Simple home recipes and food stories
Italian | pasta

Florence – of Scents and Flavors

August 28, 2013


Foggy morning

The last week of July was spent with so much walking I felt like I lost 5 kilos as I go…then again, it was also spent eating here and there that the kilos lost came back too soon! And where did our itchy feet took us, you might ask? Hubby and I went to five cities in a one-week stretch and drank history along with art, old architecture, cars, Vespas and heat in sunny, sophisticated, busy Italy.

Among the cities we’ve seen, Florence – dubbed as the Athens of the Middle Ages impressed me the most. Being on the streets walked upon by the artists responsible for the Renaissance, I had a good feeling I might be able to write my own book while there (lol). Seeing the spots Robert Langdon and Sienna Brooks trailed made Inferno a much more tangible story for us both.

walking about

Morning walks -I just love the empty streets, the cool breeze and that distinct scent that only those certain times of the day bring…no matter which city. The nostalgia, the cobblestones and the foggy horizon makes up for a perfect mood.

Though we are walking buddies, hubby and I would spend some hours apart sightseeing by ourselves, taking photos of what we would see. I ended up exploring  the streets leading to Il Duomo while hubby went over to the side of Ponte Vecchio. And just like in any city, I did another thing I enjoy most: people-watching. Shooting scenes (and crowd), Florence’s old-world architecture and charm – here and there, it took me a full two hours.

Hidden garden and display

Within those two hours, I had another quest – find an appropriate restaurant perhaps and get a taste of the region’s take on pasta, a wee bit. Ahh, writing about the food experience while travelling is another thing I love to do! It’s like having a chunk of locality – relishing a cuisine that a particular city is known for. So walk I did and of course a number of trattoria, ristorante, gelateria and pizzeria abound. Italy’s rich food culture  can be perceived literally in the open- the streets. There’s garlic, pungent and welcome-y sauteed in olive oil, lemony fresh peels just off the board and you’ll catch some fresh basil blending along the busy kitchen rush!

Just a stone’s throw away from the Il Duomo I found a restaurant with a hidden garden  – a perfect spot to have a quiet lunch amidst the busy, touristy streets. Well, the garden was very quiet, so eat, I did. That’s at Little David (I’ Daviddino) at Via de’ Martelli.

Farfalle, salmon, caviar = last pasta meal lol....
why do I forget to properly take a photo of my food? :/

My first choice up the menu is anything with salmon and caviar – I have always been fond of fish on pasta (can’t remember how many times I’ve reiterated this) that I have often featured dishes to cook with salmon in this blog. The offering on the menu is farfalle with white sauce, so I had that.

I’m not a big eater so I was ok with the serving but others might say it wouldn’t suffice a hungry tummy or someone who did a walkathon – under the Tuscan sun. And who would complain about al dente pasta, rich thick sauce, salmon bits and caviar bursting wonderfully into a yummy spoonful? Not me. You might argue that I should have also gotten a Bistecca Fiorentina or Ribollita…well, hubby called just when I was finishing  and said we would be eating dinner at a lovely restaurant he saw – so we did have those for dinner but let’s save them for another post.

Far from forgetting the flavors and scents, I’ve made a similar dish at home recently. This time, I could generously topple a plateful with lots of caviar…

And here’s what you need:

half a kilo Farfalle (bow-tie pasta, cooked per package directions)
¾ cups butter
2 cups whipping cream
½ kilo smoked salmon, sliced to pieces
salt and pepper to taste
parsley, minced


1. In a sauce pan, melt butter and add cream. Stir constantly and bring to a boil.

 2. Lower heat and continue cooking until the sauce thickens.

3. Add salmon, parsley, salt and pepper (caviar could make it for salt though). Simmer a bit and remove from heat.

4. Pour over pasta and toss gently.

5. Serve, top with a spoonful of caviar or how much you like and garnish with more parsley. There, one hearty meal to remember the Italian coast by.

pasta salmon caviar
just making it colorful ^_^


    1. romantic and historical, I say. I could walk endlessly there and not tire (but probably with umbrella when the sun’s so high up, the Tuscan sun could be harsh…

  1. Sis Marie, you always take beautiful pictures 🙂 The pasta looks very delish. I like to walk too and of course eating afterwards, the best combination, right? Thank you for sharing your recipe too 🙂

    1. Thank you sis! it’s like working out then fuel later right? Welcome, adjust adjust lang if you try kasi matabang daw ako magluto lol…

  2. How long would it take to complete the dish from preparation to serving? I think more colors can be added to the food to be come more presentable and palatable to the eyes. 🙂

  3. Wow…I am fascinated by the walk you took there…looks like one beautiful place to explore…I wish I could one day have the chance to visit the place too…perhaps in another lifetime 🙂 The dish makes me crave..your colorful version sounds and looks superb! thank you for the awesome virtual tour…

  4. Beautiful photos you have there! I love it!

    Walking for miles and miles surely is very tiring but I am consoled every time I think of what it has done to my unwanted body weight. Literally losing 5 kilos would surely be so cool! Lol.

  5. Here again sis, just in case my comment did not get through. I so love the scene, sis.. something I only see in movies– and the pasta looks yummy too! Beautiful photos as always!

  6. It is very nice to know that you’re so thrilled of the place which you may intend to write a book. That’s is a very good plan. since you have the skill in writing you could do it.

  7. yey, the recipe’s here…i wish i could do this sometime soon and hopefully will not cost me too much! i love the look of your version because of its colors, kids will love it! yes, aside from the pasta…its always great to see your pictures and read your story as you explore each places, you’re so lucky and blessed!

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