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Italian Potato Salad

When I was growing up my mother would make Italian Potato Salad during the summer months. This potato salad is lighter and healthier than traditional potato salad with mayonnaise, and you don’t have to worry about the mayo going bad in the heat.

This dish reminds me of July 4th celebrations during my childhood. I grew up in a small town in Western Pennsylvania. The town was built around a steel mill that extended the length of the town, which is about 1 1/2 miles long. We lived on the Main Street of town, and on July 4th the parade was held there. People came from all over Beaver Valley and even from parts of Ohio to watch the parade. Everyone lined up along the Main Street to watch as the floats and marching bands went by, and the children waited anxiously to grab the candy and treats that were thrown into the crowd by the fire trucks.

Our prime location for the parade route turned our house into the place to be. Family and friends came from all over to celebrate the holiday with us. Mom put on a big spread and the celebration lasted from morning until after the fireworks that night. It was a special day.

Make your celebration special, and try this recipe.

Ingredients:
28 – oz. baby red potatoes
1 – cup thinly sliced yellow bell pepper
1/3 – cup diced red onion
1 – cup grape tomatoes
1 – tsp. chopped fresh lemon thyme
1 – tsp. salt
1/2 – tsp. ground black pepper
1/3 – cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 – cup red wine vinegar
4 – fresh basil leaves
1/2 – tsp. dried oregano
1/2 – tsp. garlic powder

Directions:
Clean the potatoes in cold water. Bring a pot of water to a boil then add 1 teaspoon of salt. Add the potatoes and boil them whole for about 10 minutes until they are fork tender. Drain the potatoes and let cool until you can handle them.

Dice the onion, slice the tomatoes in half, and cut the pepper into thin slices. Add the vegetables to a large bowl.

 

In a small bowl, mix the olive oil, vinegar, salt, black pepper, oregano, and thyme.

Now slice the potatoes in half or in quarters if they are a little bigger.  Add the potatoes to the bowl with the vegetables. Pour the dressing over the potato mixture and mix well.  Roughly chop the basil leaves and toss in to the potato salad.

Let stand about one hour before serving.
For the best flavor serve at room temperature.

Buon appetito!




Tiramisù

Tiramisù is a classic Italian dessert that is found throughout Italy. Every bite is creamy and delicious. Make this recipe and it will always be a hit at any occasion.

Ingredients:
For best results, I suggest that you use authentic Italian products such as Gelmini Mascarpone, Balocco Savoiardi Lady Fingers, or Ferraro Cacao. These products are not hard to find, but if you can not find them, you can use domestic substitutes.

5 – large eggs (be sure they are very fresh)
1 – cup sugar
16 – oz. Mascarpone (at room temperature)
1 – 14 oz. package Savoiardi (Lady Fingers)
32 – oz. very strong coffee
Cocoa Powder
3 – oz. coffee liquor (such as Kahlua)

Some recipes do not call for liquor, but I like to add the coffee liquor to enhance the flavor.

Directions:
Make 4 cups of very strong coffee and set aside to let cool.

Add about two inches of water to a medium sized sauce pan that you can use as a double-boiler and heat to a boil.

Separate the eggs, placing the yolks into a stainless steel mixing bowl that will fit on top of the sauce pan, and place the whites into a large mixing bowl for use later.

Before placing the bowl of egg yolks on the double boiler, add 3/4 cup of the sugar to the egg yolks and whisk until smooth. Turn down the heat on the boiling water to a simmer and place the bowl of egg yolks on top of the sauce pan. Whisk the yolks constantly for about 5 minutes until the yolks and sugar become frothy, forming a sponge (or zabaglione). Continue to cook the sponge a couple minutes more whisking constantly, until it is thick enough to form ribbons. Now remove it from the heat and let it cool.

Add the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar to the egg whites and whip with an electric mixer until stiff.

Next, place the room temperature mascarpone in a large mixing bowl and mix it with a spoon until smooth. Fold in the cooled egg yolk sponge a little at a time to the mascarpone.

Fold in sponge a little at a time.

All the sponge has been incorporated.

Now fold in the whipped egg whites a little at a time until well blended.

Cream is ready

Now assemble the Tiramisù. You should have enough cream and lady fingers to make two 8″ square Pyrex dishes or one 8″ x 12″ dish.

Spread a small amount of the cream on the bottom of the dish.

