Had a lovely dinner at “Antico Signello” in Lucca, consisting of macaroni with “cinghiale” (wild boar) ragu which had a new taste sensation that I had trouble identifying…..thought it was cinnamon, but it was not. Saw the bay leaf in the ragu, so that was a “gimme” ingredient.
The homemade macaroni was typical Lucchese – made with “farina di castagne” (chestnut flour) mixed with regular farina. Heavy enough to hold up to the cinghiale ragu, with a nutty taste and firm texture. Yet, I still can’t pinpoint that other taste…So kept on eating…
Then, just like magic, there it is! Right there in my bowl!! A CLOVE, of all things. Growing up here in the US, my Mom used to cook a half of a ham studded with cloves as a Special Sunday Meal for us. But never had I tasted clove used in a ragu. Learn something new each day, just as I’d hoped.
Of course, the white wine was a familiar taste – from the Monte Carlo area in the hills above Lucca. Perfect dinner for one in Lucca.