Thursday, May 7, 2009

That's Amore!

There are few things in this world I love to eat more than Italian food. Okay, in the past I have admitted to a mild Mexican food addiction, and you know while on my frequent walks a handful of almonds are never far from reach. But when in comes to down-home comfort foods, my mouth salivates to the savory aroma of garlic and onions sautéing in olive oil, soon to be joined by crushed tomatoes, maybe some black olives or eggplant, all served over my favorite pasta. Makes me want to break out into song:

“When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that’s amore!”

Hey, Dean Martin couldn’t have put it any better himself. Amore means “love” in Italian, and who doesn’t love pizza? Spaghetti? Ravioli? Meatballs? (I’ll take mine veggie-style, thank you). And, of course, that all-time classic: lasagna! I was raised on tomato sauce and pasta, enjoyed one variation or another of it every week, but for special occasions there was nothing like my mom's lasagna. Whenever I visit my family Back East, the first question out of my mother’s mouth is:

Mom: Michael, do you want me to make you anything special?
Mike: What do you think, Ma?
Mom: Huh?
Mike: You know.
Mom: Oh, yes…what?
Mike: Ma! Your lasagna! What else?
Mom: Oh, you like my lasagna, do you?
Mike: Come on, Ma, of course!
Mom: You sure?
Mike: Ma…
Mom: Huh?
Mike: Never mind…
Mom: I’ll make two.

And she does. My mouth is watering at the thought. What do you have to say about that, huh, Dean?

“When the stars make you drool just like pasta fagioli, that’s amore!


Everything’s amore with this guy. The real question you may be asking yourself is: What is pasta fagioli? This video may help:

VEG OUT WITH MIKE: MIKE'S PASTA FAGIOLI



You may have noticed after viewing that video that Italian food, besides tasting delicious, can also be healthy for you. My pasta fagioli recipe is loaded with vegetable protein (24g) and is high in fiber (20g). And when you use low-sodium beans and tomatoes, olive oil and garlic, along with whole grain pasta, it can be a healthy meal option. Especially when you make your own marinara sauce. What’s that? Don’t know how to make marinara sauce? Here’s another video that will help:

VEG OUT WITH MIKE: SIMPLE MARINARA SAUCE



Looks like all that’s left to do is add some fresh grated Parmesan cheese and dig in. What’s that? Dean has one last thing to say?

“Scuzza me, but you see, back in old Napoli, that’s amore!”

No matter what language you say it in, I love Italian food! And when prepared right, it is not only one of the tastiest foods on earth, but also one of the healthiest.


Until next time…


peace,

Mike

18 comments:

Mike Golch said...

Mike,great videos.

LisaNewton said...

Lasagna is a family favorite. Whenever we get together, lasagna is almost always on the menu. We make two very large pans; one with meat and one vegetarian. The recipe is my mother's which we revised with we introduce the vegetarian version several years ago.

It's also a certainty that there will be no leftovers............:)

Great post, Mike.

Cascia said...

I enjoyed reading this article and watching the video. I grew up on Italian food because all my relatives on my mother's side are Italian.

I am trying to cook healthier for my family and about a week ago I made this really good pasta premavera. I made home made whole wheat egg noodles and used fresh vegetables with a little olive oil. My kids loved it! I'll have to share my recipe on my blog for you.

Have a wonderful day!

suZen said...

Great post - I'm drooling (not my most attractive moment! haha). I live on a high fiber diet and the pasta/soups I make are loaded with veggies too. I've never made a soup you eat with a spoon. Love your recipes!

Martin in Bulgaria said...

Love this post Mike. You can't go wrong with pasta.

Mike Foster said...

mike: thanks for dropping by, Mike, hope all is well...

lisa: sounds a lot like my family--something about mom's lasagna that makes me smile and consume mass quantities...

cascia: i love pasta premavera--it's a great way to sneak those veggies into someting tasty...

suzen: thanks, suzen, and drooling is a high compliment in some countries!

martin: or snails? (see martin's interesting post to understand what I'm talking about)


peace (and pasta!)

mike

My Autism Insights said...

Pasta fagioli is one of my husband's favorites - I'll have to give this recipe a try! I've gotten pretty good at making a vegetarian lasagna with whole wheat pasta and spinach.

I'm hungry now. :-/

Barry said...

All the time my daughters were growing up we had a monthly ritual of making our own vegetarian pasta sauce. Then we would separate it into quarters, keep one for immediate use and freeze three for coming weeks. It was one family ritual they never seemed to get tired of.

And both of them have since gone on to being vegetarians and making their own pasta sauce with their own children.

Yira said...

I love lasagna and all things Italian! Great videos too!!

4udiary said...

Good job...:)

betchai said...

i love garlic, onions, tomatoes, eggplant and eggplant lasagna is one of my favorite foods. i love lasagna too.

kRiZ cPEc said...

juicy tomatoes is something I like a lot! Thanks for writing this up.

G.Kannan said...

Veg recipes are too tempting. Trying at home for the first time.

Mike Foster said...

my autism insights: i love veggie lasagna too...and try it with the quinoa, it rocks.

barry: that's a wonderful story...our habits do rub off on our children, that's why we should make them good habits...

yira: all things italian? cool...

4udiary: thanks...

betchai: can't go wrong with garlic, onions, tomatoes, and eggplant...or lasagna

kriz: i can't wait for the farmer's market to start selling farm-fresh tomatoes...

g.kannan: good luck, let me know how they turn out...


peace and amore,

mike

Robin Easton said...

Oh Mike, I sure have missed being over here. I LOVED your comment about your "dream" on my blog. All that you said is ALL that I see in you ALREADY! It's exactly where I see you headed. You are dynamic! There is just something about you in front of that camera and your connection to food and your warmth and humor, without trying to be funny, you make people feel like they REALLY know you. Like you are their BEST friend. Like they are right there in the kitchen with you. You are just SO much fun and at ease and just yourself. I go away from watching your vids just happy and grinning.(I'd seen the marinara one way back but I even watched it again.) Lol!! :)

I also adored the story of your mom. I too am a pasta freak. When I was a kid we each got to choose what we wanted mom to make on our birthdays, and all my siblings would groan because I ALWAYS wanted pasta. LOL!!!

You HAVE to try making a tahini sauce for pasta. You take raw or roasted tahini (sesame seed paste) and mix raw crushed garlic, olive oil, tamari (or Bragg Amino acids - like soy sauce but better for you), some water, you can add cayenne or cumin or whatever other flavorings you want but I start with the basics. You may or may not like it but I LOVE it.

Thank you for all your amazing comments. They have moved me so many times lately. I've been buried in book related work and speaking...and book isn't even out yet. :O LOL!!
Hugs,
Robin

Mama Zen said...

Now, I'm hungry!

The Fitness Diva said...

I am right there with you on the Italian food train, Mike!
LOVE it, although penne and linguine dishes tend to be my favorites!
In Rome, I had spaghetti amatriciana, and have been trying to make it ever since! Was absolutely the best thing I've ever twirled up onto a fork!

Happy Mother's Day to you and your Mama! :)

Mike Foster said...

robin: as usual, an amazing comment--thanks! your feedback about my videos means so much to me, it is appreciated more than you can imagine. as for that tahini pasta, i will have to give it a try (maybe even make a veg out vid about it)...good luck on your book, looking forward to reading it...i've been working on a few myself, as well as a screenplay...adios, amigo!

mama zen: i hope that's a good thing...

diva: thanks for dropping by and adding to the italian love fest...as i said, I LOVE ITALIAN FOOD!...seems like you do too.


peace and happy mother's day to all!

mike