summer is over. once the CNE hits, you know that it’s back-to-school season and chilly weather is beginning its slow creep upon us. i think this is the quickest that summer has ever passed by. there was so much suspense for our trip so everything in june is a blur of excitement, then we were away for just over 2 weeks, and i don’t even know what happened in july and august. i do know that i’ve probably drank about 100 bottles of rose (maybe that’s why this summer is a blur?), and i do know that there was tons of laughter and rooftop hangs.
there were also a ton of dinners under the summer sky, including my mangia! dinner series nights. there’s really nothing i love more than friends gathered around a table, laughing, excited to eat something you’ve created. i spend hours daydreaming at work about what to make; running all of the seasonal produce options through my mind; making sure a menu flows and the courses compliment each other. i love the prep, the sweating in the kitchen and over the grill, and that feeling of cooking something that turns out perfectly (i’ve done a little happy dance more than a few times – i just get so excited when i nail something!). and of course, i love the collective “mmmmm” when everyone takes their first few bites.
this time, (which will sadly be one of the last times on the roof under the beautiful, twinkly lights! *cries*) i made one of my favourite snacks to start: fried zucchini agrodolce. this was the perfect starter with a glass of rose – salty, sweet, crunchy and minty – the perfect aperitivo to open the palette. for the primo, i spent the afternoon doing one of my all time favourite things: making ravioli. fresh egg pasta filled with creamy ricotta, black pepper and a hint of nutmeg – so light and flavourful. i topped these little pillows of joy with fresh cherry tomatoes and basil from my herb garden. secondi was grilled ontario lamb, cooked perfectly medium rare, served with farro and garlicky rapini.
unfortunately the pictures don’t do the meal justice since i had to take them with the flash on. as much as i know i should be hosting mangia earlier so that i can capture it’s beauty, it adds so much to the ambiance to host everyone on the roof as the sky is slowly streaking fuscia and everyone is bathed in a soft pink glow; lighting the candles as the excitement grows with the darkening of the sky.