Perfect Pancake

This is another recipe from my boyfriends book of recipes. It truly is the perfect pancake and is very simple to make.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cup flour

2 TBS sugar

1 TBS baking powder

3/4 tsp salt

1 1/2 cup warmed milk

1 large egg, separated

4 TBS melted butter

1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:

Mix the first four ingredients, the dry ingredients, together. Then, in a separate bowl mix the milk, butter, and vanilla together. Separate the egg, put the whites in a small bowl and set aside while mixing the yolk into the wet mixture.

Combine the wet and dry ingredients together.

Fluff the egg white until it peaks and then fold into the mixture.

Cook and eat

Goulash by Frank

I just recently found out that my best friend, Georgette, asked my dad for his Hungarian Goulash recipe and he wrote it out for her. The picture above is that very special recipe of which I am grateful she kept and shared with me. His recipe calls for a crock pot, however, I made it stove top and just kept an eye on the water level.

The important ingredient in this one is the seasoning pack, which you can get at Cost Plus World Markets, if they are in your area.

My mom and dad use to make this meal throughout my childhood. When she made it my dad would talk about how he grew up eating this dish and how his family had a Hungarian lineage. In fact, he would speak of memories of his mom making Hungarian Goulash for him when he was young. Unfortunately, his mom died when he was nine-years-old so I never had the chance to meet her.

The picture below from the left, my dad, his mom, and his brother in 1936. Other picture below is my dad in me in San Diego 1998.

Ingredients:

Lean stew meat

Olive oil

2 cups water

2 yellow onions

Knorr’s Goulash seasoning pack

2 tsp paprika (hot flavor)

4 potatoes (peeled and diced)

Salt and pepper to taste

Egg noodles

Directions:

Cut stew meat into 2 inch pieces, salt and pepper and brown in olive oil.

Add all ingredients other than potatoes and simmer on the stove top for several hours, or use a crock pot.

During the last hour of simmer, place potatoes in pot and continue to simmer until potatoes are cooked through.

Serve over noodles.

Pollo Vesuvio

Translated to Vesuvius chicken in English, this dish was named after the volcano, Mount Vesuvius, which is near Naples. I was incredibly lucky to get to see this volcano when I went to Italy with my family in 2018.

This recipe is from my boyfriend’s recipe book. He is no fan of chicken but makes it for me. It is a flavorful and hearty dish. Made with love every time. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

Pearl onions

Frozen peas

Chicken thighs, skin on and bone-in

White wine

Yukon gold or russet potatoes (for russet, cut smaller as shown in the picture)

Salt and pepper

Thyme, chopped

Olive oil

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400F

Brown chicken in olive oil until skin is crisp, remove and set aside.

In same pan, add enough white wine to deglaze the pan then add potatoes and onions, cook until warm.

In oven safe pan add chicken and potato mix together, place in oven and cook for 35 minutes.

Remove and add peas and cook another 10 minutes.

Lemon Bars

Our neighborhood has lots of lemon trees, which is why we have been making lemon bars in our household lately. This is the second lemon bar recipe listed on this site. However, I have decided to leave both of them on here because the previous one is from Tartine, and Tartine is an amazing bakery in San Francisco with outstanding recipes. This recipe was found on anitalianinmykitchen.com website and they are super easy to make.

Ingredients:

Shortbread base:

1/2 cup butter, softened

1/4 cup powdered sugar

1 cup flour

1 pinch salt

Lemon filling:

2 eggs

1 cup sugar

1/2 tsp baking powder

3 TBS fresh lemon juice

1 pinch of salt

Zest of 1 lemon

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease or line with parchment paper an 8 X 8 inch pan.

In a medium bowl mix butter and powdered sugar until combined. Then begin adding flour and beat again until a soft dough forms. Place into the prepared pan and press down evenly. Bake 18-20 minutes. Leave that oven on when you remove the shortbread base.

