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Fettuccine with Bell Pepper Sauce

This pasta was inspired from my new book, The Silver Spoon: Pasta.  I'm still enjoying making pasta from scratch and this was my first attempted at making fettuccine.  The hardest part of making your own noodles is trying to find places to hang them while you process all the dough.  Lots of stores sell fancy pasta hanging gadgets.  They look great, but my kitchen is just to small, and I have to be very careful with my limited storage space.  So I have to improvise.  Last night I hung clean towels over my kitchen cupboards.  And hung the strands of fettuccine neatly across them.  I have found that if I just flour the cut pasta and put it in a bunch it will take on that shape, and not look as pretty after you boil it.  So I prefer to hang it till I am ready to boil it.  I am very tempted to us a broom stick next time, prop from on corner of my kitchen to the other, and just hang the pasta that way.  It might cause a small problem though if I need to get into the refrigerator.

Any way this pasta sauce is very easy to make and you don't need to make your own pasta; however, I would recommend you buy fresh fettuccine from your local market.  Trader Joe's sells a very nice product.  This sauce is very versatile in my opinion.  You could cut the fat out by adding less cream and using chicken stock.  You could very easily substitute different vegetables in your puree and serve it with chicken, or shrimp over pasta.  I am very tempted to use this sauce in vegetable style lasagna, and as a topper to some home made raviolis.  Enjoy!


  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 3 red bell peppers, seeded and sliced
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 12 ounces fresh fettuccine pasta
  • 1 tsp marjoram
  • 2 tsp fresh basil, chiffonade, plus extra for garnish
  • kosher salt and pepper to taste
  • freshly grated Parmesan cheese for garnish


Boil a large pot of water for cooking the pasta.

Heat a large sauce pan over low heat; add olive oil, garlic, and shallot.  Cook over low heat for 10 minutes.  Add chopped bell peppers, cook over low heat for 10 minutes stirring occasionally.  After vegetables are tender stir in the marjoram; turn heat off, and let them cool for about 4 minutes.  After they are cooled off transfer them into a food processor, and process to a puree.  I had to work in batches, mini food processor!! 

Return puree to sauce pan, over low heat add cream.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Keep covered and on low heat.

Add 1 tsp of kosher salt to the boiling water, cook fettuccine till it is al dente, 4-5 minutes.  Drain pasta, pour it into the sauce pot.

Mix well, add fresh basil and serve.  Garnish each plate with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and basil.  Serves 4.


Daring Bakers’ Challenge: Gluten-free Graham Wafers and Nanaimo Bars

The January 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Lauren of Celiac Teen. Lauren chose Gluten-Free Graham Wafers and Nanaimo Bars as the challenge for the month. The sources she based her recipe on are 101 Cookbooks and 

This was a very interesting challenge.  I had to try a few stores to get the gluten free flours, but it was worth it.  In the end I made a beautiful treat that pays tribute to the start of the winter Olympics, Canada, and brings awareness to Celiac Disease.

I have never had Nanaimo Bars before.  I followed the recipe provided pretty much all the way; however, I did add cherry extract to the top layer of the bar.  If you can't find non gluten flour, regular all purpose flour can be used. 

Gluten-Free Graham Wafers

  • 1 cup sweet rice flour (also known as glutinous rice flour)
  • 3/4 cup tapioca flour
  • 1/2 cup sorghum flour (also known as brown rice flour)
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 7 Tbsp unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes and frozen
  • 1/3 cup honey, mild-flavored such as clover.
  • 5 Tbsp whole milk
  • 2 Tbsp pure vanilla extract


Combine flours, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt in food processor; pulse on the till it is mixed up.  Add the butter and pulse on low till it is the consistency of coarse meal.

In a medium size bowl whisk together honey, milk, and vanilla; add the flour mixture till the dough starts to come together.  Turn the dough out onto a floured surface (use the sweet rice flour).  Kneed dough a few times, and then form the dough into a rectangle and cover in plastic wrap.  Refrigerate the dough for at-least two hours, over night is preferred.

