When Babbo met Terroni

I had a false start of a life in New York about 8 years ago. For my last supper, my roommate and I went to Babbo. Before I left, he gave me a copy of the cookbook and I've been trying to recreate the bolognese as best I can ever since.

When I moved back to New York last year, my last supper was at Terroni in Toronto. They have a mushroom salad there that I've been trying to recreate as best I can ever since as well.

So for a recent Sunday night framily dinner with our other Brooklyn via Montreal, Vancouver, and Toronto friends we introduced them to each other.

 Babbo Pappardele Bolognese, meet Terroni Funghi Assoluti Salad.

For the Terroni salad an official recipe didn't exist, so I did my best to make it up, with some help from other eager Terroni lovers who have attempted the same thing. (Thanks Lillies Lattes and Lace, and A Perfect Day for Bananafish.) 

The bolognese calls for a mixture of veal and pork. I've only been buying organic meat for the past couple of years, and find it really hard to find veal at any of the shops near me. Which led me to Mario and Sons Meat Market at Metropolitain near Lorimer. Mario didn't have the veal I wanted that day, but convinced me to get beef and ground it fresh with the pork while his wife told me it would work just as well. I spent an hour in the shop learning about how Mario's wife and son prepare their Sunday sauce, while their grandson played with our dog, and some other cousins fed him pizza crust. It's my new fave in the 'hood. And the sauce turned out great with the beef. 


Freshly grated Parmigiano Regiano
Breadcrumbs: fresh made bakery ones, not the canned ones filled with weird stuff. 
Dried oregano, parsley, salt, pepper 
Olive Oil 
Balsamic Vinegar



1. Preheat oven to 425. 
2. Mix breadcrumbs and Parmigiano together - I did about half/half of each. Then add oregano, parsley salt and pepper to taste.
3. Brush mushrooms with olive oil.
4. Dip mushrooms in the bread crumb/cheese mixture and lay out on parchment on baking sheet. 
5. Bake at 425 for 15-20 minutes, till crispy around edges.
6. Toss arugula with olive oil and balsamic
7. Top with the mushrooms right before serving. 

*To time with the meal, I made the mushrooms 80% of the way, then tossed them under the broiler a few minutes before serving. 



1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound each fresh ground veal and pork (or beef in this instance)
1/4 Pound ground pancetta (I used finely chopped)
2 medium carrots – peeled and finely chopped
2 medium onions - finely chopped
4 stalks of celery - finely chopped
5 cloves of garlic - sliced
1 can tomato paste
1 cup whole milk
1 cup dry white wine
1 tsp fresh thyme
Salt and Pepper to taste


1. Heat the oil in heavy bottomed sauce pan. 
2. Add the onions, celery, carrots and garlic and sweat till vegetables are translucent but not brown. 
3. Add the veal, pork, and pancetta and stir into the vegetables and brown over high heat.
4. Add the tomato paste, wine, milk and thyme and bring just to a boil, then simmer over medium-low heat for 1-1.5 hours – or as long as you can. 

When ready to serve with pasta, put serving of sauce in pan then add pasta with a little extra pasta water to the sauce and toss to coat. Serve, and eat immediately. 


Home Sick and Homesick

One of the things that still surprises me about living in New York is how after living in Toronto my whole life, (and living downtown for ten years before the move) my cravings for a taste of home aren’t for dishes at my favorite hip neighborhood haunts, but for food from the neighborhood where I grew up.

So as I spend the first weekend of spring home sick, I’m craving a taste of childhood. In particular, a taste of lentil soup from a Middle Eastern restaurant called Jerusalem. I was able to find the recipe online from an article in a local paper, so today I share it here for a home sick taste of home.

First rinse the red lentils and Arborio rice. 

Then sautée a small chopped onion. 

Add lentils, rice, and water to onions and let simmer. 

Add lentils, rice, and water to onions and let simmer. 

Till it looks like this. 

Add salt, pepper, cumin, parsley and green onion and simmer for a few more minutes. 

Serve with lemon, extra parsley and Maldon flakes because salt. 

Serve with lemon, extra parsley and Maldon flakes because salt. 

Jerusalem Restaurant Lentil Soup

3 tbsp olive or vegetable oil
1 small onion, chopped
1-1/2 cups red lentils
1/2 cup Italian rice
7 cups water
1 tbsp chicken bouillon powder (I used organic Better Than Bouillon)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp pepper
2 tbsp chopped parsley
2 green onions, chopped
1 tsp lemon juice

1. In a large pot, sauté the onion in oil until lightly browned.

2. Place lentils and rice in a sieve, and rinse them thoroughly under cold running water.

3. Add lentils and rice to the onions, cover with 7 cups of water, bring to a gentle boil, stir occasionally and simmer for 45 to 55 minutes or until lentils and rice dissolve and become creamy.

4. Add bouillon powder, salt, cumin, pepper, parsley and green onions, and let soup simmer for 5 minutes longer. Stir in lemon juice just before serving.