WOW I AM SO MAD RIGHT NOW I FEEL LIKE CHRISSY TEIGEN FROM HER SCALLOPS POST (READ IT RIGHT NOW IF YOU HAVEN’T ALREADY). I JUST WROTE THE MOST BEAUTIFUL, ELOQUENT PROSE OF A POST (LIKE JAMES BEARD AWARD WINNING STATUS) ABOUT THE PERFECT SPAGHETTI RECIPE (I ACTUALLY STOLE IT AND “ADAPTED IT” FROM SOMEONE MUCH MORE LEGIT THAN ME) AND IT. JUST. ALL. DISAPPEARED.
LAW IS TRYING TO COMFORT ME BUT HIS WORDS ARE JUST PISSING ME OFF EVEN MORE. IT WON’T ALL BE OKAY AND NO, MY POST WON’T BE AS GOOD THE SECOND TIME I WRITE IT.
AAGHGHGHHGHGHGHGHGH. IT’S BEEN TOO LONG SINCE I’VE POSTED SO I’M GOING TO JUST WRITE IT OUT NOW INSTEAD OF WAIT FOR MYSELF TO CHILL OUT.
Okay so you just need some spaghetti (I got mine at Eataly because I’m fancy), ripe tomatoes (DON’T PUT THEM IN THE FRIDGE or else they turn all sandy and gross), basil, garlic, chili flakes, and lots of olive oil. Oh and parmesan. I used one pound of spaghetti and 14 tomatoes (I actually counted from the photo because I care about you so much).
FIRST, boil some water. While the water is boiling, make this basil-garlic-chili-infused olive oil. What you do is you heat a ton of olive oil (you can put however much you want because you can save it and use on other things) on low heat (NOT TOO HOT OR ELSE THE OLIVE OIL WILL TURN BITTER). Add garlic slices, fresh basil, and chili. Let it all simmer on low heat for like 20 minutes and remove from heat. Continue reading Shi’s Kitchen: The Perfect Spaghetti
I’m supposed to blog about Central Europe but I’m kind of over it now so I want to tell you about the Linguine con le Vongole that I made. I’ve been ordering vongole anytime I see it on the menu recently and it’s because I’ve just discovered how amazing it is. I talked about this discovery from my Lil Frankies post but basically, I think my baby taste buds have just grown to love the more subtle flavors from this dish. As a kid, I would only ever order tomato based pastas because I craved the juicy, tart flavor of tomato. I would NEVER order an olive oil and garlic based pasta because it just tasted like nothing to me. But now I have matured (okay maybe only my taste buds have). Vongole is an olive oil and garlic based pasta INFUSED with the deliciousness of clams. It’s surprisingly easy to make and absolutely delicious. Check out my super simple recipe!
Ingredients (for one):
- a dozen littleneck clams (rinsed under water)
- bunch of parsley (just take the leaves and chopped up finely)
- about 6 cloves of garlic (also chopped up)
- about a quarter to a third cup of white wine
- one portion of linguine (form an “O” with your thumb and index finger, that’s about how much you need, maybe more if you are me)
Continue reading Shi’s Kitchen: Clammy noodles (aka Linguine con le Vongole)
Ever since a dinner party I went to recently where C.H. made fresh pesto, I have been non-stop thinking about pesto. I soon realized that the only way I could cure myself of this was for me to make my own pesto. I don’t own a blender (yet), but discovered that a blender is only optional in the world of pesto making. As a matter of fact, the first blog I’ve ever read (with the most beautiful food photos), blogs “Pesto Like an Italian Grandmother” – chunky monkey style (she doesn’t call it that, she’s a little more graceful of a writer than I am).
