Felice anniversario to us!
By Karen Petersen
A festive atmosphere was in the air this month at the Monday night event celebrating our First Anniversary for the Food History Project. Brian and Stephy Terrizzi, of Etto Pastificio in Tin City, hosted the evening serving up fresh pasta and Giornata wines. Etto sells a variety of fresh and dried pasta, sauces, and locally sourced items such as meats, olive oils, sweets and of course, their wine. You will find all the ingredients you need to serve an authentic Italian meal to your friends or family. Join their email list, and you will learn what fresh pasta is being made this week. (I recommend the butternut ravioli when it is available!)
Winemaker Brian and viticulturist Stephy had a dream of growing Italian varietal grapes on the Central Coast and employing the same appreciation and ideology of Italian winemaking. The Terrizzi’s shared their passion for ‘all things Italian’ and have spent a considerable amount of time traveling to Italy learning to make authentic pasta and wines. The couple met while studying enology at Fresno State. You can get the whole story by reading their website, or by dropping by and asking them about their study sessions which included Brian’s homemade pasta.
Embracing Brian’s Italian heritage and the time they spent together in Italy the two longed for the delicious pasta dishes they ate readily while traveling abroad. Brian grew up with an Italian grandmother who made all those wonderful dishes from scratch, spending the whole day in the kitchen preparing a meal for her family. It was another dream to create the same pasta dishes that she had made. To be able to make and sell pasta and use only the freshest, locally sourced ingredients, their small batch portions keep the product fresh, healthy and community centered.
Lloyd, the pasta maker at Etto, fired up the pasta extruder and pulled piles of pasta out of the machine. Although it looks easy enough, it is a trick to get it just right. Etto Pasta is made from organic durum semolina. Water is the only other ingredient. The word Etto is defined in translation from Italian, a ‘serving’ size which is 100 grams (or about 1/4 lb.) As in, “I’d like an etto of rigatoni.” Just the right amount.
The evening discussion lead to Jensen Lorenzen of the Larder Meat Co. As a former chef and restaurant owner for many years, Jensen longed for the day when he could purchase the same quality meat at the grocery store. Realizing this was not an option; he started a monthly subscription club where customers receive pork, beef, and chicken sourced from local ranches. Always pasture-raised, antibiotic and hormone free, the meat is flash-frozen and shipped once a month. Subscriptions include recipes and suggestions for cooking. Jensen then prepared a delicious pasta and braised short rib dish that we gobbled down, enjoying seconds, and for some, thirds.
If that wasn’t enough good food to eat, Gina Dusi, of Casa di Dusi, an Italian Confection, presented. Gina makes an authentic panforte, which means ‘strong bread.’ Retired nurse and self-proclaimed foodie, Gina, has come up with a fun hostess gift or addition your charcuterie platter. Shaped and wrapped like salami, this tasty treat will likely surprise your guests. Salame di Cioccolato is made with chocolate, wine, nuts, biscotti, and dried fruit. Available at J Dusi Wines tasting room. Gina remembers making panforte with her grandmother when she was a child and has tried to best replicate her family recipe as they vary considerably throughout Italy. Her recipe, she calls Panforte Di Paso is just enough sweet to top off your Italian supper. (Perhaps with a little glass of port?)
Finally, Mario Mangone was at the event and spoke briefly about his family’s connection to Mandatoriccio, Italy and the heritage of olive oil. In 2003, Mario and his wife, Kay bought property in Paso Robles and planted the trees to produce enough to bottle for friends and family. But by 2012, they were in the business producing Calabrese extra virgin olive oil: www.calabreseoliveoil.com.
What an evening! The discussion was great, the food amazing, and the people warm and friendly as always. Looking forward to the second year of the Food History Project.