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Buttermilk Bucatini with Turkey

11 Feb





Rachael Ray



Okay, So the other day I’m flipping channels and there is Racheal Ray getting ready to make something,


“Oh, I haven’t seen her in quite a while , ”   I say to no one in particular.

She goes on to describe what she is going to make , some turkey spaghetti thing ,

but what caught my attention was she was going to cook with buttermilk. 

I have only used buttermilk  with fried chicken,  so I stayed tuned  in to see what she was up to.

Well it looked good so I had to try it.


Gotta tell you,  this is a pretty fantastic dish.

I was more than surprised at how rich this is.

So I get the recipe and the first thing that hits me is




I have never ever heard or seen this .

So I go looking…………


Bucatini resembles thick, hollow spaghetti, with a hole running through the strand of pasta.




The engineer side of my brain says, “How do they make that ???

Standard pasta machines will roll out sheets of flat pasta which are then cut into ribbons to make flat, ribbon-style pastas like fettuccine, tagliatelle or pappardelle.

Bucatini, on the other hand, has to be extruded rather than rolled.

This means that the pasta dough is fed into a machine that forces it through a perforated disk, very similar to a meat grinder. The shape of the pasta depends on the shape of the perforations. Bucatini is made with a disk with tiny circular perforations, which forces the pasta dough to emerge in long tubes. The tubes are then trimmed off to the desired size and then either dried or cooked fresh.



Good to know

“HOLDA DA PHONE ” says my good friend

Father Guido Sarducci


“Dats Perciatelli,     Like my Nona makes.”


Okay so officially :

Bucatini   is hollow, long strands, slightly thicker than spaghetti; The name comes from Italian: buco, meaning “hole”,

while bucato or its Neapolitan variant perciato means “pierced”.

So now you have

Perciatelli, pronounced: “pear-chuh-TELL-lee” is the term for the pasta in Naples.

Pretty much everywhere else, the cut is referred to as bucatini.


And if that’s not confusing enough for you


there ‘s  –  long pasta (spaghetti, angel hair), tubes (penne), soup pastas (orzo, alphabet), stuffed (tortellini, ravioli) and special shapes (farfalle, fusilli).
There are approximately 350 different types of pasta around the world — and about four times that many names for them!

For example, due to its shape, farfalle pasta is often called “butterfly” or “bowtie” pasta.

Cooks use different shapes and sizes of pasta for different purposes. For example, different shapes hold different sauces better than others.
Some cooks say thin pastas, such as angel hair, should be served with thin sauces, while thicker sauces work better with thicker, heavier pastas. People often pair flat pastas with cream sauces, while tomato sauces seem to cling better to round pastas.


Back to the recipe ——–


Sot this is Racheal’s recipe that I ‘ve tweaked a little .

Easy to make and really good. Thanks Rachael !



2 cups  rustic  style bread ( could use Italian)  cubed into 1/2 ” or so  pieces

Hand full  of  fresh flat Italian  parsley  -minced

1 tsp  each –  rosemary . thyme,  sage

2 tbsp. butter, melted

Salt and pepper

About 3 tbsp. olive oil

2 small ribs celery with leafy tops, finely chopped

1 medium onion, finely chopped

4 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 large bay leaf

1 lb. ground turkey, white and dark meat combined

1/2 cup white wine , I like Chardonnay

About 1 1/2 cups turkey or chicken stock

2 1/2 cups buttermilk

1 lb. Bucatini pasta

1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano


Preheat the oven to 350°.


In a bowl, toss the  bread cubes  with the herbs and butter; mix well , season with salt and pepper.

Spread the crumbs out on a foil lined , rimmed baking sheet and bake, stirring once, until golden and crispy, about 15 minutes.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta.

In a large skillet, heat the oil, , over medium-high.

Add the celery, onion, garlic, and bay leaf. a little salt and pepper.. Cook, stirring often, until softened, 6 to 7 minutes.

Add the turkey and cook, stirring occasionally and breaking the meat up with a wooden spoon, until lightly browned, about 5 minutes.

Add the wine and cook, stirring often, until absorbed, about 2 minutes.

Add the stock. Reduce heat to low and let the sauce simmer while you cook the pasta.

In a second large pot, bring the buttermilk to a gentle simmer over medium heat.

Salt the boiling water and add the pasta.

Cook for 5 minutes. Drain the pasta, then add to the buttermilk.

Simmer the pasta for 3 to 4 minutes, the pasta will absorb most of he buttermilk.

Add the turkey sauce and cheese and toss to combine.

Serve the pasta in shallow bowls and top with the breadcrumbs.


Eat and Enjoy








21 Oct



Okay, so this is a quick and easy meal that you can have during the week . It’s healthy, delicious and if you didn’t know it by now,

Scallops date back to ancient Greece as an aphrodisiac. Legend has it, the goddess Aphrodite was carried to earth on the shell of a scallop.

