recipe: Pasta “Fellini” (inspired by Little Italy’s La Dolce Vita)

After our big anniversary night out at Dinner Lab and far too many weekends away from my kitchen during the month of September, I felt like continuing our celebration via a meal at home this past Saturday evening.

I swung by Heinen’s after a solid class at Ride + Workout that morning and splurged a few of our favorite things: a Delmonico steak for Hans, a piece of wild caught salmon for me, and the ingredients for one of Hans’ favorite pasta dishes.

Inspired by a meal we had a Little Italy’s La Dolce Vita many anniversaries dinners ago, I recreated the sauce my redhead still talks about — a blend of tomatoes, pancetta, gorgonzola & parmesan. I did my best to recreate their “Fellini” sauce – at least I’m pretty sure that’s the name that the La Dolce Vita team actually calls it. For our (and this blog’s) purposes, it stuck — much like this sauce does to the right noodle.

pasta a la fellini la dolce vita

Pasta “Fellini”

For 2 large servings or 4 smaller servings for sides

  • 1 cup of dry short cut pasta* (your many options here, thanks to Wikipedia)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon of garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup pancetta, diced
  • 2/3 pint of grape tomatoes, halved
  • Pinch of salt (to start, season to taste later)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of pepper
  • 1/4 cup of cream (milk if you’re in a pinch)
  • ¼ cup of gorgonzola, plus extra for sprinkling
  • ¼ cup of parmesan, plus extra for sprinkling

Heat a pot of water to boil. Add pasta to water when at rolling boil. Cook pasta to right before it gets al dente (you’ll finish cooking it in the sauce, so reserve some of the pasta water, just in case.)

In a large sauté pan set to medium-high, heat the olive oil. Add garlic, dropping the temperature to medium. Sauté for one minute.

Add pancetta, cooking for 2 minutes before adding the grape tomatoes, salt (go easy as there’s salt in the meat), and pepper. Sauté on medium-low until tomatoes start to break down, about 5-10 minutes. Add cream and stir, deglazing all that flavor off the bottom of the pan.

Heat the sauce to boil, then reduce heat to medium-low. Add the cooked pasta and stir. Simmer until pasta has soaked up the sauce, about 5 minutes. (If it needs a bit more moisture to finish melding flavors, add a very small about of pasta water now.) Stir in gorgonzola and parmesan. Turn off heat and allow cheese to melt into sauce/pasta combo.

Serve, sprinkling pasta with remaining cheese and enjoy.

*For my gluten free friends — this dish is easily made GF by the subbing of your favorite gluten free pasta!

Connect with me on FacebookTwitterInstagram and Pinterest.

Hilton Cleveland Downtown’s #MyCLEPhoto Staycation Giveaway

Disclosure: I accepted an opportunity & future compensation to share info about Hilton Cleveland Downtown’s #MyCLEPhoto Staycation Giveaway.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

It think it’s fair to say that when art combines with hometown pride and audience participation, you’re going to have a winner on your hands. And that’s what the Hilton Cleveland Downtown is going for with their anticipated June 2016 opening and special project that you, fair Clevelander, can take part in…

The Hilton Cleveland Downtown is encouraging all Northeastern Ohioans to submit pictures showing just how much you love Cleveland. Here’s how you can get in on the fun:

  • Step 1: Snap a photo of yourself and/or your family and friends in front of your favorite Cleveland and/or Cuyahoga County landmark
  • Step 2a: Submit the photo on their website,
  • Step 2b: …or post the photo to enter by using the hashtag #MyCLEPhoto on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

Your photo, combined with your fellow Greater Clevelanders’ submissions, has the chance to be part of a photo mosaic art installation to be included the new Hilton Cleveland Downtown. How cool is that?!

MyCLEPhoto Collage

 A few screen grabs of the many #MyCLEphoto submissions over on Instagram

This is your chance to be a part of Cleveland history — plus your chance to win a Hilton Cleveland Downtown Staycation Giveaway: submit your photo for a chance to win a two night stay for two people at the new Hilton Cleveland Downtown in a Standard King Room, along with two drinks per person and two appetizers to share at the hotel’s Sky Bar. (Check out Hilton’s page to get a sneak peek of some of the renderings of what’s in store!)

Here’s what you need to know in terms of submission guidelines:

  • Photo should include you, your family or friends
  • Photo should be taken at favorite place in Cleveland or Cuyahoga County.
  • Please limit your photo to a size of 5mb or smaller.
  • Be creative!

