Traditional Tiramisu

Tiramisu trifle

Tiramisu trifle

Traditional Tiramisu

Hello All! It’s February! We have a lot of big things in the work, and we once again apologize for the lack of updates and recipes. But trust us, big things are coming. We have a lot in the works, and are working to make everything come together so we can share and grow Two Young Ladies.

But let’s get on to the good stuff.  Recipes! And today’s recipe is not only one of our favorites, it’s a real crowd pleaser. The recipe actually comes from our travels overseas two years ago to Europe. We started in Italy (Venice, Florence, Rome), then went to Barcelona, and ended up in London.

During our time in Rome, we went to the cutest little restaurant near the Catacombs. And while we were there with our tour group, we had the most amazing Tiramisu. And after a little sweet talking, we were able to get a general idea of what the recipe was, and now we’re able to share it with you.

While we chose to make our Tiramisu into a trifle, you’re more than welcome to make it in the traditional form. Either a 8×8 pan or 13×9 pan, it’s really up to you and how your want to layer it and how much you have. You can even do it in individual cups to be fancy!

Traditional Tiramisu

Traditional Tiramisu

Here’s a photo of us, in Roma, with our tour director, Andrea. We love him, and hope to go back to Italy to see him soon!

Roma

Tiramisu

Ingredients

  • 2-223g containers of Mascarpone
  • 6 eggs (yolks and whites separated)
  • 2-3 packages of lady fingers
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
  • brewed espresso (1 1/2 cup or 12 oz. water and 2 tablespoons of ground espresso)
  • 2 oz Kaluha

Step 1:

Leave Mascarpone out to come to room temperature, completely.

Tiramisu trifle

Step 2:

Then brew espresso and let it cool. When cool add a tablespoon of cocoa and 2 oz Kaluza. Mix and set aside.

Tiramisu trifle

Tiramisu trifle

Step 3:

Separate the eggs into different bowls. One of whites and one for yolks.

Tiramisu trifle

While separating eggs in the egg shell looks pretty (cause all the pros do that way) we recommend separating with your hands. SO. MUCH. EASIER.

Step 4:

In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, put in your egg whites and whisk on a medium speed. When the whites start to stiffen, add a tablespoon of sugar, and continue to beat until stiff peaks. Do NOT OVER BEAT.

Tiramisu trifle

Tiramisu trifle

Another tip, a lot of recipes says it only takes “a minute or so” for the egg whites to whip up, we think it depends on the machine. Our stand mixer definitely takes at least five minutes to get to stiff peaks. Don’t be alarmed if it doesn’t happen right away.

Step 5:

While the whites are working, whisk the egg yolks until their air rated. Add the remaining 3 tablespoons of sugar to the yolks and whisk until it’s fluffy.

Step 6:

To the yolk mixture, add the mascarpone and incorporate it with the yolks and sugar. Let it be creamy. Add vanilla.

Tiramisu trifle

Tiramisu trifle

Step 7:

Fold egg whites into mascarpone/yolks mixture. Be gentle. It’s best to fold the whites into the mixture in thirds.

Tiramisu trifle

 

Tiramisu trifle

Step 8:

In a shallow baking dish, put the espresso/cocoa/kaluha mixture. Lightly dip the lady fingers in. Don’t get too wet otherwise it will disintegrate.

Tiramisu trifle

(We apologize for the blurry photos, we’re still figuring out not only our new camera, but the lighting in our cave like apartment)

Step 9:

Layer lady fingers, fluffy creamy mixture and repeat.

Tiramisu trifle

Tiramisu trifle

Step 10:

Dust unsweetened cocoa over the top. Serve and enjoy!*

Tiramisu trifle

Tiramisu trifle

Traditional Tiramisu

Traditional Tiramisu

*For this particular recipe, we choose to make a simple whipped cream, and make that the last layer/topping. You’re more than welcome to do that, or leave it and serve it the traditional way.

Easy Weeknight Bolognese Sauce

Bolognese

If you didn’t already know, we love pasta. We could cook and eat pasta until we’re blue in the face, and if you didn’t guess, one of our favorite sauces is bolognese.

Most bolognese recipes take a lot of time and when you’re in a pinch the last thing you want to do is wait 3+ hours for dinner and a sauce. What’s great about our Easy Weeknight Bolognese is that you get the wonderful flavors of a classic bolognese in half the time!

And most of the ingredients are things you already have in your fridge at home. And if you’re super lazy, and don’t want to chop, you can buy those prepackaged mirepoix (meer-quaw) mixes, that include diced onion, celery, and carrots!

Now, don’t be alarmed by the amount of ingredients, those are what make this recipe great and delicious!

