This is one of my simplest meals I love to make for my family on a chilly Autumn evening. The crushed red pepper in this Spaghetti all’ Amatriciana adds a little heat to warm the soul. The origin of the Amatriciana was a recipe named gricia. Grici were what the Romans called the sellers of bread and comestibles. According to another source, the name originates from the hamlet of Grisciano, in the comune of Accumoli, near Amatrice.
Spaghetti All’Amatriciana is generally prepared with guanciale (cured pork cheek) and grated pecorino. Guanciale is not common in the United States. You would have to check at specialty shops to find it and even then it’s difficult to find. It is possible to replace the guanciale with pancetta but you would want a thick cut pancetta if possible. Pecorino cheese can be found at specialty markets like Sprouts or Whole Foods. I use pecorino when I can find it but if not I replace it with a parmesan cheese when in a bind.
Another name for it is Sugo all’amatriciana and Bucatini all’Amatriciana which is used with a bucatini pasta that is larger then spaghetti and comes with a hole down the center. I’ve had luck finding this at World Market. Though, for an easier way to go you can just do the Spaghetti All’Amatriciana version.
My lineage is Italian and I was raised on pasta’s like this. You can take away a lot of foods from me for diet restrictions to lose weight or what not but there is NO way your taking my pasta. I would rather be fat! I love my pasta; it’s like my main diet. Yes, it carbs but RUN it off and you will be just fine. Love my pasta and my bacon. I was vegetarian for a few years due to medical reasons and I have to say I really missed bacon!
Is there a food you could never do with out? I’d love to hear about it. Tell me in the comments below
Cooking on Friday’s is NOT my forte’. With that being said, crock pots can come in handy when you want to make a meal and run off to see the new Percy Jackson Sea of Monsters film. These Italian beef sandwiches cook wonderfully easy in the crock pot without to many ingredients too; it is a budget friendly recipe!
The new Percy Jackson movie is definitely a hit in my book. It would be fun to read the entire series but so far I have only accomplished reading the first book. As soon as the first film came out we went to the theaters to see it. Unfortunately, I did not get to see this movie on opening weekend. Though the next film I will make it a point to go see it opening weekend. Did you like the new Percy Jackson film?
After running off to see the new Percy film, since our power was out due to maintenance, we went shopping. The Italian beef for the sandwiches slow cooked the night before. Rue 21 has some great jeans on sale. My daughter picked up four pairs of jeans for $50. Can’t beat that! Once we got home from shopping I just clicked the crock pot on to warm and by dinner time the Italian beef was warmed up for the sandwiches. Made my Friday night cooking easy!
As fall approaches, my Friday nights are spent making easy dinners and watching Haven. This show has an amazing cast! I simply cannot wait for this show to come back on. Guess that means I need to make more easy dinners just like this one. Do you have any easy meals that you make on Friday’s?
Gosh! This sandwich really is the bomb! In Chicago a.k.a Chi-town, you can get these bad boys all around. Here in Texas, we have one joint in a 100 mile radius that sells these but nowhere close to what you get up north. Sometimes it is nice to go out to eat and just grab a drippy sandwich. I wish we had places here that sold good food like this Italian beef sandwich. At least for the meantime I can make these as good as the ones in Chi-town at home. So without further ado here is the recipe!
Today, I am happy to be a part of Food Bloggers Against Hunger and share with you a simple less then $4 recipe for roasted tomato rotini. Before I pass you on to the recipe I would like to share a story with you below.
Here is a bit more on Food Bloggers Against Hunger:
Food Bloggers Against Hunger was created by Nicole from The Giving Table in response to the new documentary, A Place at the Table. Today, April 8, 2013, food bloggers will donate their posts to raise awareness about the film, issues of hunger, and ask their readers to send letters to Congress to protect SNAP funding and make anti-hunger legislation a priority.
A Place at the Table premiered on March 1st, 2013. This documentary from Participant Media—the same studio that brought you Food Inc.—follows three families struggling with food insecurity, and sheds light on the very real problem of hunger in America.
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My first child was born when I was 16, two weeks away from my 17th birthday. He was my perfect birthday gift. With plenty of help from my grandmother, I moved on to get my GED and got a decent job alternating schedules with my grandmother; so my son would never have to go to a daycare. I was a single mom.
