Sunday, November 22, 2009

Mambo Italiano

Days are beginning to blur together. It seems I'm existing with a single focus, stumbling through the week, only 6 days between me and another Sunday dinner with Nick and Natasha.

While Natasha is both Polish and Italian, one side really does outweigh the other. She was raised in a very Italian household, her brothers big, sweet galoots and her Dad a quiet, homemade-wine-swilling contractor. She and her sisters are the requisite fast-talking, brassy broads. A sitcom could write itself within those walls.

Tonight she made us a pretty traditional Italian meal: antipasto of arugula and ricotta wrapped in prosciutto, olives, slices of bufala mozzarella, and sun dried red peppers. She followed it with steamed rapini and the best lasagna I've ever had in my life.

Layers of ground beef and veal sausage, her own tomato sauce, crumbled hard boiled eggs throughout. Béchamel sauce and everything: She cuts no corners. With dollops of ricotta sinking into the bubbling crust, it was moist and perfectly crisp, a corner piece on everyone's agenda.

Wine: Cellar No. 8, 2007 California Cabernet Sauvignon. Find it in the LCBO Vintages section. A fantastic value at $17.95 - It has a neat sort of sweetness that is a great counter to the acidic red sauce.


  1. ummm okay. natasha really needs to start a food blog because now i want to try that lasagna. please let her know that! i'm sure you can convince her and let us not forget...she could be the next blog to big screen/book discovery!

    i will definitely be buying that wine. i have NO clue when it comes to that stuff and i'm always open to learning and recommendations.

  2. i was tempted to photograph my meal last night BUT after seeing this-def going to skip that idea. LOL. natasha is amazing and your recap of the night is equally impressive.

  3. Ha! What is it with us taking pictures of our food? I did that the other night, but I agree with Thomas that yours wins. I'm jell-capped...although my meal may make a cameo over on Specs Appeal later. :)

  4. i'm just catching up on your blog-so many good food posts lately! i second the motion for the lasagna recipe, i need it in my life!!

  5. This post has me dreaming of rapini...

  6. Cellar No. 8 is $17.95! That's EXPENSIVE. These dinners look fantastic. Fun. Tasty. Homey. Warm.