Thursday, September 01, 2011

Pasta al Pastore

I'm sorry I don't have a better photo, but this is all that remained of the Pasta al Pastore, Shepherd's Ragu from our Sunday lunch, a saucy serving spoon and half a container of ricotta.  Not many ingredients and easy to make, it was delicious and went fast.

4 Medium Pork Sausages

125 Grams Ricotta

250 Grams Rigatoni
Grated Parmesan or Grana Padano


Pour olive oil into a large skillet, and set it over medium-high heat. Sprinkle in the peperoncino, let it toast for a few seconds, then scatter the crumbled sausage in the pan. Cook the sausage, stirring and breaking up any clumps for 10 minutes or so until it is all well browned and crispy.
Meanwhile, when the sausage is sizzling, cook the pasta. When the sausage is browned and crisp, ladle about 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water into the skillet and deglaze the pan bottom, scraping up the browned bits and add 1/2 teaspoon salt. When the pasta is al dente, lift it from the pot, drain briefly, and drop it into the skillet. Toss the rigatoni and sausage together, then turn off the heat, and stir in the ricotta. Serve immediately with grated Parmesan. Serves 2.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Sorbetto di Melone

Sorbetto di melone, cantaloupe sorbet, so refreshing and so easy! Take one very ripe cantaloupe, cut it into slices, clean the seeds, then cut into cubes (disposing of the rind). Using either a handheld blender or a regular blender, blend the cubed melon along with half a cup of sugar (the quantity of sugar may vary depending on your sweet tooth). Stir in a healthy splash of Prosecco and a healthy splash of Vodka.  You can leave out the Prosecco and Vodka for a non-alcoholic sorbet -- but why would you? At this point, I'm not sure if I would call this a sorbet or perhaps a variation of the Sgroppino. I then poured the contents into a container and put it in the freezer, stirring it about every half an hour until it was somewhere between a slushy and a sorbet. Sorbetto or Sgroppino, whatever you call it, I call it delicious!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Excuse #231

I've been away again. . ... getting married this time!
That's a good excuse for not having posted, right?


Monday, July 11, 2011

Music Video Flashback

Billy Stewart, Summertime.  You gotta love the cowboy hat!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Did I Mention

Did I mention that we have a new puppy? This is the dear little one when she was just two weeks old. Small, although rather large for a two week old puppy.

My first two dogs were puppies and at this stage in my life I didn't want to go through the training and terrible two's again (the first two years actually). I envisioned my next dog as being a rescue dog -- no more puppies for me! BUT a year ago at Easter I fell in love with my puppy's mother, Bessie. I actually was devising a plan to steal her, sweet and lovely as she was with Egyptian eyes. So when I heard she was having puppies, how could I resist?

Friday, June 24, 2011

Mushroom Season

It rained for two weeks and then we had intense heat. Perfect conditions for mushroom growth. Here we have a perfect porcino specimen! Grazie amore mio.

Monday, June 20, 2011

I'm Back

I've been away, sorry. I didn't actually go anywhere, I just haven't posted for months. I've been away from the computer and the internet -- or rather I should say, they've been away from me. My beloved iBook laptop died a few months ago. It was a slow death, there were signs for weeks that something wasn't right. Then one day, it went belly up. I purchased a refurbished MacBook Pro online throught Apple and had it sent to my computer guru and good friend in Santa Rosa, California for bells and whistles to be added. When it finally arrived safely in Italy as luck would have it, I was without internet connection! Of course during all this time I thought of a bazillion things I wanted to blog about but can't remember any of them now. sigh......

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Buttermilk Bars

Look, buttermilk bars! Okay they're not really buttermilk bars, they're buttermilk balls. Alright they're not buttermilk balls either, they're called Castegnole. (Food mirages are not uncommon when you've been without traditional American fare for as many years as I have.) These are one of the many -- too many! -- delicious sweets prepared exclusively during the Carnevale season in Italy. Little balls of dough traditionally fried in lard and pictured here smothered in honey. Carnevale, or IMardi Gras, is celebrated here forty days before Easter, as a final party before Ash Wednesday and the restrictions of Lent. It's too bad I'm not a practicing Catholic because after eating several of these, Lent is not a bad idea.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Mannequin Parts

I would ask if taking this photo makes me weird, but by now I think we already know that answer.
Just seeing if you're awake.
A Belated Happy Valentine's Day!

Monday, February 07, 2011

Music Video Flashback

Davy Jones, Daydream Believer.  I think he was my first crush!  Rest in peace.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Tangerine Time

Oh my darling clementine! Pronounced differently here that's what we call this fruit in our neck of the woods, clementine. Although these are from Sorrento, several hours south of us. Anyway, we bought a crate from a fellow selling them off his truck. All throughout the year you can find roadside trucks selling fruits and vegetables -- as well as porchetta, but that's another delicious story. Winter is the season for citrus. In Italy, Italians as a general rule only eat fruits and vegetables that are in season. For one, they're more affordable because they're more plentiful. Secondly, they taste better! Coming from California to Umbria I was a little spoiled and dismayed when I couldn't readily find a huge variety of fruits, vegetables and fresh herbs whenever I wanted. It's one of those things like stores closing for several hours in the middle of the day. You learn to appreciate the reasons why and go/eat with the flow!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Sunday Grill


Check out these bad boys! Sunday nights we most always cook something in the fireplace over wood coals and I enjoy a Bloody Mary cocktail or two -- okay always two. Amore has a Prosecco. Italians are purists and he is put off by the amount of diverse ingredients I use to make a Bloody and refuses to even try a sip. I'm okay with that, it means more for me! In addition to grilled meat or even sometimes fish, we usually enjoy bruschetta too. A grilled piece of common bread with fresh garlic rubbed on it, a drizzle of olive oil and some sea salt. Sometimes I buy a jar of grilled peppers and top off the brushetta with one of two pieces for a little variety. The steaks are grilled naked as they are al sangue, which means rare. Again, afterwards a drizzle of fresh olive oil, salt and pepper and I like a spritz of fresh lemon over my grilled meats. Simple is good. Those Italians know what they're doing! Except for Bloody Mary's.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Music Video Flashback

Shirley Ellis, The Name Game.  Makes me giggle when I think how we delighted in singing Chuck's name.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Happy New Year!

Wishing you a peaceful and joyous New Year!