Pour the cooled coffee and liquor into a shallow dish in which you can dip the lady fingers. Dip the cookies one at a time into the coffee mixture by rolling them quickly to cover all sides. Do not leave the cookie in the coffee too long or it will fall apart.

Place the dipped lady fingers to make a complete layer. You will need to cut some of the cookies to make them fit properly.

Spread cream on top of the lady fingers to cover the cookies completely. Then make a second layer of dipped cookies and top with cream. Two layers will fill the dish to the top.

Cover with plastic wrap, but be careful not to let the plastic rest on top of the cream. You may want to insert toothpicks to keep the plastic wrap from sticking to the cream. Be sure to remove the toothpicks before serving. Let the tiramisù  chill in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours before serving.

Just before serving, sprinkle cocoa powder on top.

Buon appetito!




Shrimp Scampi with Basmati Rice

Shrimp are always welcome in my house.  There are many different ways to prepare shrimp, so we never get bored with them.  Shrimp Scampi is an Italian-American dish that can be found in almost every Italian or Sea Food Restaurant.

I’m not sure how the name of the dish, Shrimp Scampi came about, because it is a bit redundant; in fact, scampi are langoustines or lobster-like crustaceans found in Italy. Our American version is modeled after an Italian dish made with olive oil, garlic, onions and white wine, but we substitute the scampi with shrimp. No matter what the origins, this is a delicious meal.

This recipe is easy and fast to prepare, especially if you buy the shrimp already deveined.  The rice takes about 25 minutes to prepare, but even so you can have dinner on the table in about 45 minutes.

Ingredients for Basmati Rice:
1 1/2 – cups basmati rice
1/3 – cup diced shallot
2 – tbls. canola oil
3 – cups chicken stock
1/2 – tsp. salt

1/2 – tsp. Adobo seasoning
Fresh ground black pepper to taste

Directions:
Heat canola oil in a large skillet then add the diced shallot and cook on medium heat until tender, about 2 minutes. Add the rice and stir to coat each grain with the oil.

Cook about 3-4 minutes until the rice starts to toast. Stir it often to prevent it from burning.

Now add the chicken stock, salt, black pepper and Adobo. Stir and cover with a lid to bring to a boil. (I use a low-sodium chicken stock. Go easy on the salt, you can always add more later.) Once it is boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer and let cook until the liquid is absorbed. This takes about 20 minutes. The rice should be tender and flakey.

Take off the heat and set aside until the shrimp are ready.

Ingredients for Shrimp:
1 – lb. extra large shrimp with tails, cleaned and deveined. (Buy them already cleaned and deveined from the market)
4 – cloves garlic
1/4 – cup olive oil
1/4 – cup unsalted butter
1/4 – cup diced shallot
1/3 – cup dry white wine
1/4 – tsp. red pepper flake
1 – lemon
Fresh Italian flat parsley
Salt to taste
Fresh ground black pepper to taste

Directions:
Heat the oil and butter in a large skillet, then add the garlic cloves and sauté until they begin to soften, about 3 minutes. Be sure not to let them burn. Meanwhile, rinse the shrimp in cold water and drain. Once the garlic is ready add the shrimp and sprinkle with a little salt and ground black pepper.

Cook until they just start to turn pink. Stir often to cook all sides. This should take only about 4 minutes.

With a slotted spoon, remove the shrimp to a bowl and set aside, but leave the garlic in the skillet. Add the shallot and red pepper flake, and sauté about 2 minutes until they start to soften.


Now add the juice of the lemon and the wine and cook about 2 minutes until the alcohol cooks out.  Add about one tablespoon of butter and return the shrimp to the skillet.

Toss and cook about one minute more. Sprinkle with fresh chopped parsley.

Serve the shrimp over the rice and drizzle the sauce over the shrimp and the rice.

Makes 4 servings.

Serve immediately.

Buon appetito!




Grilled Zucchine and Tomato with Mozzarella and Basil

Zucchini and tomatoes are two of my favorite things, and summer time is when they are at their best. This is a light meal that is perfect for a hot summer day. It is healthy, delicious and easy to make. It can be used as a main dish, appetizer or side dish.

Ingredients:
2 – large zucchini
2 – ripe tomatoes
1 – ball of fresh mozzarella
10 – basil leaves
Salt
Fresh ground black pepper
Herbs de Provence
Garlic Powder
Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Directions:
Slice the ends off the zucchini then slice it in half across the middle.


Cut a thin slice of the skin from two sides of the zucchini length wise. Then cut thick long slices, about 1/4″ in thickness. Next cut thick round tomato slices.

