Spaghetti Carbonara for #SundaySupper

The theme for this week’s #SundaySupper is “Celebrate Your Heritage” and, in case my last name didn’t give it away, I am Italian-American (and Hungarian, and other stuff too, but mostly Italian). Although my family hails from the South of the boot, I couldn’t resist bringing Spaghetti Carbonara – a decidedly Roman dish – to the table. Although I didn’t grow up eating it, a family trip to Rome my senior year of high school was the beginning of a lifelong love affair. Today it’s something my husband and I make often if we have the ingredients on hand. It’s actually a specialty of my husband’s, and a dish I would venture to say he makes better than I.

Family Photos
My Italian great grandmother in the kitchen, and my Italian family gathered around the table

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Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Red Onion and Bacon

Roasted Brussels Sprouts Recipe

There isn’t much that I love more than Brussels sprouts. Ok, that may be exaggerating, but only a little. These adorable little veggies have gotten quite the PR treatment in recent years, shooting from America’s most hated vegetable to veggie darling of the foodie community. I always knew that Brussels sprouts resembled baby cabbages, but it wasn’t until recently that I learned that they are actually related (I always figured it was a corn/baby corn type scenario). As part of the brassica family, Brussels sprouts are also kin to broccoli, cauliflower, kohlrabi, and turnip. “Ooooohhhh,” replied my husband when I read him the Wikipedia entry. You see, a light had just gone off: these are all his favorite foods.


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Spaghetti all’Amatriciana

Spaghetti all'Amatriciana
Spaghetti all’Amatriciana

If you’re looking for another weeknight pasta recipe to add to your repertoire (I know I always am), then allow me to suggest Spaghetti all’Amatriciana. Hailing from the Central Italian town of Amatrice (hence the name – aha!), this flavorful dish comes together in less than half and hour and uses mostly pantry items. Although guanciale, or pig jowl, traditionally provides the flavor base, pancetta or bacon work as well. I find it’s a great alternative to carbonara, and its spicy, smoky red sauce will keep you coming back for more. Continue reading “Spaghetti all’Amatriciana”

Guest Post: Bacon, Vegetable, and Ricotta Quiche

When Kim from Cravings of a Lunatic asked me to do a guest post on her lovely blog, there was only one answer: Of course! I’ve admired Kim’s blog for some time. It’s written in a funny, candid voice and is full of inspiring recipes. Having recently become blogging buddies, I can also tell you that Kim is a thoughtful, supportive individual, the kind that you’re lucky to have in your corner. We spent some time considering what recipe to include and settled on one that Kim herself would never post: quiche. Kim hates eggs and is lactose intolerant so this egg-based quiche with ricotta is definitely a recipe her readers wouldn’t otherwise get from her! It’s just too bad she can’t try it (head to her blog for the recipe). Continue reading “Guest Post: Bacon, Vegetable, and Ricotta Quiche”

Pasta with Peas and Bacon

I had bacon in the fridge that needed to be used. I had frozen peas in the freezer leftover from samosas. I had, as always, pasta. I even had a few tablespoons of heavy cream leftover from a ganache that I’ll tell you about later. Have you ever been to a less-than-authentic Italian restaurant and ordered Spaghetti Carbonara? Well, for some reason these places tend to insist that Carbonara is a heavy cream-based sauce with bacon or ham and peas. Not always terrible, but disappointing when you know what good Carbonara tastes like. And for some reason, that dish became my inspiration for the evening. But I wanted to make it good. Continue reading “Pasta with Peas and Bacon”

Spiced Pots de Créme with Candied Bacon and Maple Cream

The inspiration for this pots de créme actually came from the fondue challenge on Food52. I submitted a savory fondue, but couldn’t stop thinking about what I would make for a sweet one. As someone who typically prefers potato chips over chocolate, I knew it would need a salty element to satisfy my salty-sweet tooth. The following week’s challenge was a pudding recipe and, with the encouragement of a fellow Food52 member, I decided on the combo of chocolate, chile and bacon. Continue reading “Spiced Pots de Créme with Candied Bacon and Maple Cream”

Steakhouse Dinner Redux

Evan and I enjoy a nice steak. Years ago we went to a cooking class for Evan’s birthday called “The Great American Steakhouse.” Evan proposed to me in a steakhouse. After he took the Bar Exam we went to Peter Luger’s and, stuffed, walked home across the Wiliamsburg Bridge. Every Christmas Eve we look forward to my father’s filet mignon roast. Steak equals celebration. So when Evan told me he wanted Chicken Parmesan for his birthday dinner, I smiled and started plotting a steakhouse meal for the night before. Continue reading “Steakhouse Dinner Redux”