I was going to include my Italian food adventure with my monthly wrap-up, but I feel like that wouldn’t do justice to the wonder that is Italian food if I shoved it in with everything else. It’s very possible that if I was to choose my favorite cuisine, it would be Italian. What’s not to love? There’s pasta, pastries, gelato, cotoletta, croquette, and mozzarella. So here is my nod to Italian food.
The best part about Read the World is going to different restaurants. After a lot of Googling and review reading and considering, I decided to try Caffe Molise’s Italian food. Which turned out to be a fantastic idea. I was nothing but impressed with the food. I’m not sure what this antipasto was called, but it was amazing and contained different cheeses, salumi (think prosciutto and other cured meats), olives, crostini, artichoke hearts, and sundried tomatoes. The main course was—unsurprisingly—pasta: Penne Di Caprino (“creamy goat cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, roasted garlic, artichoke hearts and herbs tossed with imported penne”).
I’ve fallen in love with the Try the World food boxes ever since I gave a subscription to somebody as a gift. So when I “accidentally” received an Italian box right before my month of Italy, I considered it a sign. The amaretti cookies were so moist and delicious and the truffle zest is pretty much the best thing ever. Ever.
This pasta includes the pesto, egg noodles, and truffle zest, all from the box. It took about 20 minutes to make and ended up being the best pasta I ever cooked. Thanks you Italy.
My sister-in-law is a bona fide Italian. She learned cooking at her mother’s knee. Every time I see her, she cooks me something amazing like pasta forno or penne gruyere. Because she lives on the other side of the country, I’ve had to learn a few of her recipes to satisfy my Italian craving between visits. And just so you’re wondering, an Italian recipe isn’t easy to follow because they don’t cook using measurements. A recipe might have a list of ingredients and a few directions. Ana just knows intuitively how to make something, so the best way to learn how to make a recipe is to make it with her. Which is how I know how to make croquette, a sort of fried potato ball containing mozzarella.
This might be my favorite dish: braciole. It’s a thinly pounded piece of beef wrapped around pine nuts, raisins (or craisins or currants), parsley, Parmesan, and garlic. The beef rolls are then cooked in homemade tomato sauce. Braciole is great served with homemade gnocci (potato and flour dumplings).
Because I sometimes like cooking food with a recipe I can understand, I go to Ree Drummonds The Pioneer Woman blog, which is where I found pasta carbonara (actually, one of my sister-in-laws told me about it). Who knew that an egg, milk, and cheese mixture could be so creamy delicious?
And because no month of Italy is complete without dessert, I enjoyed homemade tiramisu (courtesy of my half-Italian niece) and a cannoli: