ltalian Butter Cookies

‘Tis the season to be jolly, but yet Christmas is a week away and I can’t seem to get in the true Christmas spirit. I’ve tried to listen to my Christmas music every day, but today I gave in and went back to my recent obsession, Taylor Swift. I put up a Christmas tree, but I’m never home long enough to keep it turned on more than 20 minutes and it just seems out-of-place. I even had a Christmas cookie party with some of my friends, but it seemed like a typical Sunday, except we were eating cookies and drinking wine instead of having cocktails and going out to the bars after. Hopefully once I am home and with my family the Christmas spirit will kick in, but for now all I can say is, “I’m cold and it’s winter time.”

For my Christmas party I wanted to make an Italian Christmas cookie, but none of my friends really like fig, which is what my family typically makes for the Holidays. I found a recipe in my family cookbook for Italian Butter Cookies, and thought I would make those and add in a snowflake shape and christmas icing! I am glad I ventured to another recipe because they were so good and easy to make. Definitely something I will make again when I need to decorate cookies because they were easy to ice and were quick to make.

Pastafrolia (Italian Butter Cookies)


Dough:

1 lb butter (I used a little under a pound)

2 cups powdered sugar

4 egg yolks

2 lemons, grated

6 cups flour

Icing:

See Cream Cheese Icing in my Recipes!

Mix the butter, powdered sugar, egg yolks, and lemons. Slowly add the flour. Roll the dough on a flat, floured surface until desired thickness. Cut into favorite Christmas shapes and sprinkle with colored sugared (or opt to ice them after they are done!). Bake at 350º for 10 minutes.

I forgot to buy the lemons so I had to go with lemon juice. I definitely think the cookies would have been less dry if I had used actual lemons, so make sure you don’t skip that and use lemon juice (from a bottle…) like I did. It was a slacker move on my part, but Chicago was in the midst of getting 8 inches of snow, it was about 1 degree outside and I had no intention of going back outside once I was back in my apartment.

At the request of my lovely roommate I also made my Coconut Chocolate Chip cookies, which were once again a hit! She decided to make sugar cookies and all of our guests helped her ice them. For fun we decided to make a christmas cocktail and we went on a whim and used ingredients we found in our kitchen and it actually turned out to be SO delicious!

Laura & Lucia’s Christmas Cocktail


Absolute Citrus Vodka

Pomegranate Crystal Light

Soda water

Sprite

Sugar-free Instant Apple Cider

Mix all ingredients in a pitcher, add ice and serve!

I am headed home this week for Christmas, so I am bound to have a lot more kitchen adventures along the way. If you read “An Italian Thanksgiving,” stay tuned for an “Italian Christmas” because Christmas time in my family is taken seriously, and always accompanied by a lot of laughs, a lot of wine, a lot of cards/gambling, even more food, and overall a lot of love – if all of that doesn’t get me in the Christmas spirit, I don’t know what will….

I also want to wish a very happy birthday (I won’t say the number) to my wonderful mother, friend, and role model. I love you mom (sorry I won’t be there to celebrate with you!!) and I hope you have a wonderful birthday. I wouldn’t be the woman I am today if it wasn’t for you – so since I won’t be there on your birthday, Cheers to you!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Lucia

Toasted Coconut Chocolate Cookies

Last weekend I was home in Indy and spending the day with my mom at home. She wasn’t feeling well, so I decided to bake while we spent time together! She had a recipe for some Chocolate Coconut cookies she found and was really wanting to try them, and luckily we had all of the ingredients!
I can’t wait until I have a big kitchen where I can have all kinds of baking ingredients and cooking tools on hand at all time. My kitchen now is pretty tiny and the more ingredients/tools I keep buying the smaller it seems to become. The cookies were fairly simple to make and turns out they are delicious!
My mom told me about a trick she read somewhere about how to make your cookies extra fluffy and to give them great shape. Once your dough is made, cover and put in the refrigerator over night. When you take out the next day to bake, the dough should rise perfectly in the oven and it will be easier to give them a good shape before baking!
We were instantly craving the cookies, so I didn’t wait, but next time I will try it out and let you know if it makes a difference. I took them to my Grandparent’s for Sunday dinner and everyone loved them. My Grandma even said they may be her favorite cookie so far, so I am sure I will be making these more often!
Toasted Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies

Toasted Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies

Preheat oven to 350º – Makes about 20 cookies
1 cup flaked sweetened coconut
4.5 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1 cup)
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
Cooking Spray
Put coconut in a small baking pan (in a single layer) and toast in the oven for about 7 minutes, or until golden brown and stir once. Remove from oven and let cool.
Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl and blend with whisk. Set aside.
Place brown sugar and softened butter into a mixing bowl and beat on medium speed until well blended. Beat in vanilla and egg. Add the flour mixture and beat on a low-speed until everything is combined. Stir in the coconut and the chocolate.
Cover the mixture and leave in the refrigerator over night. This helps to make the dough stick together and will make your cookies fluffier when you bake them.
When ready, put dough onto baking sheets (spray is optional) about an inch apart. Bake at 350º for 10 minutes.
Enjoy!

Last night I made dinner for some of my friends to celebrate their birthday’s. They are all starting to turn 25 and it is making everyone a little on edge…25 used to seem so old, but I don’t feel old and I don’t think they seem old…hopefully I will say the same thing when we are all turning 30! Anyway, I made Edamame Risotto so stayed tuned for that AMAZING and fairly easy recipe!

Fall into the Kitchen!

Fall happened in the blink of an eye. I’m not sure if it is because Chicago’s weather has been all sorts of crazy or because I was so busy I didn’t notice that all of a sudden winter was quickly approaching! Snow is in the forecast for tonight…and I don’t think I am exactly ready for that kind of weather yet…or ever!

Life has been extra busy lately with work, travels and one of my favorite Holidays, Halloween! For my costume on Friday night I was spaghetti, which I thought was only fitting! The costume consisted of red and white checkered tablecloth (dress) with spaghetti falling off my shoulders and a bowl of spaghetti and meatballs on my head. I am sure there is a picture  somewhere, but as of now I regret I have nothing to share with you! I was planning to wear it again on Saturday, but it was sadly destroyed and had to be thrown away. Apparently Laura and I have no business going into fashion design because our attempt at making it a little “cuter” failed miserably. Luckily I had a back up costume from college and was able to quickly throw on a flapper outfit!

On Halloween I carved pumpkins with some friends and Laura made White Chicken Chili in her crock-pot. I had never had chili before and was glad I tried it! We did some cool designs on the pumpkins and I am pretty proud of my spider!

One of my best friends, who remain nameless, has been staying at our apartment for the past month or so while she looks for a job in Indianapolis and continues to work here. It’s been so wonderful having her here so we have been trying to take advantage of the time we have left all living here in Chicago together (my three best friends growing up and I all actually live in the same city again after 6 long years!) and we try to make dinner together once a week. Last week, my friends made the best appetizer ever! Goat cheese and Zucchini bread.  It was delicious and I can’t wait to make it myself one day!

Goat Cheese Zucchini Bread


Ingredients

Goat cheese

Zucchini

Olive oil

salt & pepper

Loaf of bread (we used fresh bread from Jimmy Johns)

Heat oven to 350º. zucchini into pieces and lightly saute in olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Once slightly browned, removed and put on a baking tray. Put bread and zucchini in the oven for about 5 minutes until zucchini is cooked and bread is warm. Slice bread into pieces, cover in goat cheese and top with Zucchini. Enjoy!

