Sunday, September 23, 2012

Heart-Warming Pasta

At least this is what I'm calling it! Seriously, the best fall pasta, ever!!!

What you need:
500g of pasta
2 Tbsp olive oil
Pinch of red pepper flakes
1 sweet onion - diced
1 portion of cubed pancetta affumicato
(if you don't have that. Cut up 6 oz of thick sliced smoked bacon)
2 medium potatoes diced into small cubes
Punch of sea salt

1. Put a pot of water to boil, adding a punch of salt.
2. Put olive oil and red pepper flakes in a pan and turn heat to medium.
3. When oil is hot, add diced onion and blond.
4. Add pancetta to the onion and oil, stir continually until the pancetta is cooked fully. Then turn off heat and set it to the side.
5. Add pasta and potato to the now boiling water and cook it to the time indicated for the type of pasta. When I make this I like to use all the half open pastas I have. Some penne, farfalla, fusili, whatever you have!
6. Drain pasta and potato. Return oil, onion and pancetta to a medium flame, add pasta and potato. Mix it all together, turning good to coat the pasta in potato and oil. You want the potato to fall apart and coat everything.
7. Serve with oil and grated Parmesan (I like spicy oil) and ENJOY!!!
(Serves 4)

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Italian Herb Crusted Ribs

I am from South Carolina and I know good ribs, but trying ribs in Italy has shaken up my idea of perfect ribs! My neighbor, Annarita, has given me an herb rub recipe and it is incredible!!!

What you need:
Handful of Fresh Sage leaves
handful of Fresh Rosemary
2 large garlic cloves or 4 small ones
Coarse sea salt
Olive oil
Pork ribs separated

1. Put your ribs in a large bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and rub down with a small amount of salt. Set aside
2. In a chopper put your sage, rosemary, 2 garlic cloves, pinch of coarse sea salt and a drizzle of olive oil. Grind it all together.
3. Lay out a piece of foil. Rub your herb mix on each piece of rib, front and back and set it on the foil.
4. Sprinkle with a small amount of salt and put it back in the bowl. Add excess herbs and drizzle with olive oil. Mix all pieces by hand.
5. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
6. Heat grill and grill them nice & crispy. Serve and enjoy!!!!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Amazing Finds in Italy.... Lemon Ricotta!

OMG... today by chance, luck, grace, divine cuisine intervention... I stumbled upon a wonderful little creation. Lemon Ricotta. Its so good. Its real Italian ricotta with a bit of lemon. When these things come together, it is seriously a party in your mouth!

Sorry I can't share the recipe, but I can share the photo!!!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Tagliata Di Manzo

This recipe is so simple and always a crowd pleaser!

What you need:
Thin sliced rare to med rare steak
Salt & Pepper
Balsamic Glaze
Olive oil

Start your plate with a bed of arugula. Fan the sliced beef over the arugula. Sprinkle balsamic glaze and olive oil over the top. Finish with salt & pepper. Enjoy!!!!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Caprese Salad

It is a classic, I know. But I had it for dinner and thought it may inspire someone to enjoy the bounty of the summer in a wonderfully classic Italian way!

What you need:
Fresh Mozzarella
Small sweet summer tomatoes
Fresh basil
Olive oil
Balsamic vinegar

Cut the tomatoes in half. Cut up the mozzarella and add them. Add all the fresh basil you want! Top with a sprinkle of balsamic and a splash of olive oil! Enjoy!!!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Fried Pickles

You cannot fry these as fast as people eat them!!! It is a southern classic and I love it!

What you need:
Dill pickles (I like the ovals. Use which ever shape you like best!)
Save a 1/4 cup of dill juice
Corn Meal
Lawry's Seasoning Salt
Black Pepper
1-2 Eggs
Ranch for dipping ( I use the lay's ranch for chips)

1. Heat your fryer.
2. Mix (with a fork) eggs, pickle juice and milk (in that order). Set this aside.
(I use 1 egg and a little more than 1/2 cup of milk for a large jar of pickles.)
3. In another bowl mix half flour, half corn meal, Lawry's, salt and pepper.
I don't measure the spices, but I am normally generous with the Lawry's.
4. Dip your pickles first in egg wash and then roll in the dry mix.
5. Drop the pickles one at a time so the oil doesn't boil over.
6. When the pickles are light brown, they are ready! About 5- 7 minutes.
7. Drain oil off on paper towels.
8. Serve with ranch and Enjoy!!!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Panna e Pancetta Pasta

