The tormented love story between the popular actress Anna Magnani and the intellectual movie director Roberto Rossellini was consumed at the outlet of a valley overlooking a tiny village called Furore that, with its 700 inhabintants, is part of the UNESCO world heritage.
It's among the steps of this rural community that, in 1948, Rossellini set the shooting of the central episode of the film “L'amore”. Wild and overdramatic, Anna Magnani played the main character. It’s the story of a shepherd girl who becomes pregnant, convinced to be about to give birth to a divine being.
For those of you who, after my tiny hints spread out from my Instagram account, have been wondering about where my next location would have been for my foodie adventures, well there you have it.
The Amalfi Coast, an amazingly meandering piece of coast where rocky clefts fall sheer onto the most pristine Mediterranea sea.
Anna & Roberto (aka Magnani and Rossellini), tired after the day of film shooting, would go to have a meal at a tiny place overlooking the bay and its world-famous fjord, “da Bacco”. Among the owner recollection is the memory of a furious (an adjective not to be attributed to the inhabitants of the village but, rather, to a state of mind) Anna throwing a dish right on the head of the celebrated director, who was splitting up with her over the passion for Swedish born actress Ingrid Bergman.
Of those dishes now it’s left nothing but a tradition, impeccably brought forward by the wise hands of Erminia Cuomo. This delightful lady is the wife of Furore’s well respected mayor Raffaele Ferraioli, who is known to be as very dedicated to his cause. Their children help run the business in a dreamy atmosphere that I couldn't imagine still existed in my adored Italy.
That's who I'd call an amazing character, one Rossellini would have loved to star in one of his movies. She was only 21 when she got married and took the reins of this incredible restaurant located on the hill of this village exploding with raw nature and unsurpassed tastes. This true lady of the kitchen doesn’t’ claim any gastronomic status, yet she’s just something else. Her humbleness and vivid generosity is the curtain to a universe of utter gastronomic delight.
She told me about the joys of cooking the "ndundero", a kind of homamade gnocchi which differs from it since the dough it's made with flour and ricotta (instead of potatoes). The perfect way to greet Santa Trofimena, the patron saint of the small Amalfi coast village of Minori. All over the south of Italy, celebrating the saint protector of any given town is a must. You'll see ceremonies, parades and religious processions. It's always interesting to have the opportunity to participate to one of these occasions, since the food abounds in the streets too. And there's no better way to get to know a population than by their foods, hands down!
Fish abounds in this area too, directly from sea to table. Hence not much decoration, just fresh crunchiness. Erminia cooked a seabass for me wrapped in a delightful transparent parchment paper tied with a lovely string. Not one plate is the same when this shy lady is around. There's no uniformity, no set style. So much personality. Every mouthful is just delicious.
The tomatoes Erminia uses are protected by the Slow Food association, and her biscuits, well her biscuits... They were served to me dipped in a homemade red wine sauce called wine elixir: it's made with Aglianico wine, aromatic spices and accompanied by these truly amazing tozzetti biscuits. Typically from Tuscany, the original version has them with almonds but these ones were cooked with the most perfumed nuts, the amazing and protected type (as if animals in extinction), from Giffoni.
About this and a few others unique realities still existing in this fascinating land called Amalfi Coast I'm going to tell you about, in this following week filled with #foodhappiness, encounters, off the beaten track itineraries and the most fascinating stories. To find on my blog daily in 7 parts starting from today, in collaboration with Pasta Rummo. With love from a room with a view.
photo credits @ Cibando