Monday, January 24, 2022

Bhaditraka.......An Ancient Sanskrit Name For Delicious

I love old cookbooks, always have. I think it started when I found my great grandma's Native Daughters Of The Golden West Cookbook. It's now nearly 100 years old and what I loved about it as a kid was there were recipes for squirrel in it. The squirrel and other delicacies were in a section of the book devoted to Early Californio recipes, and usually talked about a hot fire or a hot oven with no discernible temperatures or real times given, just HOT, and For A While. I loved trying to figure them out as a kid, and practiced on my mom's stove. But wait, there's more.

   I've experimented, and I've cooked ancient Roman Cheesecake.

I've baked Emily Dickinsons Gingerbread...

...and Virginia Woolfe's Cottage Loaf, because I like, no, love old recipes, and when I find one I just have to try it.

People have been writing down favorite recipes since the development of writing. Ancient cookbooks exist almost everywhere in the world, and are wonderful windows into along, long ago past. They're found on every continent, and in many languages. Some ancient texts, are written in cuniform on clay Like the Yale Tablets from 1700 BC that have lasted since the fall of Babylon, or De Re Coquinaria the Roman cookbook of Apicius. There's the Medieval Islamic Kitab al-Ṭabīḫ from 900 AD, Le Viandier, a French cookbook from 1300 AD, a Catelonian cookbook Llibre de Sent Sovi, from 1324, and from China Yinshan Zhengyao from the Yuan dynasty in 1334.

Some recipes have been treasured  over ages and just recently collected such as In Bibi's Kitchen, Recipes and Stories from Grandmothers from the Eight African Countries That Touch the Indian Ocean  

Chef Freddie Bitsoie's book The New Native Kitchen :Celebrating Modern Recipes of The American Indian

And from the University of Texas at San Antonio: 200 Year old Mexican Recipes downloadable for free 

Now that it's cold and wet up here in Northern California, I'm firing up my  Homdor Tandoor oven to do some Winter Kitchen Cooking, and what better to start with than a recipe from one of the oldest cookbooks the Mansollasa a 12th century Sanskrit text put together by the Kalyani Chalukya King Someshvara lll who ruled South India. The book is a guide to EVERYTHING: dance, astrology, horticulture, medicine, government ethics, games, painting, poetry, music, and FOOD! My sister-in-law, could have probably told me reams about this book since she reads Sanskrit...but she's in New York and I'm here so I went digging.

The book and it's recipes still exist and I decided to cook one of them. It's a simple recipe, easy to prepare and can be done on a BBQ, but it was created for a Tandoor Oven. It's a simple marinade, and most ingredients you may already have.


Here's What You Need:

2 Tbs lemon juice

2 Tbs mashed raw papaya

1 Tbs Ginger paste (grind fresh chopped ginger w/ a tiny bit of water in a food processor or blender until you have a paste )

1/4 cup onion paste (made the same way as above)

1 tsp Green chili paste (serrano chili done the same way)

* Note:

I bought a wet/dry grinder a few years back  it's a mighty little machine perfect for preparing pastes etc. and a great kitchen asset.

2 Tsp ground black pepper

1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

1 tsp[ ground cardamom

1/2 tsp ground turmeric

3 Tbs vegetable oil

1 tsp salt.

2 lbs of boneless lamb leg cut into chunks for skewering aka tikkas. Make cuts in the meat with a sharp knife so the marinade can penetrate the meat.

A couple of new potatoes

Here's What To Do:

This is super simple. Just take all the ingredients above  (EXCEPT THE SALT) and mix them together in a bowl. 

Put everything in the fridge and let it sit at least 8 hours or better yet, overnight.

Add the salt to the marinade 15 minutes before cooking, and mix everything again.

Cut your potatoes into chunks, you'll be using them as stoppers for your skewers.

Rub your skewers with some oil.

 Then thread the meat chunks on the skewers, sticking a chunk of potato on the end as a stopper...

Like so...

Brush them with the left over marinade...

...and let them sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes or so while you get your tandoor oven nice and hot.

This dish cooks at about 480 degrees.

When the temperature has reached around 480, put your skewers into the tandoor oven and cook for about 10 minutes.

Take them out , stand them upright against the tandoor to let the drippings fall for about 5 minutes.

Then, back into the oven for another 5 to 8 minutes depending on how done you like your meat.

Remove the meat from the skewers and serve it up, sprinkled with a bit of fresh cilantro.

Among the many cooking implements Paula Wolfert has passed along to me, was this beautiful tagine, inlaid with metal.

