Jolly friends and pasta madness

This summer we’ve had a lot of visitors here at Col Buttero. In the beginning of July friends from the UK and Croatia arrived for a few days of Italian sunshine, prosecco and laughs with us. We had a fabulous time and the last night pasta competition was both hilarious and tasty.

When friends or family arrive we normally meet them at the airport, always Ancona as Easyjet flies there from Gatwick, and we drive to Fano where we have some drinks and lunch by the seaside. At some point I reckon we’re going to have to change this and come up with another lunch spot. I favour Sirolo town square with its lovely cafes and restaurants and hubby wants to go to Falconara zoo!!!

This party of friends included Smithy, my writing partner in the Brackenden Green series of books (so, ok, there is only one published at the moment) and it gave us a good opportunity to chat about the next book. He has some ideas that I can’t wait to see how they turn out. We just couldn’t stop laughing at the inhabitants of this fictional village.

Here is Smith, in red, with The Captain and Kurt who drove here from Split.

The week they were here was so hot that we mostly stayed by the pool and ate and drank a lot. That’s not too shabby for us. On the monday though, I had to go down to town as I had an Italian lesson. We had a yummy pizza at Il Greco and everybody were jolly and chilled. After lunch I left them to wander around Apecchio whilst I went to try my italian teachers patience for an hour. I left them for one hour only and when we met up at Bar Dante they looked like they had been wandering around the Sahara for days and wanted nothing but going back home and jumping in the pool.

Robert, Kerry and hubby cooling down

And, as usual, we, hubby and I, got away with a minimum of cooking, delegating this to anyone who didn’t run away quick enough. Night one is always BBQ, come hell or high winds and unfortunatly for Robert, he got caught in the intricate web of mind-control my husband has perfected for just this purpose. He is very good at it:) And as luck would have it, Robert was very good at grilling.

We were over the next few days treated to a variety of delicious food including Croatian zucchini frittata cooked by The Captain.

The last night we had an impromtu pasta competition and the contestants took to it with gusto and more than a little competitiveness. Nobody had actually made pasta from scratch before, so I became the judge and gave them any guidance they required. I did a post on this pasta recipe back in May. Seriously, this event was photographed and filmed more than masterchef. Teams were drawn from a hat, or rather jar and were as follows:

Kurt and Kerry making two different ravioli. One with spinach and ricotta and the other pancetta and tomato with a lime drizzle – this was the most competitive team.
Hubby and Smith made farfalle, the butterfly pasta, with a wildboar (left over from lunch) and tomato sauce.
The Captain and Robert started made two different tortellini. One with spinach and ricotta and one with parmesan and pecorino. In the beginning The Captain carried this team but then Robert got in there ,and as I understand it, helped!

Smith, when he found about the competition disappered for a few minutes and appeared with a cheeky smile and a Jamie Oliver cookbook under his arm. ‘Are we allowed to use this?’ They were the only team that didn’t use my recipe and somehow they didn’t win 🙂

The smiling pictures above changed as the evening went on and as you can see below, it got quite intense.

Hubby started tidying up the kitchen and by mistake, or so he says, threw Kerry and Kurt’s lime drizzle away! She did not believe it was a mistake and accused him of sabotage. Then finally, at around 10 at night, it was time to eat. All three pastas were actually very very good but in the end, the partners in pasta trophy (imaginary) went to The Captain and Robert for their tortellini. The other teams were not happy about it and I had to justify this decision again and again. They will probably argue the case in the comment section of this blog if they read it, and if I allow their comments to show lol. It was the highlight of the week and if you want to enjoy an evening without having to cook I suggest you invite your friends over and surprise them with a pasta competition.

The winners of the 2019 pasta madness competition
The Captain and Robert

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