26 August 2009
In Fort Worth, Texas there is a wonderful Italian restaurant run by my good friend Donatella Trotti. Nonna Tata is my official favorite Italian eatery in the state. Once every two or three months I get to work with Donatella at my cooking school as she comes and teaches with us. She is an absolute joy. I love her. As soon as I get the pictures loaded from the last class I will share with you the experience. But for now I will guide you through my last visit to her restaurant (has it already been a year?) with my best friend, Pat Bohn. Pat is a musician and beer drinker.
Donatella treated us like kings. We each ordered a salad and soup, then a bowl of pasta. Pat opted for the lasagne Bolognese while I went for the spaghetti alla puttanesca (if it's good enough for the whores then it's good enough for me). After a nice antipasti platter of cold cuts, cheese, fritatta, and focaccia our salads arrived. They were simple greens with seasonal tomatoes and a light EVOO dressing. When the soup came Donatella just sent out five cups of every soup she had made that night. What a treat. She also sent out an intermezzo of perfectly cooked saffron/pecorino risotto. We were already full.
Then came the pasta. The lasagne was rich but not dense like a bar of soap and seasoned perfectly. The puttanesca had just the right amount of anchovies. The sauce clung to the noodles and didn't pool in the bottom of the bowl. Another surprise comes in the form of pesto pasta stuffed full of calamari and shrimp. By this time Pat and I had given up on who ordered what and were just eating with barbaric abandon.
For dessert I ordered the chocolate bomb, which was their gelato. Pat ordered the pear cake. We were so full but we had to keep eating. The past that Pat and I have shared dictated that we eat until the food was gone. Just before Pat was about to kill the last of the pear cake Donatella sends out some little paninni of Nutella dusted with powdered sugar. She killed us. And that is not easy to do because when Pat and I decide to eat then we mean to eat. Congratulations, Donatella. And thanks for a wonderful evening.