Italian Cooking & Language Blog

Fare La Scarpetta means to wipe your plate clean with a piece of bread.

What else could you ask for?

Monday, February 1, 2010

Sweet Fusion by Guest Blogger Mauro Feletti

Thank you to Mauro Feletti for his wonderful recipe from Romagna, Italy. You are welcome to contact him at mauro(dot)feletti(at)gmail(dot)com. Here, he describes how to cook shrimp wrapped in Italian lardo.

What is lardo? Lardo is cured fat. Yes, it essentially means lard in English, but it is a much more delicious version. Think about the white streaks in proscuitto. That’s lardo.

Sweet Fusion
This recipe comes from my homeland of Romagna. It is located along the coast of the Adriatic Sea in the Emilia-Romagna Region of Italy. While it is notorious as a land of sins and sinners, is also the homeland to a number of tasty and curious food delicatessens like Tagliatelle al ragu, Passatelli in brodo, Strozzapreti, Piadina, Brodetto di pesce. Romagna is a land of mixed food traditions as it has access to the sea, country and hills.

Below, I offer a sweet fusion of these different souls. My grandfather was a sailor and with his trabaccolo (trabaccalo is a type of Adriatic Sea sailing coaster) he carried wood and the precious white marble out from Istria. My father was a fisherman, but sailing is not the only passion he gave me; I learned to cook very early at home. The first recipe for the friends of “fare la scarpetta” is as simple as it is flavorful. I named it Sweet Fusion because when the lardo dissolves in the heat, the shrimp and lardo embrace each other in a sweet melt of flavors. I love this recipe also because it is easy and quick. The result is so unexpected that it will be a real discovery for who dislike complicated recipes.

• shrimp - 450 gr./1 lb

• Lardo (an alternative you can use is unsmoked streaky bacon), 100 gr./0,25 lb about 15 sliced paper thin.

How to make the Sweet Fusion

Clean the shrimps and remove the shell cover each shrimp with a slice of lardo (unsmoked streaky bacon.)

Preheat oven to 180°/400 degrees F.

Set the shrimps on a baking tin and bake for 10 minutes, no more.

Stay close to the oven, the cooking takes few minutes, when the lardo starts dissolving and embrace the shrimp it’s time to take it out.

Remove the shrimp from the oven, place on a platter and serve warm. Serves two.

Buona scarpetta a tutti!

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