Girl By Sea
Life, love, people and food on an Italian island.
After living in Rome and Naples, Penny and her Italian partner Alfonso move to the small and very beautiful island of Procida in the Gulf of Naples, across the bay from Capri.
Penny and Alfonos want a change of scene and decide to accept the challenge set by Enzo, the owner of the island's Bar Capriccio, who tells them that the young couples comes to Procida, 'But not many last.' Adapting to life in the small community, where many locals are wary of newcomers and the conveniences of the city are more than an hour's ferry trip away- often on rough seas- is hard for Penny, and could become even more isolated when Alfonso has to leave for three months to tour with his band. But with her trademark optimism and determination, Penny sets her own goal. She is going to ask her Procidan neighbours to teach her to cook. Over kitchen tables, in cafes and sharing family means under vine-covered pergolas, Penny learns the art of Italian cooking, and enters into the lives of people on the island as friendship form and stories are traded.
Girl by sea also features twelve of Penny's favourite Italian recipes.
One of the delicious recipes featured in Girl by Sea: Calamaro imbottio (Stuffed Calamari)
This recipe is easy if you let the fishmonger clean the calamari for you. Then all you have to do is stuff it and cook it. No excuses!
4 calamari tubes with some extra tentacles thrown in
2 slices white bread
2 tablespoons pecorino cheese, grated
1 tablespoon soft cheese, diced
Pepper (to taste)
1 whole garlic clove, peeled
Extra virgin olive oilMethod
1. Wash the calamari, then set aside.
2. Crack the eggs into a bowl and add the hand-crumbled bread, percorino cheese, soft cheese, parsley and salt and pepper. Mix well.
3. Spoon the mix into the tubes of calamari, filling each to the three-quarter mark and sealing with a toothpick. Another option is to lightly fry the egg mix in an oiled frying pan for a bout a minute to set all the ingredients together better, before stuffing the calamari. Taste wise there is no difference.
4. Drizzle some olive oil into a pan and toss in the garlic before adding the calamari and tentacles. Keep the lid on, allowing them to steam.
5. After about 5 minutes, remove the calamari and place in a baking dish lined with oven paper. Bake in a medium-hot oven for about 20 minutes. (You can reduce the cooking time for smaller calamari).
6. Serve piping hot.Penelope Green
was born in Sydney and worked as a print journalist around Australia for a decade before moving to Rome in 2002. Her first book, When In Rome, recounts her early experiences in the Eternal City. In 2005 she moved to Naples to work for ANSAmed, a Mediterranean news service created by Agenzia Nazionale Stampa Associata (ANSA), Italy's biggest news agency. She found an apartment in the city's colourful Spanish Quarter, worked hard at mastering the Neapolitan dialect, and wrote her second travel memoir, See Naples and Die. Girl By Sea completed Penny's Italian experience as she absconds to the idyllic island of Procida, across the bay from Capri, with her Italian partner, Alfonso. The couple have now returned to Australia, where they are making a new life for themselves back in the Southern hemisphere.
Girl By Sea
Author: Penelope Green
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