Easy Weeknight Bolognese

Easy Weeknight Bolognese Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1 Cup Chopped Onions
  • 1 Cup Chopped Carrots
  • 1/2 Cup Chopped Celery
  • 1 Pound Ground Beef (Or any other meat)
  • 1 Jar Your Favorite Canned Marinara Sauce (24oz)
  • 1 Cup Red Wine
  • 1/2 Cup Beef Stock
  • 2 Tablespoons Garlic (Minced)
  • 3 Tablespoons Tomato Paste
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Dried Basil
  • 1 Tablespoon Parmesan (Grated)
  • Olive Oil
  • Kosher Salt
  • Pepper

Step 1: 

In a large pot, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat. When the oil is “dancing” add the ground meat, and season liberally with salt and pepper. Cook until no longer pink.

Easy Weeknight Bolognese

Easy Weeknight Bolognese

(Sidenote, ground meat does not photograph well…)

“De-fat” if necessary.

Step 2: 

While the meat is browning, heat one tablespoon of olive oil on high heat. Again, when the oil is “dancing” and hot, add the onion and sauté for three to four minutes.

Step 3: 

Next add the carrot and sauté for another two to three minutes. If needed add a little more olive oil. Then add the celery and garlic, and cook until garlic is fragrant.

Easy Weeknight Bolognese

Step 4: 

When the garlic is fragrant, add the onions, carrots, celery, and garlic back to the meat. Stir until combined.

Easy Weeknight Bolognese

Step 5: 

Add the wine and beef stock and raise the temperature to high. Allow the mixture to cook on high for about 15 minutes or until the majority of the liquid has cooked down.

Step 6: 

Once the liquid is cooked down, add your jar of marinara sauce and stir together. Lower the temperature to low.

We highly recommend Rao’s Homemade Sauces. Super delicious and you can read all the ingredients! But really, just pick any sauce that has the least amount of ingredients, and you know is super delicious.

Step 7: 

Next, add the tomato paste, bay leaves, parmesan, and dried basil. Stir together. Allow to cook for at least 15 minutes. Taste and add salt and pepper if needed.

Serve with your favorite pasta and top with freshly chopped basil.

Easy Weeknight Bolognese

Easy Weeknight Bolognese

Simplistic Pesto

Simplistic Pesto

Pesto! Who doesn’t love Pesto? A simple dish that originated from Genoa, Italy where originally a paste was made from crushing cheese, garlic and herbs together.

This technique was called moretum which was more of a spread than a sauce like traditional pesto is seen today. The ancient Romans would eat this spread traditionally on bread and it was actually made in a mortar and pestle, hence the name!

In Liguria Italy (a city in Genoa) basil was a very common herb, so using it was a no brainer. There is where they added the addition of crushed pine nuts and a touch of olive oil to make more of a sauce as opposed to a spread.

In Provence, France they add fresh parsley and take out the pine nuts. This variation, is called Pistou. What’s great about pesto is all the variations there are and what you can as you make it. You can add parsley or mint to really liven up the  flavors, but today we are focusing on just simple and classy pesto.

The trick to keeping pesto green and not oxidizing, is blanching the herbs that you put in. So if you want to add parsley or mint, add them to the blanching process of Step 2.

Ingredients

  • 2 Cups Basil Leaves (packed)
  • 1 Cup Pine Nuts (toasted)
  • 6 Teaspoons Garlic (minced)
  • 1 Tablespoon Kosher Salt
  • 1 1/2 Cup Olive Oil
  • 1 Cups Grated Parmesan

Simplistic Pesto

Step 1:

Prepare a bowl of ice water, set aside.

In a large pot, bring water to a boil. When the water is boiling add a liberal amount of salt.

Step 2:

Using a fine mesh sieve, put the basil into the sieve in two batches. Lower the first batch into the boiling water and let them blanch evenly for 15 seconds. Plunge the basil into the ice water, repeat with the second batch.

Drain the basil immediately, and squeeze the excess water out of the leaves. Pat dry with a paper towel.

Simplistic Pesto

Step 3:

Roughly chop the basil and place in a food processor. Next, add the pine nuts, garlic, salt, and cheese. Pulse until blended together.

Simplistic Pesto

If you can buy this cheese, it’s really the best. It’s so smooth and velvety, perfect for giving your pesto a creamy and silky texture. 

Simplistic Pesto

Simplistic Pesto

Step 4:

Before adding the oil, remember to scrape down the sides. With the food processor on, slowly add the olive oil and allow to come together.

Simplistic Pesto

Simplistic Pesto

Simplistic Pesto

Can serve over your favorite vegetables, pasta, chicken, or as a dip.

Pesto is best served at room temperature and if served with pasta, toss the pasta and pesto immediately. No need to heat the pesto separately. 

Simplistic Pesto

Simplistic Pesto

Simplistic Pesto

Quick and Easy Pasta Carbonara

Pasta Carbonara is one of our favorite dishes. Christie had it at least 9 times while we were in Rome for two weeks.