After you chill the dough; cut the dough in half and return one half to the refrigerator.  I have a small kitchen so I cut it into quarters.  Work on a floured surface, again using the sweet rice flour.  Roll the dough out to about 1/8th of an inch.  Cut the dough into squares or use a cutter if you are feeling fancy.  Place grams on a lined cookie sheet.  Poke holes in each gram with a tooth pick, about 6 wholes per gram.  Make sure you do not poke all the way through.  Store grams in refrigerator for a half hour before baking.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, put one rack at the most bottom position in your oven, and the other rack at the most top position.  Put one cooking sheet on the top rack and one on the bottom, cook for 8 minutes and then rotate sheets racks from bottom to top, and cook for another 8 minutes (if you are using all purpose flour; please note they will cook faster).

Cool grams on a rack.  After they are cooled put enough grams into food processor to make 1 ¼ cup crumbs. 

Nanaimo Bars


Bottom Layer
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 5 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 1/4 cups gluten free graham wafer crumbs
  • 1/2 cup raw almonds, finely chopped
  • 1 cup shredded coconut, sweetened or unsweetened
Middle Layer
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, soften
  • 2 Tbsp and 2 tsp Heavy Cream
  • 2 Tbsp vanilla custard powder, instant vanilla pudding can be substituted
  • 2 cups confectioners sugar
Top Layer
  • 4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp cherry extract 

Bottom layer:
Heat up double broiler; add butter, sugar, and cocoa powder.  Melt mixture, after its melted mix in egg; combine till mixture is smooth.  Add gram crumbs, almonds, and coconut; mix well and press mixture into a 6 by 8 inch baking dish.

Middle layer:
Beat together butter, cream, custard powder, and confectioners sugar.  Once it is combines make a nice neat layer on top of the gram cracker layer.

Top layer:
Heat double broiler; melt butter with chocolate and cherry extract.  Cool chocolate mixture before poring it on top of the custard layer.  Chill for a few hours, cut and serve.  Enjoy


Caldo Verde Soup

This recipe was inspired from 1 Stock, 100 Soups, by Linda Doeser.  Caldo Verde soup is traditionally made made with Kale and Linguica sausage.  I decided to use Chicken Andouille Sausage and Napa Cabbage.  I went with the cabbage because I had it left over from another recipe, and decided to use chicken andouille sausage over linguica because it is much healthier.

The end result gives you a very rustic hearty soup that will kick the chill out of any winter rainy day, and its easy on your pocket book.  The cabbage is briefly cooked right before service so it is tender and still a little crispy, and the spiciness of the sausage adds the right about of zing.  Enjoy!


  • 3 Tbsp olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
  • 1 sweet onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 3 large potatoes, diced
  • 6 ½ cups vegetable stock
  • 12 ounces chicken andouille sausage, thinly sliced
  • 4 cups napa cabbage, finely chopped
  • 2 green onions, chopped for garnish
  • kosher salt and pepper to taste


Heat large stockpot over medium heat, add 1 tbsp of olive oil.  Place the sausage slices in the pot, do not overcrowd the pan; work in batches.  Let sausages cook for a few minutes till the develop a small crust, then flip them over and cook for another minute or two.  Removed sausage from stock pot.  There should not be much oil left behind in the pan, only the drippings from the sausage, this is the nice part about working with the chicken sausage.

Turn heat down to low and add 2 tbsp olive oil, onions and garlic to stock pot, with a tsp of kosher salt.  Cook them till they are softened; about five minutes.  Add chopped potatoes and stir; cook for three minutes.  Increase heat to medium and add vegetable stock.  Bring soup to boil then turn heat down to low; cover and simmer for 10 minutes, or till potatoes are tender.

Remove stockpot from heat and mash potatoes using a potato masher.  Taste soup and add salt and pepper to taste.  Add cabbage and sausage to the soup and simmer for 5 minutes.  Serve immediately; garnish with green onions and drizzle of olive oil.  

Serves 6


Daring Cooks Challenge: Pork Satay with Peanut Sauce

The January 2010 DC challenge was hosted by Cuppy of Cuppylicious and she chose a delicious Thai-inspired recipe for Pork Satay from the book 1000 Recipes by Martha Day.

The rules for this challenge were pretty simple, the challenge left room for lots of creativity.  I chose to make Pork Satay over Chicken or Beef because Pork Satay was something I have not made before.  I also followed Cuppy's recipe pretty much all the through, except for adding jalapeno pepper to the marinade instead of dragon chili.  I also followed the recipe provided for the peanut dipping sauce.

