When friends come to visit and ask for a home-cooked meal of the Italian persuasion, the proper host puts his machinations for chipotle-glazed meatloaf on hold and break out the macchina-de-pasti. Tomatoes are coming in nicely and the first choice was essentially a no-brainer. Bruschetta with tomatoes, lemon (zest and juice), basil, some Italian olive oil, salt+pepper and you’re on Nebbio Nove.
The pasta was a standard recipe of three and a half cups of flour and five eggs. I mixed it in my Kitchen Aid and wasn’t shy about adding water to make the dough go together better. I kneaded it for ten minutes and set it in the fridge to rest for 30 minutes. The ragu begins with a standard tomato sauce made of San Marzanos, onion and carrot. It has become my new fancy red, although it only takes 30 or so minutes to simmer. Recently having dinner made by a friend from Italy, I understand that all you need is 30 on the range to do wonderful things, but the magic still eludes me. Once done, this is added to a sundry of sautéed mushrooms.
When you’re entertaining, all you can do is hope that you fulfilled your guests’ expectations (without turning into a kitchen monster). It’s important to have fun and enjoy the company. So eat, drink and be hospitable, friends. Cook on!