Saturday, 16 July 2011

You are so wrong about fast food and the BUNGA BUNGA! (Pork chops and vegetable medley wrapped in foil and baked! That's all!)

I bet you thought the Americans invented fast food and... I also bet that you thought that "Prime" Minister Berlusconi invented the BUNGA BUNGA! (If you don't know what that is... I'm not telling you, 'cause it's a bit rude and I am a LADY!)
In ancient Rome (and I know because I have been to Pompeii lots of times) people didn't really have fitted kitchens and microwaves, or fan ovens (didn't see any microwaves, but they did have central heating and double glazing... they really did!) Anyway! If you were poor (doesn't history repeat itself?)... You were done! No oven, no cooker, no microwave and maybe NO SLAVE... OR WIFE! So... where did you go if you were hungry? The Termopolium, of course (Take out restaurant to you and I!) Yes, they invented that, too! And I bet "nice" women were not allowed in!  Termopoliums are still there, in Pompeii, for everyone to see, and... round the back, a set of rooms, where you could drink wine (of course) play games and... do the BUNGA BUNGA! So there, Signor Berlusconi, you did not even "invent" the BUNGA BUNGA!
Fast food doesn't have to be unhealthy hamburger or cheese loaded pizza or rather oily ( but very nice, unfortunately) Chinese food! In Italy we are very good at fast food. Fast and quite healthy, too! (we actually do most things in record time!)

Today I cooked pork chops ( but it could be lamb- very nice! Or red mullet-extremely nice! Same recipe, BTW!) and also mixed vegetables (courgettes, peppers, garlic and parsley) al cartoccio (that means I placed each chop in foil, with other ingredients and then closed the foil to make a little parcel,) and did the same with my vegetables, too, as you may have gathered. The parcels were cooked very quickly in a hot oven... no frying, no fat, no butter, just good old, delicious Mediterranean ingredients!
And guess what? Here is the recipe!

Bistecche di maiale al cartoccio
(Pork Chops Wrapped in Foil)
3 servings:
3 pork chops,
3 cloves garlic, chopped
handful fresh parsley
some Balsamic Vinegar
some olive oil
some fresh chilli pepper, sliced
(opitional, but not for me!)

Verdure miste al cartoccio
(Vegetable Medley wrapped in Foil)
2 peppers, diced
2 courgettes (zucchine) diced
3 cloves garlic
handful parsley
 fresh basil
some Balsamic Vinegar
some olive oil
some fresh basil leaves

Cut a few squares of aluminum foil. Place each chop in the middle of it. Pour some olive oil al balsamic vinegar over the meat. Rub till the 2 ingredients are blended. Chop the garlic and parsley, spread over the chops, then add salt and pepper.
Gather the foil above the meat, then close to make a parcel. Do the same with every chop.

my chop looks happy... doesn't know it's about to be cooked!

In a large piece of foil, place all your vegetables, including garlic and parsley. Add olive oil and balsamic vinegar Mix together, wrap up. Now, you can place all your parcels on a baking tray or dish. I cooked my "Fast food" in a fan oven at a temperature of 220 C,425F, Gas 7)

I opened my parcels... 40 minutes later...

My chops were served with the vegetables, some caponata (extremely delicious!) I made yesterday, a small pot of olive oil and Balsamic,

Caponata and balsamic oil

for extra dressing or dipping, and, of course, some baguette. I actually also made a quick salad with mozzarella, black pepper and olive oil, whick was simply fantastic (but do use proper mozzarella, the real Italian stuff if you make this!) 
Everybody said it was fantastic! AND...
IT REALLY WAS.............. FAST....................!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
When Cher sang "You're simply the best" she was referring to Italian food, no doubt! Bet you didn't know that! Or was is Tina Turner? Not "the best"... the person who sang that song, I mean! Yes, she was! I bet you didn't know that either!


 I think it looks deliziosissimissimo!

with my caponata (that's another recipe!)... and oil and balsamic
for extra dressing and dipping.


  1. Hi Anna,

    I now know what Bunga Bunga is and while Mr Berlusconi may not have invented it, it sounds like it is his favourite recipe!!

    It looks absolutely delicious and very healthy.

    Many thanks - I love all your recipes as you keep them simpple.


  2. Ha ha, you made me laugh a lot! I have NEVER been to Pompei, so didn't know about Termopolium (..blissful ignorance, eh?!)
    We have delicius fast foods in Venice too...tramezzini, cicchetti... :-)
    Buona domenica Anna!

  3. Hello Anna, It must me my Italian blood (a few generations back alas!) but that is my favourite way of cooking. We often have our chicen breasts that way! I must try it with pork too as you suggest. Jane x

  4. Helen,

    Thank you for your lovely comments... you are always so nice and... put up with some of my "funny" comments. The British sense of humour does rub off on you... fortunately, as Italian jokes and humour are quite pathetic!

    Anyway... yes... you know, I think Sig.B does read a lot of "recipe" books, but does he actually "cook" anything or does he just "play" with the ingredients? THAT is the question...

    Off to Italy tomorrow... can't wait! Lots of photos and nice "things" some nice, some not so nice, unfortunately.

    Hugs to you, Helen... you've got style... and you're nice!


  5. Michela,

    There is in Italy, a tendency to call "cibo veloce" Fast food, good healthy food, which is not junk. My recipe was an example.

    thank you for your comments... they are very welcome. I love tramezzini and panzerotti. will post recipe in September!



  6. So... you have a bit of Italian in you! That explains your looks and your "simpatia"
    Jane, I'm off to Italy, tomorrow... I'll be following your posts and will try and post myself, if I manage to upload images from my house in Campania. Shouldn't have problems in Bari, except lack of time (must visit my mother as much as I can)

    I must do some packing now, plus, I have this glass of wine from Puglia we bought in M&S...


  7. Delicious looking food as always Anna. It always amazes me how advanced Pompei was in many aspects.

  8. Dear Anna, I hope you are safe and sound in Italy by now. May you have a wonderful visit and happy times with your Mother and beautiful Italy! Jane x

  9. Great fun post Anna! I have visited Pompeii and had forgotten how impressed I was when I learned that they had fast-food places there, oh and the old bunga-bunga was quite an eye opener too!Love Linda x