Pasta La Vista (Part 3)

From North to South Last time, we looked at four classic Italian pasta sauces, with an aside on the great Italian tomato. This week, we finish our pasta series by looking at six more. Pasta 5, the pasta al ragu involves a lot more time, creating an incredibly complex sauce. You could use mince and…

Pasta La Vista (Part 2)

Green, White and Red Last time, we explored the basics of pasta, comparing dried and fresh varieties, with a brief look at the stuffed and baked pastas. This week, we start our exploration of ten classic pasta dishes. All of these involve cooking the pasta and adding it to a sauce. We’ve already talked about…

Pasta La Vista (Part 1)

Pasta 101 Pasta has become one of those global dishes, with almost every country having their own twist on it. Indians have their red, white and pink sauces, the Egyptian koshari is a mish-mash of rice and macaroni among other things, and the Italian-American cultural intermingling during the turn of the last century has created…

A Tale of Two Peninsulas

Growing up, the only exotic cuisines I was exposed to were Chinese (Indo-Chinese to be precise) and the so-called Continental food, a blanket term referring to foods from the continent of Europe. It was only in the past few years that Kolkata has seen an increased influx of global cuisines, including “Italian food”. Even then,…

Panna Cotta Perfection

A plate with some meticulously piped dots and an untidy dollop, looking like a novice’s attempt at scooping ice-cream, arrives at the table. Confused, I ask the waiter what the dish is, and he shakes the plate a little. And something stirs at the edge of the plate. It’s a panna cotta. Of the two…

Red, White and Green

With its hues of red, white and green, it looked like the Italian flag on a plate. The colours of the dish were reinforced by a liberal dusting of dehydrated tomato, celery and asparagus around the plate. The burrata from the antipasti menu at Ottimo seemed like a literal embodiment of the old adage that…

The Ottimo Odyssey (Part 2)

The tasting menu at Ottimo was an elaborate affair. In case you missed the first part, check it out here. Anyways, with the sorbet sorted and the palate cleansed, it’s time to move on. The next dish in line was a risotto of porcini mushroom and pancetta. This was definitely the lowest point of the…

The Ottimo Odyssey (Part 1)

In this article and the next, I will break down in some detail the amazing meal I had at Ottimo in Hyderabad’s ITC Kohenur, a couple of months ago. The menu is elaborate and we knew that we would be spoiled for choice, so we had left it to the chef to craft a tasting…

The Ottimo Odyssey (Prologue)

I have been interested in food right from my schooldays. From Sanjeev Kapoor’s iconic Khana Khazana and the 5-minute slots of “Ajker Ranna” on Doordarsdhan Bangla; to YouTube channels like Bong Eats and Bon Appetit and a multitude of amazing Netflix series like Cooked and Salt Fat Acid Heat, I have always gorged on food-related…