Posted in Recipes

Pasta Gricia with Truffle

Pasta Gricia with Truffles 1

A few weeks back, I did a post featuring the Italian cured hog jowl meat known as Guanciale and I included a picture of a Spaghetti Carbonara I made using it. There are two fairly famous Italian dishes made using Guanciale (or sometimes Pancetta, or else regular bacon) and these are the aforementioned Pasta Carbonara and Pasta Amatriciana. Both of these are descendants of a simpler dish known as Pasta alla Gricia, which is basically pasta tossed in the pan with cooked Guanciale, generous amounts of pepper, grated cheese and sufficient pasta water to make a rich ‘sauce’.

Today, I am using the ‘alla Gricia’ style as my base but I am creating a ‘descendant’ version by adding sliced black truffle along with some brocollini for a little color and texture… Continue reading “Pasta Gricia with Truffle”

Posted in Recipes

Pasta Salsa Cruda

Pasta Salsa Cruda 1

‘Salsa Cruda’, in Italian cookery, is simply a term that means ‘raw sauce’. As such, in can, in theory, be composed of just about anything, but the basic version is usually a blend of chopped tomatoes in olive oil with garlic and basil. You can of course, jazz it up with whatever herbs or raw vegetables you like and, for today’s recipe, I have used several additional ingredients beyond the basic.

Mostly, a salsa cruda is used as a pasta sauce, as I have done here, but it could also be prepared as a topping for Bruschetta, a side for cold cuts or raw vegetables, or even as a ‘relish’ to use in sandwiches… Continue reading “Pasta Salsa Cruda”

Posted in Recipes

Pasta Ratatouille

Ratatouille Spaghetti

Today’s post is just a little dish I created using some of my home-made Ratatouille. It isn’t a particularly original idea, but the Ratatouille recipe is my own and the combination here works very nicely.

Just cook pasta as you normally would, reserving a little of the pasta water when you drain, and then sauté the pasta with a splash of oil before adding good ‘dollop’ of Ratatouille and a bit of the pasta cooking water. As the water cooks down a bit, you can form a really nice sauce. This version I made was very tasty with some Parmesan cheese added on serving, but a bit more of the Ratatouille would have been better 😊

Posted in Recipes

Pasta Vitello Puttanesca

Pasta Vitello Verde 1

I purchased some nice thin veal cutlets in my local store just the other day and one of the uses I planned was for a pasta dish something like a Puttanesca (but with veal added). I only had green olives, rather than the black sort I usually use, and I also happened to have some nice fresh Basil that I thought might make a nice addition. Altogether, my creation departs quite a bit from most Puttanesca recipes, but it is close enough, I think, that the name still applies … Continue reading “Pasta Vitello Puttanesca”

Posted in Recipes

Basil Carbonara

Basil Carbonara 1

I am not providing a formal recipe for today’s post as I hadn’t intended to do a post at all. Rather, I bought some Whole-wheat paste to try for the first time and I decided on a ‘Carbonara’ sort of dish. I had some fresh Basil on hand and I thought it might be an interesting addition. It certainly turned out to be just, and so I decided to share…

Basically, I prepared the spaghetti is usual. While it was boiling I sautéed some bacon and, before it started to become crisp, I added a little slivered onion and let it brown. I made the basic Carbonara ‘sauce’ by beating an egg with a good helping of coarsely ground black pepper, and some grated Parmesan Cheese. I also shredded some of my fresh basil.

Once the onions were nicely golden, I added the drained pasta and sautéed for a minute or so. Finally, I took the pan from the heat, added the egg mix and the basil, tossing quickly to coat all the pasta. I served it hot with a little extra cheese. I really enjoyed this and, next time, I will likely use a bit more basil…

Posted in Recipes

No-Name Spaghetti

No-Name Spaghetti 1

This rather simple spaghetti dish draws on three fairly well known Italian pasta specialties: Puttanesca, Carbonara, and Amatriciana, using black olives, eggs, bacon and tomato. I have tried it a few times, making a few minor adjustments here and there, and this latest production was really nice. I haven’t thought of a name for it yet, though … perhaps some of my readers might make some suggestions… (Stefan?) Continue reading “No-Name Spaghetti”

Posted in Foodstuffs

Foodstuff: Ocean Brand™ Puttanesca Sauce

Ocean Brand Puttanesca 01

A few weeks ago, a colleague of mine dropped by for a beer and brought me the jar of Puttanesca Pasta Sauce you see pictured above. The timing was rather coincidental as I had been planning to do a blog post about Puttanesca Sauce for some time now as it is a favorite of mine and the origin of the name, which essentially means ‘Prostitute’s Sauce’, is a bit of a mystery. On reading the label, I was informed that Pasta Puttanesca was ‘first served in a popular night spot on the island of Ischia in the 1950’s’. This is the first time I have heard that tidbit of information and it is something I want to research a little further. I still plan to do a more detailed post on the Puttanesca Sauce, along with my own recipe, so for today I’ll save any further discussion of the origins and restrict myself to a taste test of the instant product… Continue reading “Foodstuff: Ocean Brand™ Puttanesca Sauce”

Posted in Experiments

A Pasta Experiment

Pasta Experiment 1

Over the years, I have come across quite a few recipes which use breadcrumbs as a component of simple, rustic pasta sauces. Until now, however, I had never tried it and the result you see above really came about as a last minute idea with leftover ingredients.

I recently bought some very nice veal cutlets. I wanted to use breaded cutlets for a Veal Parmesan Sandwich idea I am working on but I had a whole cutlet leftover and decided to have it with pasta. As always, whenever I bread cutlets (or anything else) I had extra beaten eggs and seasoned breadcrumbs leftover and so, instead of tossing them (as I usually would), I saw a way to use them… Continue reading “A Pasta Experiment”

Posted in Recipes

Pasta with Herbs and Cream

Pasta with Herbs 1

Spaghetti Aglio E Olio, or pasta cooked with olive oil and garlic, is one the simplest, and much loved basics in Italian cookery. I make it quite often and, as others do, I frequently add a little parsley and then round out the oil with a bit of butter as well. Today’s dish is a slightly more upscale, yet still rustic, offshoot of the original and not only includes some additional herbs, but is enhanced with a small amount of cream towards the end of the cooking process… Continue reading “Pasta with Herbs and Cream”

Posted in Recipes

Scallion-Garlic Pesto

Scallion Garlic Pesto 1

The inspiration for today’s post came from my fellow blogger Daisy (aka Baconbiscuit212) who recently posted a recipe for her own creation, Ramp Pesto. Ramps are a vegetable product that have not made it to my corner of the world thus far, unfortunately, and I wondered if I could make something similar using scallions. Actually, the result I came up with is really two sorts of pesto as you can make a version that includes Parmesan, and one without…

Basically, you can use my scallion pesto anywhere that you would use a more traditional basil Pesto. Daisy suggests using hers as a pasta sauce, a steak topping and as a dip for bread. To the latter, I would also add that it would be a good topping for bruschetta as well and, especially using the non-cheese variety, as a sauce base for fish or shellfish. Continue reading “Scallion-Garlic Pesto”