We nicknamed our favorited restaurant “The Little Tomato”. Well, when you hear the ingredients, you might think “Breakfast?”, but this is definitely a delicious dinner or breakfast if you’re into that sort of thing!

Quick and Easy Pasta Carbonara

Quick and Easy Pasta Carbonara

Pasta Carbonora 

Ingredients 

  • 1 Box of Spaghetti
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 1 Cup Parmesan (Grated)
  • 5 Slices of Bacon (Diced)
  • 5 Garlic Cloves (Minced)
  • Kosher Salt
  • Fresh Cracked Pepper
  • 3 Tablespoons Fresh Parsley (Chopped)

Step 1: 

First, fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. Next add the salt and cook the pasta according to the boxes instructions. Before draining, reserve at least one cup of the cooking water. Set the pasta aside.

Step 2: 

Over medium-high heat, heat a large skillet. When the skillet is hot, add the bacon and cook for about 6 minutes. You want the bacon to be cooked, but not over cooked. Drain the excess fat.

Step 3:

Next, stir in the garlic and cook for about a 1minute or until the garlic is fragrant. Turn the heat to medium.

Step 4: 

In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs together and then add the parmesan.

Step 5: 

Stir the pasta into the bacon and garlic and slowly pour the egg mixture over the pasta. Making sure you are stirring constantly. Add a little pepper and salt if needed.

Step 6: 

One tablespoon at a time, add the reserved pasta water until you achieve your desired consistency. Garnish with parsley and serve immediately.

Quick and Easy Pasta Carbonara

Quick and Easy Pasta Carbonara

We found inspiration from this blog for today’s recipe

Summer Evening Pasta

Summer Evening Pasta

This is a perfect meal for those who don’t want to spend a lot of time in a hot kitchen during the summer. Fresh basil and tomatoes and your favorite tomato sauce make this recipe quick and easy.

And who doesn’t love a meal that could be cooked in 15 minutes or less. Aren’t there tons of shows on the food network that have that as a selling point? Either way, this recipe is delicious, healthy and a low hassle meal.

Summer Evening Pasta


Summer Nights Pasta

Ingredients 

  • 3 to 4 Roma Tomatoes (diced)
  • 2 Tablespoons Garlic (minced)
  • 12 Large Basil Leaves (chiffonade)
  • 2/3 to 3/4 Cup of your favorite Marinara
  • Red Pepper Flakes
  • Kosher Salt
  • Fresh Cracked Pepper
  • 1 Box Pasta
  • Garlic Olive Oil

Step 1: 

In a large pot, fill with water and bring to a boil. Add salt and begin to cook your pasta.

**You should be able to do the next few steps during the pasta’s cook time, if you’re pasta’s cook time is less than 4 minutes, start with step two and then cook your pasta.

Step 2: 

In a large sauté pan, heat one tablespoon of garlic olive oil.

Step 3: 

When the oil is hot and ‘dancing’ add the garlic and cook for 30 to 50 seconds or until the garlic is nice and fragrant.

Summer Evening Pasta

Step 4: 

Add the tomatoes and sauté for 1 to 2 minutes stirring constantly, making sure the garlic doesn’t burn.

Summer Evening Pasta

Step 5: 

Next, add the marinara sauce and stir until combined. Mix in half the basil and reduce the heat to low.

Summer Evening Pasta

Step 6: 

Just before the pasta is ready to be drained, reserve at least one cup of the pasta water. Drain the pasta and immediately place the pasta into the sauté pan.

Summer Evening Pasta

Step 7: 

Add a little bit of the pasta water and mix everything together until evenly coated. Sprinkle with red pepper flakes, fresh cracked pepper, and the rest of the basil and serve immediately.

Summer Evening Pasta


Grandma’s Italian Meatballs

Grandma's Meatballs

Grandma's Meatballs

So yesterday, you (hopefully) made the sauce now today you make the meatballs! We may not be Italian by blood, but we think that we could definitely make any Italian Grandma happy with these deliciously moist meatballs.

Now, a little history on the meatball. In Italy, meatballs aren’t actually called meatballs. In Italy they’re called polpettes,  and are normally eaten by themselves as a full meal or in soups and are made with any kind of meat ranging from fish to turkey. If you see spaghetti and meatballs on a Italian menu, it’s likely there to cater towards American tourists.

Come to think of it, neither of us can actually remember encountering spaghetti and meatballs on our Italian trip last year!

Pellegrino Artusi who was a Florentine silk merchant in his early days and retired and followed his passion for food, cooking, recipes and travel. In 1891 Pellegrino published the first modern Italian cookbook and was dubbed the father of Italian Cuisine’. His cookbook which was titled (in English) ‘The Science of Cooking and the Art of Eating Well: A Practical Manual for Families.”

