December 24, 2008

Tengo Cuore Napolitano- My heart is from Naples

Buon Natale from Ischia, off the coast of Naples

precious artisan creche scene

Each time I go to Naples, my love for the city grows. Perhaps it is the air. Located on the sea, it is a port town like San Francisco. I get teary when I take a deep breathe. Maybe Vesuvius, the live volcano, giving off energy like the San Andreas fault in SF. I left my heart in San Francisco, but everytime I leave Florence to go to the sea, my heart also stays a little there too!
Naples is like that. Could it be the Pizza or the Baba' ? Naples is home to the Pizza, but also some great sweets, I did my share of research and loved them all!

pizza maker for creche scene

One of my favorite area's of town in the San Gregorio Armena area, famous for the christmas creche artisans. Not only is the creche scene made of the holy family, but also the whole village!

a plate of stuffoli, a local sweet for xmas

chopping block with rack of beef


politicians - wise men???

I have some great pieces, and this year added on. It is always fun to see who the "personalities will be, usually taking the places of the "wise men", of course the local politicians are always included, tongue in cheek, as well as soccer players. The star this year of course is OBAMA!

One of my favorite things to eat is called "saltimbocca". Yes, I know, Saltimbocca is a veal dish in classic cuisine, but regional specialties follow their own rules.

In Naples, it is a oval bread, sliced open and filled with various fillings. My favorite is a classic: Friarelli, the local broccoli rabe, a bitter green trimmed and cooked in olive oil with garlic, chili pepper and salt. Layer the "friarelli with slices of cooked sausage and cover with sliced smoked provolone cheese and heat until the cheese starts to melt!

Mamma mia!

Saltimbocca dough

500 grams/ 5 cups Italian flour ( lower in gluten then American all purpose)
1 envelope dry yeast
2 tbs sugar
300 ml/ 1 1/4 cups warm water
3 tbs olive oil
2 tsp salt

Mix all the ingredients together.
Stir until they are all mixed well.

Cover the bowl and let rise until doubles in size.

Flour work table and put dough onto work space.

Lightly knead the dough to form a ball.
Break into 4 pieces.

Roll the dough out into oval shapes and bake at 350 until golden, about 20 minutes.

Let cool.

To serve, slice open the bread.
Place the sauteed greens on the bottom layer, top with sliced cooked sausage. Cover with sliced smoked provolone cheese.

Heat un oven until the cheese starts to melt!

Cover with the top.

Buon Appetito and Buon Natale!

Don't forget to bid on my Menu for Hope items!!!! This year has been tough for us all, but a simple $10 ticket can change someone's life! Stop by and look at the great items up for the raffle, you can also simply give!

Mille Grazie


  1. yummm. that looks great. i did veal saltimbocca for xmas eve dinner tonight. merry christmas :)

  2. I just got back from the area and I agree with all your sentiments. I took the same photo of Michelle and Barack. Did you see the Obama with the silly quote from Italy's PM....sono abbronzato? I'll post on flickr soon.

    BTW, do you know Antonio Tubelli at Timpani e Tempura? It's on via Cisterna Dell'Olio. Highly recommended.

    Buon Anno -- Karen

  3. I have the same experience-each time I visit Naples I love it more that the previous trip. I always find myself spending the most time in the centro storico on Via dei Tribunali and Spaccanapoli (as you know, my favorite pizzerias and restaurants are there!). I love that the nativity scenes on Via S Gregorio Armeno are more inspired by Neapolitan street life than the New Testament; each one has a pizzaiolo complete with oven, a fish monger, a market scene. As if we couldn't tell how the feel about their food in Naples. Gotta love it!

  4. We are leaving for Sorrento, Italy and Capri From Florence, Italy. Any recommendations for restaurants? We used Florence for Foodies restaurant guide and proved to be a winner!

  5. Debbie- I know Naples and Ischia! sorry!

    in Sorrento there is a old lemon garden where you can taste and buy limoncello!

    I will get you the link, or check on the blog... sesrch for sorrento!

  6. here is the garden with the lemons!

    one friend then connect with local favorites by asking them!

  7. Anch'io amo questa zona.