In this special weekly feature, TODAY food editor Phil Lempert brings you recipes “stolen” (with permission) from notable restaurants across America. See how much fun you can have (and money you can save) by cooking these dishes at home.
THIS WEEK: Agnolotti dal Plin from Perbacco Ristorante & Bar in San Francisco, Calif.
Perbacco is an Italian word used to accentuate positive comments, to express pleasure or surprise and is a reference to Bacchus, the God of Wine and "good times." And that's definitely what you'll feel like saying after you try this dish out: Agnolotti dal Plin from Perbacco Ristorante & Bar. For those of you who've never tried it, Agnolotti dal Plin is a small pocket of light tasty pasta and in this case it's stuffed with veal and Savoy cabbage and pinched at the end. The Savoy cabbage used in this recipe is similar to your everyday supermarket variety, but has a milder flavor. Delicious! One bite and your guests will marvel at your pasta making skills!
About the chef: When asked why a Swedish-born chef would choose to open an authentic Italian restaurant, Staffan Terje of Perbacco in San Francisco replies, “Italian food is the food that talks to me. You don’t choose who you fall in love with. It just happens.” Raised on a farm outside of Stockholm, Terje discovered his passion for food at an early age.
After several years working in Stockholm and at restaurants all around Europe, Terje moved to Napa in 1986 where the lure of Italian cuisine called, and joined the original Piatti in Yountville, located in the Napa Valley. “We were doing some of the most authentic Italian food in the area,” says Terje. Being in Napa brought back memories of his childhood on the farm. “At the restaurant we used produce from small farms and sometimes even people’s back yards.” he remembers. Inspired by the vast array of local products, he began to form the philosophy of sourcing ingredients from small farms that he still follows today. Promoted quickly, he was soon responsible for new restaurant openings, menu development and training. Other career highlights include a seven-year stint at San Francisco’s Scala’s Bistro and cooking at The James Beard house in New York City.
Terje continues his philosophy of buying produce from small, local farmers, and feature items on a menu that changes daily. “Our dishes will highlight the seasonal produce available from the farmers market at the Ferry Plaza supporting the local growers,” he says, adding, “It’s the right thing to do.”
Perbacco Ristorante & Bar
230 California Street
San Francisco, CA 94111