In another medium bowl, mix eggs, sugar, baking powder, fresh lemon juice, pinch of salt, and zest. Pour over warm baked base and return to oven for 20-25 minutes (until the center is set). Cool in the pan and chill in the fridge for 1 hour for easier cutting. Dust with powdered sugar.

Torta di Mele di Sant’Orfeo -Italian Apple Cake Recipe

Happy New Year friends! I hope life is finding you happy and healthy.

This is another delicious recipe from Pasta Grammar, our go-to website to learn how to cook authentic Italian food. You can find the website here:

http://www.pastagrammar.com

If you like apple pie, you will enjoy this one. A delicious and light Italian apple cake that will wrap up your meal perfectly.

Ingredients:

1 cup raisins

10 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing the pan

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting

3 large eggs

5 medium apples

1 medium pear

1 tsp cinnamon, or to taste

2 tbsp whole milk

1 tbsp baking powder

A 9 1/2-inch springform pan

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 340F degrees. Place the raisins in warm water and set aside. Fill a medium saucepan with enough water to heat a Bain Marie set-up with a heat proof bowl nested on top of the saucepan.

Melt the butter over low heat in the Bain Marie. Once the butter is melted, add the sugar while whisking together. Once mixed, remove from heat and whisk the flour in. Whisk the eggs, one at a time, until incorporated into the mixture. Set aside.

Peel, core, and chop the apples and pear in 1/2 inch pieces. Mix into batter. Drain the raisin, squeeze out the excess water, pat them dry with a paper towel, add to batter.

In a small bowl, stir the baking powder and milk together until it foams, add to batter.

Grease the pan with butter and pour the mixture in. Bake for one hour and let cool completely before removing from pan and serving.

This goes great with a cappuccino, Buon appetito!

My son and I going for our morning cappuccino in Rome, Italy, 2018.

Pasta All’Assassina – Killer Pasta

Another fantastic recipe from the amazing website Pasta Grammar. If you have not checked out their website yet, I highly recommend you do so. Eva and Harper from Pasta Grammar indicate that this particular recipe is a secret recipe that originated in Bari, Italy. It is a unique technique used to cook the pasta but it is well worth learning this one. Very few ingredients needed and easy to whip up at a moments notice.

Ingredients:

7 oz dry spaghetti (do not use bronze cut, lower quality pasta is recommended, like Barilla)

1 1/8 cup pure tomato puree

5 oz tomato paste

2 1/2 cups water

2 cloves garlic

Crushed red pepper

Olive oil

Salt

Directions:

In a small saucepan add 1/8 cup (2 TBS) tomato puree, tomato paste, and water Bring to simmer while salting to taste.

Add olive oil to coat a cast iron or heavy pan (be sure to use a pan large enough to accommodate the dry pasta lying flush on the bottom). Add 1 clove of diced garlic and 1 whole along with some crushed red pepper to the pan and cook until garlic sizzles. Add the remaining 1 cup of tomato puree and simmer. Add the dry pasta and spread into an even layer in the pan. Let the pasta burn and blacken slightly before flipping and do the same on the other side. Trust your instincts and be patient during this part because the slightly burnt and crispy pasta is delicious. Begin adding the tomato water mixture in increments while the pasta cooks. You want the moisture to evaporate then add more tomato water mixture in steps until the pasta is cooked to your liking. Season with salt and crushed red pepper.

Serve immediately with a drizzle of olive oil (and I like to add lots of fresh parmesan cheese on top).

Cheesy Stuffed Shells by Scott

Not only has my boyfriend been learning to speak Italian, but he has also been cooking the most amazing Italian food. This is one of his recipes and is easy to make along with being delizioso.

