Ode to the Fatherland.

Last week we had ravioli for dinner. Not just any ravioli, but ravioli from the Bronx. Arthur Avenue in the Bronx, to be precise. My kind father made one of his frequent pilgrimages back to his hometown to buy the homemade pasta (along with the best cookies in the world), and gave us a box to bring home after the holidays. The raviolis motivated me to make bolognese sauce. I make my bolognese very informally: I basically saute garlic, onion and carrots and then add whatever meat I have on hand. You can use beef, pork, veal, sausage, whatever. Add tomatoes and simmer. I made a huge vat, so we have a freezer full of sauce now.

But this meal is about the ravioli, not the sauce. If you haven’t been to Arthur Avenue, go. Now. It is the Italian neighborhood in the Bronx. People are scared of the Bronx, but Arthur Avenue is lovely. Well, lovely in a Bronx sort of way. It isn’t far from the zoo, so you can combine a trip. So many people go to New York and spend a zillion dollars on an Italian meal in Manhattan, when they could go to Arthur Avenue, pull up a bench to a picnic table, get wine in a juice glass, and enjoy the best Italian food that New York has to offer. All for about half the price. Just don’t ask for a menu.

Or you can send your Dad to pick up ravioli for you.

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