So yeah…this guys shirt pretty much sums up my goals while at the Feast of San Gennaro yesterday!
Italian food is one of my all-time favorites and even in the blistering 109 degree LA weather (umm…I thought it was officially Fall now…what’s w/ the heat wave!), nothing was going to stop me from enjoying all the pizza, pasta, and gelato a girl could eat!
It’s always good to have a partner in crime (or 3) when going to a food festival…the more people, the more stomachs, the more food you get to taste!
Today my always up for anything friend David came along for the festivities and we ate our way through LA’s man-made Little Italy on the street behind Jimmy Kimmel’s Studio in good ol' Hollywood.
Considering the heat…there was no way I was going to start by shoving scorching hot Lasagna down my throat! We needed something cool asap and when eating Italian you know there’s got to be some Gelato and/or Italian Ice on hand. We kept seeing these people walking by with overflowing cups of ice cold Italian Ice so we made a beeline for that booth 1st!
Lemon was already sold out but I’m always a fan of Watermelon so I ordered up a cup w/ a small scoop of the Mango flavor in the middle….yum! The great thing about traditional Italian Ice is the texture…it’s like sorbet meets a snow cone with the flavors blended into the ice instead of poured on top. It melted so quickly…but cooled down our palates for all the hot stuff to come ;)
We decided to grab as much as we could possibly carry before sitting down…stopping at whichever booths caught our eye (or had a convincing pitchman). As you can imagine…there were countless Pizza vendors and after scoping the line-up, we chose Rocco’s because they had a guy actually flipping pizza dough in the booth (so easy to please!) not to mention a substantial line, which is always a good sign! I asked which slice was the most popular seller of the day and was told the White Pizza with Spinach, Garlic, Ricotta Cheese, and Alfredo Sauce was a sure thing.
I’m typically a Marinara kinda girl but that White Pizza was looking really good so I went for it! You wouldn’t think so but it wasn’t heavy at all, the combination of ingredients worked really well together and I love that I could actually taste the Spinach, which was just a tad crispy…not slimy like on so many pizzas I’ve seen…and the large chunks of Ricotta helped make this one of my favorite slices of all time!
Vendor of the day easily went to Frankies on Melrose since we initially came for the Sausage and Peppers Sandwich, came back for the pasta, and returned for another Sausage and Peppers Sandwich (It was that good)!
Thank goodness David did some research and read somewhere that the Sausage and Peppers thing was the must-have item at the event…I would have hated to miss something this tasty!
There were 3 pasta’s to choose from: Rigatoni Bolognese, Penne alla Vodka, and this other one that tasted like crap so I didn’t care to remember the name (sorry, just trying to be truthful here!).
I was in love with the Rigatoni…the meaty homemade Bolognese sauce was INSANE…I could eat this every day and be happy!
I’ve been hearing about the process of making a Vodka sauce with the whole reduction and burning off the Vodka deal...I’ll have to try making it myself sooner or later and document it for you guys.
To me, the Penne alla Vodka tasted like Tomato Alfredo (which is one of my fave sauces so no complaints here!)
…and the Sausage and Peppers Sandwich (!!!) Eating this made my entire trip to the festival worth it! Grilled Italian Sausage stuffed into a Baguette and topped with Sautéed Onions, Green and Red Peppers…I mean, it doesn’t get any better than this!
You can taste all of the oregano, garlic, fennel etc. in each bite of the Sausage…not to mention the casing is thin, which in my opinion, always makes for a more pleasant Sausage eating experience. They pile enough of the Onions and Peppers on top of the Sausage so you get a mouthful of flavor with every bite! I felt like I was eating “Man Food” because I can’t think of one guy I know that wouldn’t devour that Sandwich..my Dad especially.
You can’t leave an Italian festival without eating a Cannoli! We decided to support the Italian-American Police Officers Association by purchasing our Cannoli’s at their booth…so worth it!! They made some killer Chocolate Chip Cannoli’s…loaded with the traditional sweet, creamy Ricotta filling and dots of Chocolate Chips surrounded by a crunchy pastry shell…OMG! I’m just sad that they don’t have a shop so I can buy more!
Not even the heat could keep me away from awesome food…now I just need to make friends w/ someone that has an Italian Mom/Grandma in LA so I can go to their house for dinner ;)
Miracle Mile 6335 Wilshire Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90048 and Studio City 12514 Ventura Blvd Studio City, CA 91604
Melrose 7228 Melrose Avenue Hollywood, CA 90038 and Valencia
24025 Newhall Ranch Road Valencia, CA 91355