This is my first challenge and I am so excited to have joined the Daring Kitchen, and I am looking forward to the monthly Daring Baker and Daring Cook challenges.  Enjoy!

Marinade Ingredients:

  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp ginger root, chopped
  • ½ jalapeno pepper, seeds removed and chopped
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 pound of pork (loin or shoulder cuts)


Combine onion, garlic, ginger, jalapeno, lemon, soy sauce, coriander, cumin, turmeric and olive oil in a food processor.   Mix on low till it resembles a chunky sauce.

I used boneless baby back rib pieces, and with that came a lot of trimming, I tried to cut the pork into one inch strips; some are bigger and some are smaller.  So I had to adjust the cooking time on some of them. 

Place prepared pork in a bowl and combine with the marinade.  Pork should marinade from 12-24 hours.  The longer the better (:

Skewer pork, and broil for 8-10 minutes a side.

Flip when they start to turn brown on the edges.  I think the preferred cooking method for satay is barbecuing them, and I would have barbecued them if the laws regarding apartments and barbecue did not exist.  I had to broil mine in batches.

Peanut Sauce


  • 3/4 cup coconut milk
  • 4 Tbsp peanut butter
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1-2 dried red chilies, chopped


In a small bowl combine lemon juice, soy sauce, brown sugar, cumin, coriander and red chilies.  Heat a sauce pan over medium heat and combine peanut butter and coconut milk; add the lemon and soy mixture, and melt mixture together.  Serve in a dipping bowl along side the Pork Satay, enjoy!




Yes I know, another pasta entry. I promise this will be the last one for a while. I really wanted to try making lasagna with fresh pasta, and it was so worth it. Actually it was not that much work and the more I use my pasta attachments the easier the whole process seems to get. None the less this lasagna is packed full of flavor and will feed us for the next month. After I made this dish I was sad that we had no one to share it with. This is a dish made of love and you can taste it in every bite.

This recipe can be made in stages and prepped in advance. Perfect for entertaining! Enjoy!


  • 2 16 ounce cans tomato sauce
  • 2  6 ounce cans tomato paste
  • 2 small onions, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 pound sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp marjoram
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1 pound mozzarella cheese, grated
  • 1/2 cup parmigiana cheese, grated
  • 2 ½ cups of ricotta cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp flat leaf parsley
  • 1-1/4 pound lasagna sheets
  • kosher salt
  • freshly grated black pepper
  • olive oil
  • large lasagna baking dish 12 by 3 inches


Heat a large sauce pan over low to medium heat; season beef and sausage with salt and pepper, and slowly cook for about 15-20 minutes.  Using a wooden spoon brake up large pieces of beef and sausage while it is cooking.  Once the meat is no longer pink remove meat from skillet; drain, and discard all the fat sauce pan.  Add one tablespoon of olive oil, onion and carrot to the same sauce pan and saute over low to medium heat till tender.  Once tender add the garlic; saute for one minute and then return ground meat to sauce pan.

Mix in both cans of tomato sauce and tomato paste, water, oregano, marjoram, basil and salt and pepper to taste.  Bring sauce to a simmer over medium heat; after you reach a nice bubbly simmer turn the heat all the way down and cover sauce.  Cook sauce for at least one hour; sauce can be made a day in advanced and in my opinion tastes better when I make it in advance.

In a medium size bowl mix together ¼ cup parmigiana cheese, 2 ½ cups ricotta cheese, 2 eggs, 1 tbsp flat leaf parsley, and salt and pepper to test.  Set aside for assembly.


Coat the bottom of your lasagna pan with olive oil; a few tablespoons will do.  Bring a large pot of water to boil; salt water and put four lasagna sheets into the boiling water.  Boil fresh past sheets for 2 minutes (boil for 5 minutes if you are using dry store purchased sheets); remove sheets, place them in cold water to stop the cooking process.  Dry them off and set them in your lasagna dish.  I made my lasagna sheets from scratch and I had to build my lasagna layer at a time.  If you are using dried lasagna sheets you can cook them all at once and place them on a cookie sheet, coat each sheet with olive oil to prevent sticking.

After setting up your first set up lasagna sheets, take 1/3 of the ricotta cheese mixture and spreed it evenly over the sheets of lasagna.  Take about 2 cups of the meat sauce and spread it evenly over the ricotta mixture.  Sprinkle ¼ of the graded mozzarella cheese over the sauce, along with 1 tablespoon parmigiana.