But ( no pun intended ), before we get started here’s a few things you might not know:


The scallop shell is the traditional emblem of St. James (James the Greater (one of the Twelve Apostles) and the patron saint of Spain and Portugal .

Very popular  with  pilgrims on the Way of St James  travelling to the apostle’s shrine at Santiago de Compostela in Galicia (Northern Spain). Medieval Christians making the pilgrimage to the shrine often wore a scallop shell symbol on their hat or clothes. The pilgrim also carried a scallop shell, and would present themselves at churches, castles, abbeys and so on, where they could expect to be given as much sustenance as they could pick up with one scoop. Probably they would be given oats, barley, and perhaps beer or wine.

The Scallop Shell has many grooved lines that lead from the outer rim to a meeting point at the base. The shell itself represents the many different spiritual/religious/humanist pathways that lead to the universal center of all life-forms, the spirit, the soul.

Why scallop shells?  St. James, according to folk legend, rescued a man from the sea. When the two struggled out of the churning water, scallop shells covered St. James and the drowning man. The man lived and, to celebrate that miracle and others, believers built a shrine over St. James’ tomb in the 9th century. And the legend grew as the pilgrims came and went with their scallop shells


Although they may not look like it, scallops are animals. They are in the Phylum Mollusca, a group of animals that also includes snails, sea slugs, octopuses, squid, clams, mussels, and oysters.

Vincenzo Lombardo/Photographer’s Choice RF/Getty Images

Scallops have about 60 eyes that line their mantle. These eyes may be a brilliant blue color,

and allow the scallop to detect light, dark and motion. The eyes are visible as round dots on the image here.


Unlike other bivalves like mussels and clams, most scallops are free-swimming. They swim by clapping their shells quickly, which moves a jet of water past the shell hinge, propelling the scallop forward.




Have you ever heard of wet vs dry scallops? Me Neither !

I’ve noticed more and more grocery stores labeling their scallops as either wet or dry, which I really appreciate because I used to have to ask. If possible, you always want to buy dry scallops.

A wet scallop has been soaked in a preservative phosphate solution. This makes the scallop absorb more water, and when you cook them, they kind of shrivel a bit and don’t brown as well because of that extra liquid. The phosphate solution also gives the scallop an off flavor, and they’re usually not as fresh.
A dry scallop has not been treated with any chemicals additives or solutions. Compared to the wet scallops, they are darker (more of a beige color, whereas the wet scallops are whiter), and they have a more pure flavor.



Shana Novak / Getty

Also an article :

By Peggy Trowbridge Filippone

Scallops, when cooked properly, are deliciously sweet and tender, needing very little fat or added flavor. Quite a delicacy! So it sure is disappointing when the scallops you are eating don’t live up to these standards. Could that mean that the scallops are in fact not really scallops at all? Before coming to that conclusion, you should learn a bit about scallops themselves.

Types of Scallops
The scallop is a bivalve mollusk of the family Pectinidae and is related to clams, mussels, and oysters.

There are many varieties of scallop, but the most common are the tiny bay scallop and the larger sea scallop. The bay scallop that we eat is actually the adductor muscle (which hinges the two shells), as the remaining part of the bay scallop is inedible. It is about half of an inch wide, is a pale pink or light beige color, and has a soft texture. Sea scallops, on the other hand, can be up to two inches in diameter. They are a little chewier than bay scallops but still tender. Both bay and sea scallops are somewhat irregular in shape.

Fake Scallops
Some unscrupulous fish and supermarkets have been known to swap out pieces of less expensive large sea scallops for the smaller, more delectable bay scallops. Worse yet, some have substituted shark for scallops—charging you for pricey scallops, themselves having paid for cheaper shark meat. Beware if the scallops are all exactly uniform size and shape.

This is an indication the producer may have cut out the scallops from larger, less tender deep sea scallops or shark using a circular cutter.  
Telling Real Scallops From Fake
If you are questioning whether you have the real deal on your plate or not, there are a few tips to help you decipher if the scallops are authentic or fake.

Since scallops are an animal, each individual scallop is not shaped exactly the same—they are slightly different in size, and won’t be perfect cylinders. Fake scallops, however, will look identical to each other as they were made using something like a round cookie cutter. The texture of the scallop should also be a good indicator as there are distinct grains in real scallops, where it looks like the piece would just fall apart if “sliced” with a fork. 


Let’s Cook !

1 (16 ounce) package angel hair pasta 

1 large lemon

2 cloves garlic – minced and smashed

1 1/2 pounds large sea scallops

1/4 teaspoon salt,

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper,

1 tablespoon butter,

1 cup dry white wine

1 tablespoon water

1/2 teaspoon cornstarch

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh basil


Fill a large pot with lightly salted water and bring to a rolling boil over high heat. Once the water is boiling, stir in the angel hair pasta, and return to a boil. Cook the pasta uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the pasta has cooked through, but is still firm to the bite, 4 to 5 minutes. Drain well in a colander set in the sink.



