Dining in Italy: Al Convento

The last trattoria with tre gamberi (see yesterday’s post) is Al Convento in the fisherman’s town Cetara on the Amalfi Coast. The most important local product here is alici, anchovies.

Al Convento has nice outside seating (in the town center, not by the sea). The tasting menu (35 euros) focuses on alici.

It starts with a sampler of six different antipasti, five of them with alici:

  • Pane burro e alici: toast with butter and anchovies
  • Alici con provolo: deep fried anchovies with provolone cheese
  • Polpettine di alici: anchovies ‘meatball’
  • Alici alla scapece: anchovies that are first marinated in vinegar and then deep fried
  • Alici marinate: anchovies marinated in vinegar
  • Tonno e pomodorini: local preserved tuna with cherry tomatoes

The tasting menu allows you to choose from two primi. We tried both options. Ziti alla genovese: pasta with a ragù of slowly cooked onions and beef. This was delicious and quite similar to my own rendition.

Spaghetti con colatura: this is a local dish of spaghetti with brine from salted anchovies (plus olive oil, parsley, and fresh peperoncino). As you can imagine it is quite salty.

For the secondo you can choose between two preparations of alici; again we tried both and shared. The first: alici in umido, stewed anchovies. These were nice and tender.

The other: deep fried anchovies. This is great when they are fresh (and they were).

For dolce we could choose any dessert from the menu. Kees opted for chocolate profiteroles (garnished with basil)…

…and I for a pear and ricotta cake, with bottom and top of crushed amaretti cookies.

To finish our trip, there are some Michelin stars coming up.


6 thoughts on “Dining in Italy: Al Convento

  1. Interesting ! Being Northern European born I would be traitor to the cause not liking anchovies: I love them, but marinated, to go on the breakfast open sandwich with hardboiled egg ! Hmmm: methinks the sampler would have sufficed for me or the fried ones plus that tart . . . . thank you so much for having taken us dining . . . fabulous !

    Liked by 1 person

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