36. Hot Tuna

I tried it.

Those who have done Italian road trips are well familiar with Autogrill, the series of highway rest stops. Known for their fantastic food, they are also known for the shopping area one must pass on the way to the exit. You can buy toys to keep the kiddies from fighting in the car, an entire leg of prosciutto, or a gallon of whiskey, although not after 11PM, for safety reasons.

Stopping at an Autogrill south of Naples, I came across a cookbook of seafood recipes from notable southern Italian restaurants. The price was right (about $6 on deep discount) so I figured I’d try it as a way to practice my Italian.

So yesterday, I tried a tuna and pasta recipe, from Il Convento in Cetara, that seemed simple enough. Just onion, carrot, celery and a piece of tuna, cooked over a low flame for-WHAT??? THREE HOURS??? Two-and-a-half hours in, I peeked, and it looked like dog food. Maybe those Italians don’t know what they’re doing after all. But at the three hour mark, it carmelized and formed a wonderful sweet sauce. Fantastic!

The lesson – never question Italians when it comes to food. Also, try to figure out what they mean by “cook until the onion cream will not be devoured.”

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