International Foods Tuesday: March 31

Location: Italy

Let’s start with this: there are people out there who are skillful at making pasta and then there are skillful eaters. I fall under the latter, along with Baxter the dog. Baxter prefers uncooked, fresh pasta left to dry on the counter. Should Baxter stop in to visit you, please have approximately a pound and a half of freshly made pasta sitting on the counter. It won’t take her longer than 16 seconds to eat it all, so just plan to be doing something out of the way so that she can just hop up, snarf it down, and then pop right on out of the kitchen.

Introducing Bateman and Baxter The Dog.
Likes freshly made pasta, squeaky balls, cooked chicken, and running in the woods.

The Menu

  • Fried zucchini & tomatoes with red pepper flakes and parmesan cheese
  • Meatballs and sauce
  • Fresh made pasta
  • Pasta sauces, incl: Sauteed Mushroom, Brown Butter, and Roasted Tomato
  • Panna Cotta with Strawberries
  • Delicious! Red Wine

Before we get too far down this journey, please allow me the chance to acknowledge the culinary prowess of Bateman. He is a pasta making genius. He is quite skillful at many things; however, the pasta that comes out of his kitchen is not just an ideal conduit for sauce and other toppings……It is light, yet filling. Delicate, yet substantial. IT. IS. DELICIOUS. When he offers to make pasta for you, say yes.

I wrote down two things about this meal:

(1) what makes it to the plate is left overs. Use a “staging” system for cooking. You have one person fry and move the zucchs, one person assigned to sprinkle sea salt on them, and then add the rest of your dinner party so that you can eat and chat and drink wine together. Seriously, what makes it to the platter is literally going to be left overs. You will have eaten all your little heart desired before they ever make it to the platter. So, pour that glass of FAB_U_LOUS red wine, sidle up to the stovetop and wear an apron. Please wear an apron. It’s a logical thing to do. Everyone gets an apron for this one. It keeps the oil from spattering all over your clothes, and your entire torso is wrapped in a giant napkin. I mean, come on, the apron makes sense.

(2) no one looks like giada de laurentiis when cooking her recipes except giada de laurentiis. We made these when the supply of zucchinis and tomatoes was off the charts, so i figured what a good time to take giada up on her suggestion: “when you’re in italy, eat fried zucchini.” So, I did. In our house. Which is not in Italy. I sliced those zucchinis and fried them with lots of red pepper flakes. We probably ate five small to medium sized zucchinis standing at the stove. I burnt the shit out of my finger and thumb. Because I would grab one as soon as they came out of the frying pan. I stopped frying = we stopped eating them.

Time for pasta and meatballs.

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