What makes a delicious crostini? Two words; fresh ingredients. And when my farmers’ market has an Italian vendor selling his own cheese, I am ONE happy camper! Ciro Comencini moved to Nova Scotia with his wife, Alessia and their six children (soon to be seven!) in 2013. His dairy experience started with his family’s farm, just outside Verona, when he was 6. When Ciro and his family moved to Nova Scotia, they wanted a farming life. Everyone in the family lends a helping hand.
Their cheese can be found in local restaurants such as Field Guide, EDNA, The Canteen and Chives as well as with Local Source (food market shop). Even though their company name is Roma Cheese, you’ll find restaurants naming some of the ingredients in their dishes as Ciro’s cheese. Ciro is, like most Italians, passionate about the food he makes. When you stop by their stall in the Alderney Market or Halifax Seaport market and Ciro is there, ask him a question about his products; he’ll happily fill you in on his cheese-making adventures with a beaming smile and abundant hand gesturing. Mr S and I have eaten our way through an assortment of their cheeses namely: asiago, taleggio, fresh mozzarella, burrata, scamorza, and ricotta. All so very good!
When Ciro introduced his stracchino (strah-kee-noh) cheese, I asked how he likes to serve it. His eyes lit up and with hand gestures tells me – slathered on fresh bread that has been toasted, topped with chopped up cooked pancetta and drizzled with extra-virgin olive oil. Just the description alone made my mouth water! Stracchino cheese is a very spreadable soft cheese. Below is my take of what he described.
pancetta or bacon chopped and pan-fried
fresh arugula leaves
extra-virgin olive oil
white balsamic vinegar
Italian parsley, chopped (optional)
To assemble, spread stracchino on warm bread slice followed with two arugula leaves, pancetta or bacon, a splash of white balsamic vinegar and drizzled extra-virgin olive oil. Scatter chopped parsley and serve immediately.
The Culinary Chase’s Note: Stracchino can be used on polenta, tossed with pasta, as a dip with EVOO and fresh herbs or on a pizza. Enjoy!