If you ever need a quick appetizer or want a creative way to snack – this is perfect! This may not be an italian recipe, but I love zucchini and am glad I now have a new way to enjoy outside of pasta or alone!! Check out some of the fun I’ve been having this Fall…I can’t believe it’s almost time for Thanksgiving!! I know my family will soon be gathering to make hundreds of homemade ravioli’s for our Thanksgiving dinner and for Christmas. I am sad I won’t be there to help this year, so I am thinking my next kitchen adventure will have to be making my own ravioli!

Michigan Avenue

IU Homecoming & Carroll-Anne’s Homecoming reunion (she has been in Africa the past two years!!)

Crock Pot Cookin’

For the first time ever I used my crock-pot to make dinner. When I left home last weekend my mom had made stew and I didn’t get a chance to bring some home, so I decided to make my own. I bought all the ingredients and had no idea how to start. The entire concept of just throwing food into a pot did not make sense to me. How is that I can cook any recipe/meal without hesitation, but when it came to the crock-pot, which is supposed to be simple cooking, I didn’t know how to start!

Good thing Laura and Adam were over and use the crock pot often so they could calm my nerves! I am so glad I finally learned the amazingness that is the crock-pot. Being able to come home after a long day of work and have dinner waiting for my on the counter, with little clean up was the best thing in the world. I will admit that I don’t know how often I will use it, but I am glad I know how if the need shall arise. I enjoy cooking too much to just throw things into a pot and walk away. It took all of the satisfaction out and it wasn’t an experience. That is why I love to cook, every time is a learning experience and it’s enjoyable and relaxing!

My first crock pot meal!

Rosemarie’s Crock-Pot Stew Recipe

Carrots

Green beans

Small can of corn

Onion

Potato

Stew meat

V8 Juice

Grandpa’s seasoning

Thyme

Beef bouillon

Salt and Pepper

Cut up potatoes, carrots (or use baby carrots), and onion. I chopped the onion finely because I don’t like thick onions in my food, but it’s a personal preference! Add all those ingredients into the pot. Add the green beans (I used a frozen package that was already cut) and add to the pot. Season the meat with Grandpa’s seasoning and cut into small pieces and throw in the pot. Add some beef bouillon, salt and pepper (eyeball it), V8 juice and a little bit of water. Cover and let sit in the fridge over night. In the morning turn on the crock-pot to low and let cook for 9 hours.

After about 8 and half hours, add the corn and more salt and pepper, depending on taste. You can also add some thyme or other seasoning if you would like. I used thyme. Serve and enjoy!

My friends and I added some french bread and wine to make the dinner complete. For a girl on a budget this was a great kitchen adventure! It was cheap, easy, and delicious and  I even had three more meals out of it! It was also a perfect meal to welcome in true Fall weather that has finally arrived. This fall has been rather warm, so it was a great time to make a warm hearty dinner with the cooler weather that has moved in. Nothing is better than a chilly fall day that looks like this!

I took these picture while on a walk around the IUPUI campus in Indy and love how it captures the beauty of Fall!

Until next time! Happy October! Stay tuned for more fall cooking and my all time best Halloween costume ever!

Lucia’s Quick Cheese Sauce

Last weekend I was lucky enough to be a part of my friend Tim’s wedding in South Bend!  He is my first close friend to get married and it was so exciting to be able to celebrate with some old (and great!) friends! After the wedding on Sunday I decided to spend the morning walking around South Bend with my friend Ryan since it was a perfect Fall day and I had some time to kill before I headed back to Chicago to watch the Colts game (which I wish I had not experienced…).

Congratulations Tim and Allison!

What’s a wedding without someone getting “ICED?”


Ryan and “Touchdown Jesus”


A cool picture from Notre Dame (I love my iPhone apps!)

When I got home from the wedding weekend I was exhausted and had no food in my apartment except for the basic staples every little Italian  always has on hand; cheese, pasta, and chicken stock/bouillon. I sat on the couch for hours trying to find a recipe that I wanted to make and that included ingredients I had in my kitchen, which was few and far between considering I had not gone to the grocery store in about a month….I even called my sister to see if she had any good ideas and it turns out she was doing the exact same thing I was. Laying on the couch, watching the Colts game and reading cookbooks. I love when we are creepily alike (if you watch us dance we will more than likely be doing the same moves too).

