We love this pasta dish made with Durum Semolina Pasta that has been “oven toasted.” I use La Casa Del Grano brand pasta and found this delicious recipe which I adapted to our tastes. These pasta balls are so flavorful as they are toasted and they also have a lot of texture.
Now that tomatoes are available again, look for some really ripe heirloom tomatoes. You could also use cherry tomatoes which the original recipe calls for. Another key ingredient to this dish is to use high quality canned tuna. Ortiz brand tuna is so delicious, I prefer it over fresh tuna…which says a lot. It is canned with olive oil which gives it a smooth texture. We add the tuna at the end as you don’t want to heat up this tuna in my opinion it is best as is.
What more can I say! Enjoy.
Fregola with Tuna
- 8 ounces La Casa Del Grano Durum Semolina Pasta oven toasted
- 2 tsp unsalted butter I use Kerrygold brand
- 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil + extra olive oil for drizzling
- 1 shallot finely minced
- 4 medium-sized heirloom tomatoes or equivalent amount of Campari or other fresh tomato de-seeded and diced
- 1/2 cup fresh basil cut into ribbons
- to taste sea salt
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 8 ounces canned tuna I use Ortiz brand
- 1-2 tbsp salt-cured capers (optional), rinsed I use La Nicchia brand capers
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the fregola according to package instructions until it is al dente. Drain the pasta and stir in the 2 tsp butter and set it aside.
- Meanwhile, heat 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil over medium heat in a large cast iron skillet. Add the minced shallot and cook the shallot until it is soft and golden on the edges stirring it often.
- Add the diced tomatoes, basil ribbons, pinch of sea salt to taste, and dried oregano. Continue to cook the sauce frequently stirring it with a wooden spoon until the tomatoes are softened and most of the water from the tomatoes has evaporated. Remove the sauce from the heat and stir in the tuna and capers.
- Add the fregola pasta to a bowl and top with the sauce. Drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil.Source: Adapted from La Casa Del Grano brand durum semolina pasta oven toasted package.
After a lot of trial and error I’ve finally got these eggs right. They are so good it is hard to stop eating them! Using apple cider vinegar that contains the “mother” a good for you probiotic culture makes them a satisfying appetizer or snack. Using the method from Bon Appetit to hard boil the eggs results in egg yolks that are still a little soft but not too dried out. It is important to use organic or free range eggs for the best flavor. I like to use a fresh beet that has been roasted in the oven until it is caramelized instead of canned beets. Enjoy!
Candied Pickled Eggs
- 1 caramelized beet cut into cubes
- 7 Fresh organic or free range hard-boiled eggs peeled
- 1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar with the "mother" divided see directions I use Bragg Organic Apple Cider Vinegar
- 2 tablespoons sea salt
- 1 cup cane sugar
- 1 sprig of dill (optional)
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. Clean and peel your beet and cut it in half lengthwise. Place the beet on a cast-iron skillet and roast it in the oven until it caramelizes about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and set it aside to cool. Then cut into cubes.
- In a large-sized saucepan, bring enough water to cover the eggs to a boil. Carefully add the eggs to the boiling water and gently boil 10 minutes. Remove from heat and submerge the eggs in a bowl of ice water to cool. Peel the eggs and set them aside.
- Add 1/2 cup of the apple cider vinegar, sea salt, and cane sugar to a medium-sized saucepan and heat lightly over medium-low heat until the cane sugar is just dissolved (do not overheat). Add the remaining 1 cup of the apple cider vinegar and cubed beets and stir to combine. Pour the mixture into a 1 quart sized ball mason jar or other glass container. Add the optional sprig of dill and the eggs.
- Place the egg mixture in the refrigerator to cool and consume within 3 days.Source: Method for hard boiled eggs is from Bon Appetit "Hard-Boiled Eggs" https://www.bonappetit.comrecipe for Candied Pickled Eggs solution is by Janel from twelvebasketfuls.com
This recipe adapted from The NY Times makes perfectly fluffy restaurant-style pancakes. I have added some vanilla to the original recipe and highly recommend using pastry flour. I prefer to use Bob’s Red Mill pastry flour but have also used all-purpose flour (King Arthur Flour) and that worked well too. I can’t wait to try making these over my new Solo Campfire camp stove using a cast iron skillet and some mesquite firewood. The perfect activity to try out while I am in the confines of my home and back yard! I will post about this soon. Enjoy!
