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  • Thai Noodles with Herb Pesto

    The Bad Wolf herb garden is in full swing, providing Sweet Basil, Cilantro, Rosemary and many more succulent, fragrant herbs for enjoyment. The rain and heat have done wonders for them, but not so much for my willingness to cook.

    We have a few peppers, chili and bell just beginning to bear. Young bell peppers have a mildly bitter taste that may go very well in my Asian balance for this dish.

    Some salt, some palm sugar, garlic, ginger, chili’s for a bit of heat and of course those lovely herbs for a Asian flair pesto.

    Time to do a bit of that. But I really don’t want to do too much involving heat, so perhaps Noodles or pasta as a “flavor carrier” to get that gorgeous fresh pesto into my mouth.

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  • Ragu a Rustica

    It’s summer, it’s hot, and I do not want to cook anything on top of the stove.. But I have such a wonderful slow cooker, maybe I can try that to make a hearty, tasty, pasta sauce.

    Background
    A sausage sandwich is a sandwich containing cooked sausage. Outside the United Kingdom, it generally consists of an oblong bread roll such as a bagette or ciabatta roll, and sliced or whole links of sausage, such as hot or sweet Italian sausage, Popular toppings include mustard, peppers, onions, and tomato sauce.

    If I take that concept, chop everything roughly (“a rustica”), then simmer ever so slowly in in my slow cooker, with a tomatoes and lots of fresh basil from the market, I would have a pasta sauce fit for a king.

    Bolognese sauce, known in Italian as ragù alla bolognese, is a meat-based sauce originating from Bologna, Italy. In Italian cuisine, it is customarily used to dress “tagliatelle al ragù” and to prepare “lasagne alla bolognese”. In the absence of tagliatelle, it can also be used with other broad, flat pasta shapes, such as pappardelle or fettuccine, or with short tube shapes, such as rigatoni or penne. Genuine ragù alla bolognese is a complex sauce which involves slow cooking using a variety of techniques, including sweating, sautéing and braising. Ingredients include a characteristic soffritto of onion, celery and carrot, different types of minced or finely chopped meat (generally bovine, including beef, and possibly pork, such as pancetta), wine and a small amount of tomato concentrate.

    The earliest documented recipe of an Italian meat-based sauce (ragù) served with pasta comes from late 18th century Imola, near Bologna. In 1891 Pellegrino Artusi first published a recipe for a meat sauce characterized as being “bolognese”. While many traditional variations do exist, in 1982 the Italian Academy of Cuisine registered a recipe for authentic ragù alla bolognese with the Bologna Chamber of Commerce (incorporating some fresh pancetta and a little milk). In Italy, ragù alla bolognese is often referred to simply as ragù.

    Outside Italy, Bolognese sauce often refers to a tomato-based sauce to which mince (beef or pork) has been added; such sauces typically bear little resemblance to ragù alla bolognese. Whereas in Italy ragù is not used with spaghetti, so-called spaghetti bolognese has become a popular dish in many other parts of the world.

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  • Memorial Day Sides – Macaroni Salad

    One of the classic pasta salads, macaroni in mayonnaise dressing, with stop light peppers, celery, onion and seasonings. This is a southern dish that has global acceptance. A perfect companion for a Barbecue.

    Macaroni salad is a salad, served cold made with cooked elbow macaroni pasta and usually prepared with mayonnaise. Much like potato salad in its use, it is often served as an accompaniment to barbecue or other picnic style entrees. Like any dish, national and regional variations abound but generally it is prepared with raw diced onions and celery and seasoned with salt and pepper. Canned tuna is also a very popular ingredient.

    In Australia it is commonly known as pasta salad and is usually made with cooked shell pasta pieces and brought from supermarket delis.

    In the U.S. state of Hawaii, macaroni salad is often served with plate lunches, a local form of dining. Locals in Hawaii often refer to macaroni salad as “mac sal” or “mac salad”. The salad itself is usually just elbow macaroni and a heaping portion of mayonnaise.