I decided to wing it and make something up on my own. I did this when I was in Italy on more than one occasion and decided to get back to my creative cooking. A few time in Italy I mad a cheese sauce that was so good, it was to die for. My cousin Michael went home raving about, my friend Lauren begged me to make once we were back in America, and Laura and I enjoyed it frequently. When I got home from Italy and tried to recreate the sauce, I just couldn’t do it. I have no clue what kind of cheese I put in there, how I got it to melt together so perfectly, but I never made it again because it just never turned out the same.

This time, it didn’t turn out the same, but it was delicious! Check out the recipe and photos below!

Lucia’s Cheese Sauce


Ingredients:

3 cups Chicken Stock

3/4 cup skim milk

Fontina Cheese (no clue how much I used…eyeball it!)

1 cup Mozzarella Cheese

2 pieces Skinny Cow Cheese

1 tbsp Cream Cheese

3 tbsp all-purpose flour

Pepper to taste

1 tsp Parsley

1 tsp Basil

In a sauce pan, mix the chicken stock and cheese. Melt cheese and bring to a slow boil. Add in the milk, flour, pepper, basil and parsley. Heat on high until sauce thickens and all the cheese is melted. Once sauce comes to a slow boil, decrease the heat and cook on medium to low heat for about 15 minutes, stirring often.

While the sauce is cooking, cook your pasta. Once sauce is finished, drain pasta and pour into the sauce. Sprinkle with Some Parmesan and enjoy!

Cheese Sauce

Lucia’s Cheesy Pasta!




Are You There Vodka? It’s Me, Lucia!

Vodka and I have had a tumultuous relationship for years, but last night I think we finally started to understand each other…

As I sat at work reading my sisters wedding menu, I had the urge to cook, and  I couldn’t decide what the perfect dinner would be. I had to do something fairly simple because I was going to get home later and still had to go to the store. As I sat and thought about all the different sauces I have been wanting to make, I had a flash back of my first experience with Vodka Sauce. And at that moment, I knew I had to make it.

The first time I ever had vodka sauce was at my favorite restaurant in Italy, Aqua al Due. Laura and I decided to share (I swear…) the pasta sampler. One of the samples was the vodka sauce and it was so good that I am pretty sure I licked my plate. I couldn’t wait to get back and try it again, but to my surprise,  the menu rotates and they didn’t have it when I returned.  Unfortunately, I never had the pleasure of trying it again. It was quite possibly the biggest heartbreak I’ve experienced to date, and I’ve had a few…

Anyway, I’ve never made a vodka sauce, so it was the perfect time to give it a go. I am not big on following recipes when I make sauce. I think it is way more fun to throw the basic ingredients in, add a few more, and see what happens, so here is Vodka Sauce a la Me.

Vodka Sauce

Vodka (I prefer Smirnoff – but maybe that is because of my budget…)

Heavy whipping cream

2 cans of Hunt’s tomato sauce (CL)

Olive oil

Pepper

Basil

3 Boneless chicken breasts

David Page’s Special Seasoning

Clean the chicken and season with David Page’s Special Seasoning. Slice into small pieces and saute in olive oil until cooked about half way (until outside is cooked). Add the sauce, whipping cream (a little less than 1 sauce can) and the vodka (I measure about 1/4 cup, but then added more once it was cooking…). Add pepper and basil. Bring to a boil, then simmer on low for about 20 minutes. I added more pepper and basil while it was cooking for more flavor.

The Sauce Cooking with the Chicken

Bring your water to a boil once your sauce comes to a boil and then add the pasta. Once the pasta is finished, your sauce should done. Pour sauce in a bowl, add the pasta, mix and serve!