Perfect Buttermilk Pancakes
- 2 cups pastry flour or all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons cane sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 1/4 teaspoons sea salt I use Maldon
- 2 1/2 cups buttermilk
- 2 large eggs lightly beaten
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter melted + more butter for your griddle + more softened butter for serving
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- maple syrup for serving
- Preheat your griddle to 350 degrees F.
- Add the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and sea salt to a large-sized mixing bowl. Whisk the dry ingredients to combine.
- Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the buttermilk, eggs, and and 3 tablespoons unsalted butter.
- Stir the mixture with a wooden spoon until just combined (do not over mix).
- Grease the surface of your griddle with about 1 teaspoon of butter. Using a cup measurer add about 3/4 cup of the batter to make a disc-shape. Flip the pancake once there are ample bubbles formed on the edges and also some bubbles in the center and the 1st side is golden. Once you have flipped the pancake, continue to cook the pancake on the other side until it is golden. Use about 1 more teaspoon to grease your griddle each time you add more pancake batter.
- Serve the pancakes immediately topped with plenty of butter and maple syrup!Source: NY Times "Perfect Buttermilk Pancakes" by Alison Roman. https://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1018180-perfect-buttermilk-pancakes
I was super excited to find this recipe on Bon Appetit from the Palizzi Social Club in Philadelphia. It was so good I went ahead and bought the cookbook entitled “Dinner At the Club.” These pasta shells are delicious and I paired them with some Italian sausage to make the dish a little more substantial. I added burrata cheese which is so rich and delicious and cut down a little on the ricotta.
If you are interested in finding out more about the history and culture of Italian food in Philadelphia, I highly recommend the PBS special that just aired called “No Passport Required” in which chef Marcus Samuelsson goes to many Italian restaurants in Philadelphia and gives an inside look at this members-only club. Oh if only… maybe someday my husband and I will try to get a table… but for now I have the handy cookbook with so many delicious recipes! I was able to get the cookbook on Amazon if you are interested.
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 small onion finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves pressed or smashed and finely chopped
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp cane sugar
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves + 1/4 cup more to stir into the sauce once it has finished cooking
- 2 28 ounce cans whole peeled San Marzano tomatoes
- 1 rind of parmesan cheese optional
- Add the extra-virgin olive oil to a medium-sized saucepan. Add the onions and sauté the onions over medium heat until lightly golden. Add the garlic, garlic powder, sugar, sea salt, and fresh basil leaves and sauté about 1 minute more. Add the tomatoes and parmesan cheese rind (optional).
- Bring the sauce to a simmer, and simmer uncovered for about 30 minutes until the sauce is slightly reduced and thickened. At end of cooking, pull out the basil and parmesan cheese rind. Add the remaining fresh basil. Set the sauce aside.
Pasta Shells + Putting it all together
- 10 ounces bulk mild Italian sausage or sausage links with the casings removed
- 12 ounces jumbo pasta shells
- Kosher salt
- 2 large egg yolks + 1 large egg
- 2 cups ricotta cheese
- 2 cups burrata cheese + 1/2 cup for topping the pasta
- 1/2 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup Italian parsley finely chopped + more for serving
- freshly ground black pepper
- 3 cups marinara sauce see recipe above
- Top the finished pasta shells with dried oregano + extra-virgin olive oil
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.
- Sauté the Italian sausage in a medium-sized cast-iron skillet over medium heat until golden and temperature reaches 145 degrees F. Drain off the fat and set it aside on a plate covered with paper towels.
- Cook the pasta shells in salted water until they are softened but still crunchy. Drain in a colander and run cold water over them and drain again to stop them from cooking. Set the shells aside.
- Add the egg yolks, and egg, ricotta cheese, burrata cheese, parmesan cheese, Italian parsley, and Italian sausage to a large-sized bowl and mix well to combine.
