Friends and Food – My Kinda Evening!

Our friend, Ellen from Boston, was in town recently. Lucky for us, she had time to come to our house for dinner and a few adult beverages – Imagine that…

Here’s the fun part: We met Ellen a few years ago in Italy during a visit, and exchanged email addresses. We’ve stayed in touch, reaching out once or twice a year to ask if she would be in Italy at the same time we were there. No such luck – until now. Ellen was in our part of the world!

We offered Ellen two options – do we go out to enjoy one of the gazillion fab restaurants in Atlanta, where one could never go hungry even if one tried? Or did she mind coming to our house, for a home cooked Italian dinner, complete with a special bottle of Italian wine? Hmm…..guess which one Ellen picked?

Yes, indeedy, and here is the outcome.

First, we celebrated with a bottle of bubbly that our friend brought to share.

Next, we could not resist a simple, easy to prepare caprese salad, while this delish layered potato and mushroom casserole baked in the oven.

Potato and Mushrooms Cooked

Caprese Salad

And the main attraction? How about a dish I learned to cook at the International Academy of Italian Cuisine in Lucca, Italy – pork ossobuco. Simple, elegant, and tasty – just right for a cold fall evening.

Here’s the way the dish comes together: In a large pan over medium heat, saute chopped celery and carrots in olive oil until soft; add chopped garlic and cook about 1 minute. Increase the heat, and pour in a small amount of white wine to deglaze the pan. (Be sure you save the rest of the wine to drink…)

Add a large can of tomatoes (crush them with the best kitchen tool around – your hands). Boil to thicken.

Crush the Tomatoes (1)

Meanwhile, add olive oil to a pan over medium-high heat. Coat the pork slices with flour seasoned with salt and pepper, shaking off any excess (you don’t want them to get soggy).  Place the pork in the heated pan, cooking each side until browned.

Pork Browning

Once browned, remove the pork. Deglaze the pan. Then pour the tomato mixture in the pan, and place the pork on top of the tomato mixture. Reduce heat, cover, and cook until the pork is cooked through.

Completed Pork

The presentation is nice and rustic, as it is all placed on a serving dish to create a “one dish meal” to be passed around family style….so you can relax and enjoy your friend’s company! Thanks for visiting, Ellen, and sharing your time in Atlanta at our house.

Buon appetito!



  1. Well of course, who wouldn’t pick the best option in town. And I’ll bet you didn’t feel rushed and could enjoy each others company. Every single part of that meal looks fabulous. So…after you deglaze the pan with the wine, you don’t pour it down the sink? Well, I guess you can’t waste it so you’re right, you just have to finish it off.

    1. That night, it all came together beautifully! The bottle of wine, which we had brought back several years ago from Italy, was the perfect one for our evening…we just hated that we only had one bottle, instead of an entire case…!

      NO wine pouring in the sink, mind you! LOL! You must finish the bottle, and take one for the team, right? No leftover wine in this home…

  2. That potato casserole looks amazing!

    1. The layering of the potatoes and mushrooms really was easy, tasty, and perfectly hot for a cold winter dinner.
      Thanks for stopping by!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: