Many of us know the island of Capri as one of the most picturesque and visited locations in Southern Italy. Its beauty is celebrated in ancient times and later published for the world in Homer’s work as Odysseus sails past the island narrowly escaping the fate of those who hear the voices of the Sirens.
But its not all breathtaking landscapes, it’s also about hearty food and wines! It was a real pleasure learning more about the unique food and cuisine of Southern Italy from owner of Italian restaurant Capri, Fabrizzio Anzolin.
Fabrizzio start us off with some Limoncello di Capri, where only the ‘Oval of Sorrento’ lemon from the sunny island was used to create that unique blend of refreshing flavours in a liqueur well-loved by the world.
By now, our appetites were whet and we were raring to go!
The first dish was a Tagliere Casereccio originating in Calabria, Southern Italy.
This was essentially home-cured cold cuts served atop rocket salad with cheese. I’m not a particularly big fan of cured meats but the texture on these were very interesting and there was a good mix of fatty and lean cuts that went well with the cheeses.
Next up, a Venetian dish called the Gamberi e cappesante alle erbe. This was a delectable mix of Prawns and scallops seasoned in Mediterranean herbs, pan-seared in olive oil served on a bed of mesclun, sundried tomatoes and olives.
The flavours were amazing in this. In general, Northern Italian dishes tend to be lighter and less salty in taste. This was perfectly-seasoned so as to bring out the sweetness in the fresh seafood and seared well for firm, succulent texture.
Then came my personal favourites — the pasta.
The first was the Pasta riccia all’nduja from Calabria, Southern Italy. Salty, heavy and with gorgeous smooth texture that just slides down your throat. But there is a reason why it tastes absolutely heavenly.
We found out later that Nduja (pronounced “en-doo-ya”) is a fiery pork paste made of pig head bits rendered in pig fat used in pasta sauces or spread on bread. It’s extremely hearty, the flavour is robust and spicy, but definitely go easy if you’re not going to do those extra rounds on the treadmill. Hehe.
And now for my personal favourite — the Cannarozzi allo zafferano from Abruzzo. It’s a tube-like pasta cooked perfectly al dente, sautéed in a beautiful saffron sauce with ricotta cheese and smoky bacon, crispy bacon and shavings of parmesan.
This was truly a dish I’d recommend. While the Nduja might be too heavy for some, this one was delicately executed and is truly one of the better pastas I’ve had in Singapore in awhile.
And finally, while we were pretty stuffed by then, this Cacciucco alla Livornese originating from the Western Coastal areas of Tuscany was a belly-warming, comforting end to the meal.
Mussels, shelled prawns, squid, clams, crayfish and cod in a thick, tomato-based sauce saturated with the flavours of the shellfish and crustaceans swimming in it. Mmm.. we finished every drop.
If you’ve always wondered about what Southern Italian food is supposed to taste like, give Capri a shot. Fabrizzio is very friendly and would be happy to recommend some delicious Italian wines to go with your meal. Buon Appetito!
Capri Trattoria & Pizzeria
3 Binjai Park, 589819