She told me it was a serving tagine, not meant for the oven so I decided to use that for my presentation.

I served the Bhaditraka with Basmati rice with saffron, sultanas, and almonds, Indian Creamed Spinach ...

...and a fresh Papaya Raita.

So there it is, direct from the 12th century right to your modern kitchen.

 Coming up next....How to do this.... and some other stuff.

 Follow along on Twitter @kathygori


Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Got Beans? You Got Cookies! Coconut Macaroons Go Vegan!

A few years back, I was hired to design a gluten-free menu for a local restaurant here in Sonoma. I'm not gluten-free personally but so many friends of mine are that I got into the habit of just cooking that way. Also, my years of Indian cooking with it's large numbers of naturally gluten-free dishes gave me a lot of experience working with gluten-free flours and ingredients. 

Then came aquafaba (aka Bean Water) and a whole world of gluten-free/vegan ideas emerged. The left over water from garbanzo bean cooking created the perfect substitute for egg whites. Who knew? It was the ingredient I'd been looking for. When I was asked to duplicate some of the owner's favorite recipes that her French born mom used to fix in a gluten-free or vegan package, I was all set, and one of the first things she wanted was these coconut macaroons.

These cookies are some of the easiest ones to make, and perfect if you're an aquafaba virgin (c'mon weren't we all once?)

Coconut Macaroons Aquafaba Style 

Here's What You Need:

4 Tbs of reduced aquafaba liquid (* Explanation to follow)

3/4 cup of caster sugar

2 and 1/2 cups of dried shredded unsweetened coconut

A pinch of salt

1/2 tsp vanilla

Melted dark chocolate for the drizzle

Here's What To Do:

**How to Reduce aquafaba**

 In a small pot reduce the water from a drained can of "No Salt Added" garbanzo beans to 1/3 of a cup. Let the bean water cool, until it's ready to use.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat

Mix together the coconut shreds, sugar, and salt. Set them aside.

Put 4 Tbs of the reduced bean water (aka aquafaba)  in a bowl. Add in the 1/2 tsp of vanilla. Hand whisk the aquafaba and vanilla mixture briskly until it gets foamy, about 30 seconds or so will do.

Pour the aquafaba/vanilla mixture into the bowl of coconut, sugar, and salt. Mix everything around well.

Shape the moist coconut mixture into balls with a tablespoon, melon-baller, or ice cream scoop.

Place the balls of coconut mixture on the parchment or silicone liner on the cookie sheet.

Bake at 325 degrees for about 15 to 20 minutes. Look for the coconut to brown slightly.

Take the macaroons out of the oven and let them cool on the cookie sheet for about 10 minutes.

Move the cooled macaroons to a cooling rack

Melt some chocolate gently in a double boiler and drizzle it over the tops of the macaroons.

When the chocolate has cooled, store the cookies in an airtight container in the fridge, and bring them to room temperature before serving. Or you can do what usually happens around here and just eat them up!

I literally made these when a friend phoned and said she was coming over with her husband and kids...last minute. It's the perfect emergency dessert.

Coming up next, I'll be firing up my Homdoor Tandoor with a recipe from Monasollasa, a cookbook written by Somesvara in AD 1127 for the Royal Kitchens. Now available in your own non-royal back yard. Follow along on Twitter @kathygori

Sunday, January 16, 2022

Jackfruit (Cut To Look Like Lamb) Ragu.

Nothing's better on a wintry day than a good old fashioned bowl of pasta. My dad's family is from Tuscany so I grew up with some of the benefits of that cuisine. One of my favorite Northern Italian food perks is a tasty ragu, Florentine style.

My Nonna was the queen of this type of pasta.  Nonno was no slack either, but the thing I really remember about him was the large pot of chicken feet he usually had on the stove. As a kid, I developed a taste for chicken feet, pigs feet, and other culinary unmentionables. I'll never forget the time my dad dragged in some sort of "delicacy" that I don't think one could see on the outside of the animal. That was the last straw for my mom who even though she was part Italian (her family had been in the US, pre-US down in NOLA and had their own food quirks) but this was a line she would not cross. No innards! If she embroidered this would have been on a pillow.

Whatever it was he was trying to cook, I remember my mom sticking a knife in it, and chasing him around the kitchen with it while they both were laughing. Then she couldn't get the knife out. I never did find out what it was he brought home for us, but there were certain immigrant dishes she wouldn't touch. For Italian food, she liked the basics.  Meatballs (polpette), polenta, and a nice ragu (or as they called it gravy because it had meat).

