Desenzano del Garda
Shoulder season made Desenzano a ghost town. Lago Del Garda (the lake) mirrors mountains in it- though clouds blocked the view of them for part of our time there the dramatic rock faces glimmered in the sun, above the changing leaves on the other days/ when we could see them. The quiet, even sleepy town was a perfect place to catch up with family, to write and relax.
By happenstance, we found a restaurant, some of the patrons appeared to be Italian. Local patrons in a tourist hot-spot like Venice usually means the food is good.
We thought we might be able to find a few things we’d all like and then…
A man rolled a cart out of the restaurant. On the cart was a Pecorino cheese wheel, a pot with freshly made pasta, a pepper grinder, a plate and a two large spoons. The man scooped the fresh pasta from the pot and spooned it into the wheel. He added a few ladles of the pasta water to divet in the wheel. For less than a minute he let them sit, melting the cheese and then he stirred. He let it sit for a moment more and stirred again. When he lifted it from the wheel he set it on the plate. He spun the pepper grinder over it and presented it to us. It was the end of pasta- it was the end of cheese. It was absolutely the end of cheesy pasta.
Then they brought the porcini lasagna. I have not been the same since. Italian food: there are a hundred reasons we love it.