pastas

Pesto Macaroni Salad with Tomatoes, Corn and Fresh Mozzarella

June 29, 2010
Thumbnail image for Pesto Macaroni Salad with Tomatoes, Corn and Fresh Mozzarella My mother and I are a lot alike. People often confuse our voices on the phone, we've been known to (independently of one another) buy the same shoes, and we share the same Sicilian temper which flares up on occasion. But I am not my mother and this is not her justifiably famous macaroni salad. I can't compete, so I won't even try. In fact, I still don't know exactly what she puts in it, so I simply made up my own, and the two salads can stand proudly side by side, as individuals, just as we do. This salad is a twist on the traditional, adding in some old world flavors and the sweetness of fresh corn so readily available in summer. It's an easy side salad for a summer BBQ or picnic and makes enough for a crowd. Tell me, do you have a family recipe which you've tweaked or updated?
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Goat Cheese and Spinach Ravioli with Creamy Mixed Mushrooms

February 4, 2010
Thumbnail image for Goat Cheese and Spinach Ravioli with Creamy Mixed Mushrooms

 

When I was a kid and into my early twenties, my mother and I would make home-made ravioli a couple of times a year, especially at Christmas. She would make the dough herself and we’d roll it out by hand into giant circles, with me holding one side of the stretchy dough to keep it from springing back. I’m not sure why, but it’s been a long time since we’ve made ravioli and I had a hankering to do it again. This time though, I wasn’t in the mood though to roll out the dough by hand. Plus, I wanted a new kitchen toy; the KitchenAid Pasta Roller Attachment for Stand Mixers

So, being the ever frugal one in my house, I went around and gathered up all my husband’s change. The man leaves it everywhere; in jars, on counter tops, in his pants pockets. Does he think it …

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Gemelli with Butternut Squash and Bacon and Review of “Thirty Minute Pasta” by Giuliano Hazan

January 5, 2010

Pasta with Butternut Squash and Bacon

Giuliano Hazan is a member of Italian culinary royalty. His mother, Marcella Hazan, is credited with bringing authentic Italian cooking to the United States. In fact, even though I grew up eating my grandmother’s Sicilian-American food, Marcella’s cookbook, Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking, was one of the first Italian cookbooks I owned which talked about Italian food beyond tomato sauce. Giuliano Hazan has certainly taken to the “family business”; he is well-respected regardless of name, writing several cookbooks of his own, appearing on TV, winning awards, and running a cooking school for part of every year in Verona Italy. 

His latest book, Giuliano Hazan’s Thirty Minute Pasta: 100 Quick and Easy Recipes is filled with simple, elegant, and appealing recipes meant to be accessible to busy cooks. Most can be assembled in the time it takes to boil water and cook the pasta.
I like his approach to recipes …

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Restaurants in Rome; Il Fico and Hosteria Da Nerone

October 21, 2009

Rome abounds with fantastic restaurants. Toss a coin over your shoulder (a la Three Coins in a Fountain) and you are liable to hit a decent one. On the other hand, like most cities with an abundance of tourists, there’s no shortage of crap either. This is why it’s imperative you do your homework and don’t settle for the first place with a laminated menu in four languages and a nice view of the coliseum.

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The Centro Storico is the “historical center” of Rome and there are literally hundreds of restaurants clustered around the Piazza Navona, Pantheon and Campo di Fiori area. We ended up at Il Fico after pulling out my restaurant list and map and looking for whatever was closest to where we were standing. In truth, that wasn’t Il Fico, but the first place was full without reservations and we moved on, calling Il Fico and …

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How to Make Fresh Ricotta Cheese plus an Easy Pasta Recipe

October 6, 2009
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I really hate to waste food. It’s definitely a result of my upbringing. My grandparents were children of the depression and never threw anything away. Add to that, being fairly poor as a small child, and thriftiness was indoctrinated from a very young age.
So when I had 6 cups of whole milk left over from making the chocolate peanut butter ice cream, I was in a quandary as to what to do with it. We don’t normally drink whole milk (though I’m sure my husband would, happily) and I couldn’t let it go bad. I couldn’t make any more ice cream because frankly, I just don’t exercise enough to justify it. So what to make? Cheese was my final answer.

In addition, I don’t like to have to go shopping just to be able to make something (see my post on making a lemon blueberry tart). What …

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Easy Tuesday Dinner; Pasta with Pancetta, Arugula and Pecorino

September 22, 2009
I finally got my mother to part with the remainder of the pancetta we made. Of course, I had to promise to make her dinner in return for her parting with the divine piece of pork. Next month we're going to Rome for a week . So, in honor of our upcoming trip, here's my best attempt at a recreation of my favorite pasta of the trip, trofe e cicoria e guanciale. Technically, guanciale is bacon made from a pig's cheek, but pancetta is close enough. This pasta is a great addition to the Easy Tuesday Dinner series because it's done in the time it takes to cook the pasta (about 10 minutes). It's even faster if you buy your pancetta diced and cheese already shaved/grated.
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