Tag Archives: Italian food

It Made The List

22 Sep

I’ve always been in love with it. Some people take it too far and it becomes an uncontrollable obsession and I get that, but for me it’s always been love.

I love food especially the good kind. And it so happens that my relationship with it went up a notch thanks to The Sopranos.

I dove into the cookbook this weekend in an effort to get out of an emotional funk. The beach worked its magic as usual but once I got home there was something still lingering there, and seeing how dinner was just around the corner I thought I’d comfort my soul. My taste buds were thanking me too.

A savory and hearty mix of tomato, ditalini, cannellini beans and  Pecorino Romano cheese was making me appreciate all my senses. Especially the kind that can taste and smell flavorful. And the thing is it was a simple recipe, just a couple of ingredients but the combination was amazingly delicious.  So much so that the dish has made my list. My comfort food list. Do you have one?

Dude.

For someone who grew up in a dysfunctional family, for someone who’s a writer, for someone who’s a mother of two, for someone who’s ever been married, for someone who’s in the George Costanza phase of life, for someone who’s ever had a bad day …

Pasta e Fagioli.

 

Yummmmmm

Yummmmmm

 

That’s got to be on your comfort food list.

Have you had it?

If not, I strongly encourage you to either get it or make it.  The Sopranos Family Cookbook happened to have a great recipe. I love the library and appreciate all the culinary literature they have on hand. I wasn’t much for cookbooks prior to me 12 x 12 Chocolate Challenge. I only read fiction or nonfiction. But I realize I’m a fan. The thing with cookbooks is that they too open you up to new discoveries, Comfort Food Lists discoveries, which can eventually lead to Bucket List Adventures. And I’m all for that.

 

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Bucket List Adventure … Sunday Dinner Sopranos Style

20 Aug

Most of the time it includes traveling to a different country, exploring a new culture,  or doing something outrageously adventurous like throwing yourself off a plane or bridge.

Yeah.

I’ve got those on my list.

But for some reason my list also includes food. Delicious savory food, baking a cake from scratch, baking my kid’s birthday cakes.

Check, and check.

In fact a couple of months ago I baked 12 cakes from scratch, chocolate cakes.

Dude.

Duuuuuuuude.

But in addition to baking cakes from scratch I also wanted to make my own sauce … or as some Italians refer to it … “Gravy”. I’ve watched Goodfellas, The Sopranos, The Godfather … they all have scenes with sauce. Either the dudes making it or the someone’s mother. Stirring the sauce and having Sunday dinner. I mean we have Sunday dinner but it’s usually rice, beans, and carne asada. And there’s really nothing wrong with that, nothing at all.

But “Gravy” has always been on my list, along with skydiving, visiting Italy, and meeting Robert DeNiro.

It’s up there.

And thanks to the good old public library I was able to finally check out the Sopranos Cookbook I mentioned a couple of weeks ago and whip up a batch of Sunday Gravy … and it only took about four hours.

 

 

Dude.

Duuuuuude. Can I tell you how amazingly impressed I was with myself? I dipped the spoon in the savory sauce and brought it up for a taste test. I closed my eyes and took a deep breath. It was the kind of awesome that put you in a Zen state of mind. I know I’m Guatemalan through and through, but with that sauce I’m surprised I don’t have some part of me that’s Italian.

I was so happy it had turned out exactly the way I thought it would, because sometimes things don’t work out that way, just like life. You get all jazzed up about a recipe and then it doesn’t end up looking like the picture, or taste the way you thought it would on the first try. Just like life, you get all jazzed up about the future and then you realize you’re barely staying afloat with a life preserver and feel like you’re staring in Shark Week’s I Survived JAWS 2.

I learned … you need time and practice to perfect it. Both cooking and life.

So I was a little worried that I might need to make a couple of batches before I had that Holy-Crap-feeling.

But I’m happy to report that I was lucky enough my first time.

In fact I hope luck strikes more than once, because this entire cookbook is filled of Bucket List recipes, so it might take me a while to get through it.

But I got this.

I got this.

And my kids are definitely grateful for this Bucket List Adventure.

 

 

The Tomato Dish I Can’t Pronounce

9 Mar

I keep telling people that I used to be a fat Italian lady in my previous life. I probably knew how to make sauce and lived in Sicily. Even though I don’t remember much, the one thing that transcended time and space was my love for Italian food, total pasta lover.

Although I’m not a chef, I pride myself in making a good pasta dish. But when I see something that instantly makes my mouth water, it’s on. I have to buy it, make it, or special order it. Today that happened to be a bruschetta recipe from a movie I saw on cable: Julie & Julia.

Julie & Julia

Image via Wikipedia

I had seen it on Netflix a long time ago and thought I love that tomato thing I have to make it. The dude in the movie was totally devouring it, but then I saw the chocolate cake and you know when it comes to me … chocolate rules. But then I saw the movie again and I had a craving for this tomato dish. I realized you don’t call it a tomato dish, it’s called bruschetta.

And even though I love Italian food, I probably still don’t know how to properly pronounce bruschetta. I hear that chick from the Food Network Giada Delaurentis and she seems to pronounce everything Italian in an Italian accent. I mean really, she can’t just say spaghetti. Spaghetti. I know she can say it the same way she says tuna sandwich, but she chooses to practice her Italian accent randomly on purpose. It drives me crazy, so I don’t watch her too much. Although I probably could have used her culinary skills today, but the meal was still tasty. It’ll be better next time.

The recipe requires yellow and red tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, basil, salt and pepper. Cut and Mix. I was thinking this is a snap, dude. I don’t know why I thought it would be hard. But then came the mother multi-tasking incidents and the bread didn’t quite come out golden brown, as it was hanging out in the pan with olive oil and butter. It was mostly dark brown, but crunchy as ever, but at least the baby wasn’t crying anymore. Besides, some people like crunch.

 

Image courtesy of thummprints.net

Image courtesy of thummprints.net .

As I finished dark-browning my uneven and different-sized french bread pieces that were supposed to be slices, I brought them over to the bruschetta. I piled on the mixture and added some grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, or you could use Kraft, and place it at the center of the table

Wowwwwwwww! What’s that mom?

Bruschetta.

No, mom. It’s tomatoes. I don’t like tomatoes. Can I have some mac and cheese?

Bruschetta is for mom, spaghetti is for you.

It may not have looked like Julie & Julia’s recipe, but it sure did taste like it.  I basically looked like the dude in the film … thoroughly enjoying every tomato, every leafy basil, every grain of salt and pepper, every drip of olive oil.

Next time a little more golden and less dark, dark brown.