Finally, a new episode of Top Chef! Last night found our favorite fledgling chefs dealing with a seven course meal based on the seven deadly sins. First of all, let me say, I think this is a fantastic idea. Now, I might not have been as excited as Cliff was, but I did think it was clever. But first, let's back up and start at the Quickfire challenge. To check out my full Top Chef recap, read more
Posts for January 4th 2007
Today is National Spaghetti Day! I know, I know, you're thinking that I invent a new food related holiday every day, but in fact, today really is National Spaghetti Day. I've been celebrating the delicious dish all day long, and meant to start it off (small technical snafu) with this rich recipe from Bologna, Italy. Bolognese is a popular Italian sauce that is found in restaurants all over America. It is a thick meat, vegetable and cream sauce most typically served over spaghetti. In Italy a bolognese sauce is more commonly referred to as ragu. To celebrate National Spaghetti Day and make an authentic spaghetti ragu, read more
Yesterday I promised that I wasn't going to tempt you with any rich, indulgent, decadent desserts and so today I am keeping my promise with another guilt-free dessert! Fruit puddings are a great, light, creamy alternative to a piece of cake or pie. I love puddings for their texture, their coolness, and their smooth goodness. Of course, we will all be having pasta dishes for dinner and what better way to end a delicious meal than with a yummy taste treat. To make banana pudding, read more
It's a spicy sauce served with pasta, generally made with black olives, garlic, tomatoes, onions, and anchovies all cooked in olive oil.
The name puttanesca is actually a derivation of the Italian word puttana, which means (are you ready for this?) "whore." Yep everyone, when you order your favorite spicy dish of Spaghetti all Puttanesca, you're actually ordering "Whore's spaghetti." The reason why it's called that is highly debated, however one version says it's a reference to the sauce's hot, spicy flavor and smell, another says it's from the fact that it was a quick cheap meal prostitutes could prepare between customers. Either way, it's a pretty interesting name. Who knew?!
- Chocolate that is great for your complexion?
- Chocolate that is great for your complexion? Sign me up! - FabSugar
- Speaking of chocolate, check out these retro-cute Pin-up Chocolates. - Slashfood
- Learn about the health benefits of eating Spaghetti Squash. - FitSugar
- I can't wait to try these delicious Greek Meatballs. - Simply Recipes
- One of my favorite food bloggers has signed a book deal. - Orangette
- Finally, a great use for all those old candy canes. - Candy Blog
I was looking for a nice non-alcoholic drink to work with our spaghetti day, when I came across this one for a Sicilian Splash. This drink, which was supposed to be a seasonal summer drink over at Olive Garden, was such a huge hit with the customers, it stayed on the menu. It's a blended drink with the right amount of juice and sparkling water. I think it would probably be nicer on the rocks, and a little more season as well (although, a blended drink in the dead of winter might be a nice way to bring the summer zing into your home). To check out the recipe, read more
While spaghetti is the ideal pasta shape for thin, light sauces, when making a thicker hearty sauce a larger pasta shape is ideal. It's important to choose the pasta shape that best compliments the sauce, for example a chunky meat sauce adheres best to pasta shapes with holes and ridges like rigatoni or mostaccioli and rich creamy sauces work best with the slippery noodles of fettuccine. Since today we are all about pasta I thought it would be fun to overview pasta shapes...until I realized that there are over a hundred various kinds! To see a list of interesting pasta shapes, what their name means in English and which type of sauce works best with them, read more
I hate it when I spend a lot of time on a great pasta dish, only to serve it up and have it get cold a few minutes later. That's why I love to start with a pre-warmed bowl. And no, you don't have to warm it in the microwave or oven, it's much simpler than that. To warm a large bowl, put the serving bowl in the sink with the strainer in it. Empty the hot water from the pasta into the bowl, pull the strainer out, dump out the water and pour the pasta into the bowl. The bowl should be steaming hot and your pasta will stay warmer longer. You can also use this technique on individual bowls. I find it easy to use a ladle or measuring cup to take a few scoops for each bowl. It's a simple technique to keep your meal warm enough to enjoy it.
In honor of National Spaghetti Day, I've decided to share with you a recipe for making your own spaghetti. Unfortunately, I've never made my own, but this recipe sounds so tasty, I might give it a try. Instead of relying heavily on a sauce, this particular recipe calls for putting the majority of the flavor right into the spaghetti. To learn how to make your own sage spaghetti, read more
Your favorite Italian recipe calls for Parmigiano-Reggiano and your best friend's, which is very similar to yours, calls for parmesan. So what's the difference? Or are they the same thing? Well the answer is yes, and no.
You see, Parmigiano-Reggiano, is the only "true" parmesan cheese. This is because it's named after, and produced in, the Parma region of Italy. Parmigiano is simply the Italian adjective for Parma, and parmesan is the French adjective, which we use in America.
However the term parmesan has now become so broad that it now covers cheeses that are similar to (or imitating) Parmigiano-Reggiano. American parmesan is similar in flavor and texture, but has a higher salt content and is aged only 10 months (Parmigiano-Reggiano is aged a minimum of 12 months).
So how do you know if you're getting the real deal? Parmigiano-Reggiano is the only one that will have the words Parmigiano-Reggiano on the rind. No other parmesan cheese will have those exact words.