I have an old Italian cookbook that was passed on to me when I left SF for LA. It has recipes in tiny print using European measurements, which were waaay above my pay grade at the time.They sent me to Los Angeles with a cookbook, a hand cranked pasta machine, and a job doing all night rock radio at a 50,000 watt station, and I was just turning 21. That's what every girl hitting the LA rock scene in the 70's needs. That's what Licorice Pizza missed!

The station did send me to truck driving school however, during the gas crisis as a PR stunt and I wound up in Overdrive Magazine, but I never really bothered to figure out the metric system, or make anything in that book. Yet, it followed me until I was ready for it. Like the student must be ready for the teacher or some such Yoda-type thing.

Anyway,  as a grownup, I do metrics now with my cooking and the book is a treasured item that I go to when I need some home comfort cooking. One thing I always make from it is the recipe fora true ragu

Traditionally, the recipe calls for three types of meat, beef, lamb and pork which is how I used to make it, or if just one meat was used, it was left over leg of lamb. This was a dish which was always served around Easter time when there would be left over lamb and my mom would make an old school lamb ragu.

Now, I make it with canned Jackfruit, subbing for shredded lamb, and yes it works, it really really work. How do I know this? Well, the carnivore I live with, aka Alan requested this for his birthday dinner this year. so, just sayin'.....

Jackfruit Ragu

Here's What You Need:

1 can of jackfruit 

2 and 1/2 Tbs olive oil

6 Tbs unsalted butter (divided)

1 onion finely chopped

1 carrot finely chopped

1 stalk celery finely chopped

A few leaves of fresh basil chopped

About a tsp or two of fresh chopped rosemary

1 Bay leaf

A pinch of sugar

2/3 cup dry white wine

4 tsp tomato paste

1 and 1/4 cup stock (vegetable)

4 Tbs cream

Grated Parmesan cheese


Here's What To Do:

Drain and rinse the jackfruit in cool water.

Dry it well, by rolling it in paper towels and pressing to get extra water out. 

Then shred the jackfruit using two forks, or your hands. Just shred it up, all of it can be eaten so don't worry about any part that won't break up. Once it's dried and shredded set it aside.

Melt 3 Tbs of the butter and all the olive oil in a deep pan or skillet.

Add in the chopped onion, carrot, and celery. Saute over a low heat until the vegetables soften and start to change color. Add in the basil and rosemary and the bay leaf.

Now add in the shredded jackfruit. Saute it gently. The idea is to dry it, and brown it lightly on the edges crisping it. Add your pinch of sugar now as this helps the jackfruit caramelize. Stir it around.

When it starts to brown, add in the white wine and cook it down until it starts to evaporate.

Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Dilute the tomato paste with a little stock, and stir it into the sauce. Add the rest of the stock and cook slowly as the liquid is reduced. 

After the sauce has thickened a bit add in the cream and continue cooking until that has reduce.

Finally add in the rest of the butter, and stir until it's melted and thoroughly mixed into the sauce. 

Boil the Tagliatelli for about 5 to 7 minutes, then drain it and add it to the sauce.

Mix everything around well and serve it up sprinkled with grated Parmesan cheese and a sprig of rosemary.

So there it is,  a traditional ragu without the meat, and according to Alan, Carnivore Approved!

 Coming up next, more treats, follow along on Twitter @kathygori

Friday, January 14, 2022

Spicy Kerala Shrimp Moilee For A Chilly January Night ...Now With Parathas!

We're having a cold winter up here in Northern California. We've been chilled frozen, dunked in the Atmospheric River and the Sierra has been buried in snow. We're happy for the water, and like happy doesn't even begin to cover it, but keeping warm both outside and in is important. Stews, soups and all manner of hot spicy fair, this is your moment to shine. This is the moment for a nice Kerala moilee.

 What is a molee or moilee? It's a type of creamy (coconut milk) spicy,  curry from the southern coast of India. It's usually made from fish, though there are veg versions too, which I'll be sharing soon. Molee can be mild or super spicy. Your hand's on the chili and it's up to you, cowboy.

So if you can get your mitts on some shrimp, a can of coconut milk, and some basic spices such as cloves, and turmeric, you can make this bad boy tonight while you're enjoying Peacemaker, or the Madalorian, (which reminds me of a great Magalorian recipe ) anyway, this is a very quick, and simple dish to make no matter how you spell molee.

