Martha and I have differing opinions on Supermarkets in Italy. To her, a visit to a Supermarket seems to represent a tear in the sacred bondage she shares with locals who set out a few tomatoes and some leeks on a wooden crate near a highway. You can see the ruvulsion in her countenance. The word “supermarket” causes the blood to rush from her face. Where it goes, I don’t know…
In any case, I am not quite so dedicated to the cause. I actually delight, albeit on rare occasions, in foraging through the aisles of the Ipercoop in Sarzana. You find things there that surprise you. And you can buy almost anything you can think of. Yesterday I bought what we foreigners call an espresso machine—30% off, no less.
On our last visit we found something else. Soppressata made out of octopus like they do it in Liguria: Soppressata Polpo alla Ligure
Yes, there it is in all its late night glory. The picture is bad because it was late on a September’s eve. But you get the drift of it: a smashed together mass of purply octopus, garished with some great olive oil and some big crystals of French sea salt. Since it was glued together with gelatin and wine vinegar, there wasn’t need for a squeeze of lemon for that spike of flavor. It was quite good, actually—and nice to look at if the sun hadn’t dipped below the peaks of the Apennines so suddenly.
We didn’t have this dish as an antipasto. It was an intermezzo. It went between the rabbit dish and the rabbit dish with vegetables. You see, I had miscalculated the temperature of the oven when I cooked up the rabbit, carrots and potatoes. The rabbit was done in 45 minutes, sweet, tender and juicy. The vegetables were hard as a rock. So we ate some crispy carrots and rabbit, snuck in the intermezzo while the coniglio al forno and its supporting cast cooked in a way hotter oven, then took it out and ate the now exquisitely cooked dish in the dark.
I can tell you though, if you want to make a red wine you’re having with your rabbit taste like absolute crap, serve it with Suppressata Polpo alla Ligure. Bleh.