Lights, Camera…

Play it again~

The response to my video on dishKarma has been wonderful, so wonderful in fact that it has been dishKarma’s featured video since March 1—and it is the 24th today.

For those of you who haven’t seen it, I thought I’d drop it here on Beyond the Pasta for you to enjoy. If you haven’t checked out the blog dishKarma I hope that you do. They have some really cool Ultimate Meal videos by a wide range of chefs and “foodies” that you will definitely enjoy. And they have some great food charity promotions as well. Please check them out.

Here is the menu, with some additional comments, that I talk about in the video:

The prosecco, which I mispronounce the Italian in the video (Ugh!), is Riondo Veneto . The correct way to pronounce “veneto” is “VEN-eh-toe.” Sadly, on this take of the video, I mispronounced it “ve-NET-toe.” To all Italian speaking people—Mi dispiace!

For the appetizer course (gli antipasti):
Seafood Salad (“Insalata di mare del pescatore”) at Siciliainbocca, Rome, Italy   

Smoked Tuna Carpaccio at Anticha Locanda Montin, Venice, Italy. *Note: I forgot to mention that this smoked tuna was served on a bed of celery leaves, in addition to being dressed with the vinaigrette and pomegranate seeds. 

The first course, which is almost always pasta (i primi):
Lasagne Verdi alla Bolognese at Biba Restaurant, Sacramento, CA. If you ever find yourself in Sacramento, CA PLEASE do yourself the favor of eating at Biba’s restaurant. You will truly have an authentic ITALIAN meal—without ever using your passport.

Risotto alla Parmigiana at Osteria da Divo, Siena, Italy. This restaurant, which is near the baptistry of the Duomo is Siena, is like taking a step back in time. The interior is a brick-walled structure that goes back into the hillside with seating areas that descend down winding staircases. We eat there every time we are in Siena.  

The second course, which is almost always a meat/seafood course (i secondi):
Braised Rabbit Shanks at Osteria dell’Angelo, Rome, Italy. *Note: Yes, rabbits do have shanks—tiny as they are. Some people may prefer to use the term “saddle” instead of “shank,” but a “braised rabbit saddle” or “braised saddle of rabbit” makes me giggle. The meat was white, moist, and absolutely perfect in flavor and texture. I know many people have a problem with the idea of “eating the Easter Bunny.” Trust me, forget the hidden eggs and chocolate—go right for the source!
 

Filleto di Manzo at Al Volto in Longare, Italy. *Note: meat tends to be cooked on the rare side in Italy and this filleto was no different. We ate at this restaurant twice. The first time Richard ordered the filleto and when I tasted it—wow! So when we ate there later in the week, I had to order it for myself. Piled high with fresh arugula, which provided a great peppery, bitter crunch, this filet was tender and moist. I am so glad I ordered it for myself, though I did let Richard have a bite back.

For dessert (il dolce):
La Torta di Nonna (Nonna’s secret ricotta and lemon torta, only made on special occasions). This is the Stefani family’s prize possession. I am the only person Nonna has ever given this recipe to and it is a guarded secret in her family. Sorry to say I will not be giving out this recipe either. I have prepared and served this torta to rave reviews for different friends’ birthdays, but the secret is safe with me. Sorry!

Sgrupino (lemon gelato, prosecco, vodka) at Ristorante Monserrato, Rome, Italy. The time we ate at this restaurant Richard noticed person after person ordering these white milkshakes. In a restaurant full of Italians, except for us, he was really curious as to what this was and why everyone seemed to be ordering them. We asked the proprietress “Che bevono?” and she explained, quite proudly, that it was a sgrupino—pronounced “sgrew-PEEN-oh.” Of course, we made her repeat it several times because there are not many English words, if any at all, that start with a “sg” sound. She loved that we were so curious, so she ordered us a pair of sgrupini on her. Buonissimi!  

Buon Appetito!

Mark

About the Author

Mark LeslieMark Leslie, seen cooking on NBC’s "The Today Show" and Hallmark Channel's "Home & Family," loves to cook for anyone with an appetite, vacations in Italy every year, and lives to eat his way through every plate of pasta and cone of gelato placed before him. His first book, “Beyond the Pasta: Recipes, Language & Life with an Italian Family,” tells of his life in Italy while cooking with an Italian grandmother. He shares his food experiences on his blog at www.beyondthepasta.com and has taught cooking classes in California, Georgia, Minnesota, Texas, and across Alabama. While judging for high school culinary events, he was chosen by the US Department of Education to judge for their "National Education Startup Challenge." Mark can be regularly seen cooking on NBC-affiliate, WSFA-TV 12's "Alabama Live! each Friday, bringing easy, locally sourced recipes to central Alabama. His iTunes app “Beyond the Pasta” features helpful videos and more of Nonna’s family-style recipes that she shared with him, plus, upon its release, it was named “New & Noteworthy” by Apple. DaVinci Wines chose Mark as their "2012 Storyteller" in Language Arts—where they sent him to Vinci, Italy, to write about wine, food and life. Mark, his home and book have been featured in such national publications and blogs as House Beautiful, Paula Deen, Food Republic, The Kitchn, Apartment Therapy, Field & Stream, and The Daily Meal. A Chicago-area native and “Yankee” by birth, Mark has lived in Alabama for over 24 years, and celebrates the fact that he started life eating farina, progressed to grits, and finally arrived at polenta. Buonissimo!View all posts by Mark Leslie →

"Beyond the Pasta" is owned and operated by Mark Leslie. Unless otherwise specified all content, writing, recipes and photography is original and held in copyright through the Library of Congress. It may not be used without the express written consent of Mark Leslie.