Finely grate lemon rind,    

reserving 1/4 teaspoon. Squeeze lemon, reserving 2 tablespoons juice.


Vincenzo Lombardo/Photographer’s Choice RF/Getty Images




Make sure you thoroughly pat dry the scallops before seasoning.
Scallops won’t get that beautiful caramelized crust unless the outside is dry

Take your scallops and season on one side with kosher salt and fresh ground  pepper

and some confectioner sugar on it as well,( just a pinch)  This helps caramelize it.


Next grab a skillet, preferably cast-iron. Cast iron pans are my favorite for searing because they retain heat .

You want the pan very hot before you put the scallops in to properly sear the scallops.


Add a splash of olive oil and 2 Tsp butter to pan.


Cook the first side for 2-3 minutes. Turn over, season this side now with salt and pepper,  and cook an additional 1 minute.

You do not want to overcook !!!!

Remove scallops from pan; keep warm.


To the frying pan, add a splash of olive oil , then the garlic,  stir and cook for 1 minute.

Add wine and reserved lemon juice to pan, and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat, and simmer 2 minutes, stirring to loosen browned bits from bottom of pan.

Combine water and cornstarch; add to pan. Cook, stirring constantly, 2 minutes or until sauce begins to thicken.

Add reserved lemon rind, remaining 1 teaspoon butter,   parsley and   basil.

Stir well .

Remove from heat.

Serve over scallops and Angel Hair Pasta.

Garnish with fresh basil leaves.



Eat and Enjoy !


This goes real well with this dish !




Noodle Kugel

19 Feb




Okay,  So this recipe has been on my blog since Aug. 2015 …. except it hasn’t.    Just the picture.

I occasionally go through old posts because in the beginning I did not record recipes and pictures in a manner that would keep them for all time.

Some how they just Disappear !     poof I don’t know where they go  ???????????

So I have to go back and rewrite them. That’s okay ,  because this is a really good treat for a dessert ,  a coffee ,  or even a side dish .



The name of the dish comes from the Middle High German   kugel meaning “sphere, globe, ball”; thus the Yiddish name likely originated as a reference to the round, puffed-up shape of the original dishes.

Nowadays, however, kugels are often baked in square pans.

The first kugels were made from bread  and  flour  and were savory rather than sweet. About 800 years ago, cooks in Germany replaced bread mixtures with noodles  or farfel  .  Eventually  eggs  were incorporated. The addition of cottage cheese   and  milk  created a custard-like consistency common in today’s dessert dishes. In  Poland ,  Jewish homemakers added  raisins and cinnamon and sweet  curd cheese to noodle kugel recipes. In the late 19th century,  Jerusalemites  combined  caramelized sugar and black pepper  in a noodle kugel known as “Yerushalmi kugel” or “Jerusalem kugel,” which is a commonly served at Shabbat kiddushes and is a popular side dish served with CHOLENT  ( a very good Jewish Stew which I also have a recipe for on this blog ) during Shabbat lunch.


This recipe is so old I don’t even remember where I got it from . The original paper is very old and crumbly…………….

A lot of Babcia ( Polish Gramma ) use alittle of this and a bit of that and  and put a dab or two more until it tastes good !  gram

Thanks Gramma, ….. so as you travel along on your kitchen  journey , you will also ”   add a tab more of this ” and ” just enough of that  ” to make the recipe your own.

It’s okay that’s what cooking is all about .  Anyone can follow the words on the back of a can .

1 lb broad egg noodle  eggnoo

6 TBSP sour cream

6 oz. cream cheese  – cut into tiny pieces

1 Tsp real vanilla

1/8 lb. butter ( 1/2 stick  )

8 large eggs

1 1/2 lb. cottage cheese

3/4 cup sugar

1/4 lb. butter

3/4 cup corn flakes

1 cup golden raisins

Cook noodles according to package instructions.

Strain in cold water 2 -3 times

melt 1/4 lb. butter and add to cold noodles .

Beat eggs sugar and vanilla together.

Add cheeses, sour cream and raisins to egg mixture.

Then add all of that to noodles in to 13 x 9  greased casserole dish.  ( use a lot of butter )

melt 1/4 lb butter , and mix with corn flake crumbs and sprinkle on top.


Bake at 350′ for 1 hour until top is golden brown.

Serve hot ,  cold ,  or reheated.

I like to let it cool until almost room temperature  . Just slightly warm.



 The Smitten Kitchen

Eat and Enjoy !!!!!


30 Oct

kn Alex Lau

So ,  Okay ,  you are probably going to have to go to your local oriental grocery store. Mine is the H- Mart in Naperville.

This was really a surprise for me. I like Kimchi and who doesn’t like noodles ? The butter blends this all into a really smooth dish that can be a side or a whole meal.

SO let me introduce some new items a lot of you might not be familiar with :

The first is Gouhujang. ( pronounced go-choo-jong , for those of you who do not speak fluent Korean )

Screen Shot 2015-03-25 at 11.51.56 AM

Gochujang is most commonly sold in short, square-shaped tubs, like this one made by CJ Haechandle. Photo: Amazon

or  ac ( Wal-Mart )


What Is Gochujang, Exactly?

