Italians like their recipes and ingredients to have an origin. Knowing where something comes from give a sense of tradition and authority very important in Italian cuisine. Thus salsa amatriciana comes from the town of Amatrice, parmigiano-reggiano, is named for the twin provinces of Parma and Reggio d’Emilia, and risotto alla Milanese, comes from the city of Venice. OK, I’m joking there since it obviously comes from Milan but you get the point.
Crostata ai fichi:
An Italian friend once told me there are certain things you just don’t buy. One of them is tomatoes and another is figs. No matter where in Italy you live, some friend or neighbour will be growing them in their garden, and at this time of year people happily swap, or give away, the excess. So far, this year, I’ve been presented with two crates of tomatoes—for homemade passata—a huge crate of potatoes, and copious baskets of figs. We grow tomatoes and potatoes as well as delicious blackberries, but don’t have a fig tree, so thank providence for a very good friend who does.