Paccheri with Haddock Ragu

This dish was inspired by Mariacristina Lubrano from @coochinando, her version is Paccheri con Sugo alla Pescatrice (Monkfish), she gave me a few tips on how to prepare this dish and I took the liberty of mixing a bit of Canadiana (Haddock) with Italian (Paccheri and Tomato Sauce) and the results were delicious. As you eat, close your eyes and imagine you’re in Italy sitting on a sunny terrace listening to the waves of the sea crash the shoreline.
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Pesto with Gnocchi

Nothing says summer like bright green pesto with a salty hint of parmigiano-reggiano, the buttery texture of pine nuts, grassy extra virgin olive oil and a bite of fresh garlic. Over the years, I’ve spent a few summers in Aulla, a town in Northern Tuscany, where the sea meets the mountains.
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An Easter Menu

Easter Menu

TO START
Fritelle di Baccalà
Pickled Beet Eggs
Deviled Eggs

SOUP
Stracciatella (Italian Egg Drop Soup)

MAIN
Agnello al Forno (Oven Baked Lamb) with Potatoes

VEGETABLE
Piselli alla Fiorentina (Florentine Style Spring Peas)

DESSERT
Pastiera Napoletana (A Neapolitan Easter Cake)
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Baccalà alla Napoletana: Neapolitan-Style Braised Salt Cod

Baccalà (in Italian) simply means salt cured cod. Cod preserved in this manner can last for years and years, and Campania, a region which includes the city of Naples, boasts the highest consumption of baccalà in all of Italy, so naturally, a Napoletana recipe must be good! Continue reading “Baccalà alla Napoletana: Neapolitan-Style Braised Salt Cod”

Porchetta Pork Tenderloin

If I didn’t have your attention at “porchetta”, then you’ve got to keep reading. Go ahead, drool over the photos and imagine this succulent and flavourful pork tenderloin disguised as a laboriously prepped porchetta coming out of your oven in 45 minutes or less. Keep Reading!

Paccheri al Forno

A classic Italian dish layered with love. This is a riff on Nonna’s infamous lasagna. I grew up on American lasagna made with cottage cheese, tomatoes, ground meat and Mueller’s lasagna noodles, the ones with the curly edges. It was good, until… I had my first taste of Nonna’s lasagna and American lasagna hit the back burner.

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Creamy Polenta and Mushrooms

We made it to my favorite season, yet I’m getting the feeling that Mother Nature has skipped over the best parts and headed straight to the cold weather! I’ve armed myself with my warmest hoodie sweatshirt, Smartwool socks and one of my favorite meals – polenta with mushrooms to break that chill! Keep Reading!

Spaghetti and “Beanballs”

Aha! A vegetarian meatball that holds itself together, this is good news!
Spaghetti and “Beanballs” makes for a great weeknight meal that can be made ahead and reheated to serve. I’m looking forward to noshing on this protein and fiber-rich dish after my run tonight.

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Rustic Cabbage Salad Scented with Orange Peel

I recently acquired a green cabbage which could quite easily be the same size as my very own head.  Thinking about what to do with a cabbage of this stature, my thoughts processed, cabbage rolls, stew, slaw….and then I remembered a fabulously, simple salad that a dear friend had made for me years ago. I believe it is Italian in origin with rustic roots and a taste that hits home.
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Remix: Born to hand CHIVE baby!

The following recipe is a spin-off from a class I took with the Grand Rapids Cooking School at the Uptown Kitchen in Grand Rapids, MI.  At the class we made a Garlic Chive and Almond Pesto which was shockingly green and highly addicting!  I remixed it fusion-style with Asian Chives (which are very garlicky) and Candlenuts.  Candlenuts frequent the sauces and sambals of Malay and Indonesian cooking, acting as a thickener and are known for their high oil content.  I find it interesting, that throughout various parts of the world the candlenut plant is medicinal, treating ailments with the bark, leaves and fruit.
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