The Real Little Italy: Arthur Ave.

19Nov08

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The best part about being in a supper club is the opportunity to learn about different cuisines. Our second supper club was themed Italian, so Scotty and I, the committed fatties we are, took a trip to Arthur Ave. and ate the Bronx.

It’s the Sopranos, The Goodfellas, The Lady & the Tramp. It’s New York’s authentic Little Italy where English is a second language and homemade mozzarella is first in show. The shops lined up on Arthur Ave. and East 187th Street are bustling with grandmothers purchasing ingredients for Sunday dinner, grandpas and their grandchildren running errands, and a sprinkle of tourists oohing and ahhing not only at the quality of foods but at the authenticity and true Italian spirit of the neighborhood that’s lasted over 50 years. 

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This woman thinks I’m a-crazy. 

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Eye spy…

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A ceiling full of salami!

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As pretty as it is, it smelled pretty stank. 

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After eating the Bronx (see??), our second to final stop was at Borgatti’s Pasta for some fresh cut pasta. You can choose the thickness of your pasta ranging from fettuccine to angel hair and they’ll cut it for you right there. You really can’t beat $2/pound. They also sell fresh ravioli (ricotta or meat/spinach filled) by the box for $12/100. 

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While we were pretty full (and exhausted) from all the samples and sneaking of bites here and there, we opted to make some of the ravioli once we got home. With an always reliable can of San Marzano tomatoes, plenty of garlic, and a couple of sprigs of basil, I made a simple tomato sauce to go with the meat/spinach ravioli.

Basic Tomato Sauce

1 35oz. can of San Marzano tomatoes

4 garlic cloves, sliced thinly

3-4 tbspns of olive oil

crushed red pepper flakes

9-10 basil leaves

Salt

Saute garlic slices in olive oil with crushed red pepper flakes in a pot on low heat until color turns slightly, making sure not to burn the garlic. Pour tomatoes into pot and on medium heat until it simmers. Turn down heat until it’s at a low simmer and let it cook for 45 minutes or so or until the tomatoes get soft and sauce thickens. Break apart the tomatoes as it softens.  You can cook this sauce for much longer if you’d like, it’ll just get thicker. Right after you remove from heat, chiffonade the basil leaves and put in tomato sauce. Use salt as needed. 

Toss your favorite pasta in sauce in a saute pan for 1 minute or so before serving. 

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Calabria Pork Store   2338 Arthur Ave. 

Borgotti’s Pasta   632 East 187th Street

Casa Della Mozzarella   04 East 187th Street

-Had THE BEST pieces of bocconcini from this place. When ordering mozzarella, make sure to ask for it salted. Also, if you’re looking to purchase burrata, make sure to call at least an hour before.

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4 Responses to “The Real Little Italy: Arthur Ave.”

  1. 1 smelly

    As this is a real posting, I shall comment. pics of clams on grass don’t count (though I would have loved to see a video of some super high clams). muffin post DOES count, and so I commented.

    So — tell me why you have to call an hour ahead for burrata.

    tell me when you’re gonna do this iron chef I’ve been wanting to see so badly.

    tell me the secrets of love, so that I may know them.

  2. 2 foodyi

    Apparently it’s made to order..but then again, I dont think you can make burrata in an hour. So maybe I lied.

    You’re asking ME the secrets of love?

  3. 3 smelly

    what about iron chef? I wanna see that soooo bad….

  4. 4 foodyi

    Ugh. that also might have been a bit premature of an announcement. I’ll get on it chef. I’ll be home in Dec. Gnards reunion!


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