Friday, March 16, 2007

Back when we were munching on panocha, kropek, camote cue or bahaw topped with condensada after having climbed mango trees and blowing bubbles using crushed gumamela leaves, bambinos over in Italy fresh from play in the fields were munching on crostini smeared with all manner of condimenti. I've been making bruschetta and crostini and my own ligurian pesto for a long time but I've found some new condimenti that we like so much I think I'm going to be making batches of 'em over and over hehehe. Here's the recipe for one of them. Acquasale is a recipe from Basilicata in the south of Italy.


ACQUASALE

3 to 4 Tablespoons olive oil
1 red onion, finely sliced
1/2 clove garlic, minced
3 sweet red peppers, roasted, ribs, membranes and seeds
removed, cut into 1/2-inch slices
2 or 3 medium tomatoes, seeded and cut into chunks
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 to 1/3 cup fresh bread crumbs

Warm the olive oil in a large heavy pan. Add the red onion and saute over low heat until the onion starts to go limp and translucent. Add the garlic and saute briefly. Then stir in the pepper strips, and sweat them over low heat for 20 to 25 minutes. Add the tomatoes and salt,and cook another 2 or 3 minutes. Cool to room temperature. Toss the mixture into a food processor and pulse about 30 times. Do not puree; this stuff should be chunky in texture. If it seems too moist, add the bread crumbs. Makes 3 cups.

To make the crostini, preheat the oven to 400°F (205°c). slice up a baguette into 1/2 inch thick diagonal slices. Brush the bread with olive oil, sprinkle with a little salt if you like, and then set them on a baking pan or cookie sheet & bake until lightly browned, maybe 8 minutes. Turn once midway through baking for even color. You can also do this using the broiler, or even your oven toaster, but remember that the bread will brown faster that way. Spread the Acquasale on the crostini and munch away!



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