In Italian Withdrawal

I’ve been back from New York City for a week and am in serious withdrawal from delightful Italian food. I have lived in Phoenix for almost forty years and have yet to find excellent Italian food, so my time in New York included binging on savory tomato sauces. The pasta was inconsequential: spaghetti, rigatoni, penne, it didn’t matter–just as long as it was smothered in excellent sauce.

I grew up in Youngstown, Ohio, where I devoured fabulous pizza, calzones, meatballs, and of course, spaghetti. Thus, when I could not find a superb Italian restaurant in Phoenix, I decided to make my own sauce. Sadly, after forty years of practice, I’ve been unable to create anything that compares with either Youngstown, or NYC. I rue the fact I had little interest in learning how to cook in my youth and early adulthood. Certainly, it wasn’t taught in my stupid junior high, home economics classes, nor by my mother, who thought Ragu or Chef Boyardee were quality spaghetti sauces.

My ship sailed when I moved to the desert. Gone were my grandmother’s homemade cinnamon rolls and peach pies, gone were my mom’s orange cookies, and forever gone Italian food. Now, if any of you have recommendations for me as to what restaurant to try, I’m willing. If you have any recipe for me, I’m willing to learn. But realize, I have a distinctive palate: I don’t like vodka, nor wine in sauce. I don’t like sweet sauce. Thank you in advance, the Italian Addict.

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