Farfelle With Sausage, Peas, Tomatoes and Cream


As a child, I grew up spending my Saturdays and Sundays playing soccer. And, believe me, after spending so many years becoming acquainted with mud, dirt, sweat and camaraderie, I have really come to enjoy and love the sport.

Euro 2012 started this past weekend and, as a result, I found a perfect opportunity to watch a few games. Although soccer is popular in the States, it is much more popular in Europe. It is nice to see a change of pace and see how utterly ecstatic and passionate the European fans are and how much they truly love their teams. At the weekend’s end, I am lucky to say that I had watched two games, Germany vs. Portugal and Spain vs. Italy, both of which were great games!

However, after watching Italy play, I became quite hungry and thought of Italian food (naturally). Plus, I had just purchased a basil plant so I wanted to welcome the first opportunity to use some fresh basil in an Italian dish. So, after a little bout of searching, I found a perfect recipe: Farfelle With Sausage, Tomatoes and Cream.

Step 1: Chop Onion and Garlic;
Saute Italian Sausage;
Add Onions and Garlic 

Step 2: Add Pureed Tomatoes
and Touch of Cream; Add Peas 

Step 3: Boil Pasta, Drain; Add Sauce
to Pasta; Toss Extra Basil on Top; Eat! 

After a jam-packed weekend, I was not too utterly inspired to make something uber complex or intricate. As a result, I was very pleased with this recipe because it was simple, yet flavorful and did not feel “heavy” despite the use of a little cream. Plus, the addition of some peas (to add some color and sneak a vegetable serving in) and a sprinkle of Parmesan made this into a delicious meal!

Cheers!

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Poached Eggs in Marinara Sauce


Usually, breakfast is one of the most simple meals of the day. After all, shouldn’t it be? Unless it is a weekend, most individuals opt for cereal or something that requires little effort in the morning.

However, this past weekend, a friend and I decided to try a recipe from The New York Times health section: Eggs Poached in Marinara Sauce. At first glance from the picture in the article, this recipe just looked pretty, well, interesting. All the more reason to try it, right? Well, at least our ambitious cooking minds convinced us so.

Basically, in theory, this recipe is quite simple, but the perfect egg execution is essential to this dish’s success. It took a few rounds of botched poached egg plates before we got it just right. The key in all of this? After heating up sauce in a small saucepan, use a ladle to make a “pouch” in the center of the pan to pour the eggs into and make sure to pour the egg in very, very slowly while making sure the yolk plops into the saucepan last.

In addition to the eggs and sauce combo, we totally negated the healthy aspects of this meal by adding green onions, cheese and avocado slices and  toasted bread with a mixture of olive oil, garlic and oregano beneath melted mozzarella cheese. Oh, and what breakfast meal wouldn’t be complete without bacon?

Although this did take a lot more effort than the standard breakfast, the end result tasted delicious. And, even though to some it may not look the most appetizing, I promise that it is — I completely recommend it!

Cheers!

Macrina Bakery


A few days ago, I was looking through old pictures and happened to find ones taken from when I studied abroad in Florence, Italy. Naturally, I started to miss Italy and became quite nostalgic as memories started to surface about the good times I had there, the beautiful culture and especially, the food.

One of my favorite parts of Italy was the many bakeries that dotted the sides of the streets. As I started to become reminded of the bakeries, I decided that I needed to visit one and had the chance to do so this past weekend.

A friend and I chose to go to Macrina Bakery in Queen Anne where I splurged and ordered a Nutella Brioche (totally fitting because Italians are smitten with nutella!). I absolutely loved the buttery taste of the bread combined with the rich nutella. I will say, I became full very fast, but I am definitely looking forward to my next visit soon!

Props to Macrina Bakery for giving me a totally delectable goody this past Saturday, it was the perfect start to the day!

Cheers!

Spaghetti & Sicilian Meatballs

For most last minute or large gatherings, spaghetti is often the menu item of choice. Naturally, it depends on which way you decide to make it — but, it is extremely easy (especially if not making the sauce from scratch!). Personally, I love spaghetti. It’s extremely simple, requires few ingredients, and serves as a perfect comfort food. But, lately, I’ve been becoming bored of my usual rotation of spaghetti for evening dinners. I’ve tried adding chicken or other types of vegetables to help alleviate my taste bud boredom. Unfortunately, those additions did not result in any success.

It wasn’t until I was surfing through Netflix that I saw the movie Lady and the Tramp pop up. Whenever I think of that movie, I always revert to the scene where the two dogs eat eat spaghetti and meatballs together. Instantly, this movie provided the perfect inspiration in order to spice up my boring pasta dinners. So, it was decided: Spaghetti and Sicilian Meatballs it is!

Step 1: Chop Garlic, Onions, Basil
Currants, and Toasted Pine Nuts

Step 2: Let Bread Crumbs and
Milk Sit for Five Minutes

[I accidentally threw the onions on top for this step… oops!]

Step 3: Mix Dry Ingredients With
Wet Ingredients; Add Meat Mixture

Step 4: Form Meat Balls
(Key: Make Sure Hands are Wet); Bake

Step 5: Add Meatballs to Sauce
and Spaghetti and Enjoy! 

Prior to this meal, I had never made meatballs from scratch. It was surprisingly simple and easy. Let’s just say I’m glad that I happened to stumble upon Lady and the Tramp or else I would have made another simple pasta dish.

Cheers!

Chicken Piccata

Every now and then, I immensely miss the days when I studied abroad in Italy. Nothing compares to the authenticity of fresh lemons or gooey mozzarella or creamy pesto. In order to help transport me back to these blissful days, I decided to make a classic dish: Chicken Piccata.

After research for recipes, I happened to learn a few facts about this esteemed dish:

  1. Piccata means to “sauté or slice with lemon, butter, and herbs”
  2. Capers are actually unripened flower buds of Capparis spinosa (a prickly plant found in the Mediterranean and various parts of Asia)
  3. This dish is most commonly made with veal in parts of Italy

Eat this dish family style and slice additional lemon slices to create a nice aroma!

Step 1: Season Chicken, Dunk
In Flour, Shake Off Excess Flour

Step 2: Heat in Oil for 2 Minutes; Rotate;
Add Chicken Broth, Wine, and Capers

 


Step 3: Serve With Rice,
Vegetables, or Pasta and Enjoy!

 This was a flavorful dish, but definitely not for those who don’t like a strong presence of lemon flavoring. I’d make this again, but I’d add more spices to the flour mixture just to take some of the credit away from the lemon!

Cheers!