- Add 1 1/2 cups of marinara sauce to coat the bottom of a 13 x 9” casserole dish. Add the cheese mixture to a large zip-lock bag and cut off a small section of a corner of the bag. Place the pasta shells in the casserole dish and squeeze the cheese-sausage mixture to fill each of the shells. Top the shells with the remaining 1 1/2 cup of marinara sauce and top with chunks of the remaining 1/2 cup of burrata cheese. Cover the dish with tin foil and place in the oven to bake for 35-40 minutes. Remove the tin foil and broil until lightly golden on top.
- Serve the pasta shells topped with some dried oregano, fresh parsley and drizzled with some extra-virgin olive oil.
Source: Adapted from Stuffed Shells with Marinara. BonAppetit. https://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/stuffed-shells-with-marinara
This mixed berry gelato is absolutely fantastic. It is creamy just like gelato should be. I use a Cuisinart Gelateria and it worked out perfectly. We used a mixture of berries-strawberries, blackberries, and blueberries as well as a mixed berry jam, but it would be great if you wanted to just use one type of berry and use the corresponding jam. Enjoy!
Mixed Berry Gelato
- ice cream maker with a gelato function I use a Cuisinart Gelateria
- large mixing bowl
- medium-sized saucepan
- wooden spoon
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 4 cups whole milk
- 1 1/2 cups cane sugar
- 3 tbsp cornstarch
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 2 cups fresh or thawed frozen berries I used a mixture of strawberries, blackberries, and blueberries
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp mixed berry jam
- If you're using frozen berries, place them in a bowl to thaw. If you're using fresh berries, rinse them and set them out on a paper towel to dry.
- Add the cream and 3 cups of the milk to a medium-sized saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-low heat.
- Meanwhile, while the cream and milk are coming to a simmer, add the remaining 1 cup of milk, sugar, cornstarch, and salt to a medium-sized bowl and whisk to combine.
- Once the berries are thawed, or if using fresh place them in a blender to puree them. Set them aside.
- Once the cream-milk mixture has come to a simmer, add the milk, sugar, cornstarch and salt mixture in stirring well with a wooden spoon to combine. Stir the mixture continuously for up to 20 minutes until it is thickened. Turn the heat up to medium if needed. After the mixture has thickened, turn off the heat and add the berries, vanilla extract, and mixed berry jam. Stir to combine.
- Run the mixture through a fine mesh strainer pushing the mixture around with a spoon to push it through the strainer. There will be pulp left from the fruit so discard this. Cover the mixture with plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator at least 2 hours preferably overnight.
- Once the mixture has been in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, whisk it again and place it in your prepared gelato maker. For my Cuisinart gelato maker, the instructions state to "Press the gelato setting and then start/stop. Let mix until thickened (mine took about 25 minutes). Store the gelato in an air-tight container for 2 hours.
Warning once you start eating these brownies you will be going back for seconds, and thirds…they are so fudge-like and chewy. I don’t think I’ll ever go back to eating gluten-containing brownies again as I believe these are better. These brownies are even more delicious the day after they are baked as they set-up. For the milk chocolate, I recommend using a milk chocolate with caramel notes and prefer Valrhona brand chocolate. It is best to use high quality bittersweet and milk chocolate bars for these and not chocolate chips. If you are strict gluten-free of course verify the ingredients of the products to ensure there isn’t any hidden gluten. I also highly recommend using Joyva Sesame Tahini after trying multiple brands including more expensive brands and also a store brand of tahini (which I ended up not using as it smelled like pencil lead) this is the best tahini I have tried yet. Enjoy!
Gluten-Free Fudge Brownies
- 3 Tbsp cornstarch
- 2 Tbsp cocoa powder
- 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate I used Valrhona Noir Alpaca 66% caca
- 5 ounces milk chocolate I used Valrhona Blonde Dulcey 32% cacao
- 3 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 Tbsp honey
- 1 Tbsp Tahini
- 2 each large eggs
- 1/3 cup cane sugar
- 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 tsp sea salt I use Maldon
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- Generously grease the bottom and sides of an 8 x 8 baking dish with butter. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
- Whisk together the cornstarch and cocoa powder in a medium bowl to combine. Set aside.