Gochujang is a thick, crimson paste made from chile peppers, glutinous rice (also known as sticky rice), fermented soybeans, and salt. The chile peppers provide a healthy amount of lingering heat that’s not burn-your-mouth spicy; the sticky rice brings a touch of sweetness that’s sometimes enhanced by added sugar; and the fermented soybeans act as the miso-like ingredient that anchors gochujang’s “umami” flavor. But “umami bomb sells it way short,” says Matt Rodbard, the author of Koreatown: A Cookbook, which will be published by Clarkson Potter next February. Rodbard describes gochujang’s flavor as having “funkiness, spice (sometimes a CRAZY amount of spice), and sweetness on the backend.”

Gochujang isn’t meant to be used as a finishing sauce like sriracha or Tabasco—it’s too aggressive. And although it goes into many traditional Korean dishes, it’s hardly ever used plain for the same reason. “It must be cut with something (sesame oil, crushed garlic, sugar, soy sauce), which is where the problem starts with novice chefs cooking with it,” Rodbard says. Gochujang’s sweet-hot-salty flavor truly shines when it’s used by the spoonful to add depth to stews and marinades..

Going to the H- mart or ordering on-line  will be worth it.

You will be truly surprised  when you add 1 Tbsp of Soy Sauce and 1 Tbsp. of Gochujang to 1 cup of your favorite BBQ sauce

1 Tsp goes well with Stirfry and Ramen recipes too




This you will be able to get at your local grocery store in the Oriental section, or the health aisle ,  or the refrigerated  salad dressing  section

This is Korean  Spicy Cabbage , So if you like cabbage, and you like sauerkraut, and you like Spicy  garlicy chili peppery kinda things ……

you are going to like this.

Koreans eat this as a side dish cold or at room temperature. I first bought this in the winter time and thinking it was like Saurkraut I warmed it up a little .    I really liked it ,  especially with some good rye bread to sop up the juice , even tho my friend Mr. Kim said this was a big NO in Korea.

I like it. Try it !

Koreans eat so much of this super-spicy condiment (40 pounds of it per person each year) that natives say “kimchi” instead of “cheese” when getting their pictures taken. The reddish fermented cabbage (and sometimes radish) dish—made with a mix of garlic, salt, vinegar, Chile peppers, and other spices—is served at every meal, either alone or mixed with rice or noodles. And it’s part of a high-fiber, low-fat diet that has kept obesity at bay in Korea. Kimchi also is used in everything from soups to pancakes, and as a topping on pizza and burgers and hotdogs  and Polish sausage , or you can even wrap it up in a omelet.
Kimchi (or kimchee) is loaded with vitamins A, B, and C, but its biggest benefit may be in its “healthy bacteria” called lactobacilli, found in fermented foods like kimchi and yogurt. This good bacteria helps with digestion , plus it seems to help stop and even prevent yeast infections, according to a recent study. And more good news: Some studies show fermented cabbage has compounds that may prevent the growth of cancer.


Next up is  Chili Garlic Sauce:

Brought to you by HOY  FONG ( the same folks that make Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce ) Not as hot.

This can be found in the Oriental section of your grocery store and you will soon be using this on everything.


Servings: 4

  • 5 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1 cup finely chopped kimchi, plus ⅓ cup kimchi juice
  • 2 tablespoons gochujang (Korean hot pepper paste) or    1 Tbsp.   Chili Garlic Sauce
  • ½ cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 pound fresh or frozen udon noodles 
  • udon
  • These are thicker wheat noodle – you can even get them at WALMART


  • Kosher salt
  • 4 large egg yolks, room temperature ( or Fry up the whole  egg and lay it  on top  )
  • 3 scallions, white and pale-green parts only, thinly sliced on a diagonal
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds



23 Apr



Okay , So this is a real easy meal to make for a week night. only about 20 min.



1/2 lb .  pasta – pappardelle,  or something else.  Pappardelle what’s that ? I did not know either .      ppp

Pappardelle pasta is an Italian flat pasta cut into a broad ribbon shape. In width, the pasta is between tagliatelle and lasagna. This pasta is traditionally served with very rich, heavy sauces, especially sauces which include game such as wild boar, and it is particularly popular in the winter, when it can make the basis of a hearty, warming meal. this pasta’s name comes from the Italian {pappare } a verb which means ” To gobble up ”

1 tbsp olive oil

4oz. Pancetta – cubed – a Pan of what ? Pancetta , what do mean you don’t know what that is ……………okay……………

What’s the Difference Between Bacon, Pancetta, and Prosciutto?


Bacon, pancetta, prosciutto: These three pork products look alike, taste somewhat similar, and even get regularly substituted for each other. It’s no wonder we get them confused! In actuality, they have very distinctive characteristics that make each ideal for different kinds of preparations.

