A Perfect Barbecue in Italy

Barbecuing in Italy I have found to be less concentrated on the food and marinades, and more about staying outside and being together while eating fresh, simple food.

Some ingredients for a perfect barbecue in Italy:

Plenty of pane e pomodoro, bread and tomatoes, the most addictive form of crack that I know of. Start with fresh Pugliese bread, which has a few holes for the oil to fall through (and then you can fare la scarpetta and wipe it all up with your last remaining bite). The tomatoes have to be so ripe that when you rub them on the bread, they explode immediately and all you’re left with is a lonely inverse tomato skin. Top that with the finest Pugliese oil, and some rucola / rocket / arugala for a spicy bite.

What more could you want?

Eating pane e pomodoro in Puglia

A wood-burning oven, to replenish the barbecue coals or to toast the bruschetta while everyone is salivating and waiting with their plates casually clenched in their hands. Also doubles as a warming device.

Wood-burning stove in Puglia - ready for a Pizza!

You must have some animals around, if anything to break up the afternoon. Unless they are too busy playing alone to bother with you. If they can be as cute as these, you’ll be ok with just looking at them.

Mother and daughter dogs play

Mom and daughter take a break.

Mother and daughter dogs relax

A splendid view of olive trees straight on until the sea, to remind us that we can’t get closer to Mother Earth in this moment.

Olive trees and the Sea in Puglia

As you watch her make things grow before your very eyes.

Baby fig tree in Puglia

And you must, you absolutely must, have a Conga Line.

Congo Line

What would you add to make this Barbecue even better?

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  1. says

    Here BBQs tend to have a lot of meat. Lots and lots of meat. In fact most of the time I have to bring veggies if I expect to eat any.

    To make this one better? More warmth! Look at those winter coats!

  2. Maria from Philly says

    What would I add….ME!!! I’m so jealous, I envy you guys living over there…if only I can convince my husband to come with lol! I agree, it looks awfully chilly there, what’s up with that???

  3. Ms. Adventures in Italy says

    Ok, you guys got me, it wasn’t exactly this past weekend we had this BBQ! :) But I thought the Conga Line was essential :)

  4. kate says

    oh Sara , how i wish i was there for this BBQ party.It looks just perfect and the picture of the fire is very well captured. Splendid pictures.

  5. says

    I have to agree with Bleedingespresso. MEAT! We just had a BBQ like that yesterday without the Conga line and NO winter coats!! We had three dishes of meat. A steak of some type then bombette, then sausage. The grill barely lasted long enough to cook it all.
    I think yours was Pasquetta or earlier!
    You also forgot the wine from someone’s friend or family.


  6. FlaKim says

    We had a Mothers Day barbecue – no conga line – instead the Mexican tradition of getting people out on the dance floor by broom-tag – if you get tagged with the broom, you have to dance with the broom until you can tag someone else! We also had a Mariachi duo pre-eats. Not too shabby. But the view, well, the empty lot across the street in our subdivision can’t compete with your view (heavy sigh).

  7. Ammaliatrice says

    Jeff has a point – wine will be essential. If the figs are on the tree, and you’re wearing jackets, you’re probably in the south – so, maybe you’ll finish the BBQ with a light lemon cake and some limoncello… we’re in Italy too, in the south… we made our first batch of limoncello this year in January – with lemons right from our trees. If I might, I’d like to also offer an observation: until I moved to Italy I never realized how stressful American BBQs could be – how to keep the mayo laden salads cool as to not poison anyone is only the beginning of the issues met. We Americans worry more about the event, and I see that Italians seem to focus (never ‘worry’) more on family and friends. Now that I’m living here I’m very calm – any more calm and I might slip into a coma… great site, and now that I’ve found you, I’ll be back.

  8. says

    We are Kansas City style bbqers – so there’s usually a lot of meat and a lot of smoke happening. By the time we get to the actual “bbq” part, the smoker’s been going for days and we’re usually drunk and ready to sit down with a very good slab of pork or brisket.

    That big basket of tomatoes does inspire me though – I’m thinking this would be a great way to get through the glut of mid-summer tomatoes during a bbq.

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