Pasta


There are times when our lives take a tumble. Time when we want what we cannot have. Times when we feel failure. Times when we lose someone important in our lives. Times when we feel sorrow for someone else’s loss. This was the case this week when we found out that Deb, one of our administrators in I Heart Cooking Clubs, had lost her Mom. So we are virtually sending her hugs with comfort food. Food that wraps you up and makes you warm inside. Food that brings back memories, feelings, joy. Deb – this is for you. It’s all we can do from afar.

If you look on page 30 of Donna Hay‘s Off The Shelf: Cooking from the Pantry you will see the recipe for baked carbonara. She lists it as ‘short order’. Presumably because it is quick. And it is. By the time the sauce is put together the pasta is al dente and ready to be mixed with some nice crispy bacon. What you end up with after baking the mixture for 30 minutes is….

…which you use as a main or a side. Either way, it is GOOD. The cream, milk, egg, and Parm cheese all comes together resulting in a creamy pasta.

I would not change anything except instead of just pouring the cream/milk/egg mixture over the pasta I would mix it all up in larger bowl with the the bacon and then put it into the baking dish. Good Stuff Y’all.

    14 oz ziti or pasta of your choice
    4 slies bacon
    4 eggs
    2 cps heavy cream
    1 1/2 cups milk
    1/2 cup grated Parmesan Cheese.

Cook pasta til al dente and drain.
Cook bacon until crsip
Whisk the eggs together with the cream, milk and Parmesan Cheese.
Place pasta in an ovenproof dish large enough to hold all the ingredients.
Top with the bacon and egg mixture.
Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until set.

What else is on the Potluck this week? I Heart Cooking Clubs is cooking for Deb this week.

My choice this week and I wanted something super simple.

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And this one definitely fits the bill

Ricotta cheese mixed with fresh basil, black olives, and parsley and then added to cooked rigatoni. The only change I made was to add some pasta water to the mxx so it wouldn’t be too dry. I have found that ricotta tends to dry out quickly.

Super Simple. Super Good.

You can check with the other “Hayers” on the Wednesday with Donna Hay Website.

The recipe is on page 148 of Donna’s modern classics Book 1

Want to join us? WE cook from several of Donna’s books. Just leave a comment HERE!!

There is one thing about cooking with Donna Hay, there is always an interesting recipe that will show up. Like this one. Dukkah roasted.,.,, What the heck is /DUKKAH?? It is a mix of nuts and spices. Mainly cumin, sesame, and coriander seeds mixed with the nut of your choice {I used cashews.} And so another exotic spice mix joined the other bottles in the spice drawer – DUKKAH SPICE. Check out the recipe because you can add lots of ingredients to the basic spice.

Anyway….

P1050993The spice, mixed with lime juice and olive oil, is rubbed onto the chicken, I just used quarters, and then roasted in a VERY HOT oven for about 20 minutes. The meat stays juicy while the skin is crisped and the meat is infused with all the lovely spice flavors. KEEPER!!

The only change I would make would be to use less liquid in the rub. It would be better a little dryer and adhere to the chicken better – IMHO.

Meanwhile the couscous, I used a tricolor one, is mixed with parsley, green onions, coriander leaves, salt and pepper. There was supposed to be a tahini yogurt but I am NOT a fan so just left it off. There was plenty of flavor in the chicken so it really wasn’t necessary.

See how the other’s liked the chicken Visit our little place on the WEB – Wednesdays with Donna Hay where we all link together.

The recipe is from Donna’s magazine: December/January 2015. this was Gaye’s choie. Thanks, Gaye – delicious!!

A whole new year has begun. That means twelve more months of the Secret Recipe Club. It’s a cooking group where each month we are assigned a Secret Blog. We cook from it and then post what we cooked. It’s all secret until reveal day. Thus the name – SECRET Recipe Club. Every month we get to meet different bloggers. Expand our horizons. Make new friends. This month I added bunches of pins all because I met up with Manuela of Manu’s Menu. So many things I want to make. It’s always hard to choose from so many good things. I stuck with three. All of them a version of something I would have to cook for us to eat.

So we’ll start with Bread.

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    Whole Wheat Bread

If you need a sweetish nutty sandwich bread, this is the one.

    Ingredients: (makes two 23×12.5 cm – 9×5 inch loaves)
    235 ml – 1 cup warm water
    10 gms – 2 tsp active dry yeast
    235 ml – 1 cup milk
    90 ml – ¼ cup honey
    2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
    350 gms – 2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for kneading
    350 gms – 2 ¾ cups whole wheat flour
    1 tbsp salt

Put the warm water in a glass and dissolve the yeast into it. Set it aside for a few minutes to activate.
In the meantime, put the milk, honey, extra virgin olive oil and salt in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the hook attachment. Add the water and yeast, two cups of all-purpose flour and stir to combine the ingredients. Add the rest of the all-purpose and whole wheat flours. Stir to form a rough dough. Let this dough stand for 20 minutes so that the flour can absorb the liquid.

Now, knead the dough for 8-9 minutes. If the dough is very sticky, add extra flour little by little. The dough is ready when “it is smooth, feels slightly tacky, forms a ball without sagging, and springs back when poked”.

Form the dough into a ball, spray it with some olive oil and put it into a bowl. Cover it with cling wrap and put it in a warm place to rise until doubled in volume (this will take at least 1 hour).
Then, divide the dough in two and shape each half into a ball. Let them rest for 10 minutes.