Then a few months after giving birth to my son I met Mike. This brilliant full of life individual that I fell passionately in love with at first sight. Another few months pass and with great surprise I find out I am expecting my second child. Mike was immediately excited and got a job at a local ice cream joint. After the baby was born I went to work as a photographer. We eventually got our own apartment. We had two incomes but we still didn’t have enough to afford to pay for the food. We decided to go out and look for help, something that most people fear. We got SNAP which then was called Lone Star and we received WIC. Both programs helped with baby food and formula but still did not cover all food costs for the four of us.
At least we both had creative imaginations and a love for food. We shopped sparingly by buying in bulk such as: rice, pasta, and flour. We bought cheap packages of meat at the meat market, in which, we broke down in to small amounts to last the entire month. Ramen was a necessity in our home. The cheapest pasta you could buy and add a tad of chicken and small handful of spring onions creating a delicious dinner to us. We eventually made enough money to support ourselves.
In 2000, he passed away while I was pregnant with our daughter. I once again needed help with food. Only this time I learned how to make food stretch. That scrapes made great stocks and lemons, grapefruits, and orange peels were easy to make candy out of for the kids. Luckily, three years later I would meet another man, my V, that would step in to help me with the kids and to follow my dreams. The kids are all now beautiful teenagers and the middle one works in a restaurant. Not everyone can be this lucky. More then 50 million people are food insecure (no means to have a constant nutritious meal).
To this day I still make some of the recipes we created to save on food costs. Continuously buying bulk foods to stock in the pantry never knowing when we could end up with out money for food. Always playing it safe I bought a deep freeze and I over stock it just like my pantry. These are not bad practices to always make sure if you lose a job or become short on money that you will still have food to last; even in a natural disaster or power outage the food that is needed will be there.
So, how can YOU (and all of us) help?
- Find a screening of A Place at the Table in your city.
- Watch A Place at the Table on iTunes or Amazon.
- Tell Congress to change their priorities and fund Federal nutrition programs that are crucial for hungry children. (sign the petition in the previous link)
My recipe that will feed 5 people for under $4 total.
Fried chicken jalapeno bacon fettuccine alfredo recipe is below but first a little story. Yesterday we went to see the final edition to the Twilight Saga Breaking Dawn Part II. I was not so sure how well it would match the book prior to watching the movie. The movie literally hit the nail on the head in comparison to the book. There was plenty rumors that movie is not as good as it’s predecessors. To be honest, it was one of my two favorites, the other being New Moon. If your a vampire or wolf fan let me know what you thought of the movie in the comments. No spoilers! No whining about sparkling vampires either
On to the food! Below the food is the giveaway for Devo’s Jalapeno Fettuccine!
Big thank you to Devo Olive Oil for sending out a package of jalapeno fettuccine. It was absolutely delicious! The fettuccine is a perfect pair with my bacon alfredo sauce. I still cannot wait to try the pumpkin fettuccine and chocolate fettuccine. These are perfect for customized culinary gift baskets.
The jalapeno fettuccine has just enough kick to add the right spice to this meal. There is no burn for me although I can eat pretty spicy food. It was more like a tickle and I think that is just perfect for a pasta dish. The pasta would pair well with Cajun dishes featuring shrimp, crab, or crawfish.
Devo Olive Oil was please to offer one of my readers a chance to win and test out the jalapeno fettuccine I used in this recipe!
To enter the giveaway fill out the rafflecopter below.
*Disclosure: Devo Olive Oil is providing one package of jalapeno fettuccine. I was not reimbursed for writing this post and all opinions expressed are my own.
Everyone needs an easy weeknight dinner that you can pop into the oven and ignore while you work on everything else. Tuscan chicken is a simple oven dish. You may use fresh herbs to top it when cooking or if you get heartburn from them like I do, then no herbs is just fine too!
I prefer just fresh basil in mine. Some people like thyme, bay leaf, or rosemary. The taste of roasted tomatoes and the buttery flavor of the fingerling potatoes make a merry match.
Most of you are probably wondering if this Eggplant Mozzarella is a take on the traditional Eggplant Parmesan. Yes, this is but my teens tend to not like the taste of Parmesan. Yes, I know they are definitely weird; I tell them this daily. Parmesan is one of my most favorite stinky cheeses; though most would call it nutty. It is not usual to use a different cheese as my great grandmother would use provolone between the layers of the fried goodness. She always cut her eggplant in rounds after peeling the skin. On the other hand I prefer to cut the eggplant length wise after peeling off the skin. Most think you must rub the eggplant down with salt and drain it. This is an extra process that is not needed if your frying the eggplant. I have found that salting the eggplant make it too tender and has a awful texture.