Boil 4 more lasagna sheets for two minutes; remove them from the water, and place them on top to form your next layer.

Build this layer the same as the last, ricotta, sauce, mozzarella.  Boil four more lasagna sheets for two minutes and build another layer using the last of the ricotta mixture, sauce and mozzarella.   Boil the last 4 lasagna sheets for two minutes and place in your lasagna pan to form the final layer.  Distribute the last of the sauce over the top of the lasagna sheets; and sprinkle the rest of the mozzarella cheese and parmigiana.

Cover lasagna with foil and bake for an hour in a 350 degree oven.  Let lasagna sit for 15 minutes before slicing.  This dish will feed a small army of hobbits, enjoy!

The next is for the brave pasta makers, just kidding its really not that hard.  The machine does all the work.

Lasagna Sheets:


  • 4 large eggs
  • 1-2 tbsp water
  • 3 ¼ cups all purpose flour
  • ½ tsp kosher salt


Mix flour eggs, water, and salt in mixing bowl.  Use kitchen aid mixer to need the dough, or do by hand.  Make four disks out of dough and wrap them in plastic wrap; refrigerate for 1 hour.  Work with one disk at a time.  Make sure your lasagna pan is ready along with your sauce and cheese filling.  Each disk will make 4 perfect size lasagna sheets; you will have odd and end pieces that I did not use, or even bother to boil.

Take your 4 inch disk and feed it threw the pasta sheet attachment on setting 1; mixer speed 2.  Fold dough in half and feed through again, do this three times.  Turn attachment to setting #2 and feed sheet threw.  Turn attachment to setting # 3 and feed sheet threw.  Does this for each setting till you reach setting number 5, I took one of my sheets to setting #6 but it seemed to thin for lasagna.

Take large rectangle and cut into lasagna style sheets.  I measured my lasagna dish and figured that the bottom strips would need to be around 10 inches long and the top strips would need to be around 12.

If you are worried make them a little long and re size them after you boil them.  My kitchen is very small and as I stated before I worked in very small batches, four sheets at a time.  Good luck! 


Spaghetti with Marinara Sauce, topped with Crispy Prosciutto and Goat Cheese

I am pretty inspired right now to make fresh pasta dishes.  You can buy the noodles from your local market if you do not have the time, or passion for making fresh pasta.  The marinara sauce is perfect in my opinion; it has a nice balanced flavor from the shallots and carrots.  The Prosciutto is crisp and light and goes so well with the melting goat cheese and pasta.  If you have never tried goat cheese, I would recommend getting some soft goat cheese and spreading it on your morning bagel.  The flavor is very unique and the cheese can be used in sweet or savory dishes.

Marinara Sauce

  • 1 15 ounce can of tomato sauce
  • 1 4 ounce can of tomato paste
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • ½ carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp olive oil


Heat olive oil in a sauce pan over medium heat, add shallots.  Saute shallots and carrot till they are tender; about 7 minutes.  Add garlic to sauce pan, saute for another minute.  Add tomato sauce, paste, salt, oregano and water.  Bring pot till a boil; then turn your temperature down to low, cover and simmer for about an hour.

Crispy Prosciutto

  • 5 slices of Prosciutto


Preheat oven to 375 degrees; line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Spread the prosciutto out evenly over baking sheet.

Bake prosciutto for 7 minutes; take the prosciutto out of the oven and flip it over, and bake for another 7 minutes.  Watch this closely as it can burn.  Take prosciutto off baking dish and set on paper towels to drain. (this can be done in advaced and set aside till you are ready to plate)

Pasta: (now you can skip this part and just purchase past from the store, 1 lb will do).

  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 1/3 cup all purpose flour
  • ½ tsp salt


Combine all ingredients in mixing bowl; mix with a heavy spoon till combined.  Attach bowl to mixer; attach dough hook and kneed on setting #2 for 2 minutes.  If mixture seems dry and another table spoon of water.  Take dough out of mixing bowl, and kneed by hand for 2 minutes.  Take dough and separate it into four disks.  Wrap disks in plastic wrap, and store in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes.  I have found that working this dough on a floured server with wet hands helps the dough kneed and combine nicely.