Shrimp Molee

Here's What You Need:

1 Tbs vegetable oil (i use coconut oil)

1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced

3 shallots or 3 cloves of garlic crushed (just peel and flatten with a large heavy knife)

2 serrano chilies finely chopped

2 tsp ground turmeric 

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp ground cumin

4 whole cloves

1 and 2/3 cup of coconut milk (best with full fat)

*6 curry leaves (if you have them, otherwise there is really no substitute so leave them out)

1/2 tsp salt

1 and 1/4 lb of shrimp cleaned, and shelled

1 tbs chopped fresh cilantro

Here's What To Do:

Heat the oil in a kadhai or deep frying pan.

When the oil is hot add in the onion and cook for about 5 minutes.

Add the garlic or shallots, and cook for another 5 minutes until the onion has softened and turned translucent.

Now add in the turmeric, cumin, coriander, and cloves.

Stir fry everything for about 2 minutes.

Now add in the curry leaves if you have them.

Add the coconut milk and salt and bring everything to just below the boiling point.

Then turn down the heat, and simmer for 20 minutes.

After the sauce has simmered for 20 minutes, add in your  shelled, and cleaned shrimp.

Bring the heat back up to simmer and cook for 5 minutes, until your shrimp are pink and cooked through.

Check your seasoning, add more salt if you need it.

Sprinkle the dish with chopped cilantro and serve it up.

I served it in a bowl along with parathas for lunch. It's also great over rice.

Feel free to play with the heat. If you find it's too spicy for you just add a bit  more coconut milk to mellow it But always start with less chili if you're worried about heat. It's always easy to add more if you want it.

So there you go. This is a perfect gateway dinner on a Friday night to kick off a relaxing weekend.

*As to the curry leaves;

I order mine online. They arrive fresh and I just bag 'em and tuck them into the freezer.

I order Ajika Brand, or Rani Brand. Very easy to find and order online.

And as for the Parathas:

 Here's my recipe for Mint Parathas, which kept me sane during a very difficult time.

 Coming up next an Indian dessert to go with,  Follow along on Twitter @kathygori

Thursday, January 13, 2022

Now That You've Baked Baci di Dama, Here's Your Entree

These cold January days are perfect pasta weather. We're in the middle of a bunch of work, and I don't have a lot of time to cook complicated things, so I love the simple Italian family recipes like the ones my Nonna used to make. I stress Nonna here, because moms' idea of pasta was whatever came from Kraft. She really didn't like to cook, and growing up in a 3 generation household I'd loiter in the kitchen when my grandmother was cooking, and sneak eat with them. When it was our turn to use the kitchen I was already fed and mom would get pissed off, so no double dipping. 

Both my grandmothers, the immigrant and the one whose family was here from the jump, were excellent cooks so whatever cooking gene I got came from those two ladies. This pasta dish would have both of them happy I think. It's simple, fast, and delicious, and once I made Jamie Schlers' wonderful Baci di Dama I had to have a main dish that was worthy, and I think I found one in this very basic pasta recipe.

Tagliatelli With Mushrooms and Bacon......(and some truffle oil if you've got it)

Here's What You Need:

3 pieces of bacon chopped

1 shallot

1/4 tsp. dried red pepper flakes

3 large portobello mushrooms sliced

1/3 cup of cream

2 Tbs of olive oil (divided)

12 oz of dry tagliatelli pasta

1/2 cup of the pasta water

2 Tbs. of grated parmesan cheese

Here's What To Do:

Boil a pot of salted water for the pasta.

Slice or chop the bacon into thin strips.

Heat 1 Tbs of olive oil.

When it's hot add in the bacon and render it down.

Add in the sliced portobello mushrooms, on medium heat saute them until they begin to soften, then add in the thinly sliced shallot and red pepper flakes.

Boil the tagliiatelli. The dried Italian type I used takes 5 minutes. Add some  ground pepper and drizzle the pasta with the other Tbs of olive oil...OR...if you've got truffle oil drizzle 1 Tbs of that!

When the pasta is cooked drain it, and save 1/2 cup of the pasta water.

Add 1/3 cup of cream to the mushrooms in the pan, along with 2 Tbs of grated parmesan and stir everything around. Now Add in the 1/2 cup of pasta water and toss until everything is well combined. The pasta water works to smooth things out and make a nice clingy sauce. Who said clingy was bad? Here it's important.

And now it's a party!

Serve it up.

I crumbled a bit of shaved parm on top to finish it off.

 Finish off with one or two of these....

Fire up the espresso maker, get your inner Gaga on and you'll think you're having lunch at the House of Gucci.

