I'm STILL a self confessing, self professing know-it-all, or so I think!

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hi… my name is al! al dente! the REALDEAL al dente!! hmm… jealous Tiff K, lol? I HOPE yer kicking yerself right now, lol? AND, btw… day/weather turned out to be absolutely beautiful! was no excuse/reason ya couldn’t have done a meatball/spaghett drive-by!

… and, yes, I did say spaghett!







meatballs, mushrooms, and marinara!

… m&m, & m! long story short; know damn well whole roasted mushrooms don’t belong – my 1st intent was meatball sandwiches. out the window that went. made my famous balls, instead served it simply. if served w/ $50 Barolo constitutes simply. next day, became my traditional spaghettini&meatballs (love this) meal. 3rd day turned into ‘the tossin’ the lot, the whole kit and kaboodle – then baking (my fave, btw – sorry, no pics) it. plus, still have 2 more days eats left! sweet, my 5 day eye-talian meal!







new digs, and a new friend!

I LOVE my new kitchen, the whole place kinda rocks! New stainless steel fridge, new cabinets, counter-top, island, sink & faucet, above stove microwave, new backsplash, new bar stools … but the star of the show is a new gas stove!! My first time cooking w/ gas too. In fact I had a maiden meal all planned out, I wanted pasta w/ either braised/simmered oxtails, or veal shanks … but grocery store deals dictated otherwise, so it’s pasta w/ sausages & meatballs. Not too shabby a second fiddle! Oh, true story – wanted to serve my inaugural meal w/ a Barolo … and a couple days ago allowed myself a final budgetary indulgence. It was a front of the line, membership benefits I saw in my inbox, a limited release Barolo. Perfect timing! I pounced, and if any’s left, the rest of you plebes can search ‘n seek LCBO’s inventory, when it’s finally released to the general public. I payed the same price, $49.95/bottle (plus only $15 shipping) for the 2 bottles I bought. Oh, speaking of indulgences, I’m anxiously awaiting the arrival of my next to last one … that one should arrive anytime soon. Perhaps, another blogpost, lol?!

Ok, mostly pics, few words – better, eh? A couple of notes about my gas range. Of course we all know (even if you don’t own one, never have used one), the best feature is immediate heat. I love that. But, my fave new thing to get used to, is not only the incremental heat that is available, but unlike other types of ranges w/ burners that continually shut off, trying to moderate cooking temps – gas ranges don’t … there’s never that lull, the simmer/sizzle never stops. I LOVE that!! As promised, pics …











… yep, a sucker for sweet pussy!!


spaghetti & meatballs!

I haven’t been posting many food posts, certainly not like I did in the past. I’m lazy, even w/ this one. I omitted important pics. It’s my home made sauce, and hand made meatballs – I play around and tweak them ever so slightly occasionally. This time, instead of breadcrumbs I used day old bread. I put the loaf out on the counter to make it more stale (drier, easier to work with), and then broke it up, crumbing it. I also grilled the meatballs on my Weber grill using hardwood lump charcoal. I did it not so much for the flavour, I mean it definitely adds a different dimension … my main motivation was not wanting to create a splattering, greasy mess in my kitchen which I’d have to clean, and this worked beautifully browning (blackening really) the meatballs. And, yes this is the glory pic that is missing. Then it was a matter of tossing them into the sauce, simmering for an hour or two. Oh, I also used Barilla extra long spaghetti (comes in a bag, not box) for fun too!



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three meats tomato sauce w/ casareccia

Today I pan seared ossobucco, Italian sausages, and my famous meatballs … then gently plopped them into my homemade tomato sauce letting them slowly simmer for a few hours creating this flavourful gravy. Casareccia pasta, with its great texture really helps the sauce cling, sopping it up  … oh I also added a bit of broccoli rabe before serving to give it that extra oomph. Freshly grated Grana Padano Scelto, and a glass (or two) of vino … yep, life don’t get no better!!




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I am the KING … love eating on the cheap, waste not want not … I’ll drag out a meal for a week, no joke. Started this party with meatballs (BEST batch btw – sorry, no pics) and my home made marinara. Three days in, digging through my creative cupboards (metaphorically & literally) I found these … Magyar noodles doing their best drywall plug imitation, and half a bag of Gomiti. Well, you know the drill … sea salt al dente, then added to ma ma meatballs … NOW I have more food than when I started, lol. Served with frozen garlic toast found in the freezer *score*, and freshly grated Grana Padano from my fridge. Note: must snap pics sans grated cheese – can’t see the forest for the trees. 💡




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Polpette con Gomiti

… and properly fancied it up, tired of always mangiacaking it down … oh what the hell – Meatballs with pasta, lol!! This creation came courtesy leftovers (once again), a coupla days back I made a batch of my famous meatballs and homemade sauce. And later looking to vary and extend it further, came up with this … it’s a baked pasta dish (my favourite way of cooking it btw), and that sliced tomato (I’ve NEVER done that before, but I had a very ripe one – and remember; waste not, want not) inspiration was something I’ve seen … I think it was from Lidia (Bastianich), maybe it was Giada (De Laurentis) though?! Cooked the pasta in my stock pot full of boiling water and with a ladle full of sea salt – should taste like the ocean, until very al dente, then drained (but with a bit of the pasta water reserved) and finally combined with the meatballs and sauce … oh, I did layer Auricchio before finishing with the tomato (and that’s Grana Padano grated on top when I pulled it out of the oven) … some pics, enjoy – mangia mangia!! 😀

my balls are simmering …

outta the oven …

drizzled with Acropolis, lotsa Grana Padano too …

the money shot – YUMM

scooped out with a spoon shot – love this …

onto my plate …

and served with toasted garlic bread …

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… have a hankerin’ y’all!!


Otherwise my ass is grass with y’all … my exceptionally critical, and excitingly expectant, hanging on every word followers/blog readers!! Ok ok, so maybe I’m embellishing/stretching it a bit … but sheeshgive a brother a break, lol!!

… and here they are: my leftover meatball pics …

Day 1:semi-sub-sammies (fresh, soft buns are key) with hot peppers, melted provolone and the 2cheese combo from the day before …

Day 2: meatballs sliced and baked with melted mozza … now served open faced civilized style (with steak knife & fork) … YUMMO!! (my fave outta all 4 variations) …

Day 3 (… 4 too): do I know how to vary my menu … AND stretch a dollar (&blogpost) to boot or what? Tossed with spaghettini and served with a buttery garlic roll …

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