Saturday, May 16, 2009

Fettuccine's on Elgin St.

Fettuccine with tomato vodka sauce for two on Flickr by beFOODled.

On Friday night, I rented three movies and take-out from Fettuccine's for S and I. Fettuccine's is our neighbourhood's fresh pasta joint. (When I lived in Parkdale, I used to go to Parma Ravioli).

For unknown reasons, I always assumed that in Italy people ate fresh pasta and that dried pasta was an inferior, but non-perishable, alternative. I think it was an episode of Jamie's Great Italian Escape where Jamie Oliver said that both fresh and dried pastas are valued equally in Italy. They use dried when they want the "al dente" texture that fresh pasta can never achieve or when they want a firm texture that can stand up to hearty sauces, like a meaty bolognese. In contrast, they use fresh pasta with light sauces, for example, made with tomatoes and cream.

At Fettuccine's, I usually get fettuccine for two (plain or spinach), two tubs of tomato vodka sauce and two garlic breads. It's a great deal for only $18. The garlic bread is the best in the city — I told this to Squeaky who later investigated on her own and now concurs.

I usually cook the pasta for about eight minutes and heat up one of the tubs of vodka sauce for the two of us (the other I save for later in the week). I toss the pasta in half of the sauce, and save the other half to ladle on top. Then I add cracked black pepper and grate some fresh parmesan over top. The garlic bread is an eight-inch piece of fresh baguette with a garlicky butter spread inside. I open them up and cook them for a few minutes at 350 F and then broil them for a couple of minutes until they are golden and the edges almost charred. I am generally not good at timing but I have made this so many times everything is now ready at the same time. Booya!

The other dish I am partial to at Fettuccine's is the sun-dried tomato cappelleti. This is an antipasti salad of cheese cappelleti (looks like a hat-shaped tortellini), sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, fresh parsley, olive oil and mozzarella. It is unbelievably tasty either hot or cold and very very garlicky.

280C Elgin St.
Ottawa, ON K2P 1M2
Tel │ 613.230.4723

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