Coast Cooking

Brush up on your bruschetta


Special to the Sun Herald

Bruschetta is a great way to start an Italian meal.
Bruschetta is a great way to start an Italian meal.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Chef Paula Bugli last week and visiting her Italian kitchen at Stalla, one of the top restaurants at the Beau Rivage Casino and Resort.

The project was for the Sun Herald Coast Cooking column (to be published May 25), and the accompanying Amanda McCoy video. The interview and visit was inspirational, and so this week I will be blogging about Stalla-style Italian food all week.

Most Americans are familiar with Italian-American food, but unless you have had a good trip to Italy, authentic Italian food may not be in your repertoire. But don’t worry, if you need to bone up on the subject, it a delicious topic to dive into.

A good Italian meal should always start with an antipasto, and nothing tops that list better than rustic bruschetta. It is simple and good.

Simply, it is a thick slice of crusty Italian-style bread (substitute French bread if you must), grill it over an open flame, then rub it with a slice of garlic. This simple dish pairs well with prosciutto di Parma, a good Italian cheese like Taleggio, a few in-season fresh fruits and a delicious Italian wine.

This is a great way to start an Italian-themed meal, a great main event for a simple picnic, or for an intimate get together with that special someone.