Lay out the zucchini and tomatoes and drizzle a little olive oil over each of them. Then sprinkle each slice with a little salt, black pepper, garlic powder, and Herbs de Provence to taste.

In the meantime, heat the stove top grill and coat it with non-stick cooking spray. When the grill is hot, place each slice of the zucchini and tomatoes on the grill, seasoned side down. While the vegetables are cooking, drizzle the other side with a little olive oil and the seasonings.

Cook the tomato slices about 3 minutes on a medium-high flame before turning over. Do not over cook them or they will fall apart. The zucchini will take longer, about 4-5 minutes, until tender. When ready turn them over and cook the other side in the same manner.

Since the tomatoes cook sooner, you can place them on top of the cooked side of the zucchini to prevent them from over cooking, while the zucchini finishes cooking.

When the zucchini is almost done, place a slice of mozzarella cheese on top of each stack of zucchine and tomato, then place a lid on top to melt the cheese.

Remove each stack from the grill and place a basil leave on top of each one.

Serve immediately

Note:  A little drizzle of a balsamic reduction works very well with this.




Lentil Soup

Lentils are common in Italian cuisine. They belong to the legume family and are a good source of protein, fiber, and essential vitamins and minerals. So the point I am trying to make is that they are healthy for you, but they are also delicious and versatile. They come in many varieties and are used in many cuisines, such as Indian, Ethiopian, Egyptian, and Asian to name a few. Soup is not the only way to serve lentils. They can be made to a drier consistency with warm, aromatic spices such as cumin, cardamom, paprika, and turmeric, which turn them into the perfect side dish.

We like to eat this soup all year round.  Give it a try!

Ingredients:
2 – carrots
1 – medium onion
2 – stalks celery
2 – garlic cloves
1 1/4 – cups lentils
32 – oz. chicken stock
2 – dried bay leaves
3/4 – tsp. salt
1/4 – tsp. black pepper
Pinch of red pepper flake (optional)
2 – cups water

Directions:
In a medium sized pot, start by making the soffritto with the carrots, onion, and celery (click on link for instructions).  Also add the whole cloves of garlic to the pot with the soffritto to sauté. Place the lentils into a wire mesh sieve and rinse with cold water. Let drain, and once the soffritto is ready, after about 10 minutes, add the lentils and red pepper flake. Mix to combine, then add the chicken stock, bay leaves, salt, black pepper and water.

Bring the soup to a boil, then lower flame to a simmer and let cook about 45 minutes or until the lentils are soft.

Buon appetito!

Serves 4

 




Italian Easter Bread

My sisters Vicki and LouAnn, 1958

Easter is synonymous with spring, and it is my favorite time of year. Everything is new and fresh.  The trees and flowers are in bloom, and their vibrant colors are at their peak.   As a child, Easter meant new outfits, Easter Bonnets, chocolate, decorated eggs, and Mom’s Easter Bread.

Me and my older sisters, 1960

I have vivid memories of me and my sisters dressing for Mass on Easter Sunday in our new dresses, patent leather shoes, and of course our Easter Bonnets. Mom was known for her beautiful hats. She wore some of the most spectacular hats adorned with flowers, organza and satin ribbon.  It was a special day for us all.

This year I am celebrating Easter with my family in Pennsylvania, and I have the pleasure of baking the Easter Bread with my sister, Louann.  Baking the bread brought back a lot of memories, so I was compelled to look at old photos. I rummaged through all the old photos and found these two photos of me and my sisters. I had difficulty finding a photo of the three of us together, but luckily I found this one of me in the stroller. I was starting to feel a little left out. It’s the typical “third child” syndrome. As each child was born fewer and fewer photographs were taken.

But back to the bread.  It has a wonderful flavor and it has just a hint of sweetness.  It makes great toast, but can also work well with a sandwich. If you want a sweeter version, you can add candied fruits or use a powered-sugar glaze on top with sprinkles.

Ingredients:
6 – eggs
1 -1/4 cups sugar + 1 -1/2 tbls.
1 – cup butter or margarine
1 -1/4 – cup milk
3 -1/2 – packages active dry yeast
6-8 – cups all purpose flour
1 – oz. pure lemon extract
1 – oz. pure orange extract
1/2 – oz. anise extract (or liquor)
1 – oz. whisky

Directions:
Place the butter in a bowl and melt it in the microwave (or you can melt it in a pot on the stove). Add 3/4 cup of the milk to the melted butter and warm slightly, set aside.


