Sunday, May 13, 2012

Little Italy, Chicago

I think I'm turning into a real foodie now.  By its simplest definition in Wikipedia, "Foodie is an informal term for a particular class of aficionado of food and drink".  Particular class?  Haha!  Anyway, looking at my blog list, more than half of my posts talk about food.  And today is no different.  

Yesterday, in our quest to buy the cheapest cabinet for our overflowing clothes (i.e. Target), we included a little trip to "Little Italy" for what else?  Good old Italian Food.  Nothing fancy, but just to get our Italian fix... and so we ended up having dinner at Pompei Bakery & Restaurant.  A casual dining place where they serve humungous portions and loudly play "O Solo Mio"...

Pompei Bakery

My jaw dropped when my Vesuvio came - I didn't think they would give me half a chicken!  It was good though, juicy and garlicky and I loved the bell peppers and peas.  Hubby helped me finish half of it.
One of the best lasagnas I've ever had - despite the LARGE serving, it wasn't overwhelming.

I thought their Cannoli looked fun, so I got one.  After my first bite, it wasn't so fun haha.  There were just too many peanuts for my liking.  And the cream inside was uninspired.
Hubby's favorite - you can't go wrong with Tiramisu and what I love about it is that it wasn't too sweet.

As usual, I got inspired.  Today, I looked at our pantry and fridge, and I thought I could come up with improvised pasta dishes.  Starting with... Alfredo!  For the sauce, I sautéed garlic in olive oil, added some flour and our last cup of milk.  With some left over cheese from my cheese fondue project, I included this in the mixture (gruyere, swiss, parmesan).  Then I mixed in fresh and canned mushrooms.  For color, I added some green peas.  I used fettuccine for the noodles, and drizzled my latest obsession, truffle oil.

Fettuccine Alfredo with Mushroom & Peas and Truffle oil

For a different twist, using the same sauce, I just added left over spam from breakfast.  I'm getting used to this now - I have to always make a his and hers or mr. and mrs. variation as my husband needs to have his meat.

Fettuccine Afredo with Mushroom, Peas, & Spam

Finally, since I was in the mood, I also made Pasta Puttanesca.  This is actually my favorite pasta dish, especially with Angel Hair, which unfortunately, we ran out of.  Yesterday, during our "quest," we also dropped by my favorite store, World Market, where I bought capers and anchovies.  Everything else, I just found in our kitchen.  Instead of using black olives, I used left over feta-stuffed green olives, but took out the cheese.

Again using olive oil, I sautéed lots and lots of garlic, then added the anchovies, crushing it until almost disolved.  Added fresh tomatoes and a can of tomato sauce and simmered for a few mins.  Then I mixed in capers and my rehauled olives.  To finish off, added about a tablespoon of sugar, a dash of chili pepper flakes, and a teaspoon of patis.

Pasta Puttanesca

Buon appetito!


  1. my family love pasta! hubby(swiss) is the one doing most of the cooking and he is now into putting patis in his dishes;) much as I love truffle, oil is a bit overwhelming for my pasta.

    have a great day!!

    1. hi mayet! yeah, patis is not only for pinoy dishes hehehe! truffle oil, i use in small doses. it just makes almost food extra-special.

  2. pasta, pasta, pasta! I'm a pasta monster... I love all these! that's actually my default meal eh pag wala akong maisip hehe pasta tapos imbento ng sauce :-D

    Spanish Pinay

    1. Korek, kahit ano, kahit ulam, ipatong si noodles - wag lang sinigang! Hahahaha!