclude by showing you one of Man's favourites (he has it every time it's on the menu: 'Veal Pasticcio'

It's minced veal with pork meat, eggs and grana cheese. True, rich and homely flavours on your palate.


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