A very kind friend handed me their second copy of Marcela Hazan’s The Classic Italian Cookbook, essentially for Christmas. Tuesdays are normally the night I teach ESL, but the semester doesn’t start until next Tuesday. So…free night with limited budget means simple italian cooking!
While I did not serve in courses, as first course I made Ziti al sugo di pomodoro e funghi (Ziti with a sauce of tomatoes and mushrooms), modifying the book’s Penne al sugo di pomodoro e funghi secchi quite dramatically, though still quite tastily. Really, almost the same, but none of the woodsy, earthiness to be expected when using dried wild mushrooms, rather than white mushrooms from Publix.
For secondi, I tried my hand at Pollo arrosto in tegame, Pan-roasted chicken with garlic, rosemary, and white wine. It turned out very well, with slight modifications! I have copious amounts of peach and nectarine wines on hand. A nice medium-sweet nectarine wine was lovely both as beverage-during-the-meal and sauce component. I did maybe overdo the chicken thighs a bit, but only a bit.
Well, in the spirit of a wonderful Italian meal, I thought a nice dessert was in order. Here I was to meet my match. While a lovely Budino di pane caramellato, Glazed bread pudding, sits in my refrigerator, I will not be serving it tonight. The smell of rum-soaked homemade wheat baguette, caramelized in sweet egginess calls, but for naught. At the end of this tantalizing recipe was this note, which I missed when I began:
Plan to serve the pudding the day after you make it. It improves in texture and flavor as it rests. You can refrigerate it for several days, but always take it out sufficiently ahead of time to serve it at room temperature.
Oh, sure, it is just a suggestion. But, I was raised to treat suggestions with greater than normal respect. We will wait.