Bacon & Pancetta: Cured Pork Belly

Bacon and pancetta have the most in common. They are both typically made from pork belly and both are cured for a certain length of time. Both are also considered “raw” and need to be cooked before eating.

What’s the Difference? The Curing Process

The process for making the two is slightly different.

Pancetta is simply cured, and the focus is really on how this happens. This can be done simply with salt, but spices and other aromatics are often added to infuse the pancetta with particular flavors.

Pancetta is sometimes sold sliced paper thin, or cubed. The thin slices can be wrapped around vegetables or meat before cooking. The pancetta cubes are often used like bacon, sautéed with onions or garlic to form the base of a soup, pasta, or risotto.

Two forms of pancetta: one thin-sliced and the other cubed. Pancetta is usually cooked before eating.

Bacon is also cured, like pancetta, but it takes things one step further: the meat is smoked after it’s been cured. This is usually a cold-smoking process, meaning that the bacon isn’t actually heated or cooked during smoking and remains raw. Smoking can be done with a wide range of woods, from apple to maple, which each give their own distinctive, delicious flavors to the meat.

So pancetta is cured and unsmoked, while bacon is cured and smoked, but both need to be cooked before being eaten. They can be used interchangeably in dishes, depending on whether or not you want a smoky flavor.


Prosciutto: Cured Ham

Prosciutto is very different from either bacon or pancetta, but we think it gets confusing because the words prosciutto and pancetta can sound similar to our non-Italian ears! Prosciutto is made from the hind leg of a pig (ie, the ham), and outside Italy, calling it prosciutto indicates a ham that has been cured.

The quality of prosciutto is entirely in how it’s cured. The outside of the ham is usually rubbed with just salt and sometimes a mix of spices. This draws out moisture and concentrates the flavor while the ham slowly air-dries (very much like dry-aged beef). This process can take anywhere from a few months to a several years depending on the desired result.

Delicious prosciutto.

Once cured, prosciutto is usually thinly sliced and eaten as is. In other words, uncooked — although we wouldn’t exactly call the meat raw after it’s been cured for so long. Sometimes prosciutto gets lightly cooked as a finishing touch to a pasta sauce   or other dish, but this is more to bring out the aroma and merge flavors than it is to cook the prosciutto.

So now you know !!!


3- garlic clove – smashed and minced

1/4 cup white wine – a Chardonnay or you can use vermouth

1 cup double cream

3 tbsp. grated Parmesan – that is right  ,     grate      grate it yourself.     None of that sawdust in a can for US !

8 oz. mushrooms  –  Portobello  or mix it up  – chopped

salt and black pepper


Bring a pot of water to the boil, add some  salt and cook  pasta until al dente.

Chop your mushrooms

While the water is starting to boil Start the sauce.

In a large skillet , heat oil and cook pancetta until lightly  browned ,   add garlic  , and cook for I minute until garlic is just golden.

Add mushrooms and cook until mushrooms have just releases their liquid

Pour n wine and increase heat until liquid reduces to about half.

Lower heat and add cream.

Cook until cream is heated and then add Parmesan cheese. Simmer until slightly thickened

Add a few grinds of pepper and a little salt

Drain pasta DO NOT RINSE Add to sauce and mix until completely covered Garnish with parsley and sprinkle with alittle more parmesan cheese.


Eat and Enjoy!




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14 Feb



This is my wife’s  favorite dish , so I make it for her on special occasions – like Valentine Day.h1

If you decide to make this ,  you need to pay special attention because this is the one and only recipe for it in the whole world.

Yes  , that’s a fact !


1 Tsp salt

2 cups all purpose flour

2 eggs

1 Tbsp Extra virgin  olive oil

2 Tbsp

Cheesecloth   – What the heck is cheesecloth ???  A  thin, loosely woven cloth of cotton, used originally for making and wrapping cheese.

cheesecloth This is what it looks like at Bed Bath and Beyond ,  I didn’t even think to get it there.

usually I’ll get it at the grocery store and it’ll look like thisc3

It might be by the baking stuff ,  or the car wax stuff ,  or this time I found it by the paint stuff. It’s always a treasure hunt




1 pkg (10) chopped frozen spinach defrosted

1 lb. Italian ( mild ) sausage – browned and drained  ( get good sausage from your local Italian deli, if not then get  Johnsonville )


2 cups ricotta cheese   riccottaUSE ONLY WHOLE MILK !

2 eggs – beaten

1 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese . ( buy a wedge and grate it yourself  , really makes the difference ! )  mmm


1 Tbsp  flat Italian Parsley

1 /8 tsp. fresh ground nutmeg    


Along with cinnamon, allspice and cloves, nutmeg is one of the wonderful, warm spices that make fall recipes so fragrant and delicious. You’ll find it in everything from desserts, like apple and pumpkin pie, to savory dishes, like spiced lamb stew, even coffee to cocktails. And let’s not forget pasta!