When my roommates and I sat down to enjoy our dinner, little did we know the amazingness we were about to experience. I thought we would just each have a small serving and there would be leftovers for our other roommate to try when she got home…but that did not happen. It was gone. All of it. Nikki and Alyssa even discussed combining their extra sauce from their plate so that it did not go to waste. I don’t know if it was my Grandpa’s special seasoning, the vodka, or my cooking skills, but this sauce had a kick to it, and it was good. Alyssa even thought she would be able to eat it as a soup. I am pretty sure I spooned my left over sauce to finish it. There is about a cupful left over and it tempting me – even though I saved it to share with Jess…She better get home in time, or it might be gone by this weekend.

Before…

I will admit that I did not share all of the ingredients I used. It was so good, I figured that maybe one day, in my dream world, if I have my own restuarant I would be able to have this on the menu and if I share the entire recipe then everyone will know how to make it! But it shouldn’t tast much different with the ingredients included above, so I HIGHLY suggest you trying to make it!

After…

Multiply this picture times 3 because that is how many empty plates there were! This was, and still is, my all time favorite sauce. I don’t know how I am going to go without it again for so long. Hopefully I will get back in the kitchen this weekend because I have a feeling the next few weeks are going to be crazy! My sister has two bachelorette parties coming up and then I am moving into my new apartment! I can’t believe August is just around the corner….

Let’s Get Saucy!

So Sunday night my roommates and I were exhausted after a very long and fun weekend, so we wanted to something quick and delicious for dinner!  My sister Gina had been in town all weekend for her first dress fitting (I can’t believe the wedding is in 70 days!!!) and we went to the beach Saturday, so overall it was a non-stop kind of weekend.  Did I mention that in 70 days I have to give probably the most important speech in my life? And it will be in front of around oh…500 people?  Ya. 70 days are going to fly by…

Even though I was exhausted I still wanted to make dinner and I wanted it to be good, so I went to my most reliable recipe  that I keep in my back pocket – my quick sauce.  I have combined a few family recipes to create my own and I think it is oh so delectable.

Quick Tomato Sauce

1 can of Hunt’s tomato sauce

1/4 onion

1 clove garlic

1 bouillon cube

Skim milk

Pepper

Finely dice the onion (I chop and then add into the mixer to make extra thin) and then saute in olive oil until translucent. Add the garlic and some pepper and let simmer.  Add the can of sauce, bouillon cube, and skim milk (fill up tomato can about 1/4 of the way) and add more pepper.  Boil your water and then add the pasta.  Let the sauce come to a very slow boil and then simmer on low heat for about 30 minutes while your pasta is cooking.  Add more pepper if necessary.  Serve and enjoy!!

This time I got a little more creative than normal and decided to dice up some cherry tomatoes and add them into my sauce.  I added them to the onions and garlic while they were cooking and sautéed them as well. The sauce turned out really good, which is surprising considering how tired I was from the weekend!  I highly recommend trying out this recipe, even if you aren’t looking for something quick!  And I definitely recommend Hunt’s – it’s the only tomato sauce I’ll use!

So I am back home again in Indy this weekend for lots of wedding stuff!  We have a couples shower on Friday and Sunday my two aunts and I are hosting a shower!  The shower is going to be so pretty and I can’t wait to share pictures!  I spent a lot of time planning and picking out everything for the big day with m Aunts – so hopefully everything is just perfect!  Have a wonderful weekend!

Ladies and Gentleman Start Your…Cooking!

Back home again in Indiana.  That song brings tears to my eyes every time I hear it.  Maybe it’s because I’m proud of where I come from, or maybe it is because I am laughing so hard at the thought of my dear friend crying at the race a few years ago after spending a semester in Paris.  She was so happy to be home and so proud of being a Hoosier – the song (or maybe the beer?) literally brought her to tears.  Anyway, when I think of the Indianapolis 500, I think of that song and the roaring sound of engines revving to go.  My favorite part of the race is the noise.  I opt out of ear plugs because that loud noise makes my heart skip a beat.  I guess I really am a Hoosier.

