Tag Archives: Recipe

Piselli e Cipolle de Spaghetti Betty

This has been a recent favorite Italian comfort food of mine. Frozen peas are so easy to keep around and I pretty much always have an onion. My favorite part is when the little peas snuggle up into the shell pasta (in proper Italian the shell is called ‘conchiglie’).

2 strips of bacon, diced, preferably a nice thick slab or applewood smoked
1 onion, diced
A pinch of salt
1 package of frozen peas
1 cup of mini shell pasta
1 Tablespoon of olive oil
Fresh cracked pepper
Grated Parmigiano cheese (optional)

Heat a medium sized skillet over medium heat for several minutes, until you can feel the heat radiating off of the pan. Add the diced bacon and stir frequently until crispy. Remove the bacon from the pan along with any excess bacon grease, but make sure you save a thin layer for the onions (I either pour into a glass jar or run a paper towel over it). Add the diced onions and a pinch of salt. Stir frequently until slightly brown and translucent.

While your bacon and onions are cooking you can multi-task and fill a medium sized pot with water and insert a pasta basket (or be prepared to reuse the water) and the bag of frozen peas. Bring to a boil over medium heat and then remove the peas from the water. At this point you can add the pasta and let cook until desired level of doneness.

Right before you pasta is ready add the bacon back to the onion pan along with the peas and give it a good stir so everyone gets to know each other. Drain the pasta and add to the party.

To finish, I drizzle with a little olive oil and some fresh cracked black pepper. If you are really feeling the need for extra comfort shave some Parmigiano cheese on top. And you are ready to mangia!

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Spuntino con Mostarda di Cremona

Thanks to the very precise and credible regional cooking of Mario Batali I was able to find this recipe for a Spicy Mustard Fruit.  I made this a several years ago and wanted to resurrect it for Christmas this year.

This spicy fruit-based condiment is native to Cremona, Italy which is in the northern region just south of Milan.  What I love about this mixture is the clear definition of sweet and spicy.  Mustard is also a main flavor which is pretty much my favorite condiment.  Traditionally it is served with Italian meats such as Capocollo or Soppressata.  I however will dip just about anything in it!

Here’s the recipe

Makes 8 Servings

4 dried figs, stemmed and cut into quarters

1 unripe pear peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2 inch cubes

1/2 cup of dried cherries, cranberries, golden raisins, and apricots (cut into bite-size pieces)

3 1/2 cups of dry white wine

2 1/2 cups of sugar

1/2 cup Colman’s Mustard Powder

1/4 cup mustard seeds

2 tablespoons of hot read pepper flakes

Directions

1.  In a medium saucepan, combine all the fruit and stir to mix.  Ad the wine and bring to a boil over medium heat.  Lower heat to simmer and let cook until the wine is reduced to about 1 cup.  Should take about 30 minutes or so.

2.  Remove from heat and stir in sugar, mustard powder, mustard seeds and red pepper flakes.  Stir until sugar is dissolved.

3.  Allow to cool and then cover for 24 hours.

4. EAT IT!

5.  Transfer to a jar and refrigerate up to 1 week.

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