The wonderful Italian island cuisine of Sardegna (Sardinia) is featured at Il Fornaio until August 18th. Chef Gianpaolo Putzu, native of Sardegna, parternered up with Il Fornaio's Executive Chef Maurizio Mazzon for this special menu. Gianpaolo describes his childhood in Sardengna as raising sheep, pigs, and chickens and growing vegetables and fruits. As he explains it, Sardinian food is simple and seasonal and sustainable cooking is the way of life.
In the homes of Sardegna, bread is often served with tomatoes, herbs, and cheese. Il Fornaio makes their own bread, green olive is my personal favorite, and pairs perfectly with their Tamatta cun Casu Antipasti, featuring heirloom tomatoes and Sardinian pecorino. For a light summer meal, serve alongside with Minestra di Finocchio con Fregola, a soup Gianpaolo's mother made with baby fennel, garbanzo beans, potatoes, carrots, and fregola - similar to couscous. She would make it in the summer months when wild fennel was abundant. Pair with their Sardinian white wine, crisp, dry, and refreshing with floral and citrus notes, great for summer.
In the Sardinian cuisine, herbs, such as mint, are often used. This is featured in a unique ravioli dish, Culingiones, where mint is used to flavor the filling of ricotta and potato and topped off with marinara sauce, artichokes, and Sardinian pecorino. The mint really makes this dish special, making it taste like summer. Pair with their Sardinian red wine, hearty and earthy.
For dessert, enjoy the Panna Cotta al Mirto Rivisitata, a fresh blueberry custard with blueberry (mirto) sauce and something quite special, candied orange peels with toasted almonds and honey (arancia alla nuorese), a favorite sweet of Gianpaolo. He explains honey and the must of grapes are used in Sardegna to sweeten treats, never refined sugars. Pair with an espresso.
I love that Il Fornaio features a regional cuisine of Italy every month. Next month is Veneto! They also offer a monthly cooking class, their upcoming class is Saturday August 31st.
Stay tuned for my second article on Il Fornaio, describing my cooking class experience and interview with Il Fornaio's Coronado Chef, Giorgio Lo Verde, this coming November. I am very much looking forward to it since my experience with Il Fornaio has been so positive. Their hospitality is warm and welcoming, and I love how they take pride in the authenticity and quality of their food. A patron said to me, "I love Il Fornaio! I've been going here for 8 years, and it's consistently good!"
“Island Glow” Columnist
Megan Arterberry writes a monthly fashion column for eCoronoado called “Island Style.” Her first love has always been fashion but her second love is beauty wellness. In addition to her B.S. in Psychology from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, she also earned an esthetician license motivated by her own skin troubles. With an appreciation for natural and holistic remedies, she trained in Ayurvedic skincare. In her career journey involving fashion and education, she also worked in marketing and public relations for a destination spa resort. She teaches garden-to-skincare and spa cuisine cooking classes at The Center for a Healthy Lifestyle in Solana Beach for pre-teens, teens, and adults.
“Island Glow” is the complimentary column to “Island Style” as it explores the wellness resources on the island to enhance the way you feel because when you feel good, you’ll look good! When we are healthy, happy, and balanced, we have true quality of life. Beauty through health is achieved in how we nourish ourselves in our thoughts, activities, surroundings, and products. Self-care is essential for a foundation of inner wellness that will glow from the inside out. Coronado offers a coastal lifestyle that makes your island glow easily obtainable! With my expertise and guidance, I hope to help ignite your inner island glow! Ask me your island glow questions at email@example.com.
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