- Add the bittersweet chocolate, milk chocolate, and butter to a medium-sized saucepan and melt the chocolate and butter over low heat stirring the mixture often with a wooden spoon. Once it is melted and combined, turn off the heat and stir in the honey and tahini and set the mixture aside.
- In the bowl of your mixer using the medium-high setting, beat together the eggs and sugar until well combined and doubled in volume (about 4 mintues). Add the sea salt and vanilla and beat until just combined. Add the melted chocolate mixture and beat until just combined.
- Add the cocoa-cornstarch mixture and beat on medium-high speed for about 30 seconds more.
- Spread the batter out in the baking pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs (about 20 minutes).
- Remove the brownies from the oven and allow them to cool before serving.
Source: Adapted from https://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/gluten-free-chocolate-tahini-brownies
Ok this is the best ice cream I have ever had. It has ruined the store-bought ice cream for me forever. It is so easy to make but just takes a little bit of patience. If you want low-fat this is definitely NOT low-fat. Just enjoy a small amount like I did!
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 cup pecan halves
- 1 teaspoon sea salt, plus pinch
- 1 1/4 cups whole milk
- 1 cup cane sugar
- 2 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- Melt the butter in a medium-sized non-stick skillet (do not use cast iron or the butter will likely burn) over medium-low heat. Add the pecans and continue to cook for about 6 minutes stirring frequently. Turn off the heat and strain off the butter. Place the pecans in an airtight container in the refrigerator to chill until ready to use.
- In a mixing bowl, add the milk, sugar, and sea salt. Whisk to combine. Add the heavy cream and vanilla and stir to combine. Place the mixture in the refrigerator in a sealed container or covered with plastic wrap for at least 2 hours or up to overnight.
- Once the milk mixture has chilled, remove it from the refrigerator and whisk it to combine as the ingredients will have separated a little.
- Process in your ice cream maker according to the package instructions allowing to mix until it is very thick. I know mine is done when it starts to come out of the bowl a little (mine took about 40 minutes). According to the Cuisinart instruction booklet for the Gelateria ice cream maker, “Press Ice Cream and then Start/Stop. Pour the mixture through the spout add then cover with the cap. Let mix until thickened.”
- Add the pecans and allow to mix a few more seconds.
- Place the ice cream in an airtight container and store in the freezer.
These biscuits are so flavorful and go with just about anything. We served them with some seafood. We used Neal’s Yard Montgomery’s Cheddar which is an aged sharp cheddar so you could substitute with this type of cheddar if needed. The honey is perfect on top. Enjoy!
- 3 3/4 cups bread flour
- 1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon sea salt such as Maldon
- 2 1/2 cups Neal’s Yard Cheddar
- 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon unsalted butter cut into large cubes + 3 more tablespoons butter for brushing on the biscuits before and after baking
- 1/3 cup finely chopped fresh chives
- 2 1/2 cups buttermilk
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne (optional for sprinkling on top of the biscuits before baking them)
- honey to taste
1. Prepare a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat and preheat your oven to 425 degrees F.
2. Add the bread flour, baking powder, baking soda, garlic powder, sea salt and cheddar cheese to a large bowl and whisk to combine.
3. Add the butter and using a pastry blender combine the butter with the flour mixture working with the pastry blender until the butter is pea-sized. Add the chives and buttermilk and fold them in with a wooden spoon. Mix until just combined (don’t overmix).
4. Form the biscuit batter into a ball of dough adding a little flour to keep it from sticking to your fingers. Place the dough on a lightly floured flat surface and press it with your fingers into a disc that is about 1 1/2 inches thick. Fold the dough in half and form the 1 1/2 inch thick disc again using a little flour as needed to keep it from sticking. Using a biscuit cutter, form medium-sized biscuits (about 1/3 cup of dough per biscuit) and place about 1” apart on the baking sheet. Brush each of the biscuits with 2 of the tablespoons of the melted butter and sprinkle on the optional cayenne.
5. Place the biscuits in the oven and bake for about 20 minutes until lightly golden and a toothpick comes out clean. Remove the biscuits from the oven and brush an additional 1 tablespoon butter over the top.
Serve immediately with some honey on top!