Serves 4-6

What you need:
Olive Oil
Red Peppers
Pancetta (Bacon)
White Onion

1. Start a pot with water and a punch of salt.
2. In a medium saucepan add about 2 Tbsp of olive oil and sprinkle with red pepper. (use as little or as much as you want)
3. Add cubed smoked pancetta or bacon cut into small pieces.
4. When the pancetta browns, add diced onions. Let the onions blond.
5. Turn heat to low and add the panna and salt to taste. Take it off the heat.
6. Add pasta to boiling water. ( I like penne or larger)
7. Drain pasta and add to sauce in the sauce pan. Add a drizzle of fresh olive oil and mix it up well.
8. Spoon into pasta bowl, top with Parmesan and olive oil and serve.


Monday, June 11, 2012

Michelle's Banana Foster Upside Down Cake

Michelle was so sweet to make this for Eri's birthday party yesterday. It was literally eaten up within seconds of it hitting the table!!!! And believe me, it is so good! So good, it was almost all gone before I could get a photo... Or a piece!
Here is the recipe straight from Michelle! Thanks to Michelle for sharing for the blog! I am sure everyone is going to love this!!!!

Michelle's Banana Foster Upside Down Cake


Topping -
1/3rd cup melted butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
Splash of Rum or 1 1/2 tsp rum extract
1 tsp vanilla extract
4/5 bananas sliced longways down the middle
Cake -
1 yellow cake mix
2 eggs
1 cup skim milk, or 1 1/2 cup whole milk
8 tbs (1 stick) melted unsalted butter
How to make it

Melt 1/3rd butter for topping and pour in the bottom of a rectangle baking pan 9 x 13. Add the brown sugar, vanilla, rum, and cinnamon and stir with a fork. Add sliced bananas, cut side down in a row across 9 x 13 cake pan.
In a large bowl mix the cake mix, eggs, melted stick of butter and milk with an electric mixer, about 3 minutes. Batter should be smooth. Pour over banana topping mixture and bake at 350 deg for 40-45 min.
Run a knife along the edges and invert onto serving plate. Cake should release, if not let it rest until it does.
Serve warm with ice cream or whipped cream.
This can also be made in a large cast iron skillet.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Pasta d'primavera (Spring Pasta)

This is my favorite pasta of the spring for so many reasons. It's easy, it's delicious, it's fresh, it's healthy and it is satisfying!
This recipe serves 3 to 4 people.

What you need:
Whole wheat pasta (or white if you prefer it)
2 Pinches of salt
2 Tbsp of olive oil
Red pepper flakes
2 medium pearl onions (you can sub with red onions)
2 zucchini
1 1/2 cups of cherry tomatoes
(You don't have to stick to these proportions exactly, just use this as a starting point. Sometimes I want more tomatoes, or I want to add eggplant and so on. Just get the basic idea of this pasta and then play with it all you want!!!)

1. Put on a sauce pan with a low-medium flame. Then add 2 Tbsp of olive oil and a sprinkle of red pepper flakes.
2. Dice your onions and add them to the warmed oil.
3. Dice the zucchini and add it to the onion. Cook this until you feel the zucchini has tendered. Add a pinch or two of salt. (be sure your zucchini is ready before you add the tomatoes)
4. Cut your cherry tomatoes in half and add them to the onions & zucchini. Cook this for only a few minutes. Set to the side.
5. Put your pot of water on the stove. Add a punish of salt. Add a punch of pasta per person. I like something like penne or bigger, so that it can catch the veggies. Cook al dente (usually means cook it for the time it says on the box, I use Barilla Whole Wheat Pasta).
6. Add the pasta to the veggies and turn on a medium flame. Toss together for a minute so the flavor can absorb into the pasta.
7. Plate your pasta and finish with grated Grana or parm and a sprinkle of fresh olive oil.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Burro e Salvia

Oh gosh. So simple. So good.
Bring water with salt to a boil. The cook the pasta, fresh is best! Drain it and the put it back in the pot. I cooked 3 servings of fresh prosciutto tortellini. I added 2 Tbsp of butter, a dash of olive oil and 5 chopped up fresh pieces of sage. Turn the heat back on low and mix it up. Delish!!!!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake!!!

It is easy and it is good!
Get your favorite chocolate cake recipe and make it.
Pour it in a bundt pan.
Heat a 1/2 cup of peanut butter in microwave (or more if you want).
Pour it on top of the cake and swirl it in with a knife.
Bake and enjoy!!!!