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Sunday, February 13, 2011

Pasta Carbonara ; Bacon, Pasta, Cheese, Eggs...what's not to love?

My boys offered to take me out for Valentine's Day dinner but I declined;  I don't enjoy dining out when the restaurants are packed, chaotic and rushed!  They will be taking me to One Block West for dinner next weekend instead!  In the meantime, I treated the boys to a wonderful dinner of Pasta Carbonara.  I've made this before, and Jack loves it...we all do.  Jack doesn't get why it's just not called pasta with cheese, eggs, and bacon. 


  • 8  ounces  uncooked linguine, angel hair, whatever pasta you prefer
  • 1  cup milk
  • 1/2  grated fresh Parmesan cheese
  • 3T Pecorino Romano cheese (you can omit this if you don't have it, but we like the extra flavor)
  • 1 lb bacon (you can use pancetta if you want to be fancy)
  • 1 small  finely chopped onion
  • 2  garlic clove, minced
  • 3  large eggs


1. In a large skillet cook bacon, place cooked bacon on plate for later use and drain all but 2T fat from skillet.
2.Cook pasta according to the package directions. Reserve 1/2 cup cooking liquid before you drain pasta.
3. Combine milk and cheeses in a small bowl; set milk mixture aside.
4. Chop cooked bacon and set aside.
5. In the skillet you used for the bacon, drain all but about 2T of fat from bacon. Add onion and garlic to pan; sauté for about 3 minutes or so, reduce heat to medium and add milk mixture and pasta to pan; toss gently to coat.
6. Place eggs in a bowl and whisk. Gradually add 1/2 cup reserved hot cooking liquid, stirring constantly with a whisk. Gradually add egg mixture to pan, stirring constantly; cook 5  minutes or so or until sauce is thick and creamy.
7. Salt & Pepper to taste, garnish with chopped fresh parsley.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Homemade Pizza

Years ago, a friend gave me his recipe for pizza dough, and it was good.  I made it so often that I started messing with the recipe to bring it to what it is now.  It's really good and you should try it!  I don't mix by hand, after all, that's why God has provided the Kitchen Aid mixer!  Enjoy!

Pizza Dough

6 cups King Arthur Bread Flour (Trust me, this IS the best flour for the job although, King Arthur All-Purpose will work in a pinch)
2 cups lukewarm water
2 T instant yeast
1 T good olive oil
1 t sugar
1 t salt

1. Spray the dough hook with cooking spray or oil it up; this will keep the dough from sticking to the hook too much.

2.  Into the Kitchen Aid Mixer bowl, place 2 cups lukewarm water, 2 T (yes TABLESPOONS) instant yeast, 1 t sugar.  Mix gently and let sit for 15 minutes or so.

3.  Once the yeast mixture is bubbly, turn the mixer on, add the olive oil and salt, then begin adding the flour 1 cup at a time.
4. Continue adding the flour until the dough ball forms and the sides of the mixer bowl begin to look clean, see picture below.

 5.  Let the mixer do what it does best for about 5 minutes or so;  When the dough is not sticky, but springy to the touch, it's ready to remove from the bowl.

6.  Place the dough ball on a lightly floured surface.  Form it into a nice ball and let it rest for 10 minutes.

7.  Spray a large bowl with cooking spray or oil it; add the dough ball to the bowl and cover.

 8.  Allow the dough to double in size then punch it down.

9.  Allow the dough to rise a second time;

10.  The dough is ready to use  OR you can portion it out into small dough balls and freeze it for later use.

 Pizza Sauce:

1.  Into a pot, place one large can of crushed tomatoes, 2 cloves minced garlic, 2 T olive oil, 2 T romano cheese and salt/pepper to taste.  Cook on low just until heated through.

Making the Pie:

1.  Place a dough ball onto a lightly floured surface;  work it into a pizza shell with your hands, or roll it out with a rolling pin.

2.  Place pizza crust on a pizza peel dusted with cornmeal.

3.  Add sauce, cheese, and toppings.

4.  Bake on a pizza stone for 7 minutes at 500 degrees.

5.  Enjoy!