a tale of two pastas pastas with bolognese&pesto, fennel salad and tiramisu
Italian food lovers stand up. A tale of two pastas makes a fantastic lunch or dinner. In Rome, it is not uncommon to be served two different pastas on one plate but I have rarely seen it served that way outside of Italy.
The two different sauces can be served with the same type pasta or more true to tradition, serve tagliatelle with the bolognese and a shaped pasta for the pesto. If preparing this menu for a lunch, do the salad on the side with the pasta course, and if for for dinner, make it the starter.
Tiramsu is relatively easy to make but a bit fiddle-y. Always a good option to buy a good one at a local Italian store or find some Italian cookies, biscotti, and serve with gelato or a sorbet.
This salad is extremely simple and full of flavor. The fennel is what makes it so good….well the fennel and really tossing the salad with seasoning. I think the key to a good salad is in the dressing. You really have to toss the salad to make sure all the flavors are evenly and well…
There are hundreds of different Bolognese sauces, also known as ragù. This one is my own recipe that has been adapted over the years. The use of two different type meats, using pork or veal along with the beef, makes the sauce slightly less heavy.
Fresh basil has such a strong, wonderful fragrance. It fills a room with its aroma and just begs to be put into some amazing dish. Liguria is a region in northwestern Italy where the most famous basil is grown under DOP conditions (denominazione d’origine protetta, a set of standards protecting the integrity of the basil…
My very good friend Alessandra is from Padua, Italy and a fantastic cook. Actually, both she and her husband, Luigi, are incredible hosts. An invitation to dinner from them is something to truly look forward to and never, ever disappoints. Alessandra was nice enough to share this recipe of Tiramisu with me. It is one…
The day before
Write down your menu, make list of what you need to prepare, and when you will prepare it. Get organized (in your head) with any serving plates or things you need for serving.
Make your bolognese sauce and pesto (if using homemade)
Make the tiramisu
Two hours before
Set table- remember napkins, salt and pepper
Organize serving bowls, dishes and serving utensils in kitchen
Put water in a pitcher with lemon or cucumber or nothing and refrigerate
Take out dessert plates and forks, set aside in kitchen ready for tiramisu, and count out mint leaves for garnish
Clean basil garnish for pasta
One hour before
Make salad but do not season or dress
Grate parmesan cheese and place out on table, reserve about 1 cup to sprinkle over plates
Bring pasta water in two saucepans to a boil and cover with lid, it will heat more quickly
Put on music, open wine, set out glasses for drinks before dinner, and any nibbles/appetizers
15 minutes before guests at table
Place bread in oven to warm (if desired)
Season Burrata and place out at each place setting, or in center of table (if family style) with appetizer plates
Light candles and put out water
half way through first course, excuse yourself from table
Boil water, add salt and pasta and set timer for 6 minutes if people eating first course slowly, or 7 minutes if everyone is almost done
Begin to heat sauces over very low heat
Drain pasta right away- don’t forget a mugful of water-you want it al dente
Add pasta to sauce, mix and heat Serve with a sprinkle of cheese and basil leaf garnish
You can substitute the first course of Burrata cheese with fresh mozzarella, or do a salad course if you want something a bit lighter and without cheese.