Love at First Bite

May 19, 2008

Thanks to the lovely Economic Stimulus check I finally have a replacement pasta machine! And this time I didn’t go cheap, I went for the more expensive one with the highest ratings, so hopefully it will last me for many years.

I’ve already done plain homemade pasta on this blog, and wanted to test it straight before doing something special so instead I decided to write about a new sauce. I am absolutely infatuated with this recipe. Seriously, it’s just…awesome. 🙂

This was a recipe done by the Greedy Gourmet several months ago for Presto Pasta Night hosted by Once Upon a Feast. When I saw the recipe it looked good. I thought it might be fun but honestly when I actually got around to trying it, it was love at first bite 🙂 I hope you’ll try it yourself cause even though it’s about as unhealthy as a sauce can get, it is soooooo worth it. This is just as creamy as any alfredo sauce with a zing of lemon that just gives it so much life. 

Creamy Lemon Romano Sauce
Adapted from: The Greedy Gourmet

6 oz Pecorino Romano, finely grated
Grated rind of 1 lemon
12 fl oz Heavy Cream
salt and pepper
1 tablespoon minced garlic

Brown the garlic lightly in a sauce pan. Mix in the cheese, grated lemon rind and cream.

Heat gently, stirring frequently until all of the cheese has melted and sauce begins to thicken. Season to taste. If it isn’t getting as thick as you would like it, add a little bit of corn starch, dissolved in milk.

Pour over pasta of your choice. Enjoy

I don’t know what it is about this sauce but I really can’t get enough of it. I can’t wait to try it over chicken or something like that. It really is a great recipe.

That’s Amore (Bread)

March 3, 2008

Yup, another bread recipe. I have only had this blog up for about 5 weeks, and this make 4 breads… and I have another that I’ll put up tomorrow 🙂  

Let me assure you, I don’t normally make bread quite this often but I have been having a lot of fun with it this year so just bear with me. I won’t tell you again just how much I love bread. I promise not to write a song or wax poetical on my loaves. I will just share this recipe that I found on The Fresh Loaf. And tempt you with pictures of course.

italian bread 

This is yet another that doesn’t really call for kneading (I did knead this batch, but looking at his pictures I think I did a little much…oh well, it’s fun) but I think my imagination is just too good because his description of this bread “…It is the perfect spongy bread for mopping up pasta sauces…” made it irresistible. This one is not french bread, but it is definitely an Italian bread and great with your favorite Italian dish.

I finally have instant yeast so I used that for this batch. If you want to use active dry yeast, use about 20% more and make sure to activate it in warm water before hand.

Italian Bread
Source: The Fresh Loaf

1 cup warm water
1 cup bread flour
1/2 teaspoon instant yeast

All of the preferment
5 cups bread flour
1/2 cup nonfat dry milk
1 1/2 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon salt
2 teaspoons instant yeast
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups water

The night before: mix the flour, water and yeast for the preferment in a bowl and cover with saran wrap. Leave at room temperature over night until it rises (very bubbly!) and falls again.

The next day, mix the preferment, water, olive oil, yeast, salt,  sugar and dry milk in a bowl with 2 cups flour. Mix thoroughly. Mix or knead in the rest of the flour a handful at a time until you have a slack but not sticky dough.

Place the dough in a well-greased bowl, grease the top of the dough and cover the bowl with saran wrap or a towel. Allow to rise about 2 hours or until doubled. This will be a huge ball of dough so make sure your bowl is big enough.

dough rising

Punch the dough down, flip it over in the bowl and let rise again for half an hour.  Remove the dough fro the bowl and divide in half. Shape the dough into logs or balls and cover with a damp towel. Allow to relax for 20 minutes.

Shape the dough into it’s final shape. Cover with a damp towel and allow to rise another hour or until doubled. Preheat oven to 425F. Put cookie sheet in oven about 5 minutes before you’re ready to bake them.

Place one loaf of the dough on a sheet of parchment paper on a pizza peel or sheet of stiff cardboard, cut slits into the dough, brush with water and carefully slide onto the cookie sheet. Bake for approximately 30 minutes, rotate the cookie sheet then bake for another 20 minutes or until a thermometer reads approximately 200F.

Remove from oven and immediately brush with melted butter. Allow to cool before diving in. Enjoy 🙂

italian bread

Next time I am gonna try not to knead it so much, but I am really getting the hang of shaping the bread by hand. Horray! I love this stuff 🙂

Yes I Put Cheese On My Cheese

February 25, 2008

You might think I was exaggerating on my love of cheeeeeeese when I made the ravioli, but I really don’t. My favorite…okay, the only sauce I really ever put on those tasty treats is alfredo. Yes, more cheese. Other sauces just seem to take away from them. So of course I considered making my typical tried and true alfredo sauce with the ravioli this weekend, but in my little (or not-so-little) cache of recipes I knew I had a recipe for an almost but not quite alfredo sauce I wanted to try and this seemed like a great opportunity.

I love having a good creamy sauce so when I see those words connected to any recipe I will of course perk up and look at the ingredients and everything to see if it sounds like something I might like. More often than not I’ll just make notes on a post-it with the quantities and make up the rest as I go, because a good creamy sauce really doesn’t take that much effort.

Surprisingly this recipe in it’s original incarnation didn’t have any garlic in the sauce itself so working in the comments from other people, and of course garlic, this is what I came up with. A wonderfully sinful Garlic Asiago Creme Sauce. If you like this kind of thing I hope you’ll try this artery clogging recipe at some point cause it really is worth the problems it could cause you in the future 🙂

Garlic Asiago Cheese Sauce
adapted from recipe on

1 tbl. garlic
1 chicken bouillon cubs
2 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp. cornstarch
1 cup grated asiago

Dissolve the chicken bouillon cube in the 1/4 cup milk. Pour into a sauce pan, add the garlic and allow to simmer for a few minutes.

Dissolve the corn starch in a tbl. of the heavy cream. Put aside. Add the remaining heavy cream and simmer for a few more minutes. Add the cheese and simmer, stirring frequently until cheese has melted. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Add the cornstarch/cream mixture and stir well. Simmer for a few more minutes then remove from heat.

Allow it to sit for a few minutes to thicken slightly then spoon over dish of choice. Enjoy 🙂

garlic asiago cheese sauce on cheese ravioli

This is a very creamy, buttery sauce. You can substitute any cheese you want with this recipe but definitely try the asiago. It’s very mild and rich and works beautifully with the cream.