Pulpology: Mark & Sonia's Intercontinental Absurdities!

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28 July 2010
WanderFood Wednesday: prezzemolo, a cautionary tale
one man's quest for the perfect Penne Rosate

Penne Rosate and a spritz in Treviso
Penne Rosate in Treviso

It started innocently enough.

Penne Rosate. Four simple ingredients on a bistro menu:
salsa di pomodoro | panna | salmone affumicato | prezzemolo

Little did I know this dish would turn into Mark's Holy Grail. Ever since sampling this delectable fare at Piola in Treviso, he's been obsessed with recreating the perfect penne rosate at home. And in typical Italian style, a deceptively simple ingredient list means the dish can be articulated about a million ways.

mmmm, golden tomatoes
mmmm, golden tomatoes

Renown chef Patrick O'Connell of the Inn at Little Washington says you should make a dish eight times before serving it to friends. That always seemed a bit extreme. But we're starting to understand. Each time Mark makes this dish, he writes little notes in the margin about how to tweak the recipe next time. Not too much tomato paste. Be sure to use large golden tomatoes. Let the pasta sit and soak up the sauce before serving. He's even asked me to plant extra golden tomatoes in the garden so he can continue his exploration and and near-scientific quest for the flawless formula.

stir, stir, stir
stir, stir, stir

I don't think he'll ever achieve penne perfection. But, as with most things in life, it's about the journey, not the destination! I'm happy to have him keep experimenting with this dish forever.

some cream, a little smoked salmon
some cream, a little smoked salmon

It just so happens that there's a Piola right here in Northern Virginia, and they do have Penne Rosate on their menu. Part of me is curious to try it, part of me doesn't want to spoil the mystique of that first perfect taste back in Treviso.

the finished product, topped with lots of fresh prezzemolo!
the finished product, topped with lots of fresh prezzemolo!

And at the end of the day, I just like saying "prezzemolo." Try it with me: pret-ZEH-mo-lo. It's fun! I think Robin at My Mélange should add it to her list of beautiful Italian words. Who knew that humble parsley could be so entertaining?

Hop on over to Wanderlust & Lipstick's WanderFood Wednesday for more mouth-watering travel foodie posts.


* Photo Friday: Treviso spritz

* My Mélange: Italian lessons
* Piola
* our other Treviso pics
* WanderFood Wednesday carnival of foodie blogs


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Posted by sonia at 12:00 AM | Link | 4 comments