The summer of Super Mario peppers up a storm with panzanella
|Celebration Panzanella with Cacio e Pepe croutons|
I have always been an obsessive of all things Italian which might give me the name of Italophile. Some say "Italians do it better", to me it sounds like a euphemism for you know what, (note to self, can I call it relations? ) Well its certainly been the year for the gigolos, ciccios and bella ragazzas .First of all they won the Eurovision song contest. They then reached the Wimbledon mens final thanks to Matteo Betterini who sadly fell just short of lifting the trophy, but later the same day his piccolo fratellos lifted the football cup and football was going home to Italy. It was not such a good result however to go down in the history of one already septic isle. The fact that England, now an outsider, was in a European cup seems as illogical to me as Australia being part of The Eurovision song contest, but hey ho, there are stranger things to worry about at the moment.Few people tend to bring up Italy and Britain in the same sentence nowadays unless the topic is football. However, perhaps that’s not the correct approach to take. Indeed, these countries share a rich political history that the average citizen in either case tends to overlook. From mutual diplomatic endeavours to clashes on the battlefield, these nations’ experiences with one another are arguably the most fluctuating, yet interesting, throughout the entire continent of dare I say it, Europe. It was inevitable therefore that "levelling up" and political score settling would be layered onto a football match. Italy was a founding member of the European Union and is currently led by a statesman often credited with saving it, Italy’s prime minister, Mario Draghi, sometimes called “Super Mario” for that very reason.In the text that follows I have borrowed extracts and drawn from from syndicated reportage in both the European press and the New York Times.
Immediately after Italy’s goalie blocked a penalty kick to defeat England and become the soccer champions of Europe, Carlo Cottarelli, a prominent Italian economist sometimes mentioned in the same sentence as"potential prime minister", celebrated with a single word.“Brexit!!!!!!!!” he wrote on Twitter. Soon after followed “Brexit Completed” memes filling the Italian web.
Before the game, Nigel Farage, an architect of Brexit, said he did not appreciate Ms. von der Leyen’s public preference for Italy. Sitting on a couch and resembling a British flag that had donned a blazer and tie, Mr. Farage said he “didn’t want to bring Brexit into it, believe me, but it can’t be helped because Ursula von der Leyen and other European commissioners are making it absolutely clear they want Italy to win.”
England is just one third of a once United Kingdom that gambled its own stability and future by leaving the E.U. last year.Interestingly, some of the most enthusiastic rooting against England
|But I thought Boris said we needn't wear a mask|
|Opponents of Brexit, including some Scots, were cheering for the Italian squad at Wembley|
3 or 4 medium to large tomatoes
pieces of stale Italian style bread, torn roughly
a few fresh basil leaves, torn into pieces
1 cucumber, sliced (optional)
1 red onion, cut into pieces (optional)
about 3 tablespoons of good quality extra virgin olive oil,
about 3/4 teaspoon of Kosher or sea salt
3/4 cup (65 grams) finely grated Pecorino Romano
1/3 cup boiling water
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper, or more to taste (I like a full tablespoon!)
Place the sheet pan in a cold oven, and heat to 375 degrees F. When the oven reaches temp, check the croutons. If they’re browning nicely, remove the sheet pan from the oven and flip them over. (If not, keep baking for a few minutes longer.) After you’ve flipped the croutons, bake about 4 to 6 minutes longer (but could be a little longer or shorter depending on your oven), or until they’re golden and crispy on the outside, but still a little soft in some parts from the dressing. As they cool, they’ll continue to crisp up.
Leave for a few minutes so that the juice can soak in then add the crotons and the remainder of the dressing and serve.