mangia! mangia!

29 Jun


I remember when Food Network first came on the air in the early 90’s. We used to love watching this terrible show called How To Boil Water hosted by a comedian who just happened to be a single bachelor who needed to be taught literally how to boil a pot of water. His sidekick was a tight-wad female chef instructor completely incapable of understanding humor. There was a sick pleasure we’d derive from watching the poor guy cock up things as simple as spaghetti with jarred tomato sauce.

On the other side of the spectrum, we learned the historic context and proper French technique for hollandaise from the intrepid David Rosengarten and his TV show, Taste. Long before Bravo existed, Rosengarten was rocking a stark all-white, green screened set — he was clearly ahead of his time in all aspects. Rosengarten was my first exposure to someone who was unabashedly obsessed with food and the study of it. “Life is a matter of taste,” Rosengarten would declare at the end of each episode.

Though Taste is long gone (not sure why Food Network doesn’t bring back the reruns, or hello, can we get this on Netflix?), Rosengarten has forged on in his gastronomic odyssey with the revival of the Rosengarten Report, a subscription only culinary e-zine (!!!?!!) that costs $60/year for 12 online issues. While I am intrigued to read “The Growing Phenomenon of Fresh-Pressed Olive Oil: Why It’s Much Better When It’s Young, and Where to Find the Very Best New Oils of Harvest 2009,” I’d rather save my 60-bucks for actually purchasing good olive oil.

In my reminiscing about Taste, I came across the above video made recently by Rosengarten. In it, he takes us on a journey to formulate the perfect old-school Italian red sauce (his secret: a roasted, then fried eggplant blended into the classic tomato/garlic mix).

I made my own variation with some leftover fresh tomato sauce, and it was every bit as delicious as he says. Watch the video for the recipe!

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