As I do with most recipes, I followed this one loosely. I bought the following ingredients:
- bunch of basil (leaves only, washed and dried)
- handful of raw pine nuts
- 3/4 cup of parmesan
- 3 small cloves of garlic
- olive oil
- some kind of pasta – I opted for fettuccine
Continue reading Shi’s Kitchen: Easiest Chunkiest Pesto
A long time ago, a reader asked me for my pasta recipe that I frequently post on Instagram. I love pasta and pretty much need it weekly, if not more. I love all kinds of pasta too. From fancy ones that are extra al dente and served in small portions in a ginormous curved plate, to the home bolognese pictured above. The pasta I make is simple, very tasty, and completely unpretentious. You’ll see why: Continue reading Shi’s Kitchen: The SIMPLEST Spicy Bolognese
19 1st Ave
New York, NY 10003
E.L. had her birthday dinner here recently. I was pretty stoked because I love Italian food (as you know from my delicious trip to Italy!) and had heard from a number of friends that it was worth going to.
Above average bread quality, but nothing to write home about.
J.L. ordered the Wood Fire Roasted Eggplant ($7.95) with cyprus black sea salt and peperoncino oil. The menu description says it “Melts in your mouth!” None of the other menu items had any descriptors beyond the ingredients, so I felt like this had to be a signature. Also, Wood fire roast anything and I’ll probably love it. Sadly, all of our expectations were way too high. It was mushy, bland, and the skin was really hard, almost like plastic. Not only was it unsavory, the eggplant also lacked its natural sweetness. No bueno!
I had the special, which was a Vongole. Can’t remember how much it was, but all the pasta prices ranged from $12 to $18 ish I believe. I’ve been on a vongole kick lately. As a kid, I never liked non-creamy or non-tomatoey pastas. As an adult, I now love the more subtle garlic and olive oil nuances and the not so subtly infused clam flavor. Deeeeelicious! Spaghetti was thinner than usual, and very al dente. Excuse me while I go wipe off the drool from my laptop… (it’s almost dinner time as I write this, forgive me). Continue reading Lil Frankies: great vongole vongole vongole!
547 9th Ave (between 40th and 41st street)
New York, NY 10018
This charming, cozy little restaurant is just a stone’s throw away from Times Square. I’m going to be upfront and tell you that Capizzi invited me to come by and try their pizza, but I’m also going to guarantee you that I will always write unbiased reviews, regardless of who is fronting the bill. Having said that, believe me when I tell you that I was very happily surprised that this Midtown West restaurant ended up being a fantastic experience.
I started with a glass of Chianti as I waited for LAW to arrive. They have a bunch of different wines by the glass all for about $13 (can’t remember exactly).
I read the menu and really loved this little bit: “As I got older I realized it’s not just about good food. It was a passion, kind of like a sport, a love affair with food and Nature all rolled up into one.” Definitely resonates with me and the reason I even continue to have a blog in the first place.
When LAW arrived, we started with the special, which was a fresh housemade Burrata with prosciutto, artichokes, roasted peppers, and cherry tomatoes ($13.95). The platter did not look particularly fancy, more just like how you would serve something at home (everything tossed onto a very normal plate). This appetizer represented everything I love about Italian food: super simple and completely determined by the quality of ingredients. The burrata was SO creamy yet light. The tomatoes were perfect: firm, sweet, and juicy. The artichokes and roasted peppers were great as well. I could eat this appetizer all the time. Continue reading A grandmother’s home by Times Square?! Welcome to Cappizi.
200 5th Ave
New York, NY 10010
You all know now that I love Eataly (especially after my trip to Italy). LAW and I were in the neighborhood and decided to grab a quick lunch. G.B. had told me numerous times that him and N.T. always split the Prime Rib sandwich from Eataly’s Rosticceria. This butcher counter sells a different meat per day of the week (for example, porchetta Thursdays and meatball Fridays). You can buy roasted meat and rotisserie chicken by the pound, or buy freshly made sandwiches and sides (they have roasted brussels sprouts!). Continue reading Eataly: BEST Prime Rib Sandwich I’ve had!
