[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="180" caption="Manicotti, it ain't rocket science"][/caption]
My mom was pretty good at making the classics. One of her specialties was manicotti. The recipe wasn't a secret -- she always made the recipe on the back of the noddle box (you're seeing a trend here). We would beg her to make this dish weekly but she'd put it off as long as she could. Manicotti was not so simple to make as I found out years later when I made it myself (if I was going to wow a guy, I would make manicotti -- and it usually did the trick). Sometimes my mom would add spinach or Italian sausage. Sometimes she made her own red sauce. Other times she'd used a jar. It always tasted the same no matter what -- made with a lot of love.
Last night, my husband and I went out on a date night to the newest Italian restaurant in town Trattoria Sbandati. I always joke to my friends that I have to go to Omaha for good Italian. My trips to Omaha usually have a stop to Malara's to have lunch with a friend or my grandmother. They have the best homemade noodles (something i want to try sometime) and fried raviolis with their sweet marinara sauce. I can joke no longer as Trattoria Sbandati was fabulous. On the weekend they have four course wine dinners. Gorganzola frittatta, creamy ribollita, chicken and chanterelles and chocolate mousse that was to die for. The wines were all amazing as well. We walked out of there wishing we could come back every weekend. I'm now tasked with finding a ribollita recipe for my family.
I spend most of my day prepping for turkey day. I de-boned my bird and wrapped it up in foil for roasting on Thursday. I made broth for the first time. (I don't think I'll ever go back.) I also made leek and wild chanterrelle mushroom risotto. the mushrooms were part of our csa and I had no idea what to do them. Risotto is made with lots of love and stirring and doesn't disappoint. The stirring and adding of broth, the cheese and butter. Lots of love.