Pastitsio

Pastitsio is a Greek pasta dish that is both fun to say and a joy to eat. I had only first learned of the dish after reading about it from Peter, one of my favorite Greek food bloggers. The dish somewhat reminds me of lasagna in that it’s a hearty blend of pasta, meaty sauce, and a creamy Bechamel sauce all baked into gooey deliciousness. However, the flavor and texture is quite distinct from lasagna but still has all the amazing comfort food properties that will have you making this over and over again.

Pastitsio

The first major difference: tubular pasta instead of big sheets. I couldn’t find the authentic bucatini, so I used ziti. Then, the meat sauce isn’t a traditional bolognese, but a quicker-to-make tomato and… click to read more…

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Lamb Goulash

In researching goulash, I came to appreciate that this dish is like chili–not in terms of flavors, but in terms of the heated arguments about how no matter what you’re approach, whatever you’re doing is not authentic and is simply wrong. So since I was clearly doomed to fail from the get go, I figured I might as well take some liberties with it anyways, right? However it’s made though, this stew is just the thing to warm your bones this winter.

Purists would argue that goulash is not a place for tomatoes or peppers and that all such flavor should come from the paprika (since if you didn’t know, unlike most others, this dish is very much about the paprika). I avoided the former but not so much the latter–I enjoy eating peppers more than I enjoy the approval of purists. I also furthered… click to read more…

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Ragù alla Bolognese (Bolognese Sauce)

When I was young, pasta came with one of two sauces: tomato or meat. Now, I can appreciate that there’s a lot more to “meat sauce” than I used to think there was, and anybody who has ever tried to pursue that perfect Bolognese sauce knows just what I mean. For instance, despite its appearance, tomato should not be a huge part of the sauce–a variety of meats, slowly braised and simmered, is the true star, giving this sauce a full body and an incredible complexity. Of course, no matter how you make it, it won’t be hard to find somebody else who does it completely differently. Ragù alla Bolognese is one of those personal, family tradition kind of sauces that has as many recipes as there are people on the planet at any given moment.

I was inspired by the insightsclick to read more…

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Pasta with Sage Pumpkin Cream Sauce

Pumpkins generally mean dessert in my mind. Its not like I’ve never made savory dishes that highlight pumpkin before, but still, that association is a stubborn one in my head. So I thought I’d try once again to shake it off by making a pumpkin sauce. In this case, a sage pumpkin cream sauce to go with pasta, sausage, and bacon.

This seemed like a good idea, but I had no idea how good it was going to be. For how simple this seemed, the flavor really blew me away–this was awesome. The sauce was incredibly thick–bordering on macaroni & cheese style thick (granted, I did enrich it with a healthy portion of Parmigiano Reggiano)–and the flavor was surprisingly rich. If I had to describe it in just one word, I would say “autumn” (which means a lot in hot Florida at this time… click to read more…

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Chicken Teriyaki Lo Mein

Asian cookery isn’t one of my strongest areas, so I have a tougher time dissecting flavors. Teriyaki sauce, one of those universal favorites, has always eluded me. The only way I could have it would either be by buying a bottle from the grocery store or having some haute cuisine on a toothpick at the mall. If this sounds familiar, I imagine you’ll be surprised by how simple Chicken Teriyaki can be.

I was originally inspired to try this after seeing some delicious looking Salmon Teriyaki over at Closet Cooking and I was almost shocked by how simple the basic teriyaki sauce was. It almost seemed too easy, but I figured why not just give it a shot. Tasting each component of the sauce individually, I dunno, I still had my doubts. But mixed all together, it was… click to read more…

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Creamy Mustard Pasta

When I think pasta, my head usually gets stuck on one of two kinds of sauces: tomato-based or garlic & cream-based. So imagine my delight when I saw a mustard-based sauce over at Thyme for Cooking. In retrospect, it doesn’t seem at all far-fetched, but it was eye opening at the time, so I had to try my hand at Creamy Mustard Pasta.

This dish is very largely inspired by Katie’s dish and I am very glad I tried it (not to mention beans in pasta, another new idea!)–as soon as we ran out, my wife demanded another batch be made promptly. I wanted something colorful and just full of earthy, vegetal flavors, so there’s a lot of that going on here: peppers, mushrooms, artichokes, kidney beans, pine nuts, etc. This was all tossed with bow-tie pasta (I usually don’t venture far away from linguine, so… click to read more…

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