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italian | Gourmet Gastronomer

italian

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A New Take on "Pasta Salad"

Tonight I created a light, Italian inspired dish perfect for a spring evening. It begins with a bed of fresh spinach topped with pasta, veggies, and two proteins. Much of the preparation lies in the dish's assembly, as the mushrooms, egg, and bacon need to be chopped and the garlic and pasta must be cooked (bacon should be pre-cooked.) Once ingredients are ready, all that remains is put together your salad.

Here’s what you’ll need:
2 cups fresh, washed spinach leaves
1 handful spaghetti noodles
2 crimini or white mushrooms
1 hardboiled egg
3 strips of bacon, baked or fried until crispy
3 whole cloves garlic
1 tsp. ground black pepper
3 tbsp. truffle oil
1 tbsp olive oil

Preparation:
To create the dish, you’ll be working on several things simultaneously. First, boil a large pot of water in which to cook the spaghetti, and preheat your oven to 400 degrees. As the water boils, peel garlic cloves and place them on a small sheet of aluminum foil. Wrap the foil around the cloves to create a package. Before closing the package, lightly drizzle garlic cloves with olive oil and salt. Add pasta to boiling water and sealed package of garlic to hot oven. Slice the mushrooms in half lengthwise and then chop into pieces down the width. Crumble cooked bacon into bits, and dice hardboiled egg.  When pasta and garlic cloves are tender (after about 15 minutes), remove garlic from the oven and drain pasta.  Chop garlic cloves into bits.

To assemble the salad, make a bed of spinach leaves and cover with pasta. Then top with mushrooms, egg, bacon, and garlic. To finish, drizzle with truffle oil, olive oil, and fresh ground black pepper.

The dish is best served cold, accompanied by a chilled glass of white wine. I recommend a pinot grigio.

Voilá!

Savoy Style Omelette

To start my morning off right, I decided to make a nice breakfast from my new Talisman Italian Cookbook. Saw a dish in there for "Savoy Style Omelette", but was partially dyslexic and thought it said "Savory Style" (yum). Heres the recipe: 2 tablespoons butter 2 small potatoes, diced fine 4 eggs 1/4 teaspon salt 1/8 teaspon pepper 1 tablesppon milk 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese Melt butter in frying pan, add potatoes and brown. Beat eggs lightly, add salt, pepper, milk and cheese and add to potatoes. Cook over moderate fire 12 minutes on each side and serve.

The Talisman Italian Cookbook

My brother just lent me "The Talisman Italian Cookbook" by Ana Boni, and it is great. Â Described in the front cover as "It is to Italians what Joy of Cooking is to Americans", it seems like a pretty critical book for me (Joy of Cooking is my favorite book). The book is broken up into sections, Antipasto, Soups, Eggs, etc., but there is no discussion or storytelling; it is pure recipes. Â The first recipe in there looks good, so I'm already into it. I already have everything I need, other than the artichokes.
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