Yes Anthony Junior, We Got ‘Fuckin Ziti!


After almost a two year hiatus, the Sopranos have returned to HBO for their sixth and final season. And what an episode it was! A whack, a suicide, and a gunshot wound. What a way to get the ball rolling! For those of you who haven't seen it yet, I'm not going to spoil anything but this episode pulls the rug out from under you. Disorienting, even.
As a Northern New Jersey resident, I feel a sense of pride that the Sopranos have placed our stinkin' state within the pop culture Zeitgeist. So in celebration of the new season, we decided to have a thematic dinner: baked ziti and chicken parmigiana.

fuckinziti

Exhibit #1, the 'fuckin ziti.

chickenparm

Exhibit #2, Plated with Chicken Parmigiana.

I have to say that although I have a fine appreciation for truly authentic and regional Italian cuisine, I love this Italian-American goombada red sauce stuff. It's damn tasty, especially if you take the time to make your own red sauce from scratch (well, scratch can also mean you opened up a can of Cento tomatoes and hit the pot with fresh olive oil and a lot of garlic, and simmered it with fresh basil — which is perfectly legit in my book, especially if its March and you don't have access to nice ripe Jersey tomatoes.). Fresh mozzarella and ricotta is also nice, but it's not a requirement.

Stock up on the Ronzoni and Polly-O, my friends. Its gonna be a great season.

3 Responses to Yes Anthony Junior, We Got ‘Fuckin Ziti!

  1. Rachel says:

    The remark about canned tomatoes is for other people, in the context of last night’s dinner. Our sauce was made from our own home grown tomatoes, which I made into sauce and froze last fall. Frozen basil cubes, ditto. Although I did add a pint of frozen meat sauce, that might have been made with canned tomatoes. So, 2/3 home grown then.

    BTW – there are two Japanese restaurants named Nori in northern NJ, one in Wayne and one in Caldwell. Anyone been to either?

  2. Danno says:

    The Baked Ziti looks great Jason, a true Sopranos fan! I once made a 2# pasta batch when my wife was out of town and just ate and watched 2 seasons of the Sopranos while I did. I need cocoa butter for my stretch marks from that weekend.

  3. Bux says:

    Lots of people freeze or can their surplus of summer tomatoes or a sauce made from them. However, if the larder is bare, at least in the NY/NJ region at this time of year, I’d go with canned tomatoes over what’s sold as fresh. When you can’t pick them in your backyard, or at least get them at the greenmarket, the best tomatoes available may well be canned tomatoes. Italian specialty stores even carry vintage dated San Marzano tomateos with a D.O.P. (Denominazione d’ Origine Protetta) label.

    As for that baked ziti in a cheesy sauce, I have to say that it’s the kind of food I cooked in college, the kind of food we served to guests forty years ago when we were first married, and exactly the same kind of comfort food we’ve had a craving for and which we’ve cooked several times in the last month. If there’s been a real change, it’s that the red sauce these days tends to be less over worked and over cooked, and far fresher in taste, not that there’s anything wrong with long simmered sauces either.

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