A Perfect Barbecue in Italy

May 15th, 2008 · Tags: Culture · Discovering Italy · Holiday · Italy · Puglia

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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21 responses so far ↓

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  • 1
    bleeding espresso // May 15, 2008 at 6:59 am

    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
    erin :: the olive notes // May 15, 2008 at 9:43 am

    this looks like a perfect bbq to me :)

  • 3
    Typesetter // May 15, 2008 at 10:34 am

    ‘A sasizza!

  • 4
    Leanne // May 15, 2008 at 10:57 am

    What lovely pics – I want to come to the bbq!

  • 5
    Maria from Philly // May 15, 2008 at 12:26 pm

    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???

  • 6
    Ms. Adventures in Italy // May 15, 2008 at 12:33 pm

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

  • 7
    Susan from Food Blogga // May 15, 2008 at 12:45 pm

    This beats the heck out of charcoal grill in a postage-stamp sized back yard. I may never want to bbq here again after seeing your glorious pictures!

  • 8
    Jen of a2eatwrite // May 15, 2008 at 6:21 pm

    The only thing I might add is to have warm enough weather that no one has to wear down jackets on the conga line. ;-)

    Looks like a lovely afternoon, though!

  • 9
    kate // May 16, 2008 at 12:50 am

    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.

  • 10
    A Tuscan view - from Umbria // May 18, 2008 at 8:52 am

    It looks like the perfect BBQ to me. The only thing that would make it better is that we were there too! Love those dogs they look like wolf cubs.

  • 11
    Jeff // May 19, 2008 at 9:48 am

    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.


  • 12
    nyc/caribbean ragazza // May 19, 2008 at 2:24 pm

    I agree with Maria from Philly. This BBQ would have perfect to me if I was there sharing in the views and food.

  • 13
    Anne // May 19, 2008 at 6:20 pm

    What a fantastic view!!!!

    Wine, Meat and Warmth…and great people..sounds perfect to me.

  • 14
    edwart // May 19, 2008 at 6:49 pm

    Oh! Amazing…

  • 15
    steamy kitchen // May 19, 2008 at 7:36 pm

    it’s missing me! i’d love to come!

  • 16
    noobcook // May 20, 2008 at 3:57 am

    amazing photos! :)

  • 17
    Bellini Valli // May 20, 2008 at 2:37 pm

    What I wouldn’t give to be right there!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • 18
    FlaKim // May 20, 2008 at 6:04 pm

    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).

  • 19
    We Are Never Full // May 23, 2008 at 10:06 pm

    Oh man… jealousy has swept over me.

  • 20
    Ammaliatrice // May 28, 2008 at 5:49 am

    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.

  • 21
    finnyknits // May 29, 2008 at 10:09 am

    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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