It was the beginning of a lazy day after my walk was over yesterday morning – although Niamh began her ‘Couch to 5k’ while I was out – no mean feat in a hilltown! After some telly-watching, we did some food-shopping for the makings of lunch and dinner. The weather had certainly picked up, but the highest it got all day was 26 celsius, and I don’t think it was for very long. We pottered around the shops for a while, and I got myself a pair of lengthy culinary tweezers (is there a more correct name for them?) for plating long pasta and stir-frying. We also bought a fan to try it out.

I am an incredibly impractical man, and so Niamh had to jigsaw the device together, and it seems to work fine. She also prepped lunch – a carpaccio of bresaola (thin, cured beef slices), rocket, capers and pecorino (sheeps cheese).

IMG_3490A drizzle of olive oil finished it off nicely – it was tasty! 

We went out later and tried out the new (to us!) granita shop on Via Porta all’Arco.  Granite (pron. gran-ee-teh) are essentially dense slush-puppies, but usually flavoured more naturally.  We both went for frutta di bosco flavour (fruit of the forest), and it was yum… but there were a lot of seeds to crunch through.  They also found every nook and cranny in my teeth.  The consistency was less dense than I expected, but still I’ll go back there again – it was really refreshing.

Back home for a siesta, a little novel-writing and relaxation, and my attempt at making conchiglie con carne di salsicce e cime di rapa (pasta shells with sausage meat and ‘turnip top’ greens).  We couldn’t find cime di rapa, and settled instead for cavalo nero (black cabbage – essentially it’s kale).  I managed to turn these:

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Into this!

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Here’s the thing about Italian sausages.  They are denser than Irish sausages, in that they are really meaty, but they also have gristle in them, which is great for rendering down.  They are flavoured with salt, black pepper, fennel and salt.  I really did not appreciate how much salt there is in Italian sausages.  I should not have salted the ingredients in the pan, nor put as much salt in the pasta water as I had.  The cavalo nero would serve to temper the salt, but I also put in about 50% less than I should have.  The result was that the dish was too salty.  Ah well.  The basic flavours were all there, though!  A 50/50 hit/miss, so.

As it got dark after dinner, I noticed that Niamh had strung solar-powered light bulbs across the railings of the terrace, and they looked pretty neat!

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I finished off watching The Boys on Amazon (try it – not for kids!), threw on some brainless laughter-fodder on YouTube and then went to bed.

Here are some shots of my walk this morning. I polished off listening to ‘Milkman’ by Anna Burns (more for literary flair than story-telling), and started off Jo Nesbo’s ‘Knife’ during the 50 minute stroll.

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