Sar­dinia — is­land off Italy

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Lo­cated south of the French is­land of Cor­sica, the Ital­ian is­land of Sar­dinia is the sec­ond largest is­land in the Mediter­ranean Sea. Cagliari is the cap­i­tal and the largest city on the is­land. The is­land is di­vided into four prov­inces. Ital­ian and Sar­dinian, as well other lan­guages and di­alects are spo­ken.

The cli­mate of Sar­dinia is some­what di­ver­si­fied. Sum­mers are hot and al­most rain­less. If it does rain, there are short se­vere thun­der­storms. The heav­i­est rain falls in the au­tumn and win­ters with light show­ers in the spring. Snow is known to fall in the high­lands. Due to ocean cur­rents, cy­clones are not un­com­mon. In 2013, a cy­clone named Cleopa­tra hit with 18 inches of rain fall­ing within 1½ hours.

Sar­dinia is one of the most an­cient civ­i­liza­tions in Europe. Through the cen­turies, waves of im­mi­grants have called the is­land home un­der many dif­fer­ent dy­nas­ties.

During World War II, air and naval bases were sit­u­ated on the is­land. It is a lit­tle over 200 miles be­tween Sar­dinia and main­land Italy. It was heav­ily bombed by the Al­lies, es­pe­cially the cap­i­tal area. Ger­man troops re­treated in Septem­ber of 1943. In 1946, Italy be­came a repub­lic by pop­u­lar ref­er­en­dum.

To­day, the econ­omy of Sar­dinia is one of the best in Italy. Due to the global fi­nan­cial cri­sis, un­em­ploy­ment has been on the rise.

The is­land has three in­ter­na­tional air­ports, con­nect­ing to Europe and be­yond. Fer­ries are one of the ma­jor con­nec­tions within the is­land and to the main­land. There are de­vel­oped road­ways. Pub­lic trans­porta­tion reaches ev­ery town and vil­lage. A few very small vil­lages are only reached by car.

Sar­dinian cul­ture and her­itage are deeply em­bed­ded in the peo­ple. Tra­di­tional dress varies through­out the is­land by each town and vil­lage. Mu­sic is of ma­jor im­por­tance of day-to-day life, in­clud­ing, of course, the Ital­ian opera.

Italy of­fers two cuisines — south­ern and north­ern. Due to the prox­im­ity to Switzer­land, Aus­tria and France, north­ern cui­sine lends it­self to cream sauces, po­lenta, but­ter and rolled meats, whereas south­ern cui­sine fea­tures tomato sauce, olive oil and fresh seafoods. Cheese it used in both cuisines. Olive oil is used in sal­ads, cook­ing and for dip­ping.

Suck­ling pig and wild boar roasted on spits over an open fire are fa­vorites. Mint and myr­tle are herbs used a great deal along with gar­lic, basil and oregano. Let us not for­get pasta, which seems to be the na­tional dish of Sar­dinia and all of Italy.

Ital­ian food is pop­u­lar and has in­flu­enced dishes through­out the world. It has made a ma­jor im­pact on cook­ing in the United States. There are quite a few dishes thought to be Ital­ian that are not truly so. The ever-pop­u­lar spaghetti and meat­balls is not served in Italy. Spaghetti and meat­balls are served in two dif­fer­ent cour­ses. Many au­then­tic Italy dishes are adapted to Amer­i­can taste. Take pizza for in­stance — orig­i­nally a peas­ant dish in Italy, it has be­come iconic in the U.S. There are many top­pings and thick­nesses from which to choose.

There are about 50 dif­fer­ent pasta shapes to choose from — home­made or store pur­chased, fresh or dried (hard). A few of my fa­vorites are Gigli, orec­chi­ette, ra­di­a­tor and fusilli as they hold the sauces into their nooks and cran­nies. When cook­ing pasta, re­mem­ber to salt the wa­ter and to not add olive oil to pasta wa­ter — oil makes it dif­fi­cult for the sauce to stick to the pasta.

May I ad­dress the con­tro­versy of tomato sauce vs. tomato gravy — tomato gravy is when you add meat to the sauce. Tomato sauce is just that — no meat added.

Br­uschetta is a starter dish (an­tipasto) for any meal. It is made with grilled bread rubbed with gar­lic, topped with olive oil and tra­di­tion­ally topped with tomato and basil. Vari­a­tions of top­pings are cheese, veg­eta­bles, beans and cured meat. A great treat is to spread jam or jelly onto grilled bread be­fore adding other in­gre­di­ents. It is great to make ahead of time for par­ties.


A fa­vorite in both North and South re­gions 1 lb. long spaghetti ¼ lb. ba­con, cut in to pieces 3 eggs and 1 egg yolk 1 cup Pecorino or Parme­san cheese, shred­ded 1 tbsp. olive oil Freshly ground black pep­per Salt to taste In a large skil­let, heat olive oil and fry ba­con un­til crispy and set aside. In a mix­ing bowl, com­bine three whole eggs plus one egg yolk. Stir in the cheese and set aside. Cook spaghetti in abun­dant boil­ing salted wa­ter. Drain, re­serv­ing some of the wa­ter. In another large pot, com­bine and toss spaghetti, eggs and ba­con mix­tures over low heat. Make sure spa- ghetti is coated through­out the mix­ture. Add salt and some pasta wa­ter for a creamy tex­ture. Toss. Re­move fromheat. Cook the eggs with the heat from the spaghetti not over the heat. Top with fresh ground black pep­per and ad­di­tional grated cheese. Should be served im­me­di­ately while hot.


Pasta and beans. Bet­ter left over, es­pe­cially the next day.

1 lb. small shaped pasta (two shapes best) ¼ lb. ba­con ¼ cup chopped pars­ley ¼ cup chopped cel­ery 1 medium onion 2 cloves of gar­lic 1 (28 oz.) can whole toma­toes, chop with fork

1 (19 oz.) can can­nellini beans

Cook pasta in rolling boil wa­ter for ap­prox­i­mately for six min­utes. Drain. Save pasta wa­ter for later. Set both wa­ter and pasta aside. Fry ba- con; don’t drain. Fry onions un­til soft and brown with ba­con grease. Add pars­ley, cel­ery and, with the liq­uid, the toma­toes and can­nellini beans. Blend ev­ery­thing to­gether in a large pot; mix in the cooked pasta. Sim­mer over very low heat for about one hour. Use the re­served pasta wa­ter to keep mix­ture moist and soupy wet to your pref­er­ence. CEL­E­BRATE LIFE EV­ERY DAY!

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