Ingredients:

For the marinara:

1/2 onion, diced

2 cloves of garlic, peeled and left whole

24 oz tomato puree

salt and pepper to taste

basil leaves, fresh and torn

1 tsp red chili pepper flakes

1 tsp sugar

For the shells:

1 box jumbo pasta shells

1/2 cup ricotta cheese

2 cups mozzarella cheese, grated

1/2 cup Parmigiano Reggiano

10 oz spinach (boiled and diced)

Pepper to taste

Directions:

Add all ingredients for the marinara together and simmer for 1 hour. Once marinara is done, heat oven to 350F and boil pasta shells. Mix cheeses with spinach and pepper. Once shells are done, rinse with cold water to make them easier to handle. Place shells on paper towel or clean kitchen towel to absorb water. Take a baking sheet and place a portion of the marinara on the bottom of the pan to prevent sticking. Stuff each shell with the cheese mixture and place in baking pan until the pan is full of shells in a single layer. Top with the remaining marinara and sprinkle some Parmigiano Reggiano on top, bake uncovered for 30 minutes.

Linguine alla Carbonara

After watching Frankie make a big pot of Linguine alla Carbonara on one of my favorite shows, Better Things, I had craving for the delicious, creamy pasta. I have made it a couple times since and it is a very simple dish. The recipe I use is from Lidia Bastianich’s cookbook titled Lidia’s Italian-American kitchen. Lidia explains that you often see this dish cooked with cream. However, that is not the traditional style. Traditional carbonara is made with egg yolks. The heat of the pasta is enough to cook the egg yolks.

Ingredients:

6 ounces slab bacon

2 TBS olive oil

2 large yellow onions, sliced 1/2 inch thick (about 3 cups)

1 1/2 cups hot chicken stock

1 pound linguine, I use spaghetti noodles, you can use whatever you prefer

3 egg yolks

1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Coarsely ground black pepper

Directions:

Bring a pot of salted water to boil for the linguine.

Cut the bacon into 1/4 inch thick slices, heat the oil in a large heavy skillet and add the bacon, cook for about 6 minutes. Bacon should be soft in center and lightly browned.

If there is more than 3-4 TBS of oil in the skillet, remove to make 3-4 TBS of oil. Add the onions with the bacon and cook for about 4-5 minutes, the onions should be wilted but still crunchy. Add the stock, bring to a boil and adjust to simmer. Reduce the sauce by half.

Cook the linguine semi-covered until cooked to your desire.

Ladle off a cup of the pasta water. If the skillet is large enough to accommodate sauce and pasta, fish the pasta out of the boiling water and drop it into the sauce, stir to coat. Bring the sauce and pasta to a boil, check the seasoning, add salt if necessary. Add chicken stock or pasta water if there is not enough sauce to coat the pasta.

Meanwhile, separate your eggs and whisk each yolk slightly, you will want to keep them separate as they need to be added one at a time.

Remove the pasta from heat and stir in each egg yolk separately. A salad fork and spoon works well for this part. Stir vigorously while each yolk is added to avoid the eggs becoming scrambled.

Add the cheese and black pepper. Serve immediately

Pugliese Chicken and Potatoes

My daughter in Venice

Another recipe found on cookingwithnonna.com. My BF made this one for me and I tried to replicate it this weekend. My version was not as good as his but my son said the chicken was cooked perfectly. I used boneless, skinless chicken breast instead of the bone-in chicken so I put the potato mixture in first and cooked the chicken with a little less time. The flavors of the herbs, olives, tomatoes, and wine are delicious. I will keep trying this one until I achieve perfection.

Igredients:

1 1/2 pounds skinless, bone-in chicken thighs and drumsticks

3 Idaho potatoes, cut into 2 inch pieces

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 cup Gaeta olives or mixed olives, pitted

4 cloves garlic

1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced

4 sprigs of fresh thyme

2 sprigs of fresh rosemary

2 TBS dried oregano

salt and pepper to taste

1/2 cup dry white wine

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400F degrees. Combine all ingredients except the wine into a bowl and mix. Pour into a 9X13 baking dish and pour wine over mixture.

Bake for 60-75 minutes until the meat pulls away from the bone.

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