Made in LA: SemolinaLA

SemolinaLA Rigatoni

SemolinaLA kickstarter.  Support a talented and tenacious LA maker. I’m a pasta snob.  I admit it and I don’t apologize for it.  I believe that great pasta is an Italian cultural artifact that’s been given to the world.  And when I talk about pasta I’m talking about DRY PASTA, that is, Durum Wheat pasta.  Pasta made with semolina  from exceptional (now, often North American) hard winter wheat. Over centuries Italian artisans learned how to combine hard wheat with water, humidity and moving air into an easy to store source of calories and whimsy.  High quality dry pasta is all about texture. When properly made it is porous enough to absorb…Continue reading »

Recipe: “The Joey” a Remembrance

My friend Joe's personal cocktail

I recently lost a friend.  Joe Attanasio was 89 and led an exceptional life until the end.  The hundreds who attended his funeral mass were the richer for having known him.  Joe was a a lifeforce, a mensch, a legendary kibitzer. That’s yiddish for someone who loves to chat and be social.  His joy was to draw people out, get to know them, make them laugh and give advice. Our relationship took place in the boundaries of his son Paul’s kitchen where I made many meals for the family for more than a decade.  Joe would arrive at the house and after making a cocktail would ease onto one of the stools surrounding the island….Continue reading »

Book Review: The Lentil Underground by Liz Carlisle

Book Review of Lentil Underground

There was a moment during the early 2000s when all of a sudden it became easy to find beautiful European varieties of lentils on the shelves of Trader Joes or Erewhon or Whole Foods. My chef Kathy and I would empty the store shelves of every bag of Pardina or Du Puy type lentils when we were lucky enough to find them. We’d bring them back to the storeroom at Angeli where we’d feel rich just looking at the bags of perfectly cleaned legumes stacked up according to type. We started making a whole slew of dishes that just weren’t right when made with regular green lentils. We…Continue reading »