Coming up next. An Indian lunch of Kerala Shrimp Moilee and paratha.

Follow along on Twitter @kathygori

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

A Cookie Like A Kiss, Baci di Dama courtesy Of Jamie Schlers

I grew up in a cookie-centric household. My mom was no baker that's for sure. Her butter cookies resembled skeets, and  you just wanted to yell "pull" every time she served them. When you're a kid and NO ONE will trade you ANYTHING for your homemade cookies at lunch, you know there's a problem. So my mom was a cookie buyer, not a cookie baker. My dad would swing buy Mothers Cookies Bakery factory store and bring back the day-old stuff for us, especially these.

So as a kid, cookies weren't something that was usually baked at home as NO ONE wanted Fran in the kitchen working her cookie magic.

Over the years I started baking cookies occasionally, then when I started consulting for the Cocoa Planet Cafe everything had to be gluten-free since the entire restaurant was gluten-free. I learned to translate most things into what they needed from flour blends that I developed. I made everything from lady fingers to madeleines all of them gluten free, but in all my cookie baking I'd never run across Baci di Dama.

The only Italian cookies we ever got at my house were Stella'Oro and those were good basic Italian cookies,  S shaped  "breakfast treat" biscuits that were generally dunked in espresso, nothing fancy, and certainly no Baci di Dama.

 When my friend Jamie Schler, extraordinary cook book author, and Chinon hotelier, over at @lifesafeast posted a recipe and pictures of these delectable Italian cookies, I was all..."How did I never get these before!" I immediately wanted to bake some. Jamie provided the recipe and just in case you missed it I thought I'd post it here, since they were so easy to make, and they looked so good for their few minutes of existence before everyone fell on them and they were gone.

Jamies instructions provided for using hazelnuts and almonds and grinding them into  a flour, however I used hazelnut flour and almond flour that I had on hand so the whole process was super easy.

 Baci Di Dama  (Lady's Kiss) Cookies

Here's  What You Need: 

For The Cookies:

10 Tbs  (150 grams) unsalted butter softened to room temperture

1/2 cup  (100 grams ) sugar 

1 large egg yolk

2 oz (50 grams) almond flour or finely ground almonds

2 oz (50 grams) hazelnut flour or finely ground hazelnuts

1 and 1/4 cup  (175 grams) all purpose flour

1 tsp vanilla

For Chocolate Ganache Filling :

3/4 cup ( 100 grams)  Dark chocolate coarsely chopped .Jamie recommends Lindt  Dessert or Lindt Excellence70% (I used a dark chocolate infused with mandarin orange)

1/2 cup (125 ml) heavy cream


What to Do:

Cream the softened butter together with the sugar until it's light and fluffy.

Beat in the egg yolk and the almond and hazelnut flours.

Beat in the all purpose flour and vanilla until everything is well incorporated.

Scrape the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and, working very quickly, knead the dough just until you have a smooth, homogeneous ball of dough, flouring the work surface & your hands as needed. This dough contains a high quantity of butter so the more it is worked (with warm hands) the softer and stickier it becomes. 

Wrap the ball of dough in plastic wrap & place in the refrigerator to chill for a few hours or overnight. 

When the dough has been chilled & you are ready to make the cookies, preheat the oven to 325°F (170°C). 

Remove the chilled, firm dough from the refrigerator and from the plastic & place on a lightly floured work surface.

Cut into 4 pieces (which are easier to work with) and, working one piece at a time & as quickly as possible to keep the buttery dough from softening too much, press & roll out the dough
into a long ¾-inch (2 cm) thick snake, ends squared. 

Using a pastry cutter or sharp knife, slice the long log or snake into even ½-inch (1 cm) wide pieces or slightly larger. Again working very quickly, roll each piece into a ball, pressing together if the dough splits,

Place on a cookie sheet, leaving a little space between each ball for rising. Bake the trays of balls in the preheated oven for no longer than 20 minutes or until cooked through & slightly golden.

Remove from the oven & allow to cool completely before making the ganache filling & sandwiching the cookie domes together with the ganache. 

Make your ganache filling:

Place the chopped chocolate in a medium-sized heatproof Pyrex bowl. 

Bring the heavy cream to a boil. 

Pour it over the chopped chocolate & allow to sit, stirring, until the chocolate is completely melted and the ganache is perfectly smooth.

 Allow the ganache to sit at room temperature until it reaches the desired consistency: to sandwich the Baci di Dama, the ganache needs to be quite thick & firm so it pipes out without running & you can sandwich the two domes of cookie halves together without making a runny mess. 

