Pasta in a Basil Tomato Sauce

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?)

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One-Pot Mexican Spaghetti

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.

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One-Pot Italian Sausage Creamy Spaghetti

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.

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Beautiful Florence and Spaghetti Carbonara

Florence Bridge 2Hubby, 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.

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Cacio e Pepe, a Dish as old as Rome Itself

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.

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Honoring National Spaghetti Day with Spaghetti Milanaise

Today is National Spaghetti Day. According to Foodimentary, there are some very interesting facts surrounding spaghetti. Did you know that the average Italian eats more than fifty-one pounds of pasta a year and would never think to use a spoon to twirl spaghetti onto their fork? The side of their plate and an experienced wrist is all it takes. Me? I have a “pasta” spoon, sort of flat and round and looks a lot like a bouillon spoon with a long handle. My spoon is perfectly designed for twirling my sauce-saturated twines onto my pasta fork.

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Awesome Spaghetti with Double the Meats

Hubby loves Spaghetti with Meat Balls – it’s one of his favorite ways to eat Spaghetti. I love Spaghetti with Italian Sausage in the tomato-based sauce. Kiddo isn’t particular – he loves Spaghetti any way you serve it. Hum, wonder what would happen if I made the sauce my way, rich in tomatoes with Italian sausage and invited meat balls to the mix . . .

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Spaghetti with a Meaty Ragù

A while back, Kiddo was given a strange gift – a small bottle of top-shelf imported Italian Balsamic Vinegar. I say strange because Balsamic Vinegar is not a typical gift to give a twenty-something guy. Kiddo in turn gave the bottle to me.

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Spaghetti and Meatballs Enough for a Crowd

Did you know that Spaghetti and Meatballs isn’t an Italian dish? At least not in the way we think of Spaghetti and Meatballs. You know, big, juicy meatballs swimming in a rich red sauce poured over a mountain of spaghetti noodles. In Italy, you will find spaghetti noodles, tomato based sauces and even meatballs of sorts (called polpettes). These are not the meatballs we know and love. They are often eaten plain (as the meatballs alone) or in a soup. The meat is anything from beef to turkey to even fish. Often these meatballs are no bigger than a golf ball. In some regions, there are meatballs no bigger than a marble called polpettines. While polpettes are commonly found at the family table in Italy, they are rarely found in restaurants and never served with spaghetti. If you happen to be in Italy and find “Spaghetti and Meatballs” on the menu, then you have stumbled into a tourist spot that caters to American expectation.

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Simple Man’s Smokin’ Spaghetti with Beer

It’s interesting how one thought or memory will lead to another. Friday, I posted a recipe for Fried Lobster Ravioli with Two Cream Sauces – a recreation of a dish served at a Brewery we once frequented. The brewery got me to thinking about beer. Beer got me to thinking about a friend from eons ago – Nancy. Sadly we have lost touch over the years, but I still remember her fondly.

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Spaghetti Bolognese with Chicken and Pancetta

Panchetta is Italian Bacon, of sorts. Both American Bacon and Italian Pancetta are pork, usually from the pork belly section. Typically both have been cured (while some bacon is sold uncured). Bacon is cured in salt, either in a brine or packed in salt. It is then aged by drying the meat, be it dried in cold air for weeks or even months, or smoked (my favorite kind of bacon). Pancetta can also be cured in simple salt, but seasonings and other aromatics are often added to the curing process to infuse Pancetta with its distinctly Italian flavors. While this recipe can be made using Bacon, depending upon the type of bacon, the flavor will vary.

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