Above: One side of my friend Tony Vallone’s family is from Corleone, Sicily. All of last night’s dishes were “alla corleonese”.
Last night, I made one last trip to Houston before the arrival of Baby P 2013 (I drove in and back the same day).
How could I not?
My good friend and client Tony Vallone was hosting a sold-out dinner featuring cucina casereccia siciliana (homestyle Sicilian cooking) at his casual restaurant Ciao Bello. And I should be more precise: the official theme was cucina casereccia corleonese, the cuisine of his mother’s family’s hometown, Corleone. And he had asked me to speak to the guests about the Sicilian wines chosen for the meal.
In case the mimetic desire has not yet taken hold, here’s a photo of the wine we paired with the lasagna casalinga (homemade lasagne, with mini meatballs and peas) above:
That’s négociant Arianna Occhipinti’s Grillo: salty and jumping with acidity, the wine tasted SO good on a sultry Houstonian evening.
As I left the dinner, everyone wished me and Tracie P well for the arrival of Baby P 2013.
Tony handed me a couple of boxes of his gallina mollicata (chicken baked with mollicata,
Sicilian Corleonese-style seasoned breadcrumbs).
“Mi raccomando… I’m serious,” he said. “I want you to call me when the baby arrives.”
Man, I love this guy… We’re so lucky to have him in our lives.
And here’s a little video (below) I put together this morning with scenes from the event (does anyone recognize the song I’m playing?).
I’m hearing “The Winner Is”, from Little Miss Sunshine (Devotchka).
Killer! Arianna’s Tami Frappato is also quite good. Have to hunt down the Grillo.
the chicken looks great – just like my Mom’s – and the cucidati look just like my Nonna’s – Corleone – I drove through the town earlier this week from Piana degli Albanese (our family town) to Regaleali
Graz, it’s an instrumental version of L’appuntmanento (Vanoni). We were thinking of covering it with NNP but then we abandoned the track I had made.
Marco, Arianna and her boyfriend’s project Tamì (which means sieve) is so cool. They’re vinifying grapes that once went to the big co-ops. She’s also making a white now, I hear.
Alfonso, you would have loved that dinner. It was a special one and Tony was amazing.
Why don’t you come on August 7 as my guest? Tony would love that… He LOVES talking about the Pian degli Albanesi and the cannoli there…
and btw, anyone of you who wants to come to the August dinner as my guest is welcome to! :)
sounds like a
btw it will probably be too soon for Tracie P to spend an evening away from Baby P 2013 but maybe, just maybe, we can figure out a way for her to be at that dinner, too. The theme is Neapolitan, after all! :)
if you can you’re a better man than I, Carlo Bruno
it took me a minute to get the “Carlo Bruno” joke… ha! (again)