The Indianapolis 500 – Turn 1

Jordan – Enjoying the In Field (it was over 100°)

The weekend was not only filled with tears, Hoosier pride, and loud noises – it was filled with a lot of food, a ton of laughs, and great people.  Monday my family celebrated Memorial Day and the graduation of my brother, Jack, from high school.  The very thought of that brought tears to my mothers eyes – not a song.  I woke up bright and early to a kitchen filled with food, tables, drinks, and a to-do list that made my head spin.  My Dad had gotten up around 5 to carve out a watermelon “basket” and fill it with fruit, make a caprese salad, and set up all the tables before he headed out for a round of golf.

You see, we were not preparing for your typical family barbeque.  We were preparing for an Italian family barbeque, and those are two very different things.  The first would require minimal effort, not supplies from a rental company (good thing we have one in the family).  The first would also not require the amount of food that was stocked in my house or the amount of food that would be brought over later in the afternoon.  It would not require 7 different kinds of desserts, 4 dips, 2 cheese balls, and about 5 different meal options.  OH…and it definitely would not include the need to make some plain pasta because a cousin refuses to eat anything but pasta with butter and cheese.

Cheese Ball

Ingredients:

1 bottle of English Cheese

1 Package of Cream Cheese

Minced Onions

Crushed walnuts

Mix the english cheese and cream chese with some minced onion (not too much) until the 2 cheeses have blended.  If you mix too long the ball will not form so be careful.  Form into a ball and cover in crushed walnuts.  Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until needed.

Trifle

Ingredients:

Raspberries

Blackberries

Strawberries

**You can add any fruit you would like

Pound Cake

2 tubs of Cool Whip

1-2 packages of Vanilla Pudding

Line the bowl with cut up strawberries and layer the bottom of the bowl with sliced pound cake.  Add cool whip and vanilla pudding generously.  Make sure to add enough so the pound cake does not dry out.  Top with cut fruit.  Repeat each step until bowl is full.   Top with cut fruit and refrigerate until ready to serve.

 

When you combined two very large Italian families for a party, what you get is something a little short of a mad house.  There are 20 cooks in the kitchen, 10 people trying to clean, 15 children weaving in and out of the kitchen at all times, and that doesn’t include the other 50 people who are roaming around, eating, playing cards, swimming, and anything else you can imagine.  I always wonder what the “outsiders” are thinking when they are brave enough to venture into our world.  It is always amusing watching their heads dart back and forth trying to pick up on at least one loud conversation going on, but I’m sure they pick up a few pieces of each story and have no clue where to begin trying to put the pieces together.

Annabelle Playing by the Pool

A Meeting of the Minds

There was enough food that day to feed an entire army, and it did.  The appetizers were delicious and my trifle was a success, even though we forgot about it in the basement refrigerator until the very end of the night when there were only about 10 of us left.  Good thing everyone had a little bit so it didn’t go to waste.  Overall it was a great day.  It’s always nice to come home to family, especially mine!!

**More pictures to come!!

Chicken Salad Obsession

So I was pretty bummed about not being able to have a kitchen adventure on Sunday, so I thought I would throw one in during the week!  The other night I realized I had put chicken in the refrigerator to thaw, and since I am leaving for the weekend, it needed to be cooked.  I am obsessed, and I mean this whole heartedly, with the Chicken Salad at Whole Foods.  You can ask my roommates and they will attest to this and explain to you my sick obsession with it.  Since Whole Foods is not in my budget on the regular…I thought I would try to make my own version!

Ingredients:

3 Boneless Chicken Breasts

Light Mayonnaise

Pepper

Craisins

Sliced Almonds

Red Grapes

Clean the chicken breasts and boil for 10 minutes.  Simmer for another 10 or until cooked through.  Do not over boil the chicken or it will dry out.  Once the chicken is cooked, shred in a bowl.  Add about 5 tablespoons of the mayonnaise or until there is enough covering the chicken (do not add too much or it will be soggy).  Add pepper to taste (if you can’t see the pepper, there isn’t enough).  Add the craisins, almonds, and grapes (sliced), mix together and let sit in the refrigerator until cooled.