Next place 3-1/2 packages of active dry yeast and 1-1/2 tablespoons of sugar to a medium sized bowl. Pour in 1/2 cup lukewarm milk and mix until the yeast is dissolved. Let it set until the yeast begins to bubble and grow in size.

While the yeast is activating, add the eggs to the large bowl of a mixer and whip the eggs until they become frothy, then slowly drizzle in 1-1/4 cups sugar. Continue mixing until well incorporated, about 2-3 minutes. Add the extracts and whiskey and mix for about 1 minute more.

Pour the egg mixture into a large stock pot or large bowl and add the butter mixture and yeast.

Mix together and then add in the flour one cup at a time. The amount of flour you use varies as it depends on the size of the eggs. Don’t be concerned if you do not use all 8 cups.  Mix with a whisk until it becomes difficult to do. Then use your hands to mix the rest. The dough should be a little sticky. Grease the sides of the pot with a little canola or vegetable oil so that the dough does not stick.

Cover the pot with a clean dish towel and place in a warm area to rise until doubled in size. This takes about 3 hours.

Once the dough has doubled in size, use your fists and punch it down. The recipe will make 4-5 loaves. Divide the dough into 4 or 5 loaves. Use a kitchen scale and measure about 18 oz. per bread pan. You have the option to make plain loaves or braided loaves. Grease the bread pans well with shortening or non-stick spray.

To braid the bread, divide the dough into three equal parts. Roll each part into the shape of a log a little longer than the length of the bread pan you are using.

Press the ends of the three logs together and make a braid.

Place the braid in the bread pan, cover with a dish towel and let rise in a warm place until it comes to the top of the pan. This will take about 3 hours.

Prepare an egg wash for the top of the loaves by whisking one egg with 2 tablespoons with water.  Brush the tops of the loaves with the egg wash just before putting them into the oven. Place 2 loaves at a time in the center of a pre-heated 300° oven. Bake for approximately 45-55 minutes.  Check at 40 minutes and continue cooking until golden brown.

This recipes is time consuming, but well worth it.

Enjoy!




Pappardelle alla Bolognese

Pappardelle, Ragù alla Bolognese, Pasta

Pappardelle is a long, broad, flat, hearty noodle that makes it perfect for a bold ragù alla Bolognese.  This ragù originates from Bologna, Italy, and is typically served with tagliatelle, but any wide noodle works nicely with it.  It is also used for traditional lasagna alla Bolognese.

This sauce is satisfying and delicious.  It is easy to make and freezes well too.

Ingredients for the ragù:
1 – lb. ground pork
1 – lb. ground beef
1 – medium onion
2 – carrots
2 – stalks of celery
2 – cloves garlic
1 – cup red wine (can also mix ½ red and ½ white)
1 – 28 oz. can of whole peeled tomatoes
1 – tsp. salt
1/2 – tsp. fresh ground black pepper
1/2 – cup whole milk

Other Ingredients:
1 – lb. pappardelle pasta
1/2 – cup pecorino romano cheese (plus more for serving)

Directions for the ragù:
Peel the carrots, garlic and onion and cut off the tops of the celery stalks and rinse in cold water.

Now make the soffritto.  Cut the vegetables in quarters and add them to a food processor to finely chop them (you can finely dice everything by hand if you do not have a food processor). Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large heavy pot on medium heat, add the soffritto. Cook on a medium flame for about 7 minutes until tender, stirring often to avoid it sticking to bottom of the pan.

Push the soffritto to one side of the pot and add the ground meat. Break it up with a wooden spoon and cook it on medium heat until lightly browned, stirring often.

Once the meat is brown, combine the meat with the soffritto and add the wine. Cook for 2-3 minutes until the alcohol has cooked off and the liquid has reduced by about half.

Add the whole peeled tomatoes to a blender and blend until smooth. Then add it to the meat mixture and stir. Add salt and black pepper.

Heat to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cook covered approximately 1 hr. Stir occasionally to make sure the sauce does not burn or stick to the pot.

Now add the milk and stir to incorporate it thoroughly, and cook another 40 minutes.

Prepare the Pasta:

About 20 minutes before the ragù is finished, put on a large pot of water to boil.  When the water is boiling add 1 teaspoon of salt and add the pasta.  Stir to separate the pasta so it does not stick together.  Cook until al dente (a little bite) or according to the package directions.  Drain the pasta thoroughly.  In a large bowl add about half of the ragù, add the pasta and mix through.  Add more sauce if you want and about 1/2 cup of pecorino romano cheese.  Mix thoroughly.  Serve immediately.

