Crouton’s Cafeteria Chili Mac

Ditalini put me in charge of the kitchen last night, and I decided to indulge myself in some good old comfort food. We’ve both been away, things have been hectic and disorganized, and a simple one-dish hot meal seemed like just the right thing. Remember the chili mac they served you in the school cafeteria? […]

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Photoblog: an Italian Family Dinner

Yesterday Ditalini and her Aunt Radicchio made three pounds of gnocchi and a big pot of sauce.

Gnocchi (from Ditalini’s family recipe)

When it comes to rolling and shaping gnocchi, there’s some twist of the wrist thing I never quite mastered, but Aunt Radicchio, now the matriarch of Ditalini’s Italian-American family, passed the secret […]

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Sausage & Spinach with Fettuccini Alfredo

We went to one of our favorite Italian restaurants a few weeks ago. We were with a crowd, so we ordered appetizers. On the appetizer menu was a dish labeled Sausage & Spinach. Sounded good, so we tried it, and it was a hit with everyone. Naturally, I had to try making it myself at […]

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Ditalini’s Easy Jambalaya

Ditalini makes this jambalaya from time to time, and it’s always good. It’s adapted from a Rachel Ray recipe; we call it “easy jambalaya.” The list of ingredients is long, but the dish itself is easy to prepare.

Jambalaya ingredients, ready to cook (oops, forgot the Tabasco)

Ingredients

1 cup rice 2 cups water […]

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Ditalini’s Family Gnocchi Recipe

Ditalini’s Aunt Joyce, a first-generation Italian-American and today the matriarch of the della Fagiolis, taught us this authentic gnocchi recipe, brought to the USA from Vittorio Veneto when the family emigrated.

Ingredients

5 lbs russet potatoes 2 eggs, lightly beaten 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting salt and pepper to taste dash of […]

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Polenta

I learned about polenta when I married Ditalini. It was what you ate when you were poor, or when you were tired of pasta and wanted something different. Sometime during the 1980s polenta became trendy and today you can find it on upscale restaurant menus.

All it is is ground cornmeal, cooked into a thick […]

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Ditalini’s Pasta alla Carbonara

We love pasta carbonara, but it’s so rich we have it only once or twice a year. Ditalini bases her recipe on one from Mario Batali.

Pancetta and other ingredients

Ingredients

olive oil 8 oz pancetta or bacon 1 lb spaghetti or other pasta (fettuccine works very well) 1 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan […]

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What’s On the Stove?

Pasta alla Putanesca, that’s what!

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Crouton’s Quick Fettuccini Alfredo w/Shrimp

Ingredients

1 lb fettuccini 3/4 stick butter 1/2 cup half & half 4-5 cloves garlic, sliced 12-24 large shrimp (21/25 count), deveined, heads & tails removed dried parsley flakes white pepper grated Parmesan cheese

Directions

Put a large pot of water on to boil. Melt butter in frying pan over low temperature. Add […]

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Crouton’s Fettuccini Alfredo

This is a great side dish for richly-flavored meat dishes, like scallopini al limone, veal marsala, or grilled Italian sausage.

Ingredients

1/2 cup heavy cream 1/2 stick butter white pepper grated Parmesan cheese fettuchini fresh parsley if desired

Directions

For the Alfredo sauce, melt butter over low heat in a small saucepan. Add the […]

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