In November, I had put together a post reviewing my new favorite fall recipes. This post is the same idea, featuring exclusively Italian foods. On the menu is pasta carbonara, a Tuscan-style herbed loaf, and for dessert, biscotti! I'm already singing, "Volare, oh ohhh, e cantare..."(Sorry, shameless Dino fan alert.) Well, I better get to the review before I launch into "That's Amore." :)
Spaghetti Carbonara with Green Peas
from Food & Wine
I love how simple this pasta recipe is. No complicated sauces to make. Just a few eggs and cream to create a wonderful creamy coating on the spaghetti. My only caution is to keep the heat low once the eggs are added, to avoid scrambling. I made a couple substitutions here: bacon instead of pancetta, and a combination of milk and butter instead of the cream. We don't keep cream on hand regularly, so this did the trick.
Tuscan-Style Bread with Herbs
from King Arthur Flour
This was a fun recipe to try out.. a real artisan loaf. It uses only bread flour, which has a higher gluten content than all-purpose, and creates a strong, crunchy crust. I had a bit of a proud moment when I realized all the herbs to flavor this loaf came from my own herb garden. Yay, self-sufficiency! (I'm not milling grain yet, but tiny steps count!) And was this bread ever flavorful! While it was quite marvelous with butter, it was even more so with some homemade pesto. Kick it up a notch, as always. ;)
And the best for last, dessert!
Chocolate Cherry Almond Biscotti
from Heartland Lady
The twice-baked Italian cookie. Perfect for your after-dinner tazza di caffè (cup of coffee). I'll admit this recipe is a pain in the behind, but if you can spare the effort, it's completely worth it.
If you're looking for an easier "Italian" option, there's also my recipe for Doctored Up Frozen Pizza. It's ridiculously simple. Just add some herbs and extra toppings to a plain frozen pizza, and it instantly becomes gourmet. :)
'Til next time,