Saturday, February 9, 2008

Pasta al forno OR how to eat 1000 calories and feel good about it.

Spent my last day at Trattoria Mario observing in the kitchen. Saturday is a day of plenty. A day to sit back and eat some stick to your ribs foods. Florentine steak, Osso bucco and Pasta al forno. Let's talk about that last one. Forget baked ziti and really forget lasagna (way too much work). Pasta al forno is a dish of ease, of richness, of well o.k. i'll say it. A fat mans meal but in a good way. Little work, big return, sumptuous, warming and oh so rich in that creamy, heavenly and childhood happy sort of way.

It's such a good dish that I bet you are still drooling puddles after that description. I wish I had a pic but alas the drooling clogged my head and I just stared at it.

Recipe: Cook off medium shell pasta, drain and into pan. Take left over meat ragu and mix with fresh made bechamel sauce. Take this creamy oozing meaty sauce and mix it into the medium shells reserving some to spread over the top. Sprinkle this lovely mess with grated parmesan cheese and now spread over the reserved ragu bechamel sauce. Into the oven to combine and reheat. Serve with some good chianti and as many friends as you can cram around the table. It will feel like mama's house on a Saturday afternoon somewhere in Toscano. Keep dessert simple, maybe some biscotti and vin santo or perhaps some bacci (chocolate and gianduja, a hazelnut and chocolate paste.). After all a meal like this is about pleasure, family and friends.

The crew of Trattoria Mario.
From left to right: Fabio, runs front of house. Brother of Chef Romeo. Translator.
Andrea, Cook. Part of the family. Good man.
Chef Romeo. Great chef, generous with time and recipes.
Francesco: Up and coming future head chef. Son of Chef Romeo. Translator.

A great family run restaurant. Good people and delicious food.
They took me in, showed me their secret recipes and made me part of the family for a short period of time.

And God bless Fiorentina (the Florentine soccer team)
Forza Viola!


floozigrl said...

um yeah hi, is Francesco single?
have flooz will travel :)

Jonathan said...

Yes he is. 20 yrs old. Nice kid. I will post a certain picture that will make some of you women swoon.

Lorrie said...

The only thing 20 yrs old that would make me swoon would be a 1988 Corvette in my name!

Helen said...

Hi Jonathan!
You've been quoted for High Calorie Food List - Get Fat Fast!
Thank you!