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Classic Pasta

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

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

Pork Rigatoni Ragù

This dish requires some effort on your behalf, but if you want something better than a jar of pasta sauce stirred into cooked pasta, learn how to make your own ragù sauce, and you will be able to make one of the most famous classic Italian dishes. This typical meal from Italy boasts so many incredible, fresh flavors. Rigatoni pasta, which is similar to penne, is used here, along with ground pork and your choice of either hot or sweet Italian sausage.

Vegetables also feature in the sauce, namely tomatoes, celery, onion, and carrot. Oregano, parsley and red pepper flakes are your trio of flavor accents, while some parmesan cheese adds the finishing touch. Italian cooks might cook the sauce for as much as 4 hours, leaving it to bubble away gently on the stove, but you can make it in just half an hour if you want. That half an hour will allow the flavors to soften and blend.

You can toss the pasta with the sauce and serve it that way or, if you prefer, spoon a ladle of the sauce on to a bowl of pasta, as you prefer. Offer extra freshly grated parmesan cheese on the side because some people would like to take some more. You can also garnish each bowl with a sprig of basil if you like, or even parsley. A fruity Italian red would would be nice with this. A side dish is not really necessary, although mixed baby salad leaves with extra-virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar are always welcome with such a dinner. Continue reading

Fettuccine al Pesto Genovese

One of the best-known Italian recipes in the world, apart from pizza and pasta, has to be pesto, especially ‘pesto Genovese’ which is the most famous variety. The authentic recipe requires 7 ingredients, which are basil, pine nuts, olive oil, parmesan, pecorino, salt, and garlic. Some varieties of pesto Genovese call for potatoes, walnuts or parsley. In our recipe we are using parsley which works harmoniously with the other ingredients, as well as walnuts because they offer nice accent to the flavor. Feel free to leave one or both of these out though if you prefer.

A mortar and pestle is recommended to combine the ingredients and get the texture perfect, but use an electric blender if you prefer. Grinding the basil with a round-and-round motion, using a mortar and pestle, coaxes all the liquid out of the veins of the basil, at least according to Italian chefs. The word pesto comes from the Italian word ‘pestare’ which means to pound or crush.

So what is the history of pesto? Well the ancient Romans used to crush cheese, herbs and garlic to make a paste known as ‘moretum’ and the first written recipe for what we currently know as pesto dates back to an 1863 cookbook. Pesto did not really take off in the United States until the mid-1980s but today it is hugely popular. This recipe makes more pesto than you will need, since a little goes a long way, but keep it in a jar covered with a layer of extra-virgin olive oil, and it will be fine in the refrigerator for up to a week. Continue reading

Shrimp Fettuccine Alfredo

If you are in the mood for a creamy pasta dish but you do not want to make anything complicated, consider this simple but delicious recipe. While the pasta is cooking you can warm up the ingredients for the sauce, then simply toss the two together and the dish is ready. The shrimp can be added to the pot with the pasta a couple of minutes before the end of the cooking time, because it only takes a couple of minutes to cook fully. That would save dirtying another pan, and means you only need 2 pans to make the whole recipe.

The shrimp work really well in this dish but if you would prefer to use cooked chicken breast, that is fine. Either use deli chicken slices or leftover cooked chicken, and stir that into the sauce mixture while it is heating up. This is so easy to make, and can throw the whole dish together in less than half an hour and have it on the table to delight your hungry family. This alfredo shrimp dish is lovely served with Italian bread such as ciabatta, or some garlic bread, as well as a green salad.

The presentation is simple. It can be spooned on to dinner plates and topped with parmesan and a pinch of dried parsley. If you wish, swap the parsley for oregano or basil. A pinch of nutmeg would work instead of the herbs if you prefer to use that. If you like to make pasta but you are tired of the same old tomato sauces recipes every time, consider this. There is really nothing that can go wrong since the sauce is made by heating up the ingredients until they are hot, and it is easy to tell when the pasta and shrimp are cooked. 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


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