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Great pizza at the Walking Street Market

By Heather Allen
La Lanterna di Genova is a small little restaurant so close to Tha Pae Gate that I think most people must speed right on by. Certainly I always have. However, I recently had a friend visiting that was staying nearby and after spending the previous day at a cooking class learning how to cook (and eating) Thai food, she craved something different.
A friend of mine has always raved about this restaurant and since it was within walking distance of my very busy friend’s guesthouse I suggested we try their pizza. We were not disappointed. First off I should point out that this is a simple but pleasant shophouse style restaurant, you can sit outside or aircon inside. We chose aircon.
The menu is comprehensive enough but as we were three and my friend had been very busy hiking and touring we started with an antipasti of assorted meats; ham and prosciutto and some kind of salami. It was enormous and tasty. We also ordered a very nice salad and then came the pizza. It is big. If you are not a fan of thin and crispy then this is not the pizza restaurant for you but I prefer thin crispy crusts finding the thicker bready kind overwhelming. The sauce was good, the cheese plentiful and the toppings generous and delicious.
We ordered the prosciutto pizza and added mushrooms as an extra topping. Prices are good, especially for such a heavily touristed area and we both felt that given the location the prices were quite fair for the large meal we had. The large pizza with extra toppings still cost us less than 300 baht and fed us with some left over.
Parking for those in cars can be an issue but perhaps the bank across the street offers parking. On Sundays when the Walking Street Market is open this would be a great place to pop in and rest up for more shopping and replenish one’s energy with pizza or pasta.
Sadly, I was too focused on my dinner and my visiting friend to take a photo that night so I borrowed one from Wikimedia. La Lanterna Di Genova is open every day from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and is worth braving the tourist hordes to give it a try. (Photo by [email protected] commons)

RECIPES BY NOI: Jiow Tao and Tam Tao

In my village we cook Tao, or the green river algae we learned how to collect from the last issue, into only these 2 recipes. I’ve never heard that they cook it in any other way. There must be another recipe in other areas. Isan has Tao as well. Over there people cook it differently but I have not yet been lucky enough to try it yet.
Jiow Tao is the easiest one we can cook, let’s start with it.
Jiow means stir fry with small amount of cooking oil. So what we need is cooking oil, shallot, salt and dry chili. That’s all.
At first heat up oil in a pan and fry chili. Remove the chili and next fry the shallot. Slice the shallot thinly and fry until it turns brown, then add Tao in the pan, stir fry with shallot and add salt. It might need around 5 minutes to cook and then we can remove it from the heat and enjoy eating with sticky rice plus the fried chili if you prefer it spicier.
For the Tam Tao, or mashed Tao take the Tao add boiled crab, pea eggplant, sliced yellow rounded eggplant (Makua Jae), chili, chopped young ginger leaves, chopped galangal, boiled fermented fish (filter and take just the water part), chopped coriander and spring onion.
I think the most difficult part of this recipe is preparing the ingredients because it needs so many and a lot of work but cooking it is another story entirely. All we need now is to mash the crab, chili, ginger leaves, galangal together. Then add eggplant and pea eggplant and just pound it enough for them to break. Now we need to add Tao, fermented fish, coriander and spring onion. Taste it, maybe we need to add more salt but please do not add salt before you taste it because fermented fish is quite salty already.
For me I prefer Jiow Tao, it is cooked and I feel better having Tao cooked before I eat it. Some people boil Tao before mashing. I have never tried it like that before but maybe it’s a good compromise.

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