Buon appetito!




Frittata with Bell Peppers and Onion

Frittata con peperoni e cipolle

Frittata is basically an Italian omelette. It can be made on the stove top or in the oven. The frittata makes a great main dish or can also be used as an appetizer. There are countless combinations of vegetables, meats, and cheeses that can be used to make the frittata flavorful, such as asparagus, spinach, mozzarella cheese, sausage, bacon, and many other options.  It also makes a good vegetarian option.

Today I am making the frittata on the stove top with bell peppers and onion, the way my mother did.  She used to make this meatless meal for us on Friday’s during Lent. Serve it with a salad and some crusty Italian bread and you have a delicious meal. I hope you enjoy it.

Ingredients:
1/2 – red bell pepper
1/2 – orange bell pepper
1/2 – medium onion
6 – whole extra-large eggs
1/4 – tsp. salt
1/8 – tsp. ground black pepper
1/4 – cup parmigiano cheese
1 – tbls. olive oil

Directions:
Slice the red and orange peppers lengthwise into 1/4″ thick slices and set aside. Peel the onion and cut it in half. Place the flat side down and make thin lengthwise slices of one-half of the onion.

Add one tablespoon olive oil to a well-seasoned 8″ iron skillet (or a non-stick skillet) and heat oil on a medium flame. Once the oil is hot, add the peppers and sauté for about 5 minutes, stirring often. Now add the onion, stir and continue to sauté the onion and peppers until they start to brown about another 5-6 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and black pepper, and stir occasionally.

In a large bowl, add 6 eggs, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper. Whisk the eggs thoroughly, then pour them over the peppers and onions. Make sure the egg is evenly distributed in the pan.

Sprinkle evenly, the grated parmigiano cheese over the top of the egg mixture.  Reduce the heat to medium-low and cover the skillet. Let cook about 8-10 minutes.

Run a knife or spatula around the edges of the skillet to loosen the frittata from the sides. Place the skillet lid upside down on the counter. Pick up the skillet, and with the help of the spatula, lift the frittata out and slide it onto the lid. Be very careful with the hot skillet.

Using an oven mitt, pick up the lid by the handle underneath. Now take the skillet by the handle (be sure to use an oven mitt) and turn it upside down on top of the lid.

Flip it over to return the frittata to the skillet. Return the skillet to the flame and cook about 2 minutes more.

Remove the frittata onto a round platter. It should slide out of the pan with ease. You can use the spatula to help guide it.

Serves 4 people.

Buon Appetito!




Focaccia with Potato, Grape Tomatoes, and Rosemary

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Focaccia di patata con pomodorini e rosmarino

This focaccia is moist and delicious. I like to serve it by itself or along with cheese and various types of salami. I learned how to make this from my best friend, Roberta. The unusual thing about this recipe is that it is made with potato. This is a common method used in Italy. The potato gives the focaccia the perfect texture…it is soft and moist and the crust has just the right amount of crispness. The focaccia also is a great alternative for making a sandwich.

Ingredients for focaccia:
1 – large Idaho potato (5 inches long)
1 – pkg. Active Dry Yeast
1 3/4 – cups warm water
1 – tbls. sugar
5 – cups all purpose flour
1 – tbls. salt
1/4 – cup extra-virgin olive oil (plus more for coating)

Toppings:
15 – grape tomatoes
1 – tsp. chopped fresh rosemary
1 – tsp. coarse sea salt
2 – tbls. extra-virgin olive oil

Directions:
Scrub a large Idaho potato and place it in a pot of water to boil until a fork can be inserted into it easily, approximately 15 minutes. Remove from the boiling water and let cool completely. Peel the potato and mash with a potato masher or you can use a potato ricer if you have one.

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Take 1 3/4 cups warm water and add one package of Active Dry Yeast and 1 tablespoon sugar. Stir and let stand about 10 minutes while the yeast activates, and becomes bubbly.

After 10 minutes
After 10 minutes

In a large mixing bowl, add the flour. Make a well in the center and add the yeast mixture.

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Using the dough hook of your mixer, mix the flour and yeast until semi-incorporated, about 1 minute. Next add the mashed potato, salt, and 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil.

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Continue mixing the dough for about 5 minutes.

