Wednesday, June 1, 2011

If I were his Chef: Andrea Pirlo

He was one my favorite boys of summer in 2006.

I first fell in love with Andrea Pirlo during this scene, with team captain Fabio Cannavaro, shortly before Italy was crowned World Champion.

Last month, his 10 years with my favorite club, AC Milan, came to a (mutual) bittersweet end. He signed a 3-year deal with Juventus, Milan's traditional rival.

I think I can handle this ~ shhhh. Juve's club is so flippin' beautiful with Alex Del Piero, et al. Pirlo seems fine with it, I think I'm ok too.

Whenever and wherever he plays, in any jersey, my day turns magical.

My point ~ "Why I adore Andrea Pirlo" (the short list with links to supporting evidence):
  • He is man enough to let his fans see him cry (2:45).
  • There are great tribute videos honoring him, lots of others adore him too.
  • His best friend perhaps being Alessandro Nesta = a favorite eye-candy video.
  • He looks a little sleepy sometimes but regarding that, Nesta claims Pirlo is really a rock in the locker room and worth 10 men.
  • He is long-time married with 2 children.
  • He is gorgeous in (row 4, 6 from left) Dolce&Gabbana.
  • He scored an amazing 40-yard goal in October 2010 ~ my early birthday present.
  • His hometown club, Brescia, signed him originally to launch his career; he's hinted he may return to play for them to end his career.
If I were his Chef, I’d set something sweet on his table, that would reflect the hope in his heart for a stellar future with Juventus.

White as the theme comes to mind because it feels peaceful to me.

On non-World-Cup years, two of summer's finest blessings are white peaches and the return of Italy's soccer season in late August. My muse is from northern Italy's Lombardia region, also home to Amaretto di Saronno, and mascarpone cheese ~ ingredients that elevate my spiced-poached peaches to an exquisite realm. I’d suggest dipping traditional Amaretti cookies in the syrup ~ their story has a happy ending of its very own.

I'd prepare this elegant dessert with a prayer that every joy ~ especially those unexpected ~ find this beautiful man, in this new chapter of his life.

He deserves that.

Amaretto-Poached Peaches with Mascarpone, for Andrea Pirlo

1 1/4 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup Amaretto di Saronno
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
Scored rind of one orange
4 small, slightly under-ripe white peaches, halved, pitted

Combine first 6 ingredients in large saucepan, bring to a boil, then simmer for 10 minutes. Add peach halves. Cook in liquid for 15 minutes, turning peaches occasionally. Remove peaches and solids from pan; boil liquid, reduce to yield light syrup.

1/2 cup mascarpone cheese
Freshly ground nutmeg
Amaretti cookies, optional

Place 2 peach halves in each of 4 dessert bowls. Spoon a little cheese in center of peaches, sprinkle with nutmeg. Spoon syrup around peaches to serve; offer cookies for dipping.

Yields 4 servings.

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