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Vegetarian Pasta Primavera with Fettuccine

As you know my step dad is a vegetarian so I have been adding many different vegetarian recipes to all of my sites lately. The choice really isn’t that hard as so many recipes it really is easy to leave the meat out of them in favor of a recipe that is more inclusive. This is just such a recipe why introduce a meat element into a dish that really doesn’t call for it in the first place. I mean why you would want to add anything to pasta primavera in the first place is beyond me, it is loaded with so much all ready another ingredient would just get lost in the mix.

So although I am not a vegetarian myself (when bacon grows on trees maybe) I am sensitive to the fact that they love good food too and as such I feel inclined to offer them a selection of recipes when possible that will give a well deserved break from meat. I respect anyone’s choice to become a non meat eater I understand all the points and respect people’s right to their own choice.

I am trying to take a much more open attitude to food especially different choices and cultures and as such have made many new discoveries that help keep my job constantly interesting. It seems each and every day I am learning something new about food and when you have been doing this as long as I have that is saying something. This October will be my oldest websites tenth anniversary which in Internet terms is like being Coke. Now one of the reasons I have been able to do this so long is I am constantly trying new things and in my case that means new foods. If you are like me and love exploring new food, then come along for the ride it is just starting out and I promise it will be anything if not interesting to discover where I end up next no matter what site I am doing that day. Continue reading

Chicken Fettuccini in a Mushroom Walnut Sauce

In America Italian food is almost as much a home grown national cuisine as any other. The large number of Italian immigrants brought all their wonderful recipes from Italy and over generations many of these have slow transformed into a sub culture of American cuisine. Many traditional Italian dishes have been worked into our daily lives to the point that we have almost taken ownership of them ourselves.

Don’t believe me did you know pizza is the only food in the telephone book (remember those) that has its own category. It is so much part of American culture that we have taken the wonderful recipes from all over Italy and transformed them into our own style of pizza and this has gotten to the point where even within the US there are distinct regional variations just like a Sicilian pizza is different from a Nepalese pizza so is a New York pizza distinctly different from a Chicago pizza.

In the restaurant business Italian food is among the most popular of all the ethnic cuisines second now only to maybe Chinese and Mexican. It is often said when going out let’s go for Italian food by many not that what they will encounter is anything short of what we Americans have made of traditional Italian fair. Just like food in a Chinese restaurant is highly Americanized so is Italian food. It does not make it right or wrong just what it is a blend of cultural influences that have melded together to just make great taste. Continue reading

3 Cheese Spaghetti Carbonara with Ham

If you are an Italian food purist this is not the recipe for you I break with the normal food conventions in this dish and expand upon the taste pallet to introduce this classic dish to a few new culinary friends. See one of the things I am constantly striving for in my sites is an angle that is new and fresh.

Now this isn’t to say I don’t respect traditional forms of cooking and don’t serve up some classic dishes the way they were intended. I am just saying I like to stretch the envelope of the food experience and say what if they had done this. Now most times it works as I have a very good understanding of how herbs, spices and ingredients combine and work together, but I too have my occasional flop that just falls short (those don’t make it to the sites). But when I get that look in my guys’ eyes I just know hay we have a winner and we have to share it with all of you.

The following is just such a recipe. It is similar to a family favorite I make called fried scetti but it is different and is most like a traditional spaghetti carbonara recipe with a few tweaks. One I use pancetta or ham in place of the bacon and two I add a three cheese combination for an extra cheesy delight. Now as I have sometimes been criticized in the past for being a bit heavy on the cheese if you feel this recipe is a bit too cheesy for your liking cut back on it a bit just try and maintain the ratios of the three cheeses. Now with that said a recipe is always just a starting point modify it to your liking if you are one way or another on any individual ingredient. It is not the law you can go over 65 and no ticket will be issued. Continue reading

Fettuccine Alfredo with Chicken

“The dish was named after Alfredo Di Lelio, a restaurateur who opened and operated restaurants in Rome, Italy, throughout the early to mid 20th century.” The dish came to America with Italian American immigrants and soon became popular with many and is a main stay of many Italian themed restaurants in the States. The restaurant version is very straightforward a combination of, cream, butter, and parmesan cheese.

