Showing posts with label basil. Show all posts
Showing posts with label basil. Show all posts

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Marisa's Place

We had our first bite of Marisa's Place pizza at All Over Albany's 2014 Tournament of Pizza semi-finals. The 2012 Tournament of Pizza winner didn't move onto the finals but there was something about the classic margherita pizza that both John and I really enjoyed. We decided to stop by the shop itself for a taste of our own.

The shop is located in an unassuming strip mall in Guilderland. We saw more take-out orders than diners but decided to stay at the few tabletops for a full pizza experience. The menu is a mix of standard favorites but also Italian classics that piqued our interest including greens and beans but we were particularly eyeing the arancinis. Deep fried cheesy balls? Yes please. These were indulgent crispy bites of creamy arborio rice with ground meat and melty mix of mozzarella and romano. A side of sweet and tangy marinara complemented the flavors and textures very well. It's definitely a new favorite comfort food. Arancinis also come in a seafood version with salmon, shrimp, and green peas which is next on the to eat list. 

We came for the margherita pizza, also known as the Marisa, but our love of prosciutto gravitated us toward the Rusticana pie with asparagus, roasted red peppers, fresh garlic and basil, mozzarella, and normally portabello mushrooms but because J is anti-mushrooms, ours was fungus free. Both pizzas had an amazingly thin and crispy crust. Despite all the ingredients, the pies held together very well with a flavorful balanced pairing of ingredients. The sauce was right up my alley; bright and sweet and lightly applied. The classic fresh tomatoes (albeit off season and not as ripe), basil, and mozzarella on the Marisa was very reminiscent of Pasquale's, from what I could remember, and remains a top favorite pizza combo.

The difference between a hot and fresh and delivered pie is night and day. I can see how the mozzarella might not have traveled well to TOP and got a bit tough with cooling. Because when served fresh, a cheesy slice pulls away beautifully with that stringy and melty stretch that we all love. Our particular neighborhood here in Albany is a pizza dead zone so t's nice to know a great pizza shop isn't too far away. Thanks to AOA for introducing us to one of our new favorite pizzas. 

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Let's Go Dippin'

It's summer picnic season which means bring a dish to share time. Stumped on what to bring to a pot luck? Try this tomato basil dip and let the raving begin. Everyone will be asking you for the recipe and it's stupidly simple. I'm terrible at following recipes but here's the gist of this mind-blowingly good dip: 

- Whip two blocks of cream cheese with 1/2 cup-ish of sour cream until fluffy
- Spread cream cheese mixture onto base of a large serving dish (or two disposable round cake pans for easy take and serve)
- Dice a pint of cherry tomatoes or 3-4 large ripe tomatoes into a bowl and mix with salt and pepper to taste. Let sit for a few minutes to let juices drain. 
- Spread tomatoes (leaving juices behind) over layer of cream cheese
- Chiffonade fresh basil leaves (2-3 bunches pending your taste) and sprinkle over tomatoes
- Drizzle with a balsamic glaze (reduce a cup or so of balsamic vinegar in a saucepan and let cool til it thickens)

That's it! Not only does this dip look beautiful, but guests will rave over how good it is. It's fresh summer flavors all in a creamy delicious dip! Enjoy! -R