Tag: Italian

Review: Allegro – Ottawa

422 Preston Street, Ottawa – Website

Allegro 1

Date of Visit – July, 2017

Allegro caught my eye because it has a very nice menu… Quite a few classic paste dishes, a good selection of veal preparations and, more importantly from my perspective, a nice range of appetizers. The place turned out to be quite pleasant, and the service decent, but I was less impressed with the actual food… Continue reading “Review: Allegro – Ottawa”

Notable Nosh: Flambé Sambuca Shrimp

Flambe Sambuca Shrimp

I had this little appetizer at Diamante during a layover in Yellowknife not long ago. It was described on the menu as ‘Tiger shrimp flambéed in Sambuca and finished with honey lemon cream sauce’ and I wasn’t really sure if the that I would like the strong anise flavour of Sambuca with delicate seafood. As it happened, though, I needn’t have worried as, for the life of me, I couldn’t detect even a hint of the liqueur anywhere in the dish.

Sadly, the above deficiency wasn’t compensated for in the rest of the execution. First, the 8 or 9 Tiger shrimp I was promised turned out to be the very small (and generally tasteless) variety one usually finds in supermarket ‘Shrimp Rings’ destined to be consumed with horseradish based cocktail sauces. The butter based sauce in this particular offering was creamy in texture but it did not seem as though any actual cream was used. It had honey, though, to the point of being almost cloyingly sweet, and while this may have been balanced by the advertised lemon, this also did not seem to be included save for a small section of whole lemon sitting in the sauce.

Anyway, overall, this appetizer was pretty much a disappointment. That being said, though, I am glad I tried it as it inspired me to give the basic idea a try myself. I even brought a little bottle of Sambuca back from Yellowknife to this end and I will post my results in due course.

Veal Marsala

veal-marsala-1

Marsala is a fortified wine, originating in Sicily. It can roughly be thought of as the Italian equivalent of Sherry, or Port, and, like both of those, it too has both sweet and dry varieties. As a libation, it is most commonly served as an aperitif, but it is also used quite widely as a culinary ingredient, most notably as a sauce base for cutlets of chicken breast, or, as here, escalope of veal.

The basic ‘Veal Marsala’ consists simply of thinly pounded slices of veal pan-fried and served in Marsala that has been reduced to a syrupy glaze. Nowadays, mushrooms are commonly added and some versions are made with a much more copious sauce that is extended with stock or even cream. Today, the version I am preparing includes mushrooms but keeps things simple by just using a pure Marsala reduction for the sauce… Continue reading “Veal Marsala”

No-Name Spaghetti

No-Name Spaghetti 1

This rather simple spaghetti dish draws on three fairly well known Italian pasta specialties: Puttanesca, Carbonara, and Amatriciana, using black olives, eggs, bacon and tomato. I have tried it a few times, making a few minor adjustments here and there, and this latest production was really nice. I haven’t thought of a name for it yet, though … perhaps some of my readers might make some suggestions… (Stefan?) Continue reading “No-Name Spaghetti”

Foodstuff: Ocean Brand™ Puttanesca Sauce

Ocean Brand Puttanesca 01

A few weeks ago, a colleague of mine dropped by for a beer and brought me the jar of Puttanesca Pasta Sauce you see pictured above. The timing was rather coincidental as I had been planning to do a blog post about Puttanesca Sauce for some time now as it is a favorite of mine and the origin of the name, which essentially means ‘Prostitute’s Sauce’, is a bit of a mystery. On reading the label, I was informed that Pasta Puttanesca was ‘first served in a popular night spot on the island of Ischia in the 1950’s’. This is the first time I have heard that tidbit of information and it is something I want to research a little further. I still plan to do a more detailed post on the Puttanesca Sauce, along with my own recipe, so for today I’ll save any further discussion of the origins and restrict myself to a taste test of the instant product… Continue reading “Foodstuff: Ocean Brand™ Puttanesca Sauce”

Review: Diamante – Yellowknife, NWT

1-483 Range Lake Road, Yellowknife – Website

Diamante 1

Date of Visit: October, 2015

 

I have wanted to try Diamante for quite a while now, but my schedules on other visits to Yellowknife have never allowed it until now. I did read one rather discouraging Zomato review of the place but I am happy to report that my experience was much better… Continue reading “Review: Diamante – Yellowknife, NWT”

A Pasta Experiment

Pasta Experiment 1

Over the years, I have come across quite a few recipes which use breadcrumbs as a component of simple, rustic pasta sauces. Until now, however, I had never tried it and the result you see above really came about as a last minute idea with leftover ingredients.

I recently bought some very nice veal cutlets. I wanted to use breaded cutlets for a Veal Parmesan Sandwich idea I am working on but I had a whole cutlet leftover and decided to have it with pasta. As always, whenever I bread cutlets (or anything else) I had extra beaten eggs and seasoned breadcrumbs leftover and so, instead of tossing them (as I usually would), I saw a way to use them… Continue reading “A Pasta Experiment”

Pasta with Herbs and Cream

Pasta with Herbs 1

Spaghetti Aglio E Olio, or pasta cooked with olive oil and garlic, is one the simplest, and much loved basics in Italian cookery. I make it quite often and, as others do, I frequently add a little parsley and then round out the oil with a bit of butter as well. Today’s dish is a slightly more upscale, yet still rustic, offshoot of the original and not only includes some additional herbs, but is enhanced with a small amount of cream towards the end of the cooking process… Continue reading “Pasta with Herbs and Cream”

Scallion-Garlic Pesto

Scallion Garlic Pesto 1

The inspiration for today’s post came from my fellow blogger Daisy (aka Baconbiscuit212) who recently posted a recipe for her own creation, Ramp Pesto. Ramps are a vegetable product that have not made it to my corner of the world thus far, unfortunately, and I wondered if I could make something similar using scallions. Actually, the result I came up with is really two sorts of pesto as you can make a version that includes Parmesan, and one without…

Basically, you can use my scallion pesto anywhere that you would use a more traditional basil Pesto. Daisy suggests using hers as a pasta sauce, a steak topping and as a dip for bread. To the latter, I would also add that it would be a good topping for bruschetta as well and, especially using the non-cheese variety, as a sauce base for fish or shellfish. Continue reading “Scallion-Garlic Pesto”