Al Dente 101

There have been a significant number of new subscribers and Facebook likes recently. On top of all that, my analytics show that readership is up. So, it’s probably worth a quick reset to explain what’s going on here.

The is Al Dente and I am Jared (we’ll get to more about me later). This blog is about my journey with food and my relationship with it, though it’s not really a food blog, per se.

So what is this?

While the vast majority of posts here are recipes that I’ve created or adapted from other sources, you’ll find that the majority of content here falls under the category of babbling. I have a tendency to be verbose.




I enjoy hearing the sound of my own voice. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t have started a blog.

So, who are you?

If you didn’t read the About page, I’ll keep this quick. I’m Jared Paventi, a 36-year-old Syracuse, N.Y. native and resident. By day, I’m a public relations/government affairs director for a regional nonprofit. The rest of the time, I’m a husband, father, fast driver, Yankees fan, and eater. My parents were both Italian and they instilled an ethnic pride in me that is still present today.

Go back a bit. You’re an eater? Aren’t we all eaters?

Yes and sort of. I don’t like the phrase “foodie.” Foodies find visceral pleasure in eating things that others don’t/can’t/won’t. They take photos of their grass-fed steaks finished a bernaise made from locally-farmed yak butter. Eaters will order the same thing, but not because it’s exclusive. It’s because it looks like something we want to eat. Eaters spend time appreciating the sensory pleasure of the food and enjoy the communal experience of eating with friends/family/other eaters. That said, I’m a total snob and will mock you relentlessly (to your face and behind your back) for eating at The Olive Garden or other dens of culinary inequity.

Got it. Who are The Wife and The Kid?

They are the people with whom I live. The Wife is my spouse of 11 years, as of this writing. She is my muse, my torment and one of two reasons I like coming home each night. The Kid is the other. She is my almost-four-year-old daughter, a perfect combination of my attitude and The Wife’s stubbornness. You will likely see references to The Mother-In-Law, The Aunt, The Father, The Sister and others.

Why don’t you use their names? Calling your wife “The Wife” is kind of abrasive, isn’t it?

These people deserve a measure of anonymity as they didn’t ask to come along for this ride. The Wife is not a public person by nature and I don’t make it a point of dangle my daughter out in the breeze for public discussion. So, everyone gets a proper noun.

Didn’t you “dangle your daughter” here before?

Well, yes, in a way. My daughter has Celiac disease and, for a while, I wrote about our journey with it. Unfortunately, a gang of hostile Gluten-Free dieters decided to drop in and criticize my parenting, so I’ve stopped for a while. You can find all of it in the archives under the Gluten Schmuten category.

Anything else to share with the people?

Just that I’m happy you are here and looking forward to sharing more with everyone on this ride. This blog will continue as long as it is fun. It’s the only promise I’ve made to myself about it.


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