Good afternoon and Happy Sunday. Today we woke up missing Tony Soprano, the central character in The Sopranos, the very best series in American television according to all our family members. Once we prepared gnocchi in honor of Tony but today we decided to wildly double down. Capeesh?
Note. This reproduction of an image of Tony Soprano was taken from Wikimedia Commons.
We wanted to use the magnificent fresh pasta of Mr. Pasta and we chose one pound of multicolor tagliarini (please don’t call them spaghetti because that blasphemy makes us cringe with horror) We are going to prepare a tomato sauce with strained and fresh San Marzano produce, add onions and red peppers sautée in olive oil and honey, topped with plenty of sensuale salciccia alla griglia, a pound of cooked ground beef and crowned with the unique pistachios. Mà che cosa ne pensi?
It seems that Tony himself took out most of the veggies, except the tomatoes. Are you surprised ?
This is how it looks like. You are cordially invited to join us for plenty of cibo and conversazione. Did you know that this word comes from verso in Latin, the language of our ancestors? The Romans use it to mean turn over, keep turning, and by extension to turn over in mind, to meditate. The addition of con gives the idea that you are engaging in that action with company, never alone. Therein lies the true significance of sharing a good meal while we chat with friends and family: we are exchanging ideas, feelings, concerns, fears, hopes. etc. Briefly we are sharing Life itself….Avete capito, si o no?
Would Tony and his pals of Bada Bing have liked this succulently meaty exercise? Fuggedaboutit!
Good morning. Yesterday we prepared a hearty pasta dish of tagliarini multicolori (red , white and green, the color of the Italian flag) to celebrate the joy of being alive, happy and healthy. Enough? Our son Gian Luca loves the tomato sauce with meat, especially if it also has succulent meatballs.
The freshly made sauce has San Marzano tomatoes, onions, red peppers,walnuts and ground beef. We cooked the meatballs separately in our Nuwave air frier and then we mixed it all in La Bestia.
Good afternoon and Happy Sunday. After so many months of forced Social Distancing, pasteurized Zoom meetings, dearth of basic human interaction like shaking hands or getting a palm on your back, we are more than ready for “adventurous forays”, even if it is still confined to our imagination. One of the best memories of our educational background is when we lived in our relative’s home in San Donà di Piave and we regularly travelled by train to the Università di Padova to study for our Doctorate in Health Policy and Management at Columbia University. Great, exciting times indeed.
One of the characteristic dishes prepared by the local chefs was, and still is, the pasta patavina, which adds potatoes of various kinds to the classic preparation’ it might sound like a redundancy ofcarbohydrates but, trust us, it is a completely new and delicious way to savor the Chinese invention.
Perhaps the very best architectural-artistic building of the city is the chapel that Giotto decorated for the powerful Scrovegni family of merchants, depicting the Life of Christ and the Virgin Mary. Hailed as one most beautiful artworks of the Early Renaissance, the Scrovegni Chapel was built between the years 1302 and 1305 and was initially meant to be the family’s personal lieu of prayer. And this rich family had a lot to pray for. Amongst their myriad businesses they were money lenders with terms of scandalous usury to the population and powerful of the city; the lelder Scrovegni became famous all over the peninsula and Dante Alighieri placed him right in the middle of Hell. In order to atone for his father’s sin and plead for his eventual relocation to Heaven, or at least the waiting station of Limbo, Enrico, his son, paid a fortune to Giotto in order to decorate this chapel. What was the heraldic coat of arms of this powerful family? La Scrofa Azzurra (the blue sow)
But there is very personal undertone to this story. In one of our many visits to the chapel, we came across perhaps one of the most beautiful and intelligent women we ever met. Withholding her real name for privacy reasons, we can tell you that she was a visiting German graduate student, staying for a few weeks for her thesis. We had one of the most passionate love affairs you can imagine. Sadly, the blonde walkyrie finally opted to return to her hometown where her boyfriend awaited her. However, we harbor the silly illusion that, in a return visit there, we will meet again and get married. Pour quoi pas?
Enough with melancholic memories and let us start cooking. You can use any kind of cooked pork. But we got a grilled smoked pig leg (lacón) from El Rincón Asturiano, in the city’s West Brickell area.
We skinned the leg, carefully taking off all the excess fat, just preserving a little bit to jazz it all up.
Then we prepared some thinly sliced sautée potatoes,red and green peppers plus some onions.
With the addition of a can of San Marzano tomatoes, we are ready to mix all the above together.
First put a thin coat of Extra Virgin Olive Oil on the casserole, add the tomatoes and stir for 10minutes. In the second stage, season with a little bit of salt and pepper with plenty of oregano. After cooking at a medium level, put all the mix. Stir for 5 minutes, turn the heat off with the lid back on.
When you are ready to have dinner, boil the potato gnocchi for a few minutes. Serve it hot. Voilà!
Closing our eyes, we picture ourselves escaping with our Dearest Fräulein (and newly wed bride) to a quaint little resort in the Caribbean; we’ll spend hours lounging on the beach and cooking for her.
Her favorite drink was (and surely still is) the Mionetto Prosecco. Ready for our über-romantic dinner.
Good afternoon. We just finished the original dish of ravioli with a San Marzano tomatosauce with shrimp, scalops and walnuts; in the middle there is a ball of Burrrata cheese. How does it look like? You are cordially invited. Let’s sit down to eat dinner together.
Good afternoon. We finally prepared the pasta dish we had mentioned in the previous posting and are about to sit down to enjoy it with our family. In honor of one of our most loyal readers and fellow blogger, Ms. LiDea, we will name it in her honor; we hope to prepare it live for her one day in her Russian home. Grazie per tuo aiuto cara LiDea.
We prepared potato and spinach gnocchi with a mixed sauce of tomato, shrimp andlobster, topped with avocado and that ultimately decadent necessity: caviar.
Do you think it came out creamy enough? I don’t know…Anyway, buon apetitto.
Good evening. As you can see, not even today Father’s Day will my children permit us to escape from the “bondage of the kitchen.” It is a joke of course as we love to cook pasta dishes with fresh ingredients especially for them. They always like the combination of ravioli, tomato sauce and shellfish. In honor of Gian Luca, we prepared this dish with cheese and spinach ravioli, San Marzano tomatoes, shrimp and scallops galore. We obtained these nice yet affordable ingredients from our local Whole Foods store.
After patiently cooking the tomato sauce and the shellfish in separate batches (never mix the two as the shellfish always oozes some stinking liquid that has to be drained with a colander), we finally put everything together in “La Bestia” with the freshly cooked pasta. Voilà!