When the agency I work for celebrates its foundation anniversary, the close to two thousand employees are treated to lunch. In the past, boxes upon boxes of a packed lunch, usually from Max's or some other, quasi-fastfood dining outlet near the agency's head office, arrive for distribution after the thanksgiving mass and a short program.
The cannelloni agli spinaci, baked cannelloni stuffed with spinach and cheese topped with bechamel and parmesan cheese, and the lasagne al forno are both bestsellers, and are always available in the glass showcase in the pasta counter. They are always ordered by my colleagues, with pasta alla pescatora (spaghetti with seafood sauce) coming in a close second.
One time a friend and I chanced upon a nearly demolished dish of pasta montanara (spinach fusilli with sausage, bell pepper, cheese sauce, pepperoni and salami) on the counter. It looked so good I had no second thought in ordering it, which thankfully relieved me of my usual endless pondering on which to try this time, which one to reserve for next time. It was the best, nano-second decision I've made in my entire life, to date.
Brimming with juicy Italian sausage in a tomato sauce enhanced by the cheese and roasted bell peppers, full of contrasting textures and complementary flavors, that in a few minutes we were sopping up the left-over sauce on the plate with the accompanying slice of soft bread generously spread with butter. Well, the soft bread may not be authentically Italian, but I didn't mind - I like to have a break from gum-injuring crusty breads with my pasta sometimes. That's French, I believe, anyway.
I got the chicken, which came with rice but with no vegetables, so I got a salad of fruits in syrup to go with it, as I am uncomfortable eating meat by itself. I brought home the left-overs (about 3/4 of the entire serving), and they were even more delicious heated up the next day.
From an ordinary, once-exclusive canteen for Don Bosco and its students serving great Italian fare that, because of great clamor from those who had been privileged enough to sample it, was good enough for a full-scale restaurant, Amici di Don Bosco even operates an Advanced School of Cooking. In fact, a six-hour Italian pasta sauce cooking lesson with Chef Giorgio Bucciarelli is scheduled tomorrow, Jan. 14, 10AM-5PM, while a pizza-making course is scheduled for next Saturday, Jan. 21. Similar courses are intermittently held throughout the year. Cookbooks are also available, published by the printing press next door, Salesiana Publishers, Inc.
10AM-9PM, Monday to Sundays
Tel. No. (632) 8938915
Now delivers! 8184444Tomas Morato branch:
243 Bellagio Bldg., Fuentebella Street
Tomas Morato, Quezon City