Entries Tagged as 'italian'

She’s Back! And Grosser than Ever! Bloody Eyeballs for your Halloween Dining Pleasure.

Heh. And eye thought eye had lost my mojo. Well looky what’s in store for you guys! :D [Read more →]

Meat-a-balls-a! Or, Daaaaang that’s good.

What could be better than a meatball sub? [Read more →]

Squisito! Risotto al Nero di Seppia

Ok, so how’s my Italian so far? hmmm?  lol  Italian is such a beautiful language…just hearing it makes me happy.  The way the words flow, and the intonation, well, it’s a language I would love to learn.  Languages have always fascinated me…ever since childhood I wanted to learn Spanish, and once in high school, I found that I loved it!  Then, I moved on to French…and after that, Japanese in college.  Italian has been on my list of things to learn, though, for quite a long time.  I wonder if it’s possible to teach one’s self a language?  Probably not, huh? lol  Some day.  Some.  Day.  In the meantime, cooking Italian dishes and coming up with corny Italian titles for them will have to suffice. hehe (**let me clarify…I am NOT fluent in all of these languages…only English and Spanish! lol  I have only studied them, and love them. :D )

Risotto Negro, or “Black Rice,” is another one of the things we ordered on our night out.  At the restaurant, they served it with pan seared monkfish, but, I thought that prawns would be better suited.  I like monkfish when it’s prepared to mock lobster, but other than that….not so much.  (Do you have any suggestions for improving the texture?  It always seems so rubbery.  yuck :P )  This particular variation of Risotto is made with squid ink, which gives it its signature color.  If you’ve never tried squid ink, please consider it.  It has such a divine, subtle flavor…just hinting at the taste of the squid (calamaro or seppia).  Even Mr. Picky Pants loves this rice–and that, my friends, is saying something. lol

So let’s get cooking, shall we?


2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 large onion, minced
2 very ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced
1 roasted red pepper, diced
2 cups rice
1 cup dry white wine
4-6 cups fish stock (I used prawn stock I had in the freezer–the amount will vary depending on your tastes)
3 envelopes of squid ink (12 grams total), or 3 squid ink sacks
1 cup parmesan cheese, freshly grated
2 pounds (1 kilo) prawns, steamed
alioli to garnish


Before anything, combine the squid ink packets with a small amount of water and thoroughly combine.
Heat oil and butter over moderate heat.
Saute garlic until golden, then add onion, tomato and pepper (save a little bit of pepper for garnish).
Continue to saute until tender, then add in rice and stir well for about 2-3 minutes.
Add wine and reduce, stirring constantly.
When wine is absorbed, add broth, ladle by ladle waiting for the liquid to absorb before adding more. You’ll need to stir this constantly as you cook it, to avoid sticking and burning.
When the rice is nearly done (depends on how you like your rice, and whether you like it drier or with more of a brothy feel), add in the squid ink mixture and thoroughly combine.
Test your rice for seasoning, and adjust salt and pepper.
Add in the parmesan and stir to combine.
Remove from heat and serve immediately, garnished with steamed prawns, chopped roasted peppers and alioli.


2-3 cucharadas aceite de oliva virgen
2 cucharadas mantequilla
3-4 dientes de ajo, majados
1 cebolla grande, picadita
2 tomates maduros, pelados, sin semillas, y picados
1 pimiento rojo asado, picado
2 vasos arroz
1 vaso vino blanco seco
4-6 vasos fumet de pescado (Utilicé fumet de langostinos que tenía congelado. La cantidad varía dependiendo de los gustos de uno)
3 paquetes tinta de calamar (12 gramos en total), o 3 bolsitas de tinta de calamar
1 vaso queso parmesano, recién rallado
1 kilo langostinos, cocinados al vapor
alioli para acompañar


