mangia bene, ridi spesso, ama molto

Over the last two years, while everyone else seemed to be feeding sourdough starters and developing their own perfect pizza dough, I discovered frozen pizza. And even though I’m late to the party, I’m excited to share my favorite, locally made frozen pizza from La Morra. These Neapolitan-inspired pies are made with a naturally leavened dough that’s hand-stretched and wood-fired, with a crispy, blistered crust to prove it. We’re selling their Margherita, pepperoni, and vegan pie with marinated artichokes, pickled guindilla peppers, taggiasca olives, and plum tomatoes. You simply need to bake them in a 475º oven for 8-10 minutes. 

When families gather at my house, I like to serve pizza with roast chicken or meatballs and caesar salad, so…The international house of spatchcockery is back with our chicken Vesuvio, a California version of a Chicago-Italian classic; spatchcocked, local, organic chickens marinated with farm-fresh citrus, garlic, and oregano. You can roast this chicken and eat it as is, or use our directions on how to make a little white wine, chicken stock pan sauce to pour over the roasted chicken, and maybe even some roasted potatoes, English peas, and artichokes. We’re also making classic Italian meatballs with grass-fed beef and ground pork, packed in sauce and ready to heat and serve or freeze. Make a meatball sub on some Bub and Grandma’s ciabatta bread or jumbo baguette. Add some burrata or ricotta from Gioia Cheese Company in South El Monte. Our new neighborhood friends at Ceci’s Gastronomia (Silverlake’s spot for prepared, handmade, authentic Italian food) are making us a batch of zucchine alla parmigiana, thinly sliced and grilled zucchini baked with San Marzano tomatoes, mozzarella, and parmesan. This is a delicious vegetable side dish as is, but also great sandwiched in some ciabatta bread.We’ve got Bianco DiNapoli canned tomatoes, Mutti’s tomato paste, grass-fed ground beef, Peads and Barnetts’ ground pork, and Italian sausages. You could do a million different things with these ingredients, but a pot of bolognese is what we had in mind. This tomato paste comes in a closable tube, so you can add a bit of paste and a depth of flavor and texture to sauces, stews, and braises (and never have to discover a mold-filled tin of tomato paste in the back of your refrigerator again.) We have Rustichella’s slurpable bucatini pasta, to serve with your bolognese or our meatballs or our fresh pesto.Jason Kim from Forage is making another batch of his Caesar dressing, so we’ll be putting heads of romaine and escarole in the farm box. And we are getting a wheel of Parmigiano Reggiano, aged for at least two years by Giorgio Cravero, a fifth-generation affineur. This superior parmesan is good enough to eat before or after dinner, but you could and should put some on your dinner as well.
For sweet treats, Ceci’s is also making us some tiramisu so we can keep it Italian from start to finish. And a special someone returned their farm box full of fragrant Meyer lemons, so we’re making a batch of Meyer lemon curd. You could eat it as is with berries, serve it with shortbread, dollop it on a scone, fill a tart shell with it, fold in whipped cream and roll it in a crepe, mount it on a meringue, stuff your profiteroles with it… To wash it all down, we have some delicious Italian organic wines from Small Town. Poderi Cellario’s E Rosso, is an everyday barbera, in an extra-large 1 liter bottle. And Cantina Ribela’s Ribolie is a naturally sparkling white blend that’s fresh and bright like Italian sunshine. Molto bene!