02.07.09: appetizers (subtitle: i aperitivi).

A selection of Northern Italian aperitivi...and some French crème de cassis.

A selection of Northern Italian aperitivi...and some French crème de cassis.

The consumption of appetizers in Italy, particularly in the Piemonte region, is not one comprised of buffalo wings, beer specials, and quesadillas (not that there’s anything wrong with that, as all of those things are good), but that of slightly more, well, refined options.  I had been reading a great section in Autumn in Piemonte as well as watching an episode of Molto Mario when the idea struck to make some light appetizers over a weekend…with wine soaked dough…accompanied by Campari.  Campari is native to Torino–it’s made in the region, and comprised of over 150 ingredients, though the recipe is known by all of two people.

The recipe can be found here to make the dough–I was mesmerized by Mario Batali’s deft dough construction while watching him on Molto Mario, and his final products looked so delectable that I was determined to try.  (One note on cooking with wine:  simply put, cook with what you would drink.  That said, probably not with the best wine you’d put on your table, but whatever your favorite wine under $10–or whatever your threshold is–would work nicely).

For toppings, I did a mix of rosemary and Parmigiano-Reggiano, and actually tossed them with a little oil to help the toppings stick.  They were delicious–I undercooked them in the oven to keep them slightly chewy, but if crunchy is your preference you can keep them in longer.  Serve with your favorite wine or a nice Campari on the rocks (perhaps with an orange garnish), and enjoy!

Taralli Misti

Taralli Misti

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