Antes que nada, mezclar los paquetes de tinta con un poquito de agua.
Calentar el aceite y la mantequilla sobre fuego medio alto.
Sofreir el ajo hasta que esté dorado, y a continuación, añadir la cebolla, el tomate y el pimiento (reservar un poco de pimiento para adornar después).
Seguir sofriendo hasta que esté todo tiernito y a continuación añadir el arroz, removiendo constantemente.
Añadir el vino y reducir, removiendo constantemente.
Cuando se haya absorbido el vino, añadir el fumet de pescado poco a poco (cucharón a cucharón) asegurando que se haya absorbido todo el líquido antes de añadir mas. Tendrás que removerlo constantemente para evitar que se pegue ni que se queme.
Cuando el arroz esté casi hecho (dependiendo de como te gusta el arroz…mas seco o mas caldoso), añadir la mezcla de tinta de calamar y remover bien.
Comprobar el sazón y rectificar la sal y la pimienta.
Añadir el queso parmesano y remover bien.
Retirar del fuego y servir de inmediato, adornado de langostinos, pimientos asados y alioli.

The Best Cup-o-Noodles You’ll Ever Eat! Creamy Pesto Penne

Fresh basil is abound at the vegetable markets, and you know what that means! Pesto! Lots and lots of pesto! It’s such an easy sauce to make, and goes oh so wonderfully well with, well, with *everything!* lol Would you believe the very first time I ever had pesto was at the Renaissance Fair in Southern Minnesota? There was a stand there that had freshly baked dense bread slathered with pesto. I think I went back to that stand like 5 times that day. lmfao Of course after that fateful day, I had to learn to make it on my own. Well, that was over 20 years ago already (and you better not make any old jokes either! :P ), and pesto still pays regular visits to my table. And by regular? I mean like at least once a week.


See those pine nuts in there? Yum. Pine nuts are soooo good…One of my first visits to Spain, we went up to a little town called Ávila. While walking, one of my friends picked up a gigantic pine cone and started eating from it. I was all like, “WHAT are you doing?” And she started laughing at me and showed me that she was eating the fresh pine nuts, straight from the cone. OMG! Free pine nuts! All over the place! Well, needless to say, we picked up a bunch of those suckers and had our fill of those delicious little nuggets. Good times, good times.

And while I’m on the subject of good times, Tony at Olive Juice is having a pesto event (It’s actually part of a series of events called, A Taste of the Mediterranean)!


Doesn’t that sound like fun?! Why don’t you join in and submit one of your own pesto dishes? This time, I’m submitting my old standby, Creamy Pesto Penne. I already have plans for another pesto dish this weekend, too. :D

creamy pesto penne


4 cloves garlic
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts (to toast pine nuts, just toss them in a dry skillet over medium heat until lightly browned and aromatic)
1 large bunch basil (by large, I mean about 3 cups leaves), stemmed
1 small bunch parsley (about a cup), stemmed
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
salt and cracked black pepper to taste
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (about)
3 cups cream
1 pound (1/2 kilo) boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into strips
1 pound (1/2 kilo) penne


Prepare pasta according to package directions.
Meanwhile, make pesto.
Using a food processor, first process garlic, then add basil and parsley and process until finely chopped.
Now toss in the parmesan, salt and pepper and pulse until combined.
In a steady stream, add enough olive oil to bind the pesto (so it sticks together, but isn’t liquid-y).
Add in pine nuts and pulse to combine, you don’t want to break them up entirely..those little nuggets are good! :)
Mix about 1/3 of the pesto with the chicken strips.
Heat a skillet over medium high heat, and drizzle with a bit of olive oil.
Saute chicken until cooked through, then add cream and stir to combine.
Heat through, then remove from heat and add the remaining pesto and stir to combine.
Drain the pasta, and then toss with the creamy pesto sauce and chicken.
Serve with extra parmesan if you like.
Try not to die of happiness and joy with each bite. ;)

Penne con Pollo y Salsa de Pesto Cremoso

4 dientes de ajo
1/2 vaso piñones, ligeramente tostado
1 manojo grande de albahaca fresca, (unos 3 vasos)
1 manojo pequeño de perejil (un vaso)
1/2 vaso queso parmesano recientemente rallado, y mas para servir
sal y pimienta al gusto
1/4 vaso (mas o menos) aceite de oliva virgen
3 vasos nata
1/2 kilo pechuga de pollo en tiras
1/2 kilo pasta penne rigate


