It was back in October 2014 that I was in Milan. My husband, Adrian and I were on our short holiday there. We didn’t have much luck with the weather. It was cloudy and a bit rainy, typical grey autumn days. In spite of that, we really did enjoy the trip and had such a great time. With good food, nice cafés, excellent (window) shopping possibilities, three days had gone by really fast.

On the way, where we got lost...

On the way, where we got lost…

We flew there from Stuttgart and arrived around noon. After picking up the key to our room, we went out and looking for a nice place to have lunch around the corner. There was a restaurant nearby, I wish I could remember the name, almost full and looking very busy. We popped in and I ordered pumpkin ravioli with butter sauce and fried sage. After the first bite, I knew that we have found the right place. I came to realise, that all the italian food I’ve eaten before outside of Italy was far from authentic. It was such an eye-opening experience. Unfortunately, I was too hungry to grab a shot before start eating. ;-P

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Milan3Milan4In the afternoon after having coffee, we went for a long walk towards the canal, where people hang out in the evening. We didn’t take the shortest way and got lost at some point but it was totally worth it. We had a chance to explore the city on the not-so-touristic side: the living area, textile fabrics, small local shops and events taking place at the time we were there. This is what I love about travelling. Each place has its own flair and its people have their own way of living.

Average dinner...but great wine

Average dinner…but great wine

Cafes, bars and restaurants are aligned long both sides of the canal. We sat down in one of the bars to chill out and had some drinks, while watching people walking by. It’s kinda like a runway there, with real people with their genuine tastes of fashion. You’ll find everything from alternative casual, modern artist, tights and heels to classy and elegant. Opposite from cookie-cutter phenomena that we see sometimes.

For dinner we tried out a restaurant, recommended by the lady hosting the accommodation, where we were staying. It’s just a few minutes walk away. I had a big plate of grilled vegetables and baked potato chips and Adrian had a burger. The food was ok, nothing special but the red wine was excellent. I love that they usually serve wine in a carafe here.

Milan Cathedral (Duomo di Milano)

Milan Cathedral (Duomo di Milano)

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II

On the next day, we went to the absolute center of the city to see the Duomo (cathedral) and the historical high-end shopping arcade, Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. They look stunning and were full with tourists. As you know, Milan is one of the fashion capitals. The city center is packed with clothes shops and boutiques for all budgets. I spent a couple of hours there, trying on clothes and window shopping before we head out for lunch at Giacomo Bistrot.

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Milan9It was quite a long walk from the city center, but we did enjoy this part of the city, which looks different than the one we were yesterday.

Late Lunch at Giacomo Bistrot

Late Lunch at Giacomo Bistrot

Giacomo Bistrot looks a bit upper class from the outside and the price is also relatively high, but it’s recommended in our guide book, so we wanted to give it a try. Inside, it looks very classic, like an old library or a museum. After we were seated and browsing the menu, the waiter brought us fried vegetable tempura and some biscuits as appetisers. It’s either because of the tempura that was so amazing or the fact that we were so hungry (or both), we finished that up very quickly and ready to place our order. My mushroom risotto was very good, although a little bit less salty would be just perfect. All in all, it was a really satisfying meal.

very creamy mozzarella

very creamy mozzarella

We didn’t have any particular plan for dinner, so we went to the hang-out area along the canal again to look for something to eat later on. We finally decided on one of the restaurants there, which looked quite busy but still had a table for us. I was quite disappointed with the main dish (I think I ordered pasta with artichokes or something), but the starter, mozzarella was the highlight! It looks like it was hand-shaped and inside is so creamy and tasty. Actually I was already half-full from the mozzarella, so maybe it was not totally fair to judge the pasta after all.

The last day of our trip was very rainy, so I didn’t take many pictures. In the morning, we took a tram to northern side of the city, which happened to be the part of town I like the most. There are many small local boutiques and cafes, which are not as main stream as some in the city center. We hadn’t been walking around that much because of the rain before we went for lunch at Latteria San Marco, a small and very popular lunch spot, run by a couple, who have been cooking and serving the food in their own restaurant for years. The food tastes like homemade with fresh seasonal produces. I think they also changes the menu regularly according to the current available good ingredients. Adrian and I both agree that this is our kind of food. Next time we are in Milan, we’re definitely gonna stop by again.

After lunch and coffee, we headed back to the airport. It was a fun trip and I’m still happy thinking about it. 

 

 

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After my short trip to Milan a few weeks ago, I am still crazy about lasagna, pasta, risotto, antipasti and all those delicious treats. This was my first trip to Italy and I’ve never had eaten better Italian food anywhere else before. You probably see that I am over excited. Well, yes I am! And next year I am going back there again…maybe somewhere in Tuscany. I have seen far too many beautiful pictures of its landscape and food! So, it’s about time to not just dream about it, but to make it a real destination.

 

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Now at home, I would say Italian food is the kind of european food I cook most frequently. You will always find tomatoes in my refrigerator and basil plant on the balcony or somewhere in the kitchen. I probably can’t cook the original way but I can cook the way I want to eat. My husband can always eat a whole lot of those too.

 

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If you remember my last post: Mushroom Bacon. This is an idea of how to pair them up with pasta.

I wouldn’t say, that this is a kind of made-from-scratch recipe, because the pesto genovese is store-bought but I can’t stop myself from sharing this fantastic combo! This is one of my favourite pasta dishes I make at home (in the top three) and it is so quick and easy to make. If you love your homemade pesto, go ahead and use it. I just got a food processor (finally!) and plan on making my own as well. When I find an ultimate recipe, it will appear here. ;-)

 

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Apart from the main ingredients, which are noodle, pesto, mushroom bacons and roasted pine nuts, you probably see fresh tomatoes and basil on the side. They’re not just for decoration… I love to eat my pasta with fresh vegetable and sprinkle fresh herb on top. Tomatoes and cucumbers are nice-to-have vegetable and fresh basil leaves are for me a must-have. These greens (and red) taste so good with pasta, not to mention the nutritional benefits. :-)

I hope you give it a try and let’s see some nice bits of Milan in the next post!

 

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Mushroom-Bacon and Roasted Pine-nut Pasta
Serves 2
Delicious pasta combo. Quick and easy week-night-meal.
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
15 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. 250 g pasta
  2. 165 g pesto genovese
  3. 1/2 cup mushroom bacons
  4. 1/4 cup pine nuts
  5. 2 tomatoes
  6. some fresh basil leaves
Instructions
  1. Cook pasta in the boiling water.
  2. Rinse the cooked pasta and mix with pesto genovese.
  3. Roast pine nuts in the pan without any oil until they slightly turn brown and aromatic.
  4. Put the pasta on serving plates and top with mushroom bacons, roasted pine nuts and fresh basil.
  5. Slice tomatoes into bite-sized pieces and serve them along side on the plate with the pasta.
Notes
  1. The link for mushroom bacon recipe: http://www.thegreenrecipes.com/mushroom-bacon/
thegreenrecipes http://www.thegreenrecipes.com/