my husband and i were driving back to milan from the port of ancona and decided - instead of stopping for lunch at one of the autostada cafes - that we would head off the beaten path for a real italian lunch.
luckily for us, we found ourselves in parma......
home of this most wonderful prosciutto ham.........
in the tiny village of noceto, we came upon this cute little place
and there we experienced - quite possibly - the best meal of our lives.
the first thing to hit our palate was an emilia seca called malvasia frizzante - a sparkling white wine traditionally served in ceramic cups
we cheered to our good fortune in finding this place (but not too much, we still had to drive back to milan!)
you can see the bubbles in the carafe...
then the owner asked if we wanted some special bread. almost as an afterthought we said yes.........and these landed on our table
luscious dough sliced with a ravioli cutter and fried in oil, these light-as-air pillows - known as torta fritta- melted in our mouths
yes. my husband and i managed to polish off the whole basket. and the meal was just getting started.
our primi piatti were a duo of scrumptious pastas - paglia e fieno al crudo di parma (straw and hay)
and chicche della nonna, tiny stuffed pasta in a creamy tomato sauce
before the secondi piatti landed on the table, we realized our parking time was about to elapse. worried that our car might be towed, phil headed out the door
past the piazza giuseppi garibaldi
and across the street to where the car was parked. a woman, sitting on a bench near the parking meter watched him fumbling for coins for a moment and then told him:
"don't worry about the parking attendants! they're all eating lunch now -- they won't come bother you!!"
relieved, he arrived back just in time for the straccetti di manzo con parmagiana e rucola to land on the table -- thinly sliced beef paired with shaved parmesan and arugula......yummm
we were groaning from all the food, but could not resist this unique spin on one of my all time favorite desserts, mandorle torta
washed down with the creamiest of cappucinos
who knew that in the tiny town - which comes complete with its own castle (don't you just love italy?) we would find this gem of a place?
so bravissima and hats off to the proprietors of ostaria ad'na volta -- the famigilia pimazzi: chefs marcello and his mom tiziana, marcello's wife camy and (not pictured) dad pier!! you guys are amazing!! thanks for preparing the lunch of our lives!!
(and i can promise you i will be dreaming about those torta fritta for a long time......!)
Ostaria ad'na volta
Cucina Tipica Parmigiana
Via Gramsci, 16
43015 Noceto (Parma)
p.s. giving a shout-out to my sister deb, who has debuted her own blog at miracles sisters. deb is an environmental activist and documentary filmmaker, so if you have a moment, please take a look!