Let’s hate Italian football players…

…like Cannavaro (“the butcher”), Zambrotta (“the axe”) and Pirlo (“the bricklayer”), let’s even hope that the old men will get in trouble when meeting New Zealand in Nelspruit on Saturday – but let’s not forget either that these men have been brought up once upon a time with food we all just have to adore, to admire, to love!

Hardly anything better than to enter a real rosticceria where Proscutti and Salame are dangling from the ceiling (or from heaven?), where torpedo-like Mortadellas get in your way, where you stumble on Coppa and Lardo. Nothing more mouth-watering than the sight of marinated Carciofi and grilled Melanzane, the scent of white truffles and rustic Porcini, the row of dark green olive oil in polished bottles flanked by tiny perfume-style flacons containing the mysterious aceto balsamico di Modena sold for the price of liquid gold – o Italia! Italia!

And their recipes are so easy to do. Take two eggplants, two mozzarella balls (di bufala!), some Parmiggiano, lots of olive oil, cook a light tomato sugo, grill the eggplants, add some southern herbs, slice the cheese, stack everything into a casserole, put it into the oven, and it’s buon appetito only half an hour later, no kidding!

1-0 for Italy but not on the pitch: in your kitchen!

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