San Felice Circeo is a small town south of Rome, and we had a very nice daytrip there. It’s a long drive down the Pontina, but the beaches there and at nearby Sabaudia are much nicer than Ostia near Rome, with much cleaner water. Friends have rented a holiday flat in Circeo, so we met up there for a beach day. As usual there was a few stabilimenti, where you can rent umbrellas and sunbeds, and a public beach, where we set up our umbrellas and towels, and enjoyed the day.
After a couple hours, we popped across the road to their holiday flat to make lunch. Such a luxury to be able to do that! Prosciutto e melone, pasta, white wine, sitting on the terrace on plastic chairs. Nothing fancy, but very tasty, and the company was good, of course! The plan was pasta primavera: pasta, mozzarella, basil, fresh tomatoes. You boil the pasta, and toss it it with chopped mozzarella which then melts slightly, and then finish it with lots of chopped fresh tomatoes and fresh basil. Classic summer pasta salad. However, as we discovered that we had valeriana (songino, lamb’s lettuce) instead of basil, we improvised, and it was still very nice. The Campania region has some delicious mozzarella di bufala.
(By the way, if you are very pale-skinned like me and are at the beach, you may be referred to as “bianca come mozzarella”. Not flattering, but true.)
Pasta primavera alla Josef (with garlic, tomatoes, mozzarella and valeriana salad)
500 g penne pasta
2-3 cloves of garlic
One big ball of fresh mozzarella
A generous punnet of cherry tomatoes
Salt and pepper, to taste
A punnet of valeriana salad (baby spinach would work as well)
Boil the pasta, time according to the packet. In the interim, chop the garlic finely. Wash and chop the tomatoes, not too small. Drain and chop the mozzarella. When the pasta is done, drain it and toss it with the mozzarella while the pasta is still steaming hot. Then stir in the tomatoes and garlic, add some salt and pepper to taste, and top it with the valeriana salad. Serve with cold white wine and enjoy.
When we came back to the beach for an afternoon swim before heading home, these boys were digging an impressive track for a beach minigolf of sorts. Small balls, hand-flicked in turn though the roundabout track of sand. Very exciting for them, and quite fun to watch.