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.

Classy Bolognese Sauce

One of our favorite dishes to make is Pasta Bolognese. We can’t tell you how many times we’ve made different variations of this dish, but we never tire of making it. For the first time we made our own version of Pasta Bolognese. That’s right, no recipe. We just did it straight from our brains. And it turned out pretty fucking great.

This recipe is a no frills kind of recipe, just classically beautiful, like two young ladies should be!

Classy Bolognese 

Classy Bolognese

Classy Bolognese

Ingredients

  • 1 Shallot (finely diced)
  • 1 Cup Celery (About 4 Stalks, finely diced)
  • 1 Cup Carrots (3 Large, finely diced)
  • 1 Medium Onion (finely diced)
  • 1 Cup Baby Bella Mushrooms (About 9 mushrooms), finely diced)
  • Meat Trio 1lb Each (Beef, Pork, Veal, Italian Sausage, it’s really up to you which ones you use)
  • Garlic Olive Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon Butter
  • 1 Cup Red Wine
  • 2/3 Cup Whole Milk
  • 2 to 3 Tablespoons Tomato Paste
  • 1 28oz Can Crushed Tomatoes
  • 1 28oz Can Whole Tomatoes
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 2 Basil Leaves ( Cut into Ribbons)
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 1 Teaspoon Onion Powder
  • 1 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1 Teaspoon Crushed Red Peppers
  • Few Chunks of a Parmesan Rind
  • 1 Tablespoon Garlic
  • Kosher Salt
  • Pepper

Classy Bolognese

Step 1: 

In a large pot, heat 2 tablespoons of garlic olive oil and one tablespoon of butter over medium-high heat.

Step 2: 

When the oil is shimmering add the diced onions, mushrooms and shallot. Sauté for two to three minutes.

See how the oil dances?

Classy Bolognese

Classy Bolognese

Classy Bolognese

Step 3: 

Add the carrots and sauté for another three minutes. Finally, add the celery and continue cooking for at least 1 minute.

Classy Bolognese

Classy Bolognese

Celery has a lot of water, so adding it last is a must!

Classy Bolognese

Step 4: 

If needed, at a little more oil, and then add your Meat Trio. Season liberally with Kosher salt and pepper. Break and brown the meat until the meat is just barely pink.

Classy Bolognese

Step 5: 

Next, add your red wine and raise the heat to high. Cook until all the liquid has cooked off, about 3 to 5 minutes.

It’s okay if it takes longer, we all have different stoves, so don’t be alarmed!

Step 6: 

Once the wine has been cooked off, lower the heat to medium and add the milk. Cook until most of the liquid is gone, this can take anywhere from 20 to 40 minutes.

Classy Bolognese

Step 7: 

Add the tomato paste in and mix well.

Classy Bolognese

Step 8: 

If you haven’t, squish your whole tomatoes in a separate bowl, you can do it in the pot, but you run the risk of hot splatter, and we don’t think anyone wants that.

Pour your tomatoes in the pot and stir until combined. Add the 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder. At this point you can add a splash of red wine.

Classy Bolognese

Step 9: 

Stir in the basil, bay leaf, onion powder, garlic powder, parmesan rinds and red peppers. Taste and season accordingly, if it needs more salt or pepper or any seasoning…add it!

Lower the heat and cook un-covered for 1.5 hours.

Classy Bolognese

Step 10: 

After 1.5 hours of cooking, add 1 hearing tablespoon of chopped garlic. Continue cooking un-covered for 2 to 3 hours. Stir occasionally.

Again, at this point, taste and season accordingly. But go easy on the salt, the rinds have a really nice salty flavor, and release the salt flavor as they melt.

Step 11: 

During the last hour of cooking, you can slowly start to defeat your sauce. This step isn’t necessary but we always defat in the last hour.

Classy Bolognese

Step 12: 

When the sauce is ready, cook your pasta and toss the sauce and pasta together.

*We always reserve at least a cup and half of our pasta water (after the pasta is cooked, but before you drain) and use to toss with the pasta and the sauce.

Classy Bolognese

Classy Bolognese

Classy Bolognese

Bruschetta al Pomodoro

“Day-old bread, month-old oil, and year-old wine”–Italian Proverb

This saying applies to today’s recipe, Bruschetta. Bruschetta, itself, is originally just toasted bread, olive oil and garlic.  It gained in popularity in the different regions of Italy, where they each made their own version.

The most popular version includes the proud colors of the Italian flag. Green = Basil, white =  garlic, red = tomatoes.  This is referred to as bruschetta al pomodoro.

