Make some tiramisu for yourself

Sometimes, in the middle of the day, and without warning, I miss Italy. I can feel my heart ache for even just the smell of it. I want to be shopping at Trabalza, the butcher, sitting on their little red stool while I wait for all the old ladies to go first, (because in Italy your place in line doesn’t count for much; what are going to do, fight with an old lady?), I want to eat Parmigiano Reggiano that is just taking on hint of the first Spring grass, and I want a coffee and bloated cornetto from Bar Centrale. I want to trudge up to my friend Caroline’s house on the hill, past the ducks and the chickens and sit by her fire.
Chicken parmesan has nothing to do with Italy, but make it anyways. Any good American will be transported immediately with the first bite. For a starter have asparagus with a poached egg, and for dessert a tiramisu that will separate the women from the girls and the men from the boys.
Put three whole cloves of garlic in a heavy pan with a spill of olive oil, cutting the garlic in half, and letting them go golden. Add four or five whole fresh basil leaves. Over low heat, wait until they are translucent. Turn off the heat. Add one 28 ounce can of San Marzano tomatoes, squished well with your hands before they go in the pot. Get the heat back on. Sprinkle in a few red pepper flakes, and a pinch of salt. Cook for 30 minutes at a simmer. Cut some chicken breasts in half horizontally, and then pound them out to about a 1/4 inch thickness. Season lightly on both sides with kosher salt. Dip in flour, then egg, then Panko bread crumbs (you will find them in the asian food section of the grocery store). Let them rest a minute or two, then add them to heavy pan that has been glistened with olive oil. They should cook without disturbing, until they are nicely browned, and then flip to do the other side. Remove and rest them on a paper towel or brown paper. Ladle in some sauce into a lasagna pan, so that the bottom is just covered. Lay the chicken breasts in a single layer. Spoon a little more sauce on top without drowning them. Add slices of fresh mozarella, and some grated parmesan. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, and cook uncovered for about 10 minutes, just to melt the cheese.
For the asparagus, boil salted water, drop in the asparagus, and cook for 4 minutes. Drizzle with a little of your best olive oil, a pinch of salt, and a squeeze of lemon juice. Toss them around in a bowl, and then arrange them on a plate. Bring another frying pan halfway full of water to a simmer, add 1 spoonful of vinegar per egg, and then drop in as many eggs as there are people, cracking the egg onto a plate first, and then sliding it into the pan. When it has just set through the white, but not the yolk, (spoon a little hot water over the top of the yolk), remove with a slotted spoon and rest on paper towel. You can keep these in ice water until you need them, just redry them on towel. Lay the eggs over the asparagus and then add shavings of parmesan, and some fresh chive.
For the tiramisu, separate 6 eggs. Beat the yolks with 1/2 cup of sugar (add the sugar gradually) and when it is thick and creamy, add 500 grams of mascarpone. Beat the whites with a pinch of salt until soft peaks form. Fold them into the mascarpone mixture. sweeten 1 1/2 cups of coffee with a few spoonfuls of sugar, and add 4 tablespoons of vin santo, or marsala. Dip the pavesini or lady fingers into the liquid, quickly and just til moistened. Lay them into your dessert dish (a flattish one) in a single layer. Spoon on the mascarpone. Another layer of cookies, and more mascarpone. Over the top, right before serving, sift unwsweetened dutch process cocoa.
Pour yourself a glass of prosecco and float some crushed strawberries in there.

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