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My Birthday Wish

July 13, 2011

Usually for my birthday I like to go to my favorite retaurant, Il  Villagio Osteria over in Teton Village and gorge myself with an amazing basil martini, some delicious antipasto, one of their homemade pastas and some sort of meat that I would never cook at home. Due to the fact that we went to Osteria to celebrate our anniversary just three days ago, I decided that what I wanted to do for my birthday was to have a couple of people over and cook a fabulous meal.

Originally I had fantasies of buying some expensive meats and cheeses. Then I realized, A. we just threw down on a rich and fantastic meal with crab and duck at Ostera and B. did I not learn anything in Italy? Go simple. Go local. Let the food speak for itself. I skimmed threw my copy of Wine Bar Food by Cathy and Tony Mantuano and picked out some dishes that I wanted to cook.

I went a bit nuts.

I started my day with a delightful cappuccino.




Then I made mozzarella cheese with some raw milk (the same that I used in the cappuccino) that I purchased from a neighbor.










After making the mozzarella, I also made ricotta. (unfortunately I was not patient enough and only got a couple of ounces, but it was enough for what we needed).

The first antipasto (which I didn’t get a picture of the finished product) was based on the Treviso Marmalade with Goat Cheese Crostini. Instead of Treviso (a member of the radicchio family) I used Swiss Chard from my garden and Spinach from my friend Bonnie’s garden. In lieu of goat cheese, we used the ricotta and for the bread we purchased 460 Bakery Baguettes. Here are the greens cooking down with balsamic vinegar and sugar.

Along with the crostini we munched on battered and fried sage leaves from the garden and arancini filled with mustard greens and the homemade mozzarella.










After the antipasti, we moved onto the main course, la piece de resistance de my masochism…pici. Pici, which we discovered on our trip through Umbria and Tuscany is a hand rolled spaghetti. It is quite a bit thicker than regular spaghetti giving it a delightful bite. What is so fabulous about pici for the home cook is that no pasta machine is required with pici. You just mix half semolina flour, half regular flour a bit of salt, some tepid water and for us because we are i such a dry climate a tiny bit of olive oil. You knead the dough, let it rest and then pull off chunks and roll it with your hands on a cutting board. 



Now normally, pici would be a lovely idea for dinner, if it was just Jeff and I and I had a little time to kill. When one is making a dinner party for 8 adults and one growing 4 year old boy it takes a silly amount of time to hand roll enough for everyone. I have a new appreciation for the fact that we were only charged 8-12 euro for pici dishes in Italy.




For the sauce I also went simple, diced pancetta, onion, garlic, stewed tomatoes, chili flakes and finished it with some heavy whipping cream (also from the neighboring farm).

And finally, we had some polenta pound cake with ice cream and fresh whipped cream.

Happy birthday to me.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Barry permalink
    July 15, 2011 12:41 am

    Where is the Polenta Pound Cake from? Please share with me.
    Luvya, missya

    • pazzaragazza permalink*
      July 18, 2011 2:58 pm

      ask and ye shall receive. i just posted my adaptation. hope you enjoy. let me know how it turns out. xo


  1. Polenta Pound Cake « Pazza Ragazza

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