Unlike the true version made in restaurants the commercial brand often thicken the sauce with things such as egg, or starch something no restaurateur would ever do. It is for this reason that many commercial brands fall far short on the true flavor of this very simple dish. In fact with many recipes the simple they are the easier they are to mess up by varying away from what makes them work in the first place.

Now that you know how easy it is to make your own authentic style Alfredo sauce at home there is no reason to resort to premade cheap knock offs as they recipe below will show it is so simple it really is not worth selling yourself short on flavor. Other twist on this theme include adding grilled shrimp is a popular version that replace the chicken in this dish with grilled shrimp for a nice seafood version, and of course there is always just plain pasta and sauce version. Try all three and see which your favorite is. Continue reading

Fregola Pasta Salad with Summer Flavors

This tasty salad is made with fregola pasta, or you can use orzo pasta if you like. Cook the pasta then drain it and let it cool. You can then combine it with chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, garlic, tomato, fresh herbs and parmesan. This makes a tasty lunch served with buttered ciabatta bread, or you might like to serve it as a side dish with veal, beef, fish, chicken, or another favorite. Make this fregola salad ahead if you like, and keep it refrigerated for several hours before serving.

Fregola, which is sometimes spelt fregula, is a type of pasta from Sardinia. It can be used in the place of pasta, or even rice in some dishes, or you can use another kind of pasta here if you prefer, such as orzo if you like the small grains, or macaroni, penne, or whatever else you have in the pantry. You can also change any of the other ingredients, such as switching the chickpeas (also known as garbanzo beans) for kidney beans or leaving them out, or using red bell pepper rather than tomatoes.

Serve the finished salad as a side dish with meat or fish, or enjoy it as a snack. You could even rustle up a big batch and take it to a potluck supper. There is something very salad about pasta salad recipes. There is never any left at the end of a meal because everyone just seems to love such a recipe! Make this and you can be sure it will all get eaten. This is a very light pasta salad, at least when compared to creamy ones, and the aromatic herbs and vegetables are just wonderful in it. Continue reading

Spinach and Ricotta Cannelloni

This flavor-packed dish is typically Italian and perfect for vegetarians. Although you can sneak some ham in there if you are a diehard carnivore, the wealth of flavors in here means you are not going to miss the meat at all. We are using spinach for the filling, as well as some creamy ingredients in the form of ricotta and parmesan cheeses, béchamel sauce, and an egg to help hold everything together. The only seasonings are nutmeg, salt and black pepper, since all the flavor comes from the pasta, spinach and cheeses.

This is very simple to make and it looks impressive when served. We like to garnish the finished cannelloni with a sprig of basil just to add more color to the plate, but you can use any kind of herb you want. It is going to be very hot when it comes out of the oven so let the dish sit on the countertop for 10 minutes, and perhaps use that time to toss some salad ingredients together, since that would be a great side dish, or you might prefer another type of side dish such as garlic bread or sliced tomatoes drizzled with balsamic vinegar and a little extra-virgin olive oil.

Use fresh spinach if possible, for a fresher flavor. Bear in mind it holds on to a lot of water so once it is cool enough to handle you will need to wring the spinach several times to get all that water out. If you have time, let it sit in a colander over the sink for an hour before continuing with the recipe. That is also helpful in getting rid of the water. As for the cannelloni, you can either buy the readymade tubes (which is easier) or roll your own flat squares up. If you are new to cannelloni, use the tubes unless you especially want to make your own pasta, which is for more advanced home cooks! Continue reading

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Christine Szalay-Kudra

Hi I'm Christine, and I am happy you are visiting. Food is a large part of our family's lives, and we love to try new dishes, especially Italian food which offers so much freshness and flavor, whether you are making a classic Italian dish like lasagna or pizza, or experimenting with new appetizers, entrées or desserts from Italy.

Even if you are brand new to this cuisine, you will be able to find all kinds of tempting recipes here. I have been collecting classic Italian recipes, all conveniently in one place, along with unusual recipes from Italy plus some dishes inspired by Italian cuisine.

When the weather is cold, a baked pasta dish or juicy pork or veal recipe might be ideal. During the summer months, an Italian salad might be your dish of choice. We have vegetarian recipes, Italian soups, and even tips on how to work with Italian ingredients for the best results, whether you are making lasagna, gnocchi or an Italian casserole


Thanks for visiting.


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