The Veneto region of Italy
These fried 'dolci' are the traditional and classic sweets of Carnival in Venice.
30g beer yeast, 400gr flour, 1 glass milk, 2 eggs, 80gr sugar, 50gr butter, 50gr sultanas, 50gr pine nuts, 1 glass rum, salt to taste, caster sugar.
Padova or Padua has a tremendous artistic and cultural tradition. Unfortunately, the city is not even on most Italy traveller's lists which is a great shame as the city and its surrounding territory offer a patrimony of art, villas, castles, medieval churches second to no one, as well as the sweet Euganei hills landscape. Just outside the city you'll also find the the medieval village of Arquà Petrarca, named after the poet Petrarca who settled here, and the so called Versailles of Italy, Villa Pisani.
The Botanical Gardens in Padova are the world's oldest university botanical gardens. They were founded in 1545 with the scientific objective of growing plants or 'simples' for medicinal purposes. Hence the name 'Horti Simplicium'. Today it is a UNESCO World Heritage Centre.
When in Venice do not miss out on the typical 'baccalà mantecato' or creamed codfish. It is an easy and daily dish which you can find served as an appetizer with a slice of bread or polenta in any 'osteria' or 'trattoria', but do ask for a 'bacaro' as they say locally.
You could say the so called 'happy hour' was invented in Venice hundred of years ago, but stopping for a snack and local culinary gems in such locations is very much part of Venetian life and tradition. Below is the recipe for the creamed codfish or baccalà, the Venetian way.
This fish recipe has been kindly sent to us by Ristorante 'Alla Corona' in Dolo, near Venice. The 'locale' is located towards the end of the Brenta Riviera and was opened in 1830 to offer a meeting place for Venetian nobles and countrymen from the Veneto hinterland.
Today, the specialities of the period are still prepared such as 'saor' or fried sardines in vinegar, onions, grapes and pine nuts. If you go there make sure to say hello to owners Elena and Massimo. The video above is a simple way or preparing a similar version at home.
Before travelling to the Belluno Dolomites bordering Trentino, we were curious to find out if Alpine villages are still as you imagined them as a kid, or if they have changed beyond all recognition. Fortunately, we own an old children's illustrated encyclopedia dating from the mid 1960's which lists 12 giveaway clues. We went looking for them, and the images below reveal what we found.