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Full summer: it’s time for new potatoes and I didn’t forget.

Good cooked in every way the potato is potato. I make dumplings like those that Grandma Rosa used to make but with a small variation, I crush them.

The choice for this dish is all local stuff: new potatoes and flour from the Pontine Plain, the one reclaimed by Mussolini and cultivated by Veneti, Emiliani, etc. Even my roots are a mixture of north and south and I know the value born of this Italian migration.

It must be said that the Lazio natives from the mountains (Sezze and Cori) snubbed those lands that were being assigned. Perhaps because they remembered malaria, the real scourge of those lands, fought by the leader with the first biological intervention in the history and memory of this country.

Eucalyptus trees were planted, brought from Australia, which were a real natural dewaterer and Gambusia, a small fish that ate mosquitoes, was introduced into the canals. The land was offered to the Venetians who came from a harsh period of depression after the First World War that was fought in their lands.

Only after seeing the results obtained, did the mountaineers of Lazio try to get the lands, and partly the hatred between the two communities is still latent. The post-war liberators brought DDT and destroyed this new ecosystem.

The squid, needless to say, is from the Mediterranean and in particular from Anzio. Anzio is a small seafaring town  but one of great excellence. How many days I spent waiting for the fishing boats that came back to the port in the evening and put their catch up for sale.

An unforgettable experience that I recommend not only to lovers of fresh fish but also to those who want to experience genuine sensations. The fishermen will be happy to answer all your questions, even when they are tired I never found a grumpy one.

Anzio is waiting to be discovered: rich in history, a summer residence of the Roman patricians since the first hour of the empire. Then it was chosen by Pope Innocent XII who had landed here saving himself from a storm as he was going to the Conclave where he was to be elected.

Then it was also chosen by the allies for the famous landing … but this is another story and has little to do with tourism and the beauty of the place. The bombing has in fact helped to change its structure a little.

The anchovies from Anzio are famous, and here a small producer still stands, a product for true gourmets. I would feel like not talking about it because the production is small and not many can have the opportunity to taste these delights.

Gnocchi recipe with Squid

Do I really have to explain how dumplings (gnocchi) are made? Boiled and mashed new potatoes, flour and a careful movement of wrists until the dough reaches its consistency. Then make small cylinders and cut to the size you want.

For the base, put the chopped zucchini and cherry tomatoes in a pan and sauté over a high heat. Then add the squid cut into small pieces and let it go for 2/3 minutes. It must be cooked very little, otherwise it becomes a ‘shoe sole’.

When stacking, be careful to put some fresh basil leaves in-between. It looks like a garnish but actually adds another of the typical aromas of summer. Don’t forget it.

To stay on the theme of the perfume of the south coast of Lazio, I chose an Pontine Marshes wine: a bold Bellone (it means that it was not grafted with other grapes)

Dario Magno

ITA Semplice spadellatore casalingo, fin da bambino sono stato affascinato dall’odore dei banchi del mercato al mattino presto: sono fonte di ispirazione. Il piatto che porto a tavola la domenica è frutto di un immersione nei colori e negli odori di quella magica ‘scatola’ del mercato rionale. L’occhio e la gola vanno quasi esclusivamente sui prodotti locali che miscelo quasi di getto, non progetto nulla. Odio chi dice io l’avrei fatto così: fallo e non rompere! Ci sono pizzicaroli (romanesco) che sono più bravi di psicoterapeuta, li amo. In ogni posto che vado porto a casa qualcosa un formaggio, un salume e un vino. Vino, croce della mia passione. Non toglietemi i vermentini liguri! Una scuola professionale alle spalle in viticultura mai sfruttata che però forse un segno me lo ha lasciato.