Eggplant mozzarella is a fantastic Meatless Monday dish. It is hearty and serves well for a man that prefers meat dishes. My other half is a meat and potatoes type of guy. He was born in Czech Republic and grew up with his parents in the states. While he loves pizza he still has a tendency to gear toward Czech style food which is fried or roasted with gravies and grease. I am not by far complaining as I LOVE this style of food. However, on occasion it is nice to have something somewhat healthy. What recipe do you make for Meatless Monday that can easily replace a meat dish? If you have any tricks up your sleeve I would love to know about them. As for the eggplant, you may top it with cheese and side it with garlic bread. I like to side it with fresh basil and garlic bread myself.
I am excited to announce an another brilliant giveaway. Muir Glen Reserve Kits which have canned organic tomatoes and a recipe booklet! I have the opportunity to giveaway five of these lovely baskets! The giveaway ends 10/15/2012. Please follow the instructions below the picture in the Rafflecopter to enter to win a Muir Glen Reserves Kits giveaway.
The kit contains:
- One 14.5 oz can Reserve Harvest Sunset Organic Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes
- One 14.5 oz can Reserve Harvest Sunset Organic Diced Tomatoes
- One 14.5 oz can Muir Glen Organic Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes with Green Chilies
- One 14.5 oz can Muir Glen Organic No-Salt Added Diced Tomatoes
- A recipe booklet featuring a variety of recipes created by award-winning chefs from around the country made with the 2011 Reserve Tomatoes
- Retail Value: $10 excluding shipping
You can also find all the information about Muir Glen their newest website: www.muirglen.com
Enter using the Rafflecopter below.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
*Disclosure: Muir Glen is providing five baskets. I was not reimbursed for writing this post and all opinions expressed are my own.
Yay! The blog and I have made it two years. Though, I am a few days late on this post due to my birthday and the cold front that swept in and made everything so dark that there would be no way to get one single natural light photograph. At least the sun is back out and my son and I can have some fun photographing our favorite lunch container by Frego!
Today, for the blogiversary, I am giving away one Frego lunch container! This beast is the guru of all lunch containers. One of my very personal favorites! Here is a video to tell you why it is my favorite with all the super cool features this container comes with. We’ve used this container over and over and it works very well in the microwave and the oven. It’s sturdy and the double seal is fantastic; no leaks!
I wanted to share a recipe that I use to put in my Frego container. It’s an older recipe on the blog but one of my absolute favorites when the Autumn air comes rolling in.
For the giveaway just follow instructions in the Rafflecopter below.
*Disclosure: I was given two containers from Frego to review. I was not reimbursed for writing this post and all opinions expressed are my own.
After months of promising this recipe for bucatini all’amatriciana it is finally here. Guanciale (pork cheek) is not common in the US, which means you must replace it with the closest item, that item is pancetta. Pancetta in a block is also hard to locate but at least we have one Italian market and deli in town. Finding the pancetta was the simple part.
I would eventually go on a three month endeavor to find bucatini pasta. Bucatini is a No. 12 pasta that resembles spaghetti but has a elongated hole running complete through it. Luckily, World Market is renovating their stores and recently stocked it with bucatini. I purchased five packages I was so excited!
Bucatini all”Amatriciana is a dish that made it popular in Rome. It is named after the tiny town of Amatrice. It is said that the shepherds love this meal to warm up from the chilly mountain air.
I just love any excuse to have fresh basil in the house as the aroma is delightful! If anyone is interested, I can add the recipe of how to make your own peeled tomatoes to replace the canned tomatoes within this recipe. Canned can be bought but are sometimes hard to locate.
The lovely team at OXO sent me a Cherry Pitter to test out. I am already bias to OXO tools since everything I have tested is wonderful! The cherry pitter is simple to use even for my left handed daughter who is 12. She was excited to use the new tool and insists that I buy all OXO tools for her to use in the kitchen because it is difficult for her with most kitchen gadgets. As you can see below it pops out the seed and has a splatter proof shield.
Here she is using the cherry pitter to pit the rainier cherries for this rainier cherry ricotta cobbler recipe.
In addition to the cherry pitter, OXO is running a recipe contest which will be judged by creativity, taste, and presentation. Below is my recipe for Rainier Cherry Ricotta Cobbler in which I am entering into the OXO Cherry Recipe Contest. The ricotta acts as an ice cream in this dish and it is topped with a crumble crust regularly featured on cobblers with a fresh topping of Rainier cherries that have been tossed lightly in honey added to the top with more honey drizzled over the entire dish.
I hope you all enjoy this refreshing dessert in this relentless heat.