My friends Stefano and Mauro eat at Anselma’s everyday. They arrive about noon and grab a table in the small but comfortable dining room. If it’s cold a fire is burning and Anselma’s husband or one of the guys is cooking something in the fire. One of the days I was there thick slices of pancetta on metal skewers were cooking away. This was our appetizer. We pull it off the skewers and eat it by the fire.
Anselma’s kitchen is disorganized. She has a big metal table in the middle of the kitchen. It is littered with kitchen utensils, fresh vegetables and some packaged items. She has a couple of big pots on the stove. In one she is making a tomato sauce for the coda that has been braising for hours. The sauce looks familiar. It consists of onions, garlic, celery, carrots and her homemade jarred tomatoes. It may look like something I might cook, but it sure tastes better. Must be those fresh tomatoes that her husband picked from the garden last August.
Stefano, Mauro and I love the coda. Stefano gives me some crap about leaving meat on the bone. His looks like something you might see in a museum.
That day we also eat braised artichokes that melt in my mouth. They are pale green and soft and drenched in broth.
Another day we have homemade fettuccine with porcini mushrooms. This dish is perfect. The pasta is light and fluffy and the porcini are earthy and the dish is seasoned well. I can’t believe it. It may be one of the best pasta dishes I have ever eaten.
I took a ton of pictures in Anselma’s kitchen. This is Anselma in all her glory working away at the stove.