A Casa Di Marco Food Tour: A Spasso con Sara’s Exclusive Experience

Excellence of ingredients, passion and imagination are the three main things of Marco’s cuisine, ambassador of the taste of the Pontine lands. History, landscapes, archaeology and gastronomic products a few km from Rome.

 

Terracina, just 120 km far from Rome (Credits: Terracina foto)

 

 

Who’s Marco

Marco Pannozzo, originally from Terracina, a town on the Tyrrhenian Sea, 120 km from Rome, gets up early in the morning in search of the best products of his land. And the Guests who arrive every day “A Casa di Marco” (the house where he cooks for you and where you can start your tasting tour), never know in advance what the chef will prepare for them that day … yes, because the menu of Marco depends exquisitely on the season and vegetables, meat or fish that the chef will find that day at the market walking around his city.

I can tell you for myself! One day Marco, knowing that I was coming back to Terracina to visit my family, calls me on the phone and invites me to his house: “you come tonight and I’m preparing something!” I tried in vain to ask him what he would have prepared for me that evening (I am a very curious person) and that was his answer: : “I don’t know! Let’s see each other at 5 p.m. and go together to see what the sea now offers us!”

The chef Marco Pannozzo between the arches of the Temple of Juppiter Anxur, the symbol of the city of Terracina

A journey through local history, archaeology and taste

And so, at the appointed time, we met at the port. That’s the time when the “paranze”, the fishermen’s big boats, return to the sea after a day and unload the fish. An extraordinary adventure had unwittingly begun: my journey through taste! Marco took me to the fish auction and not only explained to me all the different varieties of fish present, but he made me participate in the auction and in the end I got a nice box of shrimp, one of anchovies and even mussels!

A paranza just returned to the port of Terracina after a day of fishing

 

Different types of fresh fish explained by the chef at fish auctions

 

Fresh anchovies and prawns purchased with chef Marco at the fish auction in Terracina

 

And, with that precious treasure in our arms, as we headed towards his house, we crossed the Roman remains of the pier of the ancient Roman port of  Terracina. Marco showed me the history of that ancient infrastructure (you can still see the mooring rings) that was supposed to be the second most important port in Rome after that of Ostia. From his words it was easy to imagine very large ships that, guided by the Lighthouse and the Temple of Venus at the entrance of the great basin, docked at Terracina. The products and goods arrived, through, then, the Via Severiana, arrived by land in Rome.

The ancient Roman port of Terracina in a reconstruction (Credits: www.terrapontina.it)

 

A few more steps and a small stop at the market to buy delicious local green zucchini and … go! After a fantastic story about local products and Roman history, we finally arrive at Marco’s house. The chef wears his uniform, opens a bottle of Sant’Andrea wine, makes a toast and starts cooking in front of your eyes. Between a smile and a story about local traditions, its delicacies come to life.

 

The Dinner

It is hot and then we decide to sit under its pergola. The table, set simply and tastefully, also speaks of the sea. Tablecloth, candles, cutlery. No detail is left to chance. And then the scent of capers and basil, the smell of extra virgin olive oil, crispy bread, the pasta of the Ilvana pasta factory … the taste buds, as he says, are in celebration!

 

The table for dinner. Everything talks about the sea in Terracina

 

Dinner opens with a bruschetta with Sperlonga Tomato, marinated Terracina rose shrimp and fingerlime. The crunchiness of the bread goes perfectly with the delicacy of the prawn, fresh and of excellent quality. The touch of the tomato is also delicate, exquisitely local and obtained from a variety of the most famous San Marzano tomato. The beads of fingerlime, better known perhaps as lemon caviar, explode in the mouth releasing that pleasant aroma of lime that gives the right freshness to the dish. a dance of delicacies for the palate and a concentration of nutritional properties.

Bruschetta eaten at the opening of the dinner

We continue with a Spaghettone Pasta prepared with mussels, saffron from the sea of Gaeta and Zucchini from Barchi. The pasta chosen by the chef is of exquisitely local production. It is prepared by the local Pasta Factory “Ilvana” (pastificioilvana.it) in an artisanal way in order to preserve the organoleptic characteristics and the richness of the nutritional virtues of the raw material used. Marco made me look at Pasta Drive in the heart of the Marina Market and he made me personally choose the pasta format I preferred that I could buy at a very convenient price. And in his hands, this fresh pasta has become a delicious dish, delicate and perfectly balanced.

The excellent ingredients used for the composition of the first course

 

The final realization: Spaghettone Pasta prepared with mussels, saffron from the sea of Gaeta and Zucchini from Barchi

But the surprises are not over yet. We continue sipping a glass of white wine “Riflessi del Circeo” and with many laughs. And so, in a unique and relaxed atmosphere, comes the moment of the second dish: millefeuille of fried anchovies, buffalo stracciatella with strawberry compote and balsamic vinegar. This dish also celebrates local excellence. The very fresh anchovies, bought together with the fish auction, are now brought back to life in a new and crispy way, embraced by the exquisite buffalo stracciatella (a paradise for your mouth, believe me!) and the taste of the compote, obtained by processing the local strawberry Favetta, a variety typical of the Terracina area.

Millefeuille of fried anchovies, buffalo stracciatella with strawberry compote and balsamic vinegar

 

It has come late and we are getting up from the table. However, the chef does not fail to give me one last surprise. Opens a small door and pulls out a box. Opening it up, it shows me its treasure, the dessert! Local sweets, accompanied by a good glass of VinSanto, mark the end of this sensory wine and food journey.

Local Sweets and VinSanto

If you also want to live your experience “A Casa di Marco”, contact me immediately and book your exclusive Food Tour in partnership with A Spasso con Sara. an unforgettable experience on the sea a few km south of Rome at a very affordable price! What are you waiting for? Come on! Contact me!

 

Posted by Sara Pandozzi

Leave a Reply