Work with one disk at a time.  Roll disk out to a 4 by 4 in disk; about ¼ inch thick.   Attach the pasta sheet attachment to mixer; put it on setting # 1.  Turn your mixer on to speed #2, and feed disk threw.  Take pasta sheet and fold it in half feed it through again, do this a total of 3 times.  Change the setting on your pasta machine to 2; turn your mixer on to speed #2, feed pasta threw.  Change the setting on your pasta machine to 3; turn your mixer on to speed #2, feed pasta threw. Continue this same process till you reach setting number 6 on your attachment. 

Remove the pasta roller attachment from mixer, and attach the spaghetti making attachment.  Cut your pasta sheets to the 5 inches by 12 inches; basically cut your large rectangle into 3 smaller rectangles.  You do not want your spaghetti noodles to be 24 inches long.

Run each sheet through the spagaetti attachement, set noodles on a plate.  Switch out attachement and repeat steps for the last 3 disks of pasta dough.  Cook pasta right away or hang to dry.

Boil a large pot of water, salt and add about a tbsp of olive oil.  Cook pasta for about 4-5 minutes till al dente.  Drain pasta and combine in sauce pan with marinara sauce.


  • 2 tbsp chopped green onion
  • 1/3 cup soft goat cheese
  • 5 slices of crispy prosciutto


Garnish with chopped green onions, dots of goat cheese, and one piece of crumbled crispy prosciutto.  Serves 4-5 people.


Homemade Crab Ravioli

I am the happy and lucky(bell) owner of a Kitchen Aid Mixer.  This Christmas I received the pasta making attachment kit.  It came with three attachments,  fettuccine roller,  pasta roller, spaghetti roller.  I don't think you need a fancy pasta roller to make fabulous pasta, but it can't hurt.

For new years we had king crab legs, and I decided the best place to use the left overs would be in a ravioli.  I wanted to keep this simple because this was my first fresh pasta experience, and I wanted my pasta to sparkle like Edward.  So it's a simple ravioli served with a very simple lemon olive sauce.  Enjoy!

Pasta Dough Ingredients:
  • 2 ½ cups all purpose flour
  • 2 large eggs, beaten + 1 egg reserve for egg wash
  • 1 ½ tsp kosher salt

Add flour, eggs, and salt to mixing bowl.  Combine by hand with a spoon, then kneed dough using your dough hook on setting number two for two minutes.  Dough should not stick to hands when you pinch it together; if dough seems too dry add a tbsp of water and kneed for another minute.

Remove dough from mixer and kneed by hand on floured board; kneed for about two minutes.  Section dough into four pieces, and store in refrigerator for at least 20 minutes; dough can be stored over night.  Caution do not over work your dough or it will dry out.

While the dough is in the refrigerator prepare your ravioli filling and sauce.

Crab Filling Ingredients:
  • 1 Cup fresh crab
  • 1 shallot, finally chopped
  • 3/4 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 tbsp Italian flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh basil, chopped

Mix crab, shallot, ricotta cheese, parsley, and basil- set aside in refigerator till you are ready to fill ravioli, this can be made in advance (:

  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • zest of one lemon

Grated lemon zest in a non reactive bowl, and olive oil.  Let sit till you are ready to serve.  I used a very special fruity extra virgin olive oil for this recipe.  It came from Napa, Ca I believe. 

Making Ravioli

Boil large pot of water.

Create pasta sheets by using your manufactures instructions or simply rolling them out by hand.  Use one disk at a time. 

Take one disk out of refrigerator and roll it into a 4 inch disk, about ¼ inch think.

Turn mixer to setting #2 and feed the disk through the roller (roller on setting #1).  Take the dough and fold it in half and feed it through again; repeat three times.  Turn mixer off and change your pasta attachment to setting #2; feed through roller.  Turn mixer off and turn your attachment to setting #3; feed through roller.  Continue doing this one setting up each time till you reach setting #6.


Take your large rectangle of dough and cut in into strips 2.5 in by 5 in .

Take one hefty tsp of filling in the middle of each square; brush with egg wash and crimp together with another square of pasta.

Transfer sealed ravioli to floured baking sheet.

Season pot of boiling water with salt and 1 tbsp olive oil.  Drop ravioli in water and cook for about 5-7 minutes till al dente.  Serve ravioli with a drizzle of the infused olive oil sauce and top with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and fresh parsley.