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  • Pasta Carbonara

    This is why I will die of chronic cholesterol. It is also why I will die happy…. For those of you who have read my post about hedonism, this is quite indulgent, and ooohhh so simple. There are many rewards to using only the freshest cream and butter, the finest of cheese, and the best of pasta. Truly, a RogueChef classic.

    Carbonara is an Italian pasta dish from Latium, and more specifically to Rome, based on eggs, cheese (Pecorino Romano or Parmigiano-Reggiano), bacon (guanciale or pancetta), and black pepper. Spaghetti is usually used as the pasta, however, fettuccine, rigatoni or bucatini can also be used. The dish was created in the middle of the 20th century.

    The pork is cooked in fat, which may be olive oil, lard, or less frequently butter. The hot pasta is combined with a mixture of raw eggs, cheese, and a fat (butter, olive oil, or cream) away from additional direct heat to avoid coagulating the egg, either in the pasta pot or in a serving dish. The eggs should create a creamy sauce, and not curdle. Guanciale is the most commonly used meat, but pancetta and local bacon are also used. Versions of this recipe may differ in how the egg is added: some people use the whole egg, while other people use only the yolk; intermediate versions with some whole eggs and some yolk are also possible.

    Cream is not common in Italian recipes, but is often used elsewhere. Garlic is similarly found mostly outside Italy.

    Other variations on carbonara outside Italy may include peas, broccoli, mushrooms, or other vegetables. Many of these preparations have more sauce than the Italian versions. As with many other dishes, ersatz versions are made with commercial bottled sauces.

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  • Ragù Alla Bolognese

    spag-bolo

    Snow, cold, wind, Time for REAL food. But food that can be extended and reheated. I’m thinking a pasta here, with a rich and thick Ragù Alla Bolognese. Hearty, meaty sauce, that can be made in a large batch and served over quickly cooked pasta for good hot meals that are quick.

    Add some garlic bread and a salad, and call it “Dinner. Done!”

    If all else fails I can thin it down with chicken stock, add a few more tomatoes and have a very hearty tomato soup.

    Pasta is generally served with some type of sauce; the sauce and the type of pasta are usually matched based on consistency and ease of eating. Northern Italy has fewer traditionally tomato-based pasta sauces (though tomatoes are still used in recipes) including pesto and ragù alla bolognese. In Central Italy, there are sauces such as tomato sauce, amatriciana, arrabiata and the egg based carbonara.

    Tomato sauces are also present in Southern Italian cuisine, where they originated. In Southern Italy more complex variations include pasta paired with fresh vegetables, olives, capers or seafood. A lighter, more quickly prepared version of a tomato dish dish is called pomodoro. Varieties include puttanesca, pasta alla norma (tomatoes, eggplant and fresh or baked cheese), pasta con le sarde (fresh sardines, pine nuts, fennel and olive oil), spaghetti aglio, olio e peperoncino (literally with garlic, olive oil and hot chili peppers).

    Fettuccine alfredo with cream, cheese and butter, and spaghetti with tomato sauce (with or without meat) are popular Italian-style dishes in the United States.

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  • Fagioli

    fagioli

    Cold nights, warm days, lovely weather for cold and flu. Time to kick the sick, and get back on top.

    So, I’m making soup today, a nice hearty warming soup, full of beans, veggies, beef stock, bacon, and pasta.

    Background
    Pasta fagioli , meaning “pasta and beans”, is a traditional Italian peasant dish that is now a frequent menu item throughout the world. Like many other Italian favorites including pizza and polenta, the dish started as a peasant dish, due to cheaply available beans and pasta.

    It is made using cannellini beans or kidney beans and some type of small pasta such as elbow macaroni. The base is generally olive oil, garlic, minced onion, and spices, along with stewed tomatoes or tomato paste, or traditionally, in home recipes, the leftover sauce from Sunday marinara. Some variations do not include tomatoes at all, and are made from a broth.

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