There is this famous butcher (macelleria) in Rome named Angelo Feroci. (If you are Roman, you will know exactly what I am talking about). Feroci has been around since the 1900’s, is run by the fourth generation Polzella heirs, and is frequented primarily by Rome’s “high society.” The macelleria is located next to the Pantheon in the historic center of the city and is my personal version of hell. On the other hand, it is my husband Antonio’s own paradise. Just say the name “Feroci” and he starts to drool.
When I first moved to Rome and Antonio and I were in that “I love you so much I will never let you out of my sight” phase, I would actually accompany him to Macelleria Feroci. Between the Polzella brothers slamming sizeable cleavers through bright red animal flesh- and the plentiful steaks, sirloins, lamb roasts, meatloaves, meatballs, pork, chicken and veal on display for the salivating patrons to admire, I oftentimes began to feel faint.
Needless to say, I no longer escort Antonio to the butcher (to the delight of both Antonio and the proprietors who have made it abundantly clear that I am no longer welcome). At the same time, Macelleria Feroci also sells delicious prepared vegetables (particularly carciofi alla romana/roman artichokes and ceci al rosmarino/chickpeas with rosemary) as well as gorgeous porcini mushrooms (when they are in season).
And guess what? It’s porcini season! Therefore, when Antonio made his weekly pilgrimage to Macelleria Feroci the other night- he bought a couple of kilos of porcini mushrooms to sauté and serve with his steak. I took the opportunity to make a yummy baby spinach and porcini mushroom salad. Everyone wins!
Sauteed Porcini and Spinach Salad
- Two large handfuls baby spinach
- ¼ cup pine nuts
- 1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes
- 2 porcini mushrooms
- extra virgin olive oil
- fresh parsley
- 1 garlic clove
- red pepper flakes
- Himalayan salt
In a pan, heat a few tbsps of olive oil with the crushed garlic clove, a sprinkling of red pepper flakes and about 1 tbsp of finely chopped parsley. Slice the porcini into strips and put into the pan when the oil is hot. Sautee for about 10 minutes or until the mushrooms become soft and slightly browned. Set aside. Wash and dry the spinach. Toast the pine nuts in a pan until they are slightly browned. Boil the sun-dried tomatoes for 10 minutes, drain, and chop. Mix the spinach, toasted pine nuts and sun-dried tomatoes with 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil and a pinch of salt. Place the spinach salad into a plate and place the cooked porcinis on top. Sprinkle with some fresh chopped parsley and a pinch of salt (if desired) and serve.