Today is National Kids in the Kitchen Day. Originally created by the Young Chefs Academy to encourage children of all ages to take an active role in planning and preparing the family meal, those skills have become essential.Continue reading “Kids in the Kitchen are Life Skills in the Making”
International Carbonara Day is a relatively new Foodie Holiday. It was launched on April 6, 2017 by two trade associations; the Italian Association of confectionery and Pasta Industries (AIDEPI) and the International Pasta Organization (IPO).
Different. That’s how Hubby would describe this meatless Spaghetti Casserole. And that’s Hubby-Speak for “don’t make it again”. On the flip side, Kiddo loved it, nearly finishing off the entire casserole single-handedly.
Here me shout – it’s National Spaghetti Day! Like I needed an excuse to whip up a big batch of anything Italian. And a sauce that percolates in the crock pot all day – oh yeah!
Have you ever noticed that something happens when you bake pasta? Take Rigatoni – cook up the pasta, pile on the sauce and cheese and it’s great. Take those same ingredients, mix it all together in a casserole dish and bake it – totally different taste and texture.
When I saw this one-pot delicious Spaghetti dish with plenty of vegetables, I knew instantly that it would be a one-pot hit in our house. So pretty, so flavorful and so perfect for this time of year.
Recently while putting together our menu planner and subsequent shopping list, I asked Hubby what he wanted for dinner. While I had most of the coming week planned out, there were a couple of holes that needed to be filled. On those rare occasions when I can’t make up my mind, I like to get a little input from the menfolk.
Before we get into this awesome Spaghetti side dish, I need to take a moment to say thank you to a very special man. He has been at the center of my world for 33 years, and I cannot imagine life without him. Happy Anniversary, sweetheart.
Okay, let’s talk food. Continue reading “Lemon Spaghetti Pairs Perfectly with Scallops”
Spaghetti is such a versatile pasta. It makes for a great pasta salad, or a pasta side or a pasta main dish. It’s all up to you, and how you like your pasta served. Spaghetti pasta as a side can be as simple as warm noodles kissed with a little butter and garlic or as elaborate as a red wine cream sauce spaghetti.
If you are like me, when you cook up Spaghetti there are always leftovers to deal with. I’m not complaining – my guys get a few lunches out of what’s left. I like to make Spaghetti Meatball Sandwiches as a second meal. Of course that means I would have to make the spaghetti with meatballs rather than a meat sauce. Recently, I made a double batch of my Smoking Spaghetti with beer in the sauce. I needed plenty of leftovers for a new Stromboli recipe I was anxious to try.
The nice thing about a simple pasta in a simple tomato sauce is that is makes for a great Catholic Friday Night Supper or a side with other awesome Italian entrées. (And by entrée, I am referring to the American definition as in the main course or main dish. Why is that, by the way? I mean, why does the same word have different meanings depending upon which continent you happen to be standing on – shouldn’t it mean the same thing in America as it does in Europe?)
The first time I made this for the family, Kiddo said I was suffering from a split personality. I can see where he is coming from, the week before I had served up my Spicy Taco-Stuffed Pasta Shells. I was trying out new recipes, bringing the best of Italian and Mexican cooking together on one plate. If you like a spicy spaghetti, this is the pot for you.
We all love those one-pot wonders, right? When I cooked up this one-pot Italian Sausage Spaghetti, in my mind I was thinking okay, so it’s another spaghetti dinner. Sure, we love spaghetti, but don’t hold the presses for another pot of pasta, if you know what I mean. I liked the idea of everything cooking in my big pot. I liked the idea of warming some bread, tossing a simple salad and sitting down to an effortless supper with my guys.
Hubby, Kiddo and I have been talking about our next family vacation. We want to return to Florence (on the Oregon Coast). There is something about the rugged Oregon coast, with its wild beauty that is unparalleled. Oregon’s beaches are clean and open to all. Unlike some of the western beach towns, Florence is not one of the more popular destinations for tourists, and that has allowed the town to retain some of its simple beauty. The town is situated between miles of sand dunes and the Siuslaw River. One of my favorite spots is the Siuslaw bridge across the mouth of the river. Oregon has some of the most spectacular bridges in the country, and Florence is no exception. Thinking of Florence brings to mind another Florence – in Italy. And that makes me yearn for Northern Italian dishes with their rich sauces.
Cacio e Pepe is a pasta dish of Roman Cuisine. Cacio e Pepe means cheese and pepper in several central Italian dialects. Just as the name suggests, the main ingredients are pepper and Pecorino Romano cheese over an egg-noodle pasta. Cacio e Pepe is one of the most ancient dishes of the Roman Empire. For centuries, this simple dish was a stable among Roman shepherds. Dried pasta, aged cheese and black pepper are easy-to-carry ingredients that are hard to spoil in the fields. Today we have the convenience of butter to enhance the creaminess of the sauce.