This is kind of  a big deal for me, considering I tried chicken salad for the first time last August!  I really am starting to branch out when it comes to food…finally (thanks to my family and Ryan’s constant nagging).  I looked up a few recipes, but decided to jump ship and just come up with my own based on ingredients around the kitchen.  I boiled three chicken breasts and then shredded the chicken. Shredded is always the way to go in my opinion. I added light mayonnaise, pepper, craisins, red grapes, and sliced almonds (they are supposed to go in salads and were pre-packaged) and mixed together.  I let sit in the fridge over night, ready for me to take to work the next day!

It was so delicious!!   Alyssa and Jess were my tasters and they approved.  I will definitely be making this again and probably often!

For the Love of Italy…and it’s Food!

So I first fell in love with cooking while I was in Italy.  It wasn’t the best place to start off my passion for food because no matter what, nothing I do now can live up to the amazingness that was created and eaten in Italy.  When my friend Jordan came to visit from Rome, we decided to have a BIG Italian feast.  I decided to  make Pasta Carbonara.  To say it was good is an understatement.  Later, when I came to Rome to visit Jordan, he bought a ton of pancetta, fresh from the butcher.  Unfortunately, I messed up the Carbonara…I forgot to put the boiling water in the egg mixture and I am sure a few other things.  Cooking while drinking a ton of wine (Chianti to be exact) in Italy does not necessarily help make a master chef.  Good thing the pancetta was SO good and flavorful that the pasta was not completely destroyed.

That is the thing with Italy.  The food is so good on its own, it makes cooking fairly easy!  Now that I do not have unbelievably fresh pancetta, fresh seasoning, and other delicious ingredients, it takes a little more effort and attention in the kitchen.

Jordan, Laura & I on a day trip to Pisa (sad I can actually say years ago…)

Carbonara Sauce

*Serves 4 people

Salt & pepper to taste

Crushed red pepper (eyeball it!)

Olive Oil

1 lb pasta (I prefer thick spaghetti)

4 large eggs

Garlic (3 cloves)

1/3 lb pancetta

Parsley (preferably fresh, but flakes work!)

Romano Cheese

Mix eggs in a separate bowl.  Add a little bit of salt and pepper, milk, red pepper, and parsley.  Set aside.

Start boiling your pasta water and cook pasta until desired.  I recommend cooking it more al dente for carbonara.  Save a ladleful of boiling pasta water to add to your egg mixture.

Finely chop the pancetta.  In a large skillet or wok, lightly saute garlic until translucent.  Add the pancetta and cook over medium heat.  Cook a total of 4-5 minutes, or until brown.

Drain the pasta and add directly to the skillet with the pancetta.  Pour the egg mixture over the pasta and continuously mix the pasta until the egg mixture is fully mixed in.  Add salt, pepper and cheese to taste.  Offer extra cheese to guest and enjoy!

The Egg Mixture

The Pancetta (unfortunately from a package)

Jordan enjoying my “American” Carbonara!

Halfway through the Meal…

I had not made Pasta Carbonara in a few years, and will admit I was a little nervous!  It’s not a difficult pasta to make, but I feel as if it is easy to make it under flavored or “eggy.”  I was pleasantly surprised that it turned out perfectly flavored and very good, in spite of the pre-packaged pancetta, which had little flavor and was extremely thin.  I was feeling a little under the weather all weekend, even though I had a surprise visitor (!!), or else I would have made an adventure to the butcher on Halstead.  I guess that will have to wait for another day…maybe when the weather stops acting up and just stays warm!

My parents will be here on Saturday, but I am hoping to make pizza next Sunday!!  Until then…healthy eating 🙂  Have a great week!