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?).