Preparar pasta según el paquete.
Mientras tanto, preparar el pesto.
Utilizando el robot de cocina, procesar ajo primero.
A continuación, añadir la albahaca y el perejil y procesar hasta que estén picaditos.
Ahora añadir el parmesano, la sal y la pimienta y procesar.
Verter el aceite poco a poco hasta que el pesto esté homogéneo, pero no líquido.
Añadir los piñones y pulsar un poco, no quieres romperlos del todo–que son buenos! :)
Mezclar la tercera parte de pesto con el pollo.
Calentar una sartén sobre fuego medio fuerte y rociar con aceite de oliva.
Saltear pollo y pesto hasta que esté hecho, y a continuación, añadir la nata.
Calentar solo hasta que la nata esté caliente, y retirar del fuego.
Añadir el pesto que sobra y mezclar bien.
Escurrir la pasta y mezclar con la salsa y el pollo.
Servir con parmesano si quieres.
Intentar no morirse de gusto y felicidad con cada mordisco. ;)

I would also like to thank Elle at Elle’s New England Kitchen for awarding me an I love you this much award!

i love you this much

Thank you so much, Elle! I love YOU that much and MORE!!! MUAC!!! :D

I’d like to pass this award on to some great bloggers:

Nina at Nina’s Kitchen
Judy at No Fear Entertaining
Ginny at Just Get Floury
Gloria at Canela’s Kitchen
Brenda at Flanboyant Eats

That’s Amore! Chicken Parmesan over Spaghetti::¡Eso es Amore! Pollo al Parmesano sobre Espaguetis

Mmm, mmmm, mmmm, mmmm, MMMMH!  I love Italian food.  Don’t you?  Doesn’t everyone?  There’s something to be said for a big ol’ plate of pasta, homemade sauce and bunches of cheese.  This dish is probably more of a winter weather dish, but what the heck?  I figured I’d better sneak it into the menu at least one last time before the hot days of summer sneak upon us.  Soon the menu is going to be all about gazpacho, and grilling’ and mojitos.  But before that, I really felt that we needed to give Chicken Parmesan a proper send off, one last hurrah before it gets tucked away for cooler days.

Oh! And something *new*! Ahora algo *nuevo*! I’m excited to announce that the recipes I post will now be available both in English and in Spanish. Tengo el placer de decir que desde ahora en adelante, todas las recetas que pongo en el web estarán disponibles en inglés y en español. :D

chicken parmesan


2 pounds (1 kilo) spaghetti, cooked according to package directions
2 quarts (2 liters) homemade sauce (about)
2 pounds (1 kilo) chicken fillets
2 eggs plus 2 tablespoons water
2 cups seasoned bread crumbs
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste
olive oil (or olive oil and butter) to fry
1 cup grated mozzarella (about)


You’ll probably want to start your sauce first, seeing as how it simmers a couple of hours.
While your sauce is simmering, prepare the chicken station.
Beat eggs and water in a deep plate.
Combine bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper in another deep plate.
Dip each chicken fillet in egg wash first, then in bread crumb mixture and reserve on a plate.
When your sauce has about 45 minutes left to go, heat up enough oil to coat the bottom of a skillet.
Fry chicken fillets until golden, about 4 minutes per side, depending on thickness of fillets.
Drain chicken on paper towels, then keep warm in a heated oven.
You might want to start your pasta now.
Once all chicken in fried, and pasta is cooked and drained, you’ll want to plate your chicken Parmesan.
Place a bunch of spaghetti on a plate and top with a generous amount of sauce.
Slice a chicken fillet, and place it over the spaghetti and sauce.
Add a little more sauce and top with some mozzarella.
Try not to die of pleasure, because I think that might be a sin. ;) lol