Or store the cookie pieces in a tin while the ganache chills overnight in the fridge, simply taking the ganache out of the cold a bit before piping & sandwiching the two halves of the cookies together.100 grams) dark chocolate coarsely chopped.

Filling Those Cookies:

Fill a pastry bag with a tip (about ¼ to ½ -inch wide hole). Pair up matching (in size) cookie halves then pipe a dot of ganache on the bottom halves of all the pairs. 

Gently press the other cookie half onto the ganache. 

Place all the Baci di Dama on a tray or rack to allow the ganache to firm up. These cookies get even better when stored in a metal tin overnight as the cookie goes from crumbly to
perfectly tender.

 Now, put on some coffee, or tea and......enjoy!

Italians love these cookies and even have them for breakfast sometimes. Yes, they do and you can't tell me otherwise, because that's what I'm telling my family.

These are cookies you're going to want to be making again and again. Thanks to Jamie and her amazing recipes and this Orange Appeal , Isolation Baking

and her #StirCrazyPodcast

 Let's get her a
on Twitter!

Next on the blog, Jamies flipped the switch on my baking agenda , and now I'm thinking of making and sharing a few traditional Italian treats that can be part of your breakfast or tea time. Follow along on Twitter @kathygori

Sunday, January 9, 2022

Easy Easy Peasy (?) Pasta, With Asparagus, Pancetta, And Parm. So Fast It's Almost To Go!

Ever since the pandemic began we've stayed out of restaurants. We've always worked from home so that's no problem, we're used to that. I've always cooked most meals so I'm used to that. The big difference is now I'm cooking everything we eat, baking the bread, growing some of the vegetables.  I love cooking so that's not an issue, but what I do struggle with sometimes is fixing something  that quick, easy and fits into our daily writing schedule. 

Well, meet the dish pictured above, because it's perfect! It ticks all the boxes, fast, easy, tasty and if you work it right...leftovers!

It started when I was thinking about the various pasta shapes I was fed growing up. One of my favorites was tagliatelli. It's a pasta shape occupying the middle ground between pappardelle, and fettuccini. It's not too wide, not too narrow, but in the Goldilocks Zone of pasta it's just right.

I bought some tagliatelli the other day, and then tried to figure out what to pair it with. First move, check my larder and see what's what. Can I do this without disrupting things to go shopping? What was actually in the house besides the pasta I'd just brought home.

I had frozen peas, Parmesan cheese, some pancetta (which I always have around at holiday times) some fresh asparagus, white wine, and left over cream. Turns out that's all I needed for this dish.

Tagliatelli With Pancetta, Peas, and Asparagus

Here's what You Need:

16 oz of tagliatelli pasta

2 Tbs olive oil

1 shallot thinly sliced

1 cup of frozen peas

4 oz of chopped pancetta or bacon (it'll work with that too)

The tops of 12 asparagus spears (take an asparagus spear and bend it in half. Where it breaks at the top is the part you want.)

1/2 cup of white wine

1 cup of heavy cream

1 and 1/2 cups of grated Parmesan cheese 

ground black pepper

Here's What To Do:

Heat the oil in a pan. When the pan is hot add in the shallot.

Stir it around for a minute or so, then quickly add your pancetta or bacon.

Saute until the pancetta or bacon starts to get crispy at the edges.

Now, add the white wine.

A few minutes later add the cream and some ground pepper.

Reduce the liquid for a few minutes.

Then, add the grated cheese and continue to reduce the sauce at a low heat


 Boil your pasta in salted water. My dried tagliatelli takes 5 minutes.

Now here's where it gets a bit precise....

3 minutes before the pasta is ready toss the peas into the pasta water.

1 minute before the pasta is ready add in your asparagus pieces.

Drain the pasta and vegetables and add them to the parm sauce in the pan.

Stir everything around so the pasta is well coated and.....,.

Give each bowl a twist of ground black pepper and serve it up.

This is a basic old Italian pasta recipe, a twist on carbonara. It's sometimes prepared with mushrooms instead, I'm thinking however that almost any vegetable could be added. I would have  added some bread crumbs on top for a bit of extra crunch, but I got that idea after we were eating, so next time.

This went over very well around here. I'd put it on a dinner party rotation if we were still doing that. I'll keep it in the pandemic lunch file just in case.

Coming up next more treats  I bought a pandoro mold, and once the rain allows, I'm firing up the tandoor and cooking while there is danger of starting a conflagration. Follow along on Twitter @kathygori


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