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Finally summer!

After a winter that seemed to never end, now the heat arrives and brings with it the desire for sea and … of course for Mediterranean cuisine. The dishes based on fish are the masters but not for this do you have to wait.

At the Mercato del Trionfale (Trionfale market) I found one of the tastiest local delicacies: the Totani del Tirreno (Squid from the Tyrrhenian Sea), those from Anzio. They are the best deal on the counter: almost alive and a low price. I can’t let them get away and I take them, so now I have to invent a dish.

Anzio for me is a guarantee of freshness. A village lying on the coast south of Rome, a town from ancient history that is said to have been founded by the son of Ulysses and the sorceress Circe. Here were born the emperors Caracalla and Nero, who had built a sumptuous villa here.

The port of Anzio has one of the most active fishing fleets in Italy and is a guarantee of freshness for the consumer. The arrival of the boats in the harbour and the marketing of their catch is an experience not to be missed that, in this case, was experienced on my behalf by the manager of the fish market of the Trionfale Market.

Having bought the Tyrrhenian squid I start thinking about the preparation: a Ponzana soup? the one with lentils? It’s too hot. I do this when the leaves fall and other autumnal flavours are sought.

Now we are at the beginning of summer and with the heat the gardens burst with health, a fresh vegetable to match I will surely find. After all, I’m at the Trionfale market and I have the best from our countryside available!

I am won over by some zucchini lying in a wooden box and here is the idea: Squid stuffed with Zucchini.

The recipe for stuffed zucchini

Start with vegetables and cut the zucchini into strips that are not too thin. Then I pass them over the flame in a pan with oil and I add a little lemon, the scent of summer and sun. Here the filling is ready!

At this point I clean the squid and fill it with this fresh and fragrant filling. I make small bundles which I close with a toothpick and heat them in a pan for 2/3 minutes, blending them with white wine.

A quick and easy recipe in which the real secret is in the quality of its ingredients. I would not recommend the Trionfale Market to everyone – but then I do.

In case you are not from Rome, look for the local market closest to your place of residence and start to become friends with the managers of the various sections, involving them in the creation of your recipes. You will be surprised by the originality of their proposals and their availability.

Then, to increase the taste but also the aesthetics of the plate of Squid stuffed with Zucchini, I put in the pan to roast some eggplant which I will then use for the final garnish. A garnish that is particularly tasty with seasonal eggplant  that grow in sunny fields.

A great appetizer to enjoy on summer evenings accompanied by a fresh white wine from the Castelli.

In this recipe we have gathered in one bite all the flavours of the summer, of the Mediterranean sea, of the mountain and of the countryside. A pleasure not to be missed and one to share with friends!

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.