You can buy nutmeg in two forms — convenient pre-ground nutmeg and whole nutmeg. But which one is actually the better buy? And most importantly, which one has the best flavor?

Ground Nutmeg  

In this variety, the nutmeg seed is pre-ground and sold as a fine powder. It’s convenient, easy to use and relatively inexpensive. While this spice quite fragrant when you first open the jar, ground nutmeg loses its potency and flavor pretty quickly.



Whole Nutmeg                          nutmeg

Whole nutmeg is small, about the size of a plum pit, and is usually sold with 6 to 8 seeds per jar. Grate the seeds for just the amount you need, using a microplane or spice grinder. Unlike ground nutmeg, this variety, lasts indefinitely as long as its stored properly.

What really distinguishes whole nutmeg from its ground counterpart is the potent flavor. Whole nutmeg is stronger tasting and has considerably more flavor.

Yes you can buy whole nutmegs Whole nutmeg is small, about the size of a plum pit, and is usually sold with 6 to 8 seeds per jar. Grate the seeds for just the amount you need, using a microplane or spice grinder. Unlike ground nutmeg, this variety, lasts indefinitely as long as its stored properly.

What really distinguishes whole nutmeg from its ground counterpart is the potent flavor. Whole nutmeg is stronger tasting and has considerably more flavor.


Which One Is Better?

For the best tasting, nutmeg-spiced dishes, skip the pre-ground stuff and stick with using fresh, whole nutmeg! It has a reliable, super fragrant flavor and can be grated as needed.

Store whole nutmeg in an airtight container, in a cool, dry area away from direct sunlight and it will last much longer than the pre-ground variety.

Salt and pepper

Squeeze as much moisture from the spinach as possible then cook briefly in a non-stick skillet over medium heat to evaporate as much moisture as possible

Cool. Crumble sausage in to fine pieces.

In a large bowl combine spinach, sausage ricotta , eggs, Parmesan cheese , parsley , nutmeg , salt and pepper. Stir well   spf








Combine salt and 1 3/4 cup flour

Pour onto a clean countertop and make a well in the center.

Break eggs into well, add oil and 1 tbsp. water.

Knead ingredients together, working until a smooth , firm dough is formed

Add additional flour if to sticky , more water if too crumbly.

Lightly flour dough and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to rest for 30 min.

Roll out to a rectangle 12 x 18 inches and about 1/8 ‘ thick

Spread filling evenly to within about 3″ of the 12″ ends.

Moisten the 3 ” end with alittle water.

Starting opposite end , carefully roll up pasta and filling very snugly,  ( like a jelly roll )


pausing occasionally to smooth and firm the roll so air pockets do not form,

Smooth the moistened end firmly to seal. Pinch , tuck ends to seal ,

Wrap the rotolo in several thicknesses of cheesecloth and tie the ends with kitchen string.      roll       finished roll tied

Bring enough water to boil in a large enough pot or roasting pan.

boiling+roll pan

( if you do not have a big pot ,  cut the rotolo in two pieces and wrap the two pieces  separately so they fit in the big pot you do have)

Lower the rotolo into the water and simmer for 45 min., turning occasionally to ensure even cooking.

While rotolo cooks prepare champagne sauce.

1/2 cup dry champagne  frx This is what I get  ,

Freixenet Cordon Negro Brut Cava (Spain)

It make a nice sauce and goes well with the whole meal .

1 stick ( 8 tbsp. ) butter

6 cloves garlic – smashed and minced

2 cup whipping cream

1/2 cup champagne


Melt butter in a medium sized heavy sauce pan.

Add crushed garlic and sauté until garlic turns a very pale golden  brown.

Add cream and bring it to a boil over a medium heat.





Continue to boil and turn heat down so butter/cream level goes back down, stirring stirring , stirring

repeat until thick enough to coat back of a spoon.

Add champagne simmer 3 minutes Pour into gravey boat and plave on table with gravey spoon.

Remove Rotolo  gently from water , unwrap and allow rotolo to stand 10 min. to settle before slicing.

1 pound fresh Asparagus spears  -drop into pot that had the rotolo in it for 2 minutes. remove  , drain , place on serving plate with a little butter on topasp

Place on a large platter and slice into 1″ [pieces. Pour champagne sauce over sliced rotolo and arrange asparagus slices around it.







BAKED ZITI – PASTA AL FORNO – alla Carmela Soprano

31 Oct

Al forno [al ˈforno] food is food that has been baked in an oven.

Many may not know that dried pasta, today a quintessentially Italian thing, was brought to the country, specifically to Sicily, by the Arabs, who appreciated the fact it was easy to carry and preserve, hence perfect for long sea trips and sieges. From the ports of Sicily, dried pasta made its way to those of Naples and Genoa, as well as France and Spain. So, contrarily to what we hear often when talking about the history of pasta , it wasn’t Marco Polo that brought noodles to Italy.  We can trace pasta back as far as the fourth century B.C., where an Etruscan tomb showed a group of natives making what appears to be pasta.

