Monday, October 6, 2014

Little Italy in Cuenca

It's no secret that I love Italy!

We spent six years of our life there and our oldest son was born in Italy and--of course--I married an Italian. That explains part of my passion for Italy and the other is the food.

Ristorante Salumeria Vecchia Modena
There are some great Italian restaurants in Cuenca, but none as authentic as Ristorante Salumeria Vecchia Modena! Chef Massimo takes Italian cuisine to a whole new level. He makes his own pasta, bread, sauces and sausage.

Last Saturday we stopped by for lunch and were warmly greeted--Italian style (kisses on both sides of the cheek). And then we were asked what menu we would like to see (Italian, Spanish or English). I picked Italian and Mark picked the Spanish one. As is our custom, we ordered one entree and split it which was more than enough for us. But our ricotta and spinach filled tortelloni was so wonderful, I found myself wanting more -- but we had to save room for dessert.

Menu outside the restaurant
Salumeria Vecchia Modena is warm and inviting and reminds me of all that I love about Italy (warmth and hospitality). We got to practice our Italian which was so much fun. It was my worst fear coming to Cuenca (knowing I would lose my Italian), but it's nice to know I can practice it to my heart's content at Vecchia Modena.

While we were waiting for our bruschetta, we were served appetizers compliments of the chef. The bread was served warm with meats, cheeses, and relishes. Mark and I visited Modena a few times while we lived in Italy and it all came flooding back (Northern Italian cooking at its best).

Tortelloni (Ricotta & Spinach)
And then came the bruschetta semplice (fresh tomatoes with herbs, garlic and drizzled with olive oil). I had to wonder if Chef Massimo had his own secret "pomodori" garden in his backyard because I have yet to find red ripe tomatoes that delicious in Cuenca. We were actually full by the time our tortelloni arrived. There's nothing like fresh pasta and I haven't had anything that delicious since our landlady, Nina, in Italy made fresh tortelloni for me after I gave birth to our firstborn--Jeremy--and that was 33 years ago!

If that wasn't enough, we shared "pie de manzana" that tasted like my mom's apple pie and was served warm (to perfection). Massimo also carries a selection of imported Italian wines and other delicacies to make your dining experience complete.

You can also enjoy Massimo's finest recipes at home as he has a take-out menu that includes his famous sausage, pasta, sauces, pesto and bread. Just to let you know, if you're invited to dinner at the Pombos it won't my Italian cooking. Thanks to Chef Massimo, I'm hanging up my apron!

Ristorante Salumeria Vecchia Modena is located on Juan Jaramillo 8-21 y Luis Cordero. You can call for reservations at: 07-282-5105. They're open Monday-Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Also, be sure to check out their Facebook page for more information and pictures.

Entrance to Salumeria Vecchia Modena
Grazie, Massimo, per un pranzo delizioso!

Chef Massimo


Connie & Mark 

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