Sfoglina, DC

A restaurant visited in DC earlier this year in the Van Ness area was Sfoglina. It’s a ‘Fabio Trabocchi Restaurant, named for the female artisans and Italian cultural icons that carry on the tradition of rolling sheets of pasta by hand with a rolling pin, a technique passed through the generations.’

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Since it is a pasta house, they have quite the selection of that on the menu. There are some other choices, as well. I found some other stuff that sounded far too good not to try. So I went for the Grilled Spicy Calamari, Romesco Sauce and Maria’ Chilled Tomato Gazpacho, Vine-Ripened Tomatoes, Cucumber, Red Pepper. There were both very tasty. The calamari was just quite spicy. But I will say, quite the good size dish.

My friend opted for the special of the night, which was a spinach and veggie pasta dish. It was apparently quite good.
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Overall, the place was good. Fairly pricey for what it offered, but it’s DC. Service was intermittent. Simply getting water (re)filled was tough. We sat outside on the patio, which was nice. Glad I was able to check it out.

New Gazpacho

Was looking for something new to make last weekend and had been eyeing this gazpacho recipe for awhile so finally got around to giving it a try.  It was Fresh Pea and Garlic Gazpacho from Cooking Light.  Pretty simple, as with most gazpacho.

Ingredients

2 1/2 cups shelled fresh English peas*
2 1/4 cups ice water
1 1/2 cups chopped peeled English cucumber
1 cup (1/2-inch) French bread cubes
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons sherry vinegar**what would we do without the ability to research info at our fingertips (see * info below) — I didn’t want to get a bottle of this stuff and found several substitutes, and the one I knew I had was white vinegar (I almost used rice vinegar, though it was rice wine vinegar that was recommended)
2 garlic cloves — MORE!
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
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Fresh pea shoots
1 tablespoon small fresh mint leaves
1 1/2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

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Prep:

1)  Cook English peas in boiling water 4 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water until cool. Set aside 1/2 cup peas. *I did some research on English peas while in the store(oh, smart phones, how we love you).  Long story short, I deduced that they are the same as frozen green peas.  Efficiency! You can eliminate this whole step.

2)  Combine remaining peas, ice water, cucumber, French bread cubes, 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, sherry vinegar, and garlic cloves in a blender; process until smooth. Stir in salt and pepper.

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3)  Ladle 1 cup soup into each of 6 bowls. Garnish with reserved peas, fresh pea shoots, mint leaves, and 1 1/2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil.
I opted out of the garnishing for a few reasons — there was no mint at the store, I didn’t use the fresh peas, hence has no shoots and finally, I was eating alone so who did I have to impress with decor?  I just put my own good stuff in the gazpacho — tomatoes, olives, manchego and grilled chicken.  Very nice, refreshing soup.  It did seem to be missing something and I still can’t place it.  Might be lemon or a bit more salt.  But, still a nice twist from the normal gazpacho.

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No-Cook Delicious Meal

Well, it’s still nice and hot here in DC.  That makes turning on anything in the kitchen unappealing.  For the last week I’ve been craving gazpacho and finally got it done today.  My favorite recipe is beyond simple.  It barely requires a knife.  Though it’s not from my favorite chef, I’ll give ’em dibs on the amazing recipe.  It’s called Macho Gazpacho.

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I add garlic to the recipe because that’s just essential to life and this kind of soup, and I cheat with Tabasco vs. jalapenos.  I also didn’t use the entire amount of cayenne and used a regular vs. English cucumber (just cleaned out the middle/seeds).

You just cut some of the ingredients into smaller pieces, throw everything in the food processor, blend, eat.  Before the actual eating part, I added some pre-cooked shrimp.

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I served this with Stacy’s Pita Chips, olives from the olive bar at Wegman’s (ahhh, bliss…), some hummus and a new wine that the two sommeliers at Wegman’s recommended…a nice, crisp white from Spain, the Valminor Albarino.

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Despite the heat, my friend and I sat outside to enjoy the meal and watched a thunderstorm roll in.  It was a perfect meal and nice way to wrap up a weekend.  Cheers until next time.