Really  …………

You don’t believe me ………  Well ,  here is an actual photograph !

Etruscan civilization  is the modern English name given to the culture and way of life of a people of ancient Italy  and Corsica whom the ancient Romans called Etrusci or Tusci.

and here is another photo  of them enjoying some pasta at a Banquet

So there   !!

<b>Etruscans Map</b> <b>Map</b> of the <b>etruscan</b> and roman

A highly advanced  civilization thrived here between 800BC and 390bc called the Etruscans. They were particularly talented in culinary knowledge. The ancient art of Etruscan cuisine is still very much alive in this region, faithfully passed down through the millennia.

In the 11th century, the Arabs brought pasta around the Mediterranean basin, but spread to Italy due to the very agreeable climate. Then, in the 17th century in Naples, pasta with Tomato arrived in Europe after America was discovered.

Although pasta became very popular, it didn’t go onto the princes’ tables, because since it’s discovery it was eaten using hands. It was near 1700 that one of King Ferdinand II’s chamberlains had the bright idea of using a fork with 4 short prongs, that became a common practice. Since then pasta was also served during the Court’s banquets all over Italy, and from here its world tour began.

President Thomas Jefferson  loved pasta and made it known all over the United States.  It seemed that he fell in love with a certain dish he sampled in Naples while he served as the U.S. Ambassador to France.  In fact, he promptly ordered crates of “maccheroni”, along with a pasta-making machine to be sent back to the States.

There is even this organization of pasta  if you want to join         Logo IPO

Ziti is Italian for “a bridegroom.” Although the common form of modern ziti is about two inches in length, the name makes more sense when considering the original, classic form of ziti, which was over 18 inches long. 

Wow , you might say … that certainly makes sense

  Okay…. so even tho you can find this on the internet it not really true .   Bridegroom in Italian is  SPOSO ,  and not even spaghetti is that long

but I thought it was funny so I put it in……………. ( I crack myself up ! )

Ziti are macaroni tubes sized smaller than rigatoni but larger than mezzani. The addition of the word rigati (e.g. ziti rigati) denotes lines or ridges on the pasta’s surface.

or with ridges to catch and hold more sauce

Mueller's Ridged Ziti Pasta, 16-Ounce (Pack of 12)

Okay,  so You can make the meatballs from scratch ( using my recipe that I have on this site ) or you can slap this whole thing together in about 1/2 hour  , so that it makes a good week night meal.
That’s what I did and was very surprised that it turned out well.
So well that my main critics  ( my grand-daughter and my wife said I should certainly make it again ” it’s a keeper ” )
This is actually Carmela’s Recipe
1 lb Ziti  ( or penne pasta if you can’t find Ziti )


20 meat balls ( guess you could use the whole bag ? )   or  ( make your own ,  also on this site )  – bake on a parchment paper  lined cookie sheet according to package directions

These are actually pretty good      !Product Image

3 jars Paul Newman Marinara sauce o( or homemade   sauce , also on this site )

Newman's Own Marinara Sauce, 24 Ounce

1 cup each ,  grated Pecorino Romano , and Parmigianino-Reggiano Cheeses

1 cup Whole milk Ricotta cheese – room temp so that you can spread it  easier

8 Oz Mozzarella cheese – diced

A word about cheese . Do not buy the pre- shredded cheese. They put some weird chemical on it to keep it from clumping up

Always buy whole cheese and grate or slice it yourself. It tastes way better and it is also less expensive .

Preheat oven to 350′

Cook ziti  according to package directions to a little LESS than al dente.

Drain Ziti DO NOT RINSE , this way the pasta absorbs some of the sauce and make everything taste better.

In a Large bowl add ziti , sprinkle with a    1/3 of the Romano cheese ,  toss gently and add 1 jar ( 3 cups ) sauce and stir  gently.

Spoon half the Ziti mixture into a 9 x 13 x 2 .

Add Meatballs .

Spread on  ricotta cheese , Sprinkle mozzarella and half of the Parmigianino cheese  and a few grinds of pepper.

Pour 2 cups sauce over next

Top with remaining Ziti ,  Pour another 2 cups or so of the sauce on top.

Sprinkle the rest of  the Romano   and the Parmigiano cheese on top

Cover with foil and bake for 45 min.

Remove foil and bake for 20 more min until hot and bubbling around the edges.Remove from oven and let rest 10 min.

Eat end Enjoy !


30 Jun

Shrimp PastaShrimp Pasta

Ok. So this is another good weeknight meal. There’s  lots of fresh asparagus out there and this is very delicious.

