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Recipe: Pasta with Tomato Porcini Cream Sauce, Pancetta and Peas

pasta with tomato porcini cream sauce, peas and pancetta

recipe - pasta with porcini tomato cream sauce and pancetta

pasta with porcini tomato cream sauce

And then there’s the opposite of eating salads and pretending that you’re paleo. There’s pasta. With cream sauce. And pancetta. And you know what? It’s glorious, and everything you imagine it will be. Even more so when you’ve been eating too many salads.

I made this a couple Fridays ago, when the mister was having a down day, and requested something that would soothe the soul. Specifically, he said, I want pasta. You were aware that pasta was soul soothing, weren’t you? We used to go to this restaurant in SF for anniversaries, and they had this pasta on the menu that was doused in the richest, creamiest porcini tomato sauce, and dotted with big chunks of pancetta. I was totally inspired by that and decided to re-create it at home! Mine wasn’t quite as rich (I realized HOLY BUTTER AND CREAM — their version really IS decadant!), but nevertheless, was so satisfying. The good news is that while this is total comfort food, it’s easy to make, so you can whip it up on any random Tuesday when you need a little hug in the form of carbs. And, you can substitute any shape of tube pasta you want — rigatoni, penne, even farfalle would be really great!

Give it a try! And let me know if you do. Here’s how to make it: Read more »

Recipe: Truffled Mac and Cheese with Prosciutto

baked mac and cheese with truffle oil and prosciutto

mac and cheese with prosciutto and truffle oil

Let the record show that the extreme lack of any type of food styling in these photos is indicative of two things. One, this is literally how they looked when they came out of the oven, so consider this a mix of “keeping it real” and “I was hungry” (hello, it was Super Bowl Sunday!). Two, I had taken a little bite out of one of the dishes to check for seasoning, and it was SO good, I had zero interest in prettying this up. Nay, this baked mac and cheese required immediate consumption.

Surprisingly, it had been a few years since I’d whipped up mac and cheese (blog name’s not withstanding). Sunday’s big game seemed like the perfect excuse; plus, I recently found these gratin dishes on sale, and have been using them as an excuse to make delicious, cheesy, baked things in the oven. This version of mac and cheese is no exception — it uses a three cheese sauce, chopped bits of salty prosciutto, and an herbed breadcrumb topping. But what makes it extra special is the use of white truffle oil. Divine!

Fancy as it seems, if you’ve made a white sauce before, this dish is a cinch to put together — and even if you haven’t, it’s easier than you think. This recipe could be perfect if you want to cook a little sumthin sumthin for your special someone on February 14. Just add Champagne, a simple green salad, and you’ve got a dinner to remember! Here’s how I made it: Read more »

Cookie Swap: Gingerbread Sandwich Cookies

gingerbread cookies with icing

I love gingerbread. As I was making this recipe over the weekend, I started thinking about why, and could pinpoint a multitude of reasons. The Pepperidge Farm Gingerbread Men I would snack on at my grandmother’s house as a kid. The boxed mix of gingerbread I would make with my mom. The gingerbread houses we’d make in school each year, from kindergarten to fifth grade. While I don’t know exactly when the love affair began, I do know that I’ve always loved the peppery, lightly sweet, delightful crunch of a good gingerbread cookie.

So, when I decided to participate in a cookie recipe swap with a bunch of other fab bloggers (more on that in a second!), gingerbread was the first thing that came to mind. But I wanted to give it a little twist — something beyond the basic and expected gingerbread man. I love the way ginger and orange tastes together, so I came up with a gingerbread sandwich cookie (think of it like a holiday Oreo). The filling? A fresh, citrusy homemade orange buttercream frosting. The nice thing about this recipe is if you don’t want to make sandwich cookies, the gingerbread is awesome on its own; you could also use the frosting to decorate the cookies along with other items, like sprinkles or candied orange zest.

Today, ten bloggers (me included!) are sharing our favorite holiday cookie recipes, so if gingerbread isn’t your thing (um, what?), here are lots of other recipes you can bookmark. Happy baking!

Peppermint Bark Cookies from Lemon Stripes
Molasses Crinkle Cookies from The Average Girl’s Guide
Red Velvet Cookies from Savor Home
Brown Butter Snickerdoodles from Clara Persis
Chocolate Dipped Lemon Shortbread from House of Earnest
Dark Chocolate Orange Almond Biscotti from Cupcakes for Breakfast
Almond Sugar Cookies from Lark & Linen
Chocolate Espresso Cookies with Spiced Whipped Mascarpone from Julip Made
Brown Butter Thumbprint Cookies from Fleur de Sel

And here’s my recipe for Gingerbread Sandwich CookiesRead more »