200 5th Ave
New York, NY 10010
I’ve been to Eataly a countless number of times for fresh pasta, squares of focaccia, some balsamic vinegar, etc., but have never been to the restaurants. The lines are always too long and the reviews too average for me to bother. But since getting back from Italy not too long ago, I’ve been CRAVING Italian food. I’ve been wanting meats, cheeses, wines, pizzas, pastas, ugh! LAW and I were doing some shopping in Flatiron area and decided to “just go to Eataly” since it is right there and we’ve never been.
The wait for La Pizza & La Pasta was an hour so we parked at a corner of a standing table at La Piazza and decided to have some appetizers first. La Piazza is at the center of the bustling supermarket. You find an empty spot and servers come to take your order of various meats, cheeses, and wine. It feels very casual and friendly.
LAW and I shared the Grande Piatto Misto Di Salumi & Formaggi ($22), an assortment of the best meats and cheeses of Eataly. I also had a glass of the Pinot Nero 2011 ($12/glass), a medium bodied fruity red that the server suggested (great suggestion). The platter came with four types of cheeses that ranged in hardness and sharpness. It also came with a salumi, a ham, and three types of prosciuttos. Oh, and ENDLESS delicious sourdoughy bread! So worth the $22. Continue reading I missed Italy so much, I went to Eataly.
228 E 10th St
(between 1st Ave & 2nd Ave)
New York, NY 10003
I was looking for a cozy little restaurant where LAW and I would be able to pause time for a couple of hours for his birthday. Dieci seemed to fit the bill. We had walked by this mysterious little restaurant a number of times and G.B. recently went and had very good things to say. The Italian-Japanese restaurant is carved into the ground on 10th street between 1st and 2nd avenues. Because the restaurant is below ground level, there is a certain quiet intimacy to it. We sat next to each other facing the window, where we could spy on East-Villagers walk by as we ate. Aside from the uncomfortably high and tiny bar seats (LAW had to rescue my lap napkin that fell to the floor at least three times), the place felt perfect for the occasion.
We started with the seared duck breast with garlic and scallions ($10 – I think). The portions were larger than I expected for a fancy-ish place like this. The duck was a little gamey, but almost in a good way. It was marinated in something a little sweet and salty and served with bits of scallion and garlic. Each piece had a thin sliver of fat attached to it, which cut the gameyness and added a little juiciness. Not standout but certainly tasty.
After having the squid ink pasta at Daily Catch recently, we’ve been on the hunt for a NY equivalent. This is the Tagliolini ($16), squid ink pasta, tomato, and calamari.
The tomato sauce was fantastic. Super fresh. Naturally sweet. Slightly garlicy. Simple. Definitely made with some very high quality tomatoes. The squid ink is probably the best I’ve had in the city thus far. Not many pasta places in NY offer squid ink so I don’t have much to compare to. It was very fragrant, as squid ink is without being too fishy, but could have been a little more al dente. Continue reading Dieci, a romantic little Italian-Japanese place carved into 10th street
Giovanni Rana Pastificio & Cucina
75 9th Ave
(between Avenue Of The Americas & 5th Ave, in Chelsea Market)
New York, NY 10011
PAAASSSSIONNNN!!! Chef Antonella Rana’s voice is STILL ringing in my ears. That was my major takeaway from the pasta class I went to at this new italian restaurant in Chelsea market.
There are perks to having a best friend in the food industry. M.B. invited me and my beloved intern, Y.N., to one of their many pasta making classes. It’s normally a $65 per person class, which I thought was too hefty for me to ever want to do out of my own pocket, but definitely reconsidered after experiencing the class. Rana’s class was exceeded every expectation I had about cooking classes.
The class comes with a complimentary glass of wine, any wine of your choice on their extensive list of wines-by-the-glass. We somehow managed to get two glasses… not sure if there’s a loophole in the system or if Y.N. and I were just looking really good Monday night. Continue reading PASSION!!!!! – key takeaway from Rana’s pasta-making class