Sunday, March 15, 2015

Katie's Pizza and Pasta Passport Dinner: Campania

I probably should just sign up for the 6-month ticket for Katie's Passport Dinner series because I can't stop going. Each month, I'm so curious to see what is going to be on the menu and the only way to find out is to go!

We had a wonderful surprise waiting for us as a container of Katie's fresh homemade pasta greeted us at the table. Now she just needs to sell her own sauce!

Menu and fresh pasta
We started out the evening with a home run as one of my favorite dishes, Eggplant Parmigiana, was served as an appetizer. I have to admit that this was not appetizer size and could have easily been one of the entree courses. Since it was the best dish of the night, it probably should have gotten star billing if you ask me. Now THIS is a dish that should be on the regular menu!! (Please start the write in campaigns now.)

Eggplant Parmigiana
The mozzarella and parmesan cheeses really made this dish amazing, and it was paired with a Lacrima Christi Bianco, which tasted like an oaky Chardonney to me. With all the cheese, the pairing went well together, although I think a light red would have done just as well.

The second course was a lot lighter, and I might have called it a "seafood salad" with so many greens and lemon flavor on top. The prawn is center stage in this dish, surrounded by squid rings and a couple hunks of potato.

Squid, Prawns, Potato, Chive, Fennel, Frisee, Lemon
This was perfectly paired with the Falanghina from Villa Matilde, which had more of a crisp finish to go with the seafood course.

I was thrilled to see one of Katie's pizzas on the menu this time, since I don't usually order it from the regular menu. I'm just too in love with the unique salads and pastas. (Really you should bring friends so you can split a pizza, a pasta, and a salad among all of you!) Again, I'm pretty sure I am biased about the gobs of Bufala Mozzarella cheese, but there is a reason Katie's pizza is always a winner. You know you need a red wine for this, and the Aguanico, also from Villa Matilde was a good choice.

Neapolitan Margherita Pizza, San Marzano Tomatoes, Bufala Mozzarella, Basil
Speaking of pasta, the Spaghetti with Botarga and lemon zest was the fourth course. Bortarga is a cured fish roe and helped to decorate the edges of the plate. This was served with a big red, a Lacrima Christ Rosso. By the way....placing the eggplant on top of this bed of spaghetti would have been an amazing meal!!

Spaghetti with Botarga & Lemon Zest
Last but not least, the dinner was rounded out with gelato adorned with three blackberries. The pastry next to it is Sfogliattelle Ricce. Katie did not even attempt to pronounce it herself, so let's just say that this pastry topped with powdered sugar used to be prepared only for the Italian aristocracy during the Reenaissance.


Dessert was served with a homemade Limoncello that was sweet enough to make you pucker!

Resources:

Katie's Pizza and Pasta = http://www.katiespizzaandpasta.com/

STLwinegirl = http://www.stlwinegirl.com