Fr. Z’s Kitchen: Supper with friends

Still in (near) the Windy City. Yesterday my hosts and I met up with a mutual friend of many years for lunch at the iconic SUPERDAWG. I’ve featured them here before.

However, for supper we dined in. Primo: spaghetti all’arabbiata.

The little tomatoes were for the salad dressing, a vinaigrette.  Minced garlic, white wine vinegar, salt, olive oil.  Macerate for a while.   A mix of baby greens and romaine.

For the pasta sauce, I left the garlic in fairly large chunks just in case the others didn’t want to ingest it all.  Start gently in the olive oil.  Never burn garlic.  Brrrrr.

In go the whole San Marzano tomatoes, which I broke down with the edge of a spatula.

You can bring to temp quickly and serve or you can reduce to intensify the experience.  That’s what I do.  Gauge that carefully if you have several people to feed.  What this produced: five adult portions with one, entire package of bronze cut spaghetti alla chitarra.

Meanwhile, the main show.  Boneless ribeyes.

One of the pre-prandials involving the wonderful Cedrata which some of you readers deigned to send me from my wishlist a while back.  It needs some fresh herbs.  We found this cocktail in Basilicata a couple years ago.

Everything was family style so I left the pasta in the pot for service at the table.

Meanwhile, the coals were settling down and the steaks had been dry-rubbed with white pepper, salt and oregano.

Ecco.  Consumed with olive oil, salt and squeezes of lemon.

Few things rival the pleasure of a leisurely meal with friends, especially when you haven’t been together for a long time.

I get to drive north for a meeting today and then back tomorrow before the return trip home.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in SESSIUNCULA. Bookmark the permalink.


  1. aptak says:

    Whenever you are in Chicago, you should make a stop at St John Cantius.

  2. VForr says:

    What a delicious dinner! I am happy to see your kitchen posts are back. I wish I lived nearby so I could share my garden’s bounty with you. I enjoy sharing what I grow and seeing it turn into a tasty meal.

  3. Jim Dorchak says:

    We had a party here Saturday to celebrate an early 18 September Fiesta Patris Day in Chile (Kind of like the 4th of July in the former USA).
    Everyone brought something to put on the grill so: Stuffed Iranian Style Salmon, Whole Lecheron Piglet Butterflied, Rib Eye Steaks, Brats and Sausages of all types, Grilled BBQ Chicken with (King of Sauce Chile Ginger and Onion BBQ Sauce), Roasted Onions with Lemon Juice- Salt and Pepper, Butter and Olive Oil, Cordero or spring Lamb on a Spit over the coals, burgers for the kids. There was a bit more than 250 lbs of meat over all and we cook over fire wood for the smoke flavoring.
    We had 4 different Ice Creams to chose. Pecan Pie, Pumpkin pie, and Cuban Coffee with Kalua. For drinks we had every type of Chilean Wine and Champagne you can imagine and of course Pisco Sour as well as Chilean – German/Aleman Beer.
    It is kind of weird to celebrate another countries birthday but we had about 45 people at the house. All races. All religions, All political leanings and All got along well.
    Fr. Z, I love to cook and love to see what you are making. It motivates me. Lots of good people come together at our dinner table(s). Lots of families with babies and kids. Lots of young and old people. Just good fun. Jim in Chile.

  4. maternalView says:

    What a blessing it is to cook and eat with friends. It is something to be thankful for.

  5. JonPatrick says:

    “like the 4th of July in the Former USA”. Yes Jim I am wondering whether we are still in the USA anymore. I come home from a trip overseas to hear of FBI agents invading someone’s house because they got an “anonymous tip” that the person might have been at the Capitol on January 6th. The Pillow guy gets surrounded by FBI storm troopers and his phone taken because he tweeted about whether the 2020 election was stolen. Not the country I grew up in.

  6. teomatteo says:

    That first picture harkens back to the days when… Men were men and women were well… women (or there abouts)

  7. redneckpride4ever says:


    PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE write a cookbook! You could call it “Cooking with Father” or “Fr. Z’s Guide to Sacred Seasonings”.

    It needs a disclaimer though: “The author is not responsible for your committing the sin of gluttony”.

Think, proof read, preview BEFORE posting!