Ours isn’t quite traditional, but it certainly has the flavors of it. We like a more saucy bruschetta, so the bread can absorb some of the Italian flag goodness aka basil, garlic, and tomatoes.

Bruschetta al pomodoro

How beautiful is our little basil plant.


Bruschetta al pomodoro

What you need:

  • cutting board
  • knife
  • garbage bowl

Ingredients:

  • 5 roma tomatoes
  • 1 can of crushed tomatoes (12 oz)
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic
  • Balsamic vinegar (to taste)
  • 6 fresh basil leaves
  • salt and pepper (to taste)
  • 1 baguette cut into slices

Step 1:

Slice tomatoes in half and de-seed. Dice into pieces. Place in a bowl. We don’t mind the skin, so we leave it on.

Bruschetta al pomodoro

Bruschetta al pomodoro

Bruschetta al pomodoro

Bruschetta al pomodoro

Step 2:

Peel the garlic and mince. While garlic is still on the cutting board, hit it with some salt here and use the side of your knife, sharp side obviously facing away from you for safety. Use the side of the knife to crush the garlic and salt until it breaks down, its like a paste. Scrape it up from the board and put it into the bowl with tomatoes.

Bruschetta al pomodoro

Bruschetta al pomodoro

Bruschetta al pomodoro

Step 3:

Take the basil leaves and pile them on top of each other. Then roll them up together. Slice thin ribbons of basil and place into the bowl with tomatoes and garlic.

Bruschetta al pomodoro

Bruschetta al pomodoro

Bruschetta al pomodoro

Bruschetta al pomodoro

Step 4:

Open the can of crushed tomatoes and dump it into the bowl of tomatoes and friends. Gently mix everything together, adding salt, pepper and balsamic to taste.

Bruschetta al pomodoro

Step 5: 

(Optional) You can toast your bread slices in the oven with some olive oil brushed on for a few minutes. We didn’t toast ours because we love the way the bread soaks up the juicy goodness. But traditional Bruschetta  is toasted or grilled.

Bruschetta al pomodoro


Happy Cooking!

Boozy Bolognese

One thing we really love to cook is Pasta Bolognese. We can’t tell you how many recipes we’ve tried, and even though we’ve made TONS of different versions, we still love finding, cooking, and fine-tuning them just the way we like it.

For this particular recipe, we made it for our close friend Sarah, who can’t eat dairy, or gluten, or basically air, but we still love her. We took out all the dairy and replaced it with wine (Ina approved). I mean, who doesn’t love a good red wine when having Italian? And don’t worry, all the alcohol cooks off, and it leaves this wonderful rich aroma. Trust me, I had some for lunch today, and just the smell had my mouthwatering!

Boozy Bolognese

Doesn’t that look good? Not bad for two amateur photographers! And remember as we continue posting, we continue learning and we will be adding photos with steps, as we make the food. But for now, please look at this deliciously scrumptious photo.


Boozy Bolognese 

  • 1lb ground beef (80/20 is best)
  • 1lb ground pork or sweet pork sausage
  • Olive Oil
  • 8oz carrots finely chopped
  • 8oz celery finely chopped
  • 16oz onions finely chopped
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons garlic
  • 1 bottle of red wine (Chianti is always good)
  • Two 28oz cans tomatoes (San Marzano are best)
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Step 1:

Use about 1 to 2 tablespoons of olive oil and coat the bottom of a dutch oven or pot. Heat the oil over medium heat till the oil “dances”.

Step 2:

Sauté the onions over medium heat for two to three minutes or until onions are tender and almost translucent. (Variation: you can also add some chopped mushrooms to give it some extra “meatiness”.)

Step 3:

Add the meat and season liberally with salt and pepper. I use a potato masher to break up and evenly distribute the meat on the bottom.

Step 4:

While the meat is browning add the carrots. And stir everything together.

Step 5:

Continue to brown the meat until almost all the pink is gone. Add the celery and then garlic. Once garlic is fragrance, move to the next step.

Step 6:

Next add two cups of red wine, and turn the heat to low and let all the liquid cook off, stirring occasionally. The time varies depending on your oven.

Step 7:

One the liquid is cooked off, add the two cans of tomatoes and two more cups of wine and bring to a boil. Once the sauce starts to boil, lower the heat to low and add the bay leaves.

Step 8:

Let the sauce simmer on low, for three hours and remember to stir occasionally.

Step 9:

Cook a pound of pasta, until al dente and then mix some sauce on those noodles, and EAT IT. You’re welcome.


Well, there it is! Our first official recipe. And it’s not even from Pinterest, just one we made up on the spot! We hope you enjoy our first recipe, and keep a look out for many more to come!