My first entry? Well, it’s probably not a shock that it included a few of my favorite things:

Photo Sep 27, 6 32 30 PM

Photo from last night’s Cleveland Metroparks hike around the West Creek Reservation — one of our go-to parks in the Emerald Necklace

Join Hans, Grady and I in the picture sharing fun – submit your photo to win at the contest entry page – – and show Cleveland your #MyCLEPhoto love!

Connect with me on FacebookTwitterInstagram and Pinterest.

event recap: Dinner Lab Cleveland featuring Chef Matthew Mytro

Disclosure: I accepted an opportunity to share info about/attend Dinner Lab’s latest Cleveland pop up from Brickhaus Partners. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

As I teased on Wednesday, Hans and I headed to our first Dinner Lab experience to 1) celebrate nine years of  wedded bliss and 2) to check out this new-to-Cleveland dining phenomenon. Brickhaus Partners‘ surprised everyone with the location of the dinner earlier that day: the soon-to-be 95 Lake complex, to be built on the location of the former St. Thomas Lutheran Church on Lake Avenue.

I have to admit — walking up to the empty, dated religious complex left me with an energetic shift: after the many years of it being used for the gathering for a spiritual purpose, I was slightly saddened for a moment knowing it was sitting unused. But upon getting inside, I felt another immediate shift as the 85 some guests plus Dinner Lab staff filling the space enlivened the environment with their excitement for food, community and surprises.

With a few loud clinks on a wine bottle, Samantha from the Dinner Lab team got things going, welcoming Chef Matt Mytro from Flour Restaurant to say a few words. His menu for the evening, Antico E Moderno, was inspired from his work in the Flour kitchen — definitely apparent in the Italian inspired dishes listed on the cards at each place setting.

dinner lab CLE menu mytro

Armed with a copy of Edible Cleveland and a handful of new culinary loving friends/dining mates — thanks to the long table seating arrangements — it was time to dine. Here’s what we had…

dinner lab collage amuse and salad mytro

 PreMeal Featured Cocktail, the Negroni Mytro

 First Course: Warm Burrata with vanilla infused potato and pickled chili

dinner lab collage salad and fish mytro

Second Course: Mock Beet Salad with pistachio, whipped ricotta, dried olive and sorrel

Third Course: Swordfish Alla Bagnara with smoked lemon & potato, caper berries and garlic & parsley

dinner lab collage pasta and dessert mytro

Fourth Course: Sweet Corn Rigatoni with lamb neck sugo, tomato and ricotta salata

Fifth Course: Cereal Milk Budino with toasted marshmallow, cocoa nibs and banana

My thoughts? While I enjoyed certain aspects of the dishes more than others, I think Chef Mytro overall knocked it out of the park:

  • The cocktail was tart yet refreshing, waking me up from a post-work slumber (there might have been a nap on a certain couch in Parma before arriving that evening) — also setting the mood for some excitement to come.
  • The burrata was lovely, but it was the addition of the vanilla to the potato chips that had our table talking. Sneaky yet scrumptious.
  • The beet salad was more cheese and less “salad” — not that I’m complaining what so ever — as the whipped ricotta was something I’d like to smear on a gluten free bagel every morning of my life. The creative use of the beets in the sauce “dots” (you’ll notice in the photo above) mixed with the cheese were a sweet, sweet treat.
  • The swordfish was perfectly prepared, but yet again, the potato stole the scene –- its lemony taste suprising diners.
  • The rigatoni was an extra special treat as Chef Mytro offered a gluten free offering for gals like me. The pasta was like no other GF option I’ve had before, and solidified my need to check out Flour in person STAT. By far my favorite course.
  • The budino reminded me of a part pot de crème, part pudding — all deliciousness. The cocoa nibs were a nice finishing touch to the last course of the meal.

LONG STORY SHORT: I owe a big thanks to Dinner Lab, Brickhaus Partners and Chef Mytro. Not only did I have a fun and unique culinary experience, I made some new friends, tried some new ingredients, plus celebrated with the love of my life enjoying some of the things I love most: community, food and the reimagining of all that is Cleveland. Cheers to the team for making Wednesday night possible — here’s to many more Cleveland chefs being featured at Dinner Lab events!

Stay in-the-know by following Dinner Lab on FacebookTwitter and Instagram. A special thanks to Brickhaus Partners for making our attendance possible — follow them on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

Connect with me on FacebookTwitterInstagram and Pinterest.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...