I told myself that I was going to save half for my dinner the next night. I psyched myself up for it the whole day -- I would be one of those model citizens of good health who proudly leaves a restaurant with a "to-go" box in hand. The reviews of Farfalla Trattoria, the cozy Italian eatery in Los Feliz, all insisted that the kitchen doled out large portions of their al dente pasta. If I just ate plenty of calamari and bread, I'd be fine to eat only half my trough of noodles. Right?
The evening started out well. The bread basket, served with sun-dried tomato-infused olive oil was standard but tasty, and my dining companions were amenable to ordering the lightly-battered calamari rings and tentacles ($12.75) as an appetizer. As I dunked the tender rings into the spicy arrabiata sauce, I was convinced that I would be able to resist consuming my entire order of Fusilli with shitake, leeks, artichokes,white truffle oil and aged ricotta ($16.75). I smugly sipped my full-bodied glass of Syrah, relishing the spicy bite of the bold house wine.
When our entrees arrived at the table, I was further convinced that I would not be able to finish the lofty proportion of pasta. I laughed quietly to myself -- Diana would not be the "Big Fat Ugly American" tonight! I carefully began forking my way through the dish, pairing each fusilli noodle with one of the meaty shitake mushrooms and tender leeks. Laced with just a hint of luscious truffle oil, the combination was addictive, particularly with the fine quality dried ricotta cheese. The pasta was perfectly cooked, the flavor profiles were spot on, and I found myself struggling to slow the pace of my fork-to-mouth action. I tried to distract myself by tasting my dining companion's polenta with wild mushroom sauce ($12.50), a decadent appetizer that is the quintessential comfort food, and it seemed to work. Especially when she insisted I finish the last two bites. I set my fork down, and confidently asked the busboy to wrap up my leftover pasta.
Our party of six capped off the evening with an order of a some what lackluster chocolate cake ($7.50) for the table, and while I wasn't completely satisfied by the couple bites I managed to pilfer, I felt comfortably full by the time we rolled out of the restaurant. I contemplated stopping by Pazzo Gelato for a scoop of pistachio gelato on my way home, but decided to eat one of my freshly baked chocolate and oat cookie bars instead.
When I arrived at my apartment, I couldn't resist a sneak peak at the contents of my white to-go box. What had looked like an ample portion inside the restaurant looked stingy in the light of my kitchen. There really wasn't that much left. Definitely not enough for dinner the next night. I poked around the container with my finger. It was still warm. The smell of the truffle oil and mushrooms was intoxicating, and my stomach suddenly groaned with lust. Before I could stop myself, I dumped the remaining noodles into a bowl and popped it straight into the microwave. Approximately a minute later, I was nestled on my couch, digging into Monday night's dinner like the good old American that I am.
I finished the whole thing. And then I ate a cookie bar.
God bless America. And truffle oil.