I was lucky enough to travel to Portofino, Italy, for the Easter break with the gorgeous Mr Rossen. We hadn’t had a holiday for a while, so we were very excited to get away and hopefully catch some sun. We woke up Friday morning and had the usual breakfast, banana with almonds and low fat natural yoghurt. When we arrived at the airport my tummy started grumbling, odd as it wasn’t lunch time yet and usually my breakfast keeps me satisfied. There was only one explanation, my brain had let my tummy know, this was going to be a carboholiday.
As we walked through the airport a delicious smell of freshly baked pastries and bread wafted from the small cafe just beside the travelator. I called Mr Rossen’s attention to it and in my whiniest voice I declared I was starving. His arm is so easily twisted, we quickly approached the cafe, ordered 2 fromage quiche and so it began….
Portofino is in the Liguria region of Italy, famous for it’s focaccia, pansoti with walnut sauce and of course Genovese basil pesto. On the first night we decided to dine at the restaurant in the hotel, after a brief visit to the bar, where an Italian gentleman with a jacket shining brighter than a disco ball serenaded the guests with cheesy love songs. It was the perfect accompaniment to the bar snacks provided with our over priced cocktails. Here we feasted on bruschetta, olives, marinated almonds and a firm white cheese reminiscent of halloumi and feta combined. I wish I had written down the name of it, as it was divine, but the cocktails didn’t allow for forward thinking.
Moving onto dinner we were greeted with a heaped bread basket and butter – mmmmmmm. Neither of us resisted it. Mr Rossen had a lobster salad with fennel and blood orange to start, followed by a fillet of beef and a bitter chocolate mousse. I gorged on calamari and zucchini fritti to start, followed by a rack of lamb with pesto crust and a chocolate fondant. SATISFIED.
The next 3 days carried on in much the same fashion. Breakfasts were indulgent, I had my beloved pancakes with maple syrup, bacon and eggs, lunches were long, dinners no less then 3 courses, we were greedy.
Notable mentions in the pasta category had to go to the local specialities, we had both the pesto and the pansoti at 2 different restaurants, both times were delish. Here is a pic of the ones we deemed slighty more tasty.
The best focaccia we had was from one of the Cinque Terre villages, Monterosso. It was silky with the perfect amount of olive oil and the tomatoes had the perfect balance between sweet and savoury. We ate this on a park bench looking out to the beach, it was one of my favourite lunches, even though it was the shortest.
We also had some mouth watering antipasti, prosciutto was the common denominator but marinated fish and vegetable pie also featured. Although the sun only broke through the clouds on our trip a few times, I also had to indulge in gelati, it would be rude not to. I had my usual hazelnut, the standard but mandatory chocolate and a new flavour, pear and chocolate. It was more like a pear sorbet with dark choc chips, it felt light and refreshing, but wicked all at the same time.
All in all a fabulous holiday, I will be using the walnut sauce and pesto in some recipes this week no doubt, and will also attempt the pear sorbet. Although the sorbet may have to wait for a special occasion, I need a break from the sweet, I fear I am getting addicted!