So here I am, writing my final post for our Pomodori E Vino blog. Such mixed emotions I have as I try to gather my thoughts. Yes, there have been frustrations. Those times when I thought "How do I get that recipe made and posted in time when I forgot to purchase a special needed ingredient." and "Can my weight really handle one more really good meal, when I really should just be eating a salad for dinner?". But those frustrations have been so outweighed by the rewards of this experience. How many people have the opportunity to cook their way through an extraordinary cookbook, and have the author herself comment, critique, and give suggestions on each and every recipe you have made? Not many, I don't think. But Marcella has been so generous with her time in giving this to us, and I treasure each and every word she has written to us.
So today, I will share with you the menu that I have choosen based on the recipes I have cooked from "Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking". This menu is the one that I would cook when planning a feast for friends. The one that I can imagine really enjoying cooking, as my friends sit around sipping great wine and lending a helping hand as needed. This is the meal I can picture sitting around my large dining room table, in front of a roaring fire, with the lights dimmed, as we anticipate the awaiting flavors that our noses have already experienced, and now our mouths are now eagerly waiting to taste.
We would begin the meal with the simple appetizer of Marinated Carrot Sticks. Tender carrots, gentle spices, and the tang of red wine vinegar.
We would next move on to our first course. An amazing Lasagne with Mushrooms and Ham. Creamy, earthy, and very flavorful.
The main course would be Oven Roasted Chicken with Garlic and Rosemary. A delicious simple roasted chicken, flavored with the perfect duo of garlic and rosemary. And of course, roasted potatoes would be served alongside.
The chicken would be accompanied by the side dish of Asparagus and Proscuitto bundles. Who cares if there was already ham in the lasagne - this dish is too good not to include.
And Fresh Mushrooms with Porcini, Rosemary, and Tomatoes, because we haven't yet had our fill of mushrooms or rosemary.
Dessert would be a fruit dessert of Baked Apples with Amaretti Cookies. Few ingredients, but those that mesh perfectly together.
Did I mention there would be lots of wine flowing, lots of great conversation, and lots of toasts to Marcella and Victor, with whom this wonderful experience would never have been without their support and encouragement? Cheers, Marcella and Victor. I thank you both.