NEW KDHamptons Entertaining Diary: A Taste of Amalfi at Home in the Hamptons
If you follow me then you know I love to entertain and create traditions, and to close out each high season in the Hamptons I host an intimate dining experience that spoils my guests in every way. Because many of us have not been able to travel to favorite destinations due to the pandemic, I decided to transport my guests to the Amalfi coast (almost ha!) with an al fresco poolside luncheon prepared by the charming husband and wife team of Nonna Francesca. Here’s a peek at my table design, menu, and delicious details…
I set a table for eight with my favorite new yellow and white gingham linens from Setting Pretty, a gorgeous new brand out of London. I paired their tablecloth and napkins with my vintage set of blue and white Meissen dinnerware, bamboo serve ware, cobalt blue glasses and my favorite bird shaped champagne flutes which are always a crowd pleaser. For the flowers, I planted simple baby yellow petunias in vintage porcelain urns.
How cute are my lemon napkin rings by Dani Pessoa?
Roberta and Francesco are the dynamic private chefs behind Nonna Francesca Family, an authentic Italian catering team which took the Hamptons by storm this summer. “Nonna in Italy represents family, friends and sharing so we would like to transmit these warm values in our food. We try to bring on your table the best we can find on the market. We only use fresh and organic vegetables, grass-fed meat, fresh fish and local Burrata cheese, which is produced from an Italian family based in Brooklyn from 40 years,” says Roberta.
Francesco says, “All our recipes are jealousy preserved in a family manuscript that first Nonna Francesca and then my mother upgraded in the years. It is handwritten.” Here is our decadently delicious menu from the day!
“What we like at most is to share the warm spirit of the Italian people. We want to let our guests feel like at grandma’s place, so we try to bring a big smile that is a good friend of great food. This the best way to create a memorable experience that goes beyond the food.”
Focaccia Crostini were served during cocktails with my favorite fresh caught Chilean salmon which gets delivered straight to your front door from OSHEN. Roberta served it with creme fraiche and capers.
As always, guests gathered in the kitchen during part of the cocktail hour which was fun to watch Francesco and Roberta preparing their signature dishes including the stuffed zucchini flowers, below.
“We use fresh Pasta with Semola di Grano Duro (Semolina Flour) and when we have Spaghetti, we use only Gragnano bronze cut quality, the top one artisanal pasta used in all the greatest Italians restaurant in the world. We also only use extra virgin Olive oil from Puglia, a region in south-east of Italy.” PSST! The homemade Cacio e Pepe pasta dish was definitely the fan favorite of the luncheon so I scored the recipe for you all, below.
Nonna Francesca Cacio e Pepe recipe
Ingredients: Gragnano Bronze Cut Spaghetti – 1 pound, Pecorino Romano D.O.P. – 1 cup, 1 teaspoon black pepper & Sea Salt to taste.
Directions: Throw pasta in the boiling water. In the meantime, ground some black pepper in a pan and let it warm on low. In a bowl put the pecorino cheese and add 2 spoons of boiling water. Melt the pecorino until you obtain a cream. When the pepper starts to crackle add a ladle of boiling water. Move the “Al dente” Pasta in the pan with pepper and add a bit of boiling water to let finish the cooking process. When it is done, add the pecorino cream in the pan and make sure it is well amalgamated with the pasta to create a perfect Cacio e Pepe.
Such a fun and delicious day… Bellissimo!