Extra virgin olive oil

3 cloves garlic – smashed and minced

2 vine tomatoes  – cut into chunks

1 cup 1/2 and 1/2 – ( freeze the rest and you can use it later in another recipe )

1 cup vegetable stock

1 bunch asparagus – cut off the bottom 1 inch , then cut into inch pieces

1 lb. cooked shrimp – ( I used frozen –soak in cold water for about 20 min to thaw – pull off tails )

juice of 1 lemon ( yes fresh does make a big difference

11 14 oz. box linguine

Parmesan cheese

Cook linguine according to direction – make sure  it is AL DENTE  and done  – soft – not too soft   DO NOT RINSE

At the same time start cooking this :

Add 2 TBSP olive oil and garlic and tomato  to frying pan

Heat until garlic is  golden

Add a pinch of cayenne pepper

Add 1/2  and 1/2 and stock

when it starts to simmer add asparagus and cook for 1 min.

Add shrimp and lemon juice cook for 3 min until heated thru

Add linguine  , toss until covered well

Plate , grate parmesan cheese on top

Some fresh Italian bread and a glass of Red

Eat and Enjoy !



4 Apr


Okay, so I saw this on diners drive-in and dives.  Guy said this is a real popular dish in Pennsylvania and in Polish and Hungarian communities,

Yeah ? Well I never heard of it ,  but it sounded good .   So I had to look it up and there are a lot of different variations on the basic .

I’ll give you some of those at the end.

This could be a side dish or a whole meal ( that’s  how I ate it )

So I  cooked it up and it certainly is tasty , definitely comfort food and pretty doggone easy too !

This is based on John Griffin’s recipe in Kitchen Riffs

1/2 lb. bacon – diced

2 Tbsp. olive oil

1 large onion – diced

4 cloves garlic  – smashed and minced – like I do

1 med cabbage – cored , sliced into the thinnest strips you can

1 Tsp. thyme

1 1/2 Tsp. caraway seed  ( like in rye bread) crushed

Note: I have a mortar and pestleProduct Details         just for doing seeds and herbs and such

you can also use the back of a teaspoon  or  slowly roll with a rolling pin.

1 tsp. red pepper flakes

1/2 cup water

12 oz. egg noodle

Chopped parsley

Fill large pot with water , add 1 Tbsp. salt bring to boil and cook noodles according to directions on the bag

While water is heating

Add 2 Tbsp. olive oil to  a Dutch oven or other large pot

Fry bacon until lightly browned – remove from pot with slotted spoon

While bacon is frying slice onion , garlic , and cabbage

Add onion and garlic to bacon grease, and sauté until translucent

Add thyme ,  salt and pepper ,  caraway seeds ,  pepper flakes,   cook 1 minute

Add Water and cabbage .   Stir  this up good

Cover and cook until cabbage is soft ( about 10 min )

Add bacon and cooked noodles Stir well

Taste ,   add salt and pepper if necessary.

Garnish with Parsley


Eat and Enjoy !


PS:   you can add a couple of Tbsp. of sour cream at the end , mix and heat for a few more minutes

You can add fried  kielbasa ( Polish sausage ) At  the end

You can leave the bacon out and be a Vegan !   ( won’t taste as good tho )





30 Oct






1/2  TSP. SALT






4  qt water

2  tbsp. salt

1 tbsp. olive oil

3 strips bacon – finely chopped



4 oz feta cheese – crumbled

4 oz goat cheese – crumbled

1/2 cup sour cream

Combine cheeses and sour cream and set aside

Sift together twice the flour salt and baking powder into a large metal bowl.

In a small bowl beat eggs with ice water until light and runny.

Pour  into flour mixture and work together with your hands. It won’t be easy. when done you will have a firm dough. if need be add 1 more tbsp. ice water .. but no more !

Knead for 5 min

Dust rolling pin and large flat surface with alittle flour

Roll out dough into a circle

Cut circle in half and roll out each half to the thickness of a wooden matchstick

dust with FLOUR   and transfer to a cloth. (  I use a clean towel on the kitchen table )

Let rest 1 1/2 hour ……………


IN a large pot, bring the water to a boil with salt and oil.

Dust dough again with just enough flour to make a textured  ” floury  ” surface

With your thumb and  index finger pinch off pieces of dough the size of a postage stamp ( or a nickel  ) or just a little bigger.

When all dough has been  PINCHED, scoop up with both hands and slide into boiling water.

When all pasta is ADDED  make sure water covers completely ( add a little if need be ) and bring to a boil over high heat,

Stir ,let foam subside, adjust heat to med and cook until   AL DENTE

Drain in a colander and shake well

While pasta cooks ,  cook bacon in a large skillet.

Add cooked pasta to skillet with bacon and the drippings and toss on high heat until pasta is coated

Reduce heat to low and cook until pasta is golden on both sides.

Quickly fold cheese mixture  into  hot pasta.

Serve with a salad made of radicchio   

(  Radicchio   is an Italian salad plant related to chicory. The distinctive plant grows in a rich maroon color with white veins and has a peppery flavor that adds a textural bite to salads )


with a hot bacon dressing or a vinaigrette

Pour 2 glasses of Egri Bikaver     BULLS BLOOD ( HUNGARIAN WINE)   bb

You gotta have this to make this meal hypnotically good !!


Eat and Enjoy  !!