Italian Food

Take a look at that picture. Did you ever see a greater sight? Forget the Grand Canyon! Who cares about the Taj Mahal? These things are so insignificant compared to the awesomeness of hot melted mozzarella cheese, that you could magnify them a thousand times, place them in the mouth of an ant, and they would roll around like a BB in a boxcar. How’s that for poetry?

Welcome to Part 1 of a Four Part Series entitled, “The Four Food Groups.” Generally speaking, I don’t like to give a particular order to the food groups since this is like trying to … um … well, it’s like trying to rank your favorite foods. But I have to start somewhere, so let’s begin with Italian Food.

Disclaimer: I realize that what I’m about to talk about is not actual Italian Food. It’s what Americans think Italian Food is. I’m well aware that in real life there’s no such thing as Fettuccine Alfredo.

I personally divide Italian Food into three subgroups: 1) pizza, of course; 2) pasta, of course; and 3) all the other stuff, including wedding soup. Let’s take a closer look at each subgroup:

Pizza. Okay, okay. I’ve gone on long enough about pizza around here, so it’s probably pointless to say anything more about it. Suffice it to say it’s proof positive of intelligent life in the universe. So for now, let’s just get on with it.

Pasta. You may have run across terms like rotini, manicotti, vermicelli, or linguine, but let’s face it, there are really only two kinds: spaghetti and lasagna. Spaghetti is what you fix for dinner parties when you’re between the ages of 19 and 26. Lasagna is what you fix for dinner when you’re between the ages of 8 and 18, and it’s your birthday, and your name is Charlie Hills. Fortunately, now that I’m all growed up, I can make it any time I want. Which translates to: never. It’s too bad, too, because I have a really good recipe. Here it is in a nutshell: lasagna noodles, red sauce, ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese. Place each ingredient in a pan, carefully adding layers of heaven in between each main ingredient. Give it a big hug before placing it in the oven for an hour. Let cool somewhat before giving it a second hug.

All the Other Stuff. Calzones, frittatas, baked zita, cannoli, … You know, I’m not sure if I can go on with this post. You see, about twenty-five hours ago I started my second “break the carb addiction” fast of the year. So, as you can imagine, I’m starving right now. In fact, you probably are too. We’re trying to be good on our diets. We’re trying to pretend that grapefruit this morning will last us until lunch. And here I am going on about Italian Food!

So let’s quit while we’re ahead. Tune in next week for Food Group Number Two: Mexican. Me? I’m going to bed…

11 Responses to “Italian Food”

Helen said
February 10, 2009 at 6:52 am

From the time I was able (say age 3) until the day I left home, I asked for spaghetti every single year for my birthday dinner. My very, very favorite food group.

Mara said
February 10, 2009 at 7:18 am

See, here’s where I get into trouble: my favorite food group is cheese. It’s featured in Italian, Mexican… mmm cheese

meg said
February 10, 2009 at 8:13 am

Italian food is second on my list after Asian. My mom makes her special spaghetti every Christmas!

Tammy said
February 10, 2009 at 8:39 am

Oh, Italian food, how I have missed thee… I currently have all of the ingredients for lasagna in my house. I may have to break down and make one.

Biz said
February 10, 2009 at 10:05 am

Mmmm. . . pizza, pasta + cheese – always a good idea!

Charlie – go ahead and make the lasagna – you’ll be happy you did! Especially if you use the no bake noodles – goes together in a snap!

quix said
February 10, 2009 at 4:12 pm

Lasagna, salad, and garlic bread is our Christmas tradition. Easy, fast, and yummy, and a big pan lasts all day. I used to love Italian food, but now it’s just so low on the calories per fullness scale in my brain (ie, I’ll eat a plate of fettucini alfredo for 1000 calories and then be hungry an hour later). I am splurging on some tortellini with pesto sauce for Valentines Day though!

megan said
February 10, 2009 at 4:22 pm

Love some good pasta! Cant wait to hear about the mexican food group! My personal favorite. 🙂

Suko said
February 10, 2009 at 8:59 pm

Mama mia! I’m making Chicken Cacciatore tonight. . . .

Charlie said
February 10, 2009 at 9:35 pm

I’ve always wondered who first said, “Mama mia!”

Sagan said
February 10, 2009 at 10:03 pm

I’ve been on MAJOR carb overload all day. Gah.

That being said, I lovelovelove pasta and calzones and frittata. Lasagna is super tasty but I’ve never made it before… it seems so complex for some reason.

Jenn said
February 10, 2009 at 11:13 pm

I love Italian food SO much. I found a pretty decent recipe for lasagna that equates to something like 220 calories per slice. Not bad, and it helps me get over the perceived loss of yummy Italian. 🙂