Little Italy, Big Pleasures

Much like Chinatown, New York’s Little Italy is dangerous – there’s so much delicious and exotic food you want to eat/buy everything!

In Little Italy everywhere you turn there are gigantic bowls or perfectly tousled pasta, happy faces splashed with tomato sauce, delicious pizzas only half eaten and carafes of wine strewn across tables. Everywhere you turn tells you you’ll not be happy unless you are also, sitting , eating and drinking. It also didn’t help that the time the Bogan and I decide to peruse through the streets of Little Italy is also 6 hours from our last meal, when we are so hungry we are ready to gnaw on our own limbs! However, we did manage to restrain ourselves and actually had a very productive excursion!

After meandering past several restaurants, which we promised to return to, we found ourselves inside the perfect Italian delicatessen. Inspired by what we’d seen moments earlier, we bought a packet of fat penne pasta, a tub of homemade Vodka sauce, a ball of buffalo mozzarella and a tub of sun-dried tomatoes. Back at home I had a tub of sweet grape tomatoes in the fridge, a breast of chicken which the Bogan was requesting in his pasta and some asparagus, prosciutto and cantaloupe to make a nice antipasto platter with.

I don’t come from an Italian family, but I do come from one where by mother was (and still is) a tremendous cook. One of my favourite things she used to make for parties was asparagus spears wrapped in prosciutto and sautéed briefly or, further wrapped in some buttery puff pastry and baked. It so simple and easy and tastes great, so the Bogan and I started off with this, the canteloupe also wrapped in prosciutto and the beautifully fresh buffalo mozzarella, drizzled with a little oil and then served with the halved grape tomatoes that I tossed with some basil, rock salt, balsamic vinegar and a little extra oil. Everything tasted so fresh and so delicious and that buffalo mozzarella – I could eat it all day long! It was so soft and creamy and buttery… it is honestly one of life’s greatest simple pleasures.

Moving along, for main we had the pasta. I heated up the Vodka sauce and added a little extra tomato marinara sauce I already had because I found the creaminess a little heavy. I also added the chopped sun-dried tomatoes and the Bogan’s sautéed chicken breast. When the pasta was done bowling I served it all up with some fresh Parmesan grated over the top – the Bogan was so impressed it may as well have been cooked by a real Italian!

So tell me Dear Reader, what little tricks do you have up your sleeve for producing Nonna-quality pasta?

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Comments
3 Responses to “Little Italy, Big Pleasures”
  1. NIcole Joseph says:

    Yum, yum! You should also make those yummy figs with mozzarella and proscuitto your mumma used to make.. Delish!

    • ridinthetide says:

      Haha – yay, i’m glad you visited (and commented)! They were soooo good, i need to find where i can buy some figs!? I made this zucchini/broccoli frittata (not sure how to spell) last night – it was really yum – with cottage cheese and breadcrumbs and cheddar and garlic!

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