Y ahora en español! :)

chicken parmesan


1 kilo de espaguetis, preparado según el paquete
2 litros salsa de tomate casera (aproximadamente)
1 kilo filetes de pollo
2 huevos mas 2 cucharadas de agua
2 vasos (de Nocilla) pan rallado al ajo y perejil
1/2 vaso queso parmesano recién rallado
sal y pimienta negra al gusto
aceite de oliva (o aceite y mantequilla) para freir
1 vaso queso mozzarella rallado


Querrás empezar con la salsa primero, como tardará unas horitas en hacerse.
Mientras la salsa esté en el fuego, preparar un lugar para el pollo.
Batir los huevos con el agua en un plato hondo.
Mezclar el pan rallado, queso parmesano, sal y pimienta en otro plato hondo.
Pasar los filetes de pollo primero por el huevo/agua y después por el pan.
Reservar en un plato.
Cuando la salsa le quede unos 45 minutos para terminarse, calentar un poco de aceite en una sartén.
Freir los filetes de pollo unos 4 minutos por cada lado, según el grosor.
Escurrir sobre papel de cocina, y reservar en el horno, ligeramente calentado.
A lo mejor querrás empezar la pasta ahora.
Cuando todo el pollo esté frito, la pasta esté cocida y escurrida y la salsa esté hecha, querrás emplatarlo.
Colocar una montañita de espaguetis en el plato, y cubrir con un poco de salsa.
Cortar un filete de pollo en tiras y colocar sobre la pasta.
Cubrir con un poco mas de salsa y espolvorear con queso mozzarella.
Intentar no morirse de gusto, porque creo que eso es un pecado. ;) jijiji

Salsa de Tomate Casera


2 latas (800 gramos) tomates en puré
1 lata (800 gramos) tomates enteras peladas
4-5 dientes de ajo, majados
1 cebolla pequeña, picada
1 pizca de clavo molido
albahaca al gusto
sal marina y pimienta negra al gusto
2 cucharadas azúcar
un chorro de aceite de oliva virgen
100 gramos queso parmesano rallado


En un caldero grande, sofrier el ajo en el aceite primero, hasta que esté doradito.
Majar los tomates (con las manos mismas) y ponerlos en el caldero.
Añadir los ingredientes restantes, incluyendo las albóndigas o carne que quieras y cocer a fuego mínimo durante 3 horas (removiendo de vez en cuando).

ZenChef’s Phenomenal Clam Risotto (but with cockles instead)

So, remember last week, when I was telling you how badly I wanted to try ZenChef’s (over at Chefs Gone Wild) Clam Risotto?  Well, I did it.  I made his absolutely remarkable risotto and I’m sort of half wondering if I have died and gone to heaven?  Did I?  Somebody let me know if you read this post…to let me know if I died or not.  I mean seriously…it’s *that* good.  I even screwed it up a little–I forgot the lemon juice until after we finished eating it.  Did I mention there was not a single grain of rice left over?  We even licked the cockle shells clean.  I was going to make some really inappropriate joke about sucking cockle shells, but I’d better not.  But we did. lol  ;)   If you know me, you know that I cannot follow a recipe exactly.  It really is some sort of impossibility for me.  I do not feel complete if I don’t change things up at least just a little.  After all, a recipe really should just be a springboard for our own creativity, right?  So, I will note my (minimal) changes, even though I did stick pretty close to Zen’s original post

So, would you look at this?  Don’t you just want to dive into that plate of creamy risotto bliss?  Trust me, it’ll be the best dive you’ve ever performed.

zens risotto

Here are my changes:

*Rather than using 6 pounds (3 kilos) of clams, and a pound (1/2 kilo) of mussels I used a combination of cockles, mussels and prawns (peeled, deveined)
*I used 2 1/2 cups rice (because I had only a little left in the bag. Toss it in there, I said.
*I added the prepared prawns to the clam broth, and then added them in with the rice right away (as you know, prawns either need to be quick cooked, or long cooked for them to be tender, so I opted for long cook, so the broth would have a hint of prawn flavor as well)
*I forgot the lemon. :P
*I added freshly grated Parm cheese to serve.

See? Hardly any changes, really. Just a couple. :)


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