Just in case you wondered what I was doing in Italy yesterday...
...eating, of course! This was the first course of warm seafood salad. In fact, three of us shared it You can see mussels, octopus and calamari, palourdes (a sort of small clam) and prawns. The big fellow on top is perhaps a langoustine - which seems to translate as a scampi or Dublin Bay prawn.
After this, we all had pasta with Pesto Alla Genovese, so named because it originated in Genoa just along the Ligurian coast from here. Pesto is probably my favourite Italian sauce - made of basil, garlic, Parmigiano-Reggiano and Pecorino cheeses, olive oil and pine nuts. It's traditionally ground with a mortar and pestle - in fact, the word pesto is the past participle of the Italian word for 'to pound or crush.'
You can buy freshly made Pesto Alla Genovese in any market in Ventimiglia or Menton so I confess I never bother to make my own.