Friday, May 13, 2011

Fresh Pasta - A Class with Viola and Corrado

Pasta.  Yummm.  Is there any more iconic or better part of Italian cuisine?  Over my years of eating Italian food I have realized that while there are many excellent antipasti and secondi dishes, I always gravitate to the pastas included in the primi group.  In fact, in some cases I would be happy to have a couple of pastas to the exclusion of all else.  As reflected very well in “The Geometry of Pasta,” the shapes seem endless, and the sauce combinations infinite.

So, when at the beginning of last week I received an email from the Italian Cultural Institute (Istituto Italiano di Cultura) in San Francisco announcing a cooking class featuring my favorite cuisine (Pasta Fresca e Dintornian exploration of different kinds of fresh pasta and other handmade primi piatti from all over Italy”), it was a no-brainer.  I called the Institute, learned that there was still a space available, and signed up.
Continue Reading »

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Cinco di Mayo @ Cotogna

Although it may not have been culturally appropriate for the day, I was back at Cotogna for lunch on Thursday, the most recent of a number of recent visits. Is there any treatment available for pizza addiction?  Once again the dish was superb – the topping of the day was guanciale and ramps, with a whole egg added in the middle at the very end so it maintained its runny yolk.

The amazing thing was how well the flavors and textures were sequenced. First came the crust with just a touch of flour and char. Then the sweet tomato sauce and cheese kicked in, followed by the small rendered chunks of guanciale with their salty, porky notes and chewy element. And finally the slightly garlicky ramps added a bite at the end.
Continue Reading »