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Everybody Likes Spaghetti

Maurizio Ferrarese

Chef Maurizio Ferrarese of Quattro Restaurant in the Houston Four Seasons hotel was very kind to me when I paid the restaurant a visit last week. As I reported here, when he heard I was disappointed that Vitello Tonnato had been taken off the menu, he whipped up a plate of the wonderfully bizarre veal and canned tuna combination for me. Chef Ferrarese, who is a native of the region near Milan, has only been in Houston since July and he hasn’t had much of a chance to look around. So I offered to take him out to lunch. Where did I take the young Italian chef?

I took him the Sacred Heart Society Spaghetti Lunch, of course. I sort of expected chef Ferrarese to turn up his nose at the Italian-American spaghetti and meatball plate, but he was actually quite charmed. The scene reminded him of a typical civic event in an Italian village, he said. And as for the well-cooked spaghetti, well that’s the way everyone in his family eats pasta. The whole al dente thing is really just a foodie invention, he said. The meatballs were okay, but the high praise was reserved for Tony Leago’s sausage. Along with the Spaghetti Lunch, Tony supplies lots of Italian restaurants around town. (Call him at 713 591 8532 if you want to order sausage.)

Tony Leago

Tony Leago, also known as “The Man in Black,” gave us a tour of the Sacred Heart Society’s headquarters. We saw photos of the past presidents going back to the 1950s, saw the card room and billiards room, and admired the many awards the group has won for their charitable deeds. The proceeds of the Spaghetti Lunch and other events go to the St. Vincent de Paul Society to feed the poor.

This Thursday, I will accompany another guest to the Spaghetti Lunch. Laurel Evans lives in Italy where she started a blog that turned into a cookbook called Un Americana in Cucina (An American in the Kitchen). “I love Italian food, but I started to miss mac n’ cheese and cupcakes,” she explained. Now she teaches American cooking for Italians. American food is surprisingly popular in Italy. “They love our brownies,” Laurel Evans laughs.

I figured she would have a ball talking Italian-American recipes with the guys in the kitchen at the Spaghetti lunch. Come on out Thursday at noon and sit down at our table!

Sacred Heart Society Houston
816 East Whitney Street
Houston, TX 77022-3540
(713) 692-0198

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