Off the Menu: The Tastes of Italy
I WAS AT KNEAD, talking with Chef Rick Lopez about a trip I’d taken to Italy, and getting nostalgic about a dish I’d had there— a raviolo named after the chef’s mentor, Nino Bergese. It had been covered in white truffle shavings (this was Alba during truffle season)… but the most riveting, and surprising, part of it had been the liquid egg yolk that oozed out of the raviolo when I cut into it with my fork.
Rick smiled and said, “Oh yeah, like the one we’re having at our wine dinner.”
Understand that I’ve never had this dish outside of Italy—hadn’t even heard of it until I went there—and was so impressed by its savory, rich goodness that I’d literally felt a tear running down my cheek after the first bite. So Rick’s casual statement immediately riveted my attention.
“The what?” I said.
A few minutes later I’d gotten more details. Biodynamic Italian wines paired with authentic Italian dishes, centered around a zampone, the stuffed pig’s foot delicacy that is traditionally served with lentils around the time of the New Year.
“Have I told you about our Off the Menu series?” I asked. Rick shook his head. I smiled… and launched into a discussion of how we’re trying to put consumers together with chefs who want to take the kid gloves off for a night and get creative. (Details here.)
By the time I was done he was nodding, and we realized that his dinner and our series were made for each other. So we’re happy to announce the second dinner in our Off the Menu series: The Flavors of Italy at Knead Urban Diner, January 29 at 7 p.m. Tickets are now available here (and physical tickets make wonderful holiday presents).
Fritto Misto … a seasonal mix of root vegetables in a light tempura batter served with garlic aioli
Salsiccia di Anatra e Fegato Grasso … house-made duck and foie gras sausage with kumquat marmalata, roasted wild mushrooms, and sage served over buckwheat polenta with taleggio cheese
Egg Yolk Raviolo … homemade pasta stuffed with liquid farm fresh local egg yolk served over braised lacinato kale topped with crisp house-cured guanciale and sunchokes with shaved parmigiano reggiano cheese
Pomegranate Ginger Granita
Zampone with Lentils and Braised Fennel … local Berkshire trotter (foot) boned and stuffed with house made sausage and sweetbreads boiled and served over a bed of lentils and braised fennel
Goat’s Milk Pannacotta with figs and almonds drizzled with Cafe Brioso coffee-infused honey from Mockingbird Meadows