In Italy, big meals are treated as an event, with several courses of delicious, simple dishes and, of course, lots of good company. The meal starts with Antipasto translated as "before the meal," and it is meant to be a little something to whet the appetite. Antipasti can be as simple as a dish of stuffed olives or a more complex dishes salads and bruschetta. This is then followed up with Primo, the first course of the actual meal, which is typically a small serving of soup, pasta, gnocchi, rice or polenta. Then Secondo, which is a small serving of fish, chicken or meat, and it's often grilled and served without sauce. Special occasions call for more elaborate dishes, like stews and stuffed braciole. Contorno, is a simply cooked seasonal vegetable to accompany the secondo. One or more may be served at a meal. Dolce: Italians finish the meal with a dolce, which means sweet, and is traditionally fruit and biscotti. You might also try a fruit pie, called a crostata. Fancy desserts, such as cakes, are more likely to be reserved for special occasions. Here is one Primo Recipie for you. Hope you will enjoy making it and having it.
Spaghetti Alla Caprese
Recipe courtesy of David Rocco
450 gms spaghetti
2 tomatoes, diced
450 gms mozzarella ball, cubed
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon fresh oregano
4 fresh basil leaves
Cook the spaghetti in salted boiling water until al dente, about 6 minutes. While the spaghetti is cooking, begin to make the sauce. Mix the tomatoes and mozzarella in a large bowl. Add the best available extra-virgin olive oil, oregano, basil leaves, and salt, to taste. When the spaghetti is ready, remove it from the water and add it to the bowl with approximately 1/2 cup of pasta water. Mix well, and serve immediately.
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