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The dough will be a little sticky. Turn it out on to a lightly floured board.img_1339

Continue kneading by hand about one minute more until the dough is soft and elastic.

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It should be slightly sticky, do not over work the dough. Pour a little olive oil in the mixing bowl and return the ball of dough to the bowl.

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Drizzle a little oil on top of the dough, cover the bowl with a clean dish towel and let rise for about 2 hours in a warm area. The dough should double in size.

Doubled in size
Doubled in size

Once the dough has doubled in size, turn it out on to a lightly floured board and knead by hand for about one minute. The dough should feel smooth and silky.

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After kneading by hand

Pour 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil on a jelly roll pan (12″ x 17″) and spread around to cover the surface. Place the dough on the pan and stretch with your hands to fill the pan with the dough. It does not have to fill the pan completely. Using your fingers, poke holes in the dough.

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Drizzle a little oil over top and spread it around with your hands. Cover with a clean dish towel and let rise for another hour until it doubles in size.

Doubled in size
Doubled in size

While the dough is rising, slice in half about 15 grape tomatoes, and chop about 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, but first remove the needles from the stem. Set aside until the dough is ready to go into the oven.

Once the dough has doubled in size, place the tomato halves cut side down on the surface of the dough. Press them in gently. Drizzle about 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil over the top and spread it evenly with your hand. Then sprinkle the rosemary and salt evenly over the surface.

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If you do not like rosemary or tomatoes, you can use almost anything you like, such as onion, olives, peppers, and various herbs and spices.  Be as creative as you like.

Bake in a preheated 425° oven for 25-30 minutes, until the focaccia is golden brown.

Remove from the oven and slide the focaccia out of the pan onto a cooling rack.  Let rest about 10 minutes before slicing so that you do not release all the steam.

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Buon appetito!




Fettucine with Egg, Garlic and Olive Oil

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Fettuccine all’uovo, aglio e olio di oliva

This dish is simply delicious. The closest dish to which I can compare it is Spaghetti alla Carbonara without the guanciale (bacon).  Growing up we called it “white pasta”. No one could make this dish like my mother. Although the ingredients are very basic, they pack a lot of flavor. When mom served this dish, it was a real treat. It was and still is the ultimate comfort food for my family. It was not unusual for some of my cousins to ask Mom to make it for them when they visited. It’s so simple that you always have the ingredients available. However, as simple as it is, it takes some practice to get it right. I have put together step-by-step instructions, so give it a try, you will not be disappointed.

Ingredients:
1 – box (14.oz) fettucine (or any long spaghetti you like)
5 – cloves garlic
1/2 – cup extra virgin olive oil
2 – eggs
1/2 – cup pecorino romano cheese (more for serving)
1/2- tsp. ground black pepper
1 – tsp. dried oregano
1/8 – tsp. peperoncino (red pepper flake)
1 – tbls. salt

Directions:
Put a large pot of water on the stove to bring to a boil. In the meantime prepare the other ingredients. Peel the garlic and smash it with the side of a large knife and set aside. In a small bowl add the two eggs, 3/4 teaspoon oregano, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, and 1/4 cup pecorino cheese and whisk well. Set aside until the fettuccine is cooked.

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When the water comes to a boil, add 1 tablespoon salt and the fettuccine. Cook until al dente (a little bite) or according to the package directions.

While the pasta is cooking, heat about 1/2 cup olive oil in a small skillet, then add the peeled garlic. Sauté on a medium-low flame until golden brown (do not let the garlic burn). After a few minutes as the garlic begins to soften, use a fork to smash the garlic to release more flavor. Be careful with the hot oil.

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Remove the garlic from the oil and discard. When the fettuccine is just about ready, add a pinch of pepperoncino to the hot oil and 1/4 teaspoon oregano. Reduce the flame to low to keep the oil warm.

When the fettuccine is ready, before draining the pasta, reserve two cups of the pasta water in a small bowl and set aside. Place the fettuccine into a serving bowl and add the whisked egg mixture, and one cup of the pasta water and mix well.

Add egg mixture to pasta
Adding egg mixture to pasta

Adding pasta water
Adding pasta water

Next add the hot oil to the pasta.

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The hot pasta water and hot oil will cook the egg.  Mix through and add another 1/4 cup pecorino cheese.

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The cheese and egg should make a creamy sauce.  If it seems dry you can add a little more pasta water if needed.

Mix well and serve immediately.

Buon appetito!