Grease two loaf pans. Shape each ball of dough into a loaf. To do so, gently flatten the balls into rectangles. Now fold the bottom third of the dough over itself (like a letter) and then fold the top of the dough down to overlap the other layers and pinch it closed with your fingers (on all sides). Roll the loaf over so that the seam is down, then fold the 2 sides and tuck them underneath. Now gently put the loaf into the pan. The seams should be on the bottom with the tight surface facing up Let the loaves rise for another 30 minutes. Slash the top with a serrated knife so that it rises evenly in the oven.

Preheat the oven to 220°C – 425°F. Put the loaves in and turn down the heat to 190°C – 375°F. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until dark golden-brown. They will sound hollow when tapped on the bottom. Let them cool completely before slicing.

This was such good bread. So much flavor. Mine didn’t rise as much as I expected. ot But that’s alright.

And we needed supper one night so I used another of Manuela’s recipes.

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    Penne with Sausage Sauce

We love any kind of of pasta add some sausage to it and it is a perfect meal. As was this dish of Manuela’s I used 1/2 Venison Sausage and 1/2 pork sausage.

    300 gms of Italian style sausage with fennel seeds (you should be able to get this at your local deli)
    2 tins (800 gms) of diced tomatoes
    3 medium carrots
    1 medium onion
    2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
    1 standard shot of Brandy/Cognac {I left this out}
    100 ml of cream
    1 cup of water
    Salt & pepper to taste (depending on the sausage you may need more or less salt)
    400 gms of penne rigate pasta
    Parmigiano Reggiano or Grana Padano – very finely grated, to serve

Clean and finely chop the onion and carrots and cook them with the 2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil on a medium fire until they are soft.
Remove the sausage from the skin and chop it coarsely.Then add it to the onion and carrots and mash it with a wooden spoon.
When the sausage has browned, add the diced tomatoes, 1 cup of water, a pinch of salt and pepper.Cover and cook on low fire for approximately 1 hour (when the sauce thickens it is ready).
Add the Brandy/Cognac and cook uncovered on a high flame for 2 minutes. Then lower the flame, add the cream, bring it back to a boil and simmer for 2 minutes. Check for salt.

In the meantime, cook the penne pasta “al dente” . Serve with the sausage sauce and some grated Parmigiano Reggiano on the top.

Definitely this is a repeat. But maybe next time I will remember to ADD THE CREAM!! I completely left it out. After we finished I found the container of cream STILL SITTING ON THE COUNTER. It was good without the cream. I can imagine how nice and thick and smooth it would be WITH the cream.

We had a cold snap (as did just about everybody else) and ran out of my Chai mix for making tea. Lucky for me Manuela had a recipe for Chai on her blog.

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    10 gms – 2 tsp pepper powder
    10 gms – 2 tsp ginger powder
    7 gms – 1.5 tsp cardamom powder
    7 gms – 1.5 tsp cinnamon powder
    0.5 gm – ¼ tsp clove powder
    0.5 gm – ¼ tsp nutmeg powder

Put all the ingredients in a small container with a lid and stir until well combined. Keep in a well closed jar.

Of course this is just the mix for the tea. To make the tea you can use her Method to make it.

I liked all of the proportions of her spices except for the pepper. I doubled everything except for the pepper. Much more to my taste.

These are only three of the many, many delicious recipes on Manu’s Menu. I only pinned about 30 of her dishes. Enough to keep us eating for a long time. You have to visit with Manuela. You have to try her recipes. You have to see for yourself.

Please visit the other SRC Group C members and see what blogs they cooked from.


I like a nice light pasta. Especially in the summer. Heavy sauces just will not do when it is hot outside. Like today. So this was just the right pasta. I had been holding off on this one for a while because I wanted to use really fresh tomatoes. Fresh from our garden. And basil. It is so exciting to snip my own leaves from the plant on the back porch to include in summer dishes. Exciting!

Spaghettini al Pomodoro e Basilico

As is usual these days I made only 1/2 of the total recipe. Simple ingredients: fresh tomatoes, garlic, pepper flakes, basil, and Olive Oil. Simple. Perfect. Delicious.

Look on page 62 of Hazan’s 30 Minute Pasta for the recipe.

And check out Kayte’s page to see if she made pasta.

I love simple. Simpe is comforting. Simple is quick. Simple is tasty. And this pasta from Giuliano Hazan is perfectly simple. And perfectly tasty.

    Fettuccine alla Romana

I have made Alfredo only once before but it had Chicken and Peas in it. This time it was strickly a side dish. It was delicious. Cream, butter, nutmeg, Parmigiano-Reggiano tossed with the pasta. Simple.

I realize that the pasta is NOT fettuccine. For some reason my brain said egg noodle and I had already started cooking the pasta by the time I realized my mistake. Ah, well, STILL delicious.

This recipe is on page 44 of Hazan’s 30 Minute Pasta.

Check over on Kayte’s pasta. I know she made pasta for 30 Minute Thursday.

Have you ever had a cookbook where every recipe was a winner? I haven’t. Until now. Thanks to Kayte I have Hazan’s 30 Minute Pastas and I have yet to make one of his pastas that wasn’t good. Including this one

    Fusilli alla Salsiccia e Zucchine

Good stuff, Y’all, good stuff. A mixture of onions, sausage, zucchini, and tomatoes tossed with fusilli was just right for dinner.

I only made one change. Hazan calls for fresh tomatoes but I didn’t have any so I used some fresh canned peeled tomatoes from the garden. Just as good.

You can find the recipe on page 150 of Hazan’s Pasta book.

And please excuse the photos. Gets dark early these days.

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