Thursday, May 1, 2014

Enoteca Sociale: Classic Roman Cuisine

Enoteca Sociale is a small restaurant with a big heart. Nestled on a quite corner at Dundas and Dovercourt, the restaurant was the culinary love-child of Chef Rocco Agostino, Max Rimaldi, and Daniel Clarke, of Pizzeria Libretto fame, but this time the menu is inspired by classic Roman cuisine. Now in the kitchen is newcomer Chef de Cuisine Kris Schlotzhauer, keeping the dishes elegantly simple. "Few of the dishes have more than four or five visible ingredients. I wanted to make simple food" says Agostino, so he's created a menu that is composed of dishes he's always wanted to make along with several dishes inspired by his Nonna, pulling the maximum amount of flavour out of the fewest choice ingredients. They've both done their Nonnas proud. Using only the freshest, seasonal and impeccable produce, Agostino and Schlotzhauer's cooking is rooted in solid technique and is absolutely delicious. 

Our table at Enoteca Sociale overlooking the open-concept kitchen

The menu at Enoteca Sociale features a selection Piatti Sociale to share in addition 
to sumptuous pastas you'll be inclined to devour on your own

An Aperol Spritz with curl of orange peel whispers that summer can't be too far away

Fabulously fresh rosemary focaccia and slices of tangy Mennonite rye sourdough bread is served with a glistening bowl of fruity extra virgin olive oil

A bottle of Morellino di Scansano “I Perazzi” 2010 DOCG, from Tuscany

Albacore Tuna Conserva garnished with orange, fennel, olives and red onion

Grilled Sausages with wild mushrooms, percorino fresco and nettle pistou

Sugar Snap Peas with fresh mint, wild onion and chopped hazelnuts on whipped ricotta 

Four plump mozzarella di bufula and ‘nduja Arancini 

Gnocchi con ‘Nduja with tomato, ‘nduja and stracciatella

Spaghetti Cacio e Pepe with sheep’s milk cheese and black pepper

Bucatini all’Amatriciana with guanciale, tomato and chili

Ravioli con Guanciale di Manzo with beef cheek, pickled Beech mushrooms and parmigiano

Our delightful server Karen brought us a complimentary trio of dolce to celebrate my brother's birthday: Tiramisu, Sticky Toffee Pudding and Chocolate Budino

Enoteca Sociale Bucatini All’amatriciana
Serves 4 
Recipe courtesy of Enoteca Sociale

28-oz can Italian San Marzano plum tomatoes
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 lb guanciale or fatty pancetta, cut into 1-inch slivers
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp dried chili flakes, or more to taste
Salt and ground black pepper, to taste
4 tbsp grated Pecorino Romano + more for serving
1 lb dried bucatini or perciatelli

Empty the contents of the tomato can into a large bowl and gently crush with your hands, then set aside.

In large pot, heat oil in over medium heat. Add guanciale or pancetta. Cook, stirring, 3 minutes. Add garlic. Cook, stirring, until garlic is soft, 1 to 2 minutes Add tomatoes and juices. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened, 20 minutes. Season with chili flakes, salt and pepper. Stir in 1 tbsp cheese. Remove from heat.

Bring large pot of salted water to boil. Cook pasta according to instructions on package. Place sauce over medium-low heat. Drain pasta and add to sauce along with remaining 3 tbsp cheese. Cook, stirring, until pasta is well coated, 1 to 2 minutes. Taste for seasonings. Transfer pasta to large platter or divide among 4 bowls. Serve with extra cheese on side.

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