Sergio’s hospitality didn’t end with Faella – he also made sure that I had the best meal of my life! After visiting the pastificio, we drove through the surrounding towns to Santa Maria La Carita’ where Sergio dropped me off at Sabatino of Terra Amore & Fantasia tomatoes’ home, where a Slow Foods meeting was in progress. As the meeting ended, notepads were whisked away and the table was set for the 7 course meal that was to come. I joined the others at the table and stared in amazement as course after course was placed in front of me. My favorite by far was the lasagna made with artichokes rather than pasta, smothered in sauce made from Sabatino’s amazing tomatoes. I could have just eaten a vat of the sauce and been very, very happy!
The meal centered around the carciofo violetto di Castellammare, a beautiful, red colored artichoke specific to the region. After I had eaten so much I couldn’t have swallowed another bite, Sabatino took me to his artichoke and tomato fields, set against a backdrop of rolling mountaintops. Although tomatoes aren’t in season so only artichokes were growing at the moment, Sabatino explained that he follows time-tested methods of alternating fields to ensure that his crops are grown sustainably with constant soil regeneration. He truly cares about the land and his product, and it shows!
I can’t thank Sergio and Sabatino enough for showing me their amazing products. I can only expect that Gustiamo’s producers I have yet to visit will be just as welcoming. There are many more amazing meals to come!