We started off Wednesday with an even more luxurious breakfast - Italian pastries at Ferrara's in Little Italy. The restaurant has been there for over 100 years (back when Little Italy wasn't quite as little) serving delicious Italian food, and most notably, pastries. Unlike yesterday's chocolate croissants, which we could justify as somewhat breakfast-related, these pastries were 100% desserts. We ate scrumptious chocolate-dipped cannolis and creme-filled sfogiarellas and chocolate mousse chimineras at 10am with no regrets! Mmmmm what a delicious way to start off Italian day!
Chef Ron (who had also been the wine connoisseur leading our tasting on Monday) then led us through Little Italy to investigate all of the specialty shops. He pointed out where to get the best meats, cheese, bread, fresh pasta and bread! Everything was homemade, Italian-style, and reasonably priced. I'd highly recommend heading to Little Italy to pick up affordable and authentic fresh pastas. Chef Ron gave us a full list of the different stores and their addresses so let me know if you want any of the information!
We spent the afternoon cooking an absolutely amazing Italian four course meal. For our antipasto, we put together trays of meats, vegetables, and cheeses that we picked up that morning, as well as made a Tuscan bean and tuna pasta salad. Chef Ron also led us in a wine pairing throughout the meal, so we had a nice dry Prosecco with this course. The picture above shows the antipasto buffet, and Chef Ron getting ready with the wine!
For the pasta course, we made cheese ravioli (fresh from Little Italy!) with homemade tomato sauce, sausage cooked in tomato sauce, linguine with broccoli sauce, and spaghetti with shrimp sauce. We paired with a Chianti. The third course (yes, there is more - hard to believe, but true) consisted of sausage and mushrooms with a homemade polenta (be sure to have multiple hands to make this one - 20 mins of constant stirring makes for a very sore arm!), swordfish stewed in vegetables, and veal wrapped with prosciutto and sage. My mouth is still watering - and this is all after the pastry breakfast!
We completed the meal with a light and delicious Amaretto cake, which was much more successful than Tuesday's souffle, and we dolloped it with grand marnier whipped cream. The perfect finish to a day of complete gluttony. We had a great time acting like Italians and sitting around eating delicious food, drinking wine, and laughing with friends all afternoon. The best day so far!