In this book he brought together a lot of regional Italian cuisines and made them accessible for all. He was also the first to write for the home chef and make cooking easy for all. He talks about the Polpettes in the book and said “Don’t think I’m pretentious enough to teach you how to make meatballs. This is a dish that everybody can make, starting with the donkey.”

So how did Polpettes become what we know as meatballs? The Italians came to America and were able to spend more money on food. They went from spending 75 % of their income on food to only 25%, and meat which went from being a rare luxury, to a every day staple.


Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1 small red onion, minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup bread crumbs, divided into half cups

Step 1:

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Step 2:

In a medium bowl mix together onions, basil, parsley, garlic powder, salt red pepper flakes and 1/2 cup of bread crumbs. Grate in the parmesan and mix together.

Step 3: 

In a large bowl, mix together both meats gently, hehe. Add the breadcrumbs mixture and again gently incorporate the meat and breadcrumb mixtures.

Step 4: 

Put the remaining 1/2 cup of breadcrumbs into a bowl. Weigh out 1.5 oz balls and then coat them with breadcrumbs in the bowl. Place on mini muffin pan holes. hehe.

Step 5:

Bake for about 20 minutes, more if they are still pink in the center. If you want to finish the meatballs in the sauce for a few minutes afterwards. EAT THEM!

Grandma's Meatballs


We dedicate this post to our Grandmas who are no longer with us, but we think about all the time. Especially when we’re in the Kitchen .

Grandmas
Christie with her Mom and Grandma Prieto
grandma 2

Christie and Marlee with Grandma Alyce Hunka in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

grandma 3Marlee with her Grandma Parrish in Texas.

Velvety Marinara Sauce

It’s Saturday and you know what you should make? Our classic and delicious marinara sauce. We know traditionally, most Italian’s make their sauce (or gravy) on Sundays but here at TYL, we’re a little non traditional so Saturdays are marinara day!

Besides, any good chef (or home cook) knows that a sauce, gravy, chili, stew, etc. tastes better the next day…so break out of the norm and make this sauce today!

There are many theories as to the origins of marinara sauce.  Most people would just assume that the moment Italy was formed BAM! there was marinara sauce, but no! It first appeared in an Italian cookbook in 1692.  Apparently the tomato was a fruit of the New World, and according to some theories, were brought over by Spanish explorers to Naples, a major port city.  Marinara means mariner or sailor, so some believe that tomato sauce was something that the sailor’s wives made when their husbands returned from sea to feed them.

Others believe that the sailors themselves made the sauce to bring with them to sea because the high acid content kept the food edible longer. One last theory is that tomatoes were used in place of a different fruit that might have been previously used in a pasta sauce, such as figs or apricots. Weird to think that tomato sauce is actually a savory fruit sauce!

Also, one possibility as to why some people call it tomato gravy, is because of the mother sauce tomate, where a roux is used to start the sauce.  A roux is traditionally used to make a gravy, hence, tomato gravy! Soon we’ll do an entire post just about the mother sauces, so stay tuned for that!

Velvety Marinara Sauce

Ingredients

  • 4 roma tomatoes
  • olive oil
  • garlic salt
  • pepper
  • 1 small red onion, mined
  • 1-28 oz can of crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup of red wine
  • dried basil
  • dried oregano
  • 3 tbsp of tomato paste
  • 3 cloves of garlic, smashed
  • Grated Parmesan

Step 1: 

Pre-heat oven to 400°F.  Cut Roma tomatoes in half and place them in a bowl together, pour some olive oil on top and season with garlic salt and pepper. Toss them around until all the tomatoes are coated. Place them on a baking sheet and place them in the oven for 20 to 30 minutes.

Step 2:

Heat olive oil in a heavy bottom pot. Put smashed garlic into the oil until you can smell it, about 2 minutes. Then take it out of the oil and keep it until later. Add the onions and season with salt, dried basil and dried oregano. (add some rosemary salt if you want! Let it simmer for 5 minutes.

Step 3:

Open the can of crushed tomatoes and add it to the pot with the onions. Use a swish of red wine to clean out everything in the can. Let it simmer for 10 minutes.

Step 4:

Add 1 cup of red wine, but we always follow Queen Ina’s philosophy of there could never be enough wine! But if you aren’t as big of a fan of wine as Ina Garten, then feel free to omit it, and add more tomato paste in it’s place. Let it simmer again for 10 minutes.

Step 5:

Now that the Roma tomatoes are out of the oven, with a spatula transfer the tomatoes to the pot. Also, add the smashed garlic that you save from the beginning. Let them all party in the hot tub for another 10-15 minutes.

Step 6:

Turn off the heat and let it cool for 5 minutes. Grab the blender, and blend the sauce mixture in batches. Return to the pot, taste, add grated parmesan to your liking and any seasonings you feel need to be there. Enjoy!

Velvety Marinara Sauce