italian boy

italian boy

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

fried pasta

Sounds terrible but its not. This is the same concept as friend rice but twice as delicious. Basically, this is what my mom used to do to use up left over pasta that never quite tasted right reheated in the microwave. All you do is throw the leftover pasta in a pan with a touch of oil and hot pepper. Constantly stir as its heating, throw in an egg if you like, add some capers, some fresh parsley if you have it- let the pasta stick a little to the pan so it gets nice and crispy. Then add cheese, remove from the heat and serve. This was one of my favorites growing up and still is today!

Friday, March 6, 2009

black linguine with a red dungeness sauce

So my parents came to visit not too long ago and I wanted to make something special- still super easy though. I got 1/2 a kilo of black linguine (which is an Italian specialty- pasta with squid ink mixed with the dough) which you can find at many specialty stores but unless you live near lots of Italians you might need to make a special order. OTHERWISE, just use regular linguine - or tagliatelle if you come across them. So thats the pasta- throw that in boiling water 15 minutes before you want to serve and you're done. For the sauce, again its the simples thing - just a plain marinara with something special. Dice a whole yellow onion and toss it in a large pan or pot with a little olive oil on the bottom and give a sprinkle of salt on low heat. Once the onions become transparent add a large can of diced tomatoes. Leave it on the lowest heat possible, stir occasionally and try not to let it boil- If you're in a rush and just came home from work, crank the heat up but watch the pot so it wont stick and you can have this done in 15 minutes... if you have the time, savor the moment and slow cook your food- my mother says it always tastes better that way... Well, I bought two half clusters of dungeness crabs- which have such a delicate taste- just add them in the sauce for the last 30-40 minutes it was cooking (if your speeding through this on a higher heat they really only need to cook a few minutes till after they're red). If you like use another type of crab, otherwise cleaned shrimp or lobster works great too. Using these types of seafood you get a very subtle non-overpowering seafood sauce. For me its just the right amount. Taste it to make sure you don't need any salt, shut off the heat (at this point your pasta should be done and drained), combine the linguine with the sauce, give it a good stir, add a generous amount of FRESH parsley and serve. This was one of those meals that was so good I ate until well after I was full. So worth it.

hot italian sausage

Now who doesn't like a nice sausage every now and again... well vegans, but still. If you want something quick easy AND DELICIOUS sausage is the way to go. These days, they make every variety and flavor you could ask for- pork, chicken, turkey, seafood, mushroom, hot, sweet, cheesy, with citrus, basil, parsley, jalapeƱo... you can be as healthy (or not) as you want with this. I know the Safeway by me (which never has anything) will only every have the most basic sausage (at best) but most grocery stores will have a variety. Even whole foods which will boast itself on its numerous varieties wont dare charge more than a dollar or 2 per link- so you really can get away with an inexpensive dinner going this direction. My favorite (that my dad would make ever since i was a little kid) is a skinny one filled with ground pork and cheese. MMMMM !!!!
Its a cinch to make to.. just throw your links in a pan with a few drops of olive oil (or just use a non stick pan) and put it on medium heat a few minutes till one side starts to brown then turn it over till the other side browns and you're done. Eat it between two slices of bread, with cooked onions and peppers, add to pasta or rice, or even make a dinner of just sausage and maybe a little salad on the side. 80% of the meal is prepared at the store- all you gotta do is drop it in a pan.

Monday, March 2, 2009

hummus.. any way you like it

So hummus is such a great appetizer or snack and its basic concept so easy you'll want to make this all the time. For your basic recipe, I get a 15 or 16 oz can of chick peas and throw them in a blender with about 1/2 a cup of sesame tahini, some oil, garlic, the juice of a lemon and salt. Thats it. Blend it till its smooth and it'll taste better than any hummus you've ever bought before. Now this is a great opp to experiment and invent a hummus-like dip you can claim your own. Substitute the chick peas for white beans or shelled edamame, add roasted peppers, mushrooms, chilies, nuts-- anything you think could work. This is super healthy and is great for a snack by yourself or out when you're entertaining a full house.

balsamic glazed carrots and mushrooms

An elegant side which can also be tossed over a bed of greens for a delicious salad. Get a container of plain white chopped mushrooms and throw them in a pan with a bunch of fresh little finger carrots with some butter, salt and drizzle with balsamic vinegar. Cook until the mushrooms significantly soften and most of the liquid reduces. Add some chopped fresh basil and serve. DE LICIOUS!

About Me

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Hi there, my name is Giacomo and I enjoy things delicious. Long story short, my parents moved from Italy to NJ where I grew up (and loved it) but found myself in Washington, DC fourteen years ago and haven’t yet found an excuse to leave. Food has always been a huge part of my day and life… from happy times, sad times, holidays, drunken escapades and all the rest in between, I’ve usually spent a good portion of that time putting something in my mouth. I guess I started this blog a little while ago to keep track of what I was cooking and places I’d eat-- simply because my friends were always asking “how do you make this” or “where do you get that” but surprisingly over time I guess real people started reading too. SO, take a look around and let me know what you think. You’ll see that the backbone of lots of my food is Italian but I manage to cover most bases. Thanks for stopping by. BUON APPETITO!

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