Dinner and bento – Italian takeaway

This was one of the best takeaway dinners we’ve had! The food came from Italian restaurant Casa del’ Amici (“The Vale Shopping Centre”, Shop 23, 393 Warton Road, Canning Vale). We’ve eaten there previously and really enjoyed it. Some of you may remember my intention to try their arancini and homemade risotto the next time we ate there. We didn’t get any dessert this time, but we definitely made sure to get arancini.

Whenever we eat restaurant Italian, we always get garlic bread. There were three big slices of garlic bread in the serve.

Garlic bread

I love this garlic bread because it is buttery and has visible chunks of fresh garlic on it. I reckon if it’s really good garlic bread, you should be able to see the garlic on it.

Garlic bread close-up

Our other starter dish was the arancini. There were two in a serve. They were roughly tennis ball-sized (chubby tennis balls!), dripping in thick napolitana sauce and smelling glorious. I couldn’t wait to dig in.


I lifted one arancini onto Jac’s plate, with lots of sauce….


…but when I touched my arancini with my spoon – POW! It exploded! :-O Anyway, thanks to the rice ball with a mind of its own, you can see what was in it – rice, cubes of ham, peas, minced meat and stringy mozzarella cheese.

Arancini - exploded!

We each chose a pasta dish for the main course, and shared both dishes. Jac’s choice was fettucine gamberi – king prawns sauteed with garlic, fresh chilli and white wine, tossed through the pasta. Yep, that’s real fresh red chilli you can see there in the corner.

Fettucine gamberi

I chose spaghetti marinara, which included pieces of fish and squid, scallops, king prawns and mussels. Jac ate all the mussels, of course, since I don’t like them. We were surprised and pleased at how bursty the prawns were in both dishes, and how tender the squid pieces in the marinara were.

Spaghetti marinara

Jac also got us a green salad to share. It was dressed with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, but what made it taste really wonderful was the seasoning of the salad leaves – just salt and pepper, but I was amazed at how good salad greens could taste.

Green salad

I started my dinner with my exploded arancini, which I enjoyed despite its premature collapse. After mopping up every drop of napolitana sauce with my piece of garlic bread, I moved onto the spaghetti marinara (as you can see, with a carefully selected prawn, piece of fish, scallop and squid) with salad…

Spaghetti marinara and salad

…and then finished with fettucine with a prawn or two. The chilli was surprisingly hot, but I really enjoyed this dish. The pasta tasted really fresh and light.

Fettucine gamberi

For our bento lunches the next day, I packed us an Italian encore. In each container, I placed salad in a cup (a little wilted by now, but still delicious), a little fettucine, a little spaghetti, and a couple of small pieces of garlic bread (I sliced the last piece of garlic bread into four smaller pieces for easy packing). The containers I used were disposable / reusable large square plastic containers Jac bought some time ago. They’re not lunch boxes as such, but I needed to use containers that 1) would hold all the food 2) could be stained by the red sauce and it wouldn’t matter too much (so none of my precious bought-from-overseas bento boxes!) and 3) could be zapped in the microwave.

My Italian leftovers bento

I gave us two prawns each with the fettucine, but for the spaghetti, I gave myself one big prawn and gave Jac the pieces of fish, squid and the last scallop.

Jac's Italian leftovers bento

I couldn’t wait to eat this lunch! Prawns for work lunch seemed so very decadent! I mopped up every drop of sauce and olive oil with the prawns and garlic bread. It would be great to eat lunches like this every day!

Italian leftovers bento - prawns close-up

I must’ve been extra-tired or something at the time, because I just didn’t think about the leakage dangers of spaghetti sauce… I had Jac’s bento note wedged on the other side of the garlic bread, but it was soaked through by the time Jac had her lunch. Jac saves all the notes I put in her lunch, but was forced to throw away the spaghetti sauce-soaked note. Oh well. At least we have this photo for the record! :)

The bento note I put in Jac's lunch

Holiday and other bits
Jac assembled all the clothes and things we are taking on holiday (the pile of stuff on the bed in the spare bedroom has been growing for weeks now), but this afternoon, I did the actual packing. Whenever we need to fit things into a small or limited space, I’m the one who does it – the fridge, the freezer, suitcases, cupboards. Do you think this secret talent for packing translates into packing bento lunches as well? :)

Juji and Jay came over this afternoon to drop off some things, as they’ll be looking after the cats and house while we are gone. I really miss the cats when Jac and I go away, but I like travelling with Jac. I like knowing I’ll be there to look after her, and that she’ll be there to look after me. That’s another one of those “soppy but true” things.

In another 20-something hours, I’ll be on a plane! For now, there’s a decision to make: leftover Chinese takeaway, or the last hot cross bun, toasted and buttered? Or Chinese takeaway, and then the bun? Heheheh.

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