Sunday, September 24, 2023

Ina Garten's Baked Sweet Potato Fries with The Best Sweet Potato Dipping Sauce


 Dear Ina,

Thank you for your excellent recipe for Baked Sweet Potato Fries. I will be eating them regularly from now until Kingdom Come. It is an excellent recipe that is seasoned well and I LOVE THEM big time!

The reason for my letter is to ask if you've ever dipped your sweet potato fries in this amazing sweet potato dipping sauce. The sauce is a creamy, smoky, and spicy combination of three simple ingredients: mayonnaise, paprika, and Sriracha. The sauce is simply heavenly and pairs perfectly well with your sweet potato fries. Your fries and this sauce = perfection!

Trust me, I should know because I ate the entire batch of sweet potatoes all by myself, dipping and dunking away in complete bliss. Then I turned around and made another batch! Yes, your sweet potato fries with the dipping sauce is that good!

If you don't like things too spicy Ina, then cut back a little on the Sriracha, but do try the sauce. It really is ALL THAT and more. Who knows...this sauce could be all the rage at your next party in the Hamptons! It certainly was a big hit here in Georgetown, Kentucky!

Love and Gratitude,



Baked Sweet Potato Fries

Recipe via Food Network

by Ina Garten

 Serves 3-4

2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled

2 tablespoons good olive oil

1 tablespoon light brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus extra for sprinkling

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 450F. Halve the sweet potatoes lengthwise and cut each half into 3 long spears. Place them on a sheet pan and toss with the olive oil. Spread the potatoes in one layer. Combine the brown sugar, salt, and pepper and sprinkle on the potatoes. Bake for 15 minutes and then turn with a spatula. Bake for another 5 to 10 minutes, until light browned. Sprinkle lightly with salt and serve  hot. Note: You may wish to bake these on a parchment as the sugar turns dark and sticky and is a little difficult to clean. 





Add everything into a mixing bowl and whisk together until combined.

*Dipping sauce recipe courtesy of The Big Man's World

 Fall Flavors @ IHCC


Sunday, September 17, 2023

Ina Garten's Ultimate Grilled Cheese Sandwich

 I have been wanting to make this Ina Garten Ultimate Grilled Cheese for ages. Problem is sometimes Ina makes you feel like you need everything to be the best of the best and with today's grocery prices that's hard to do!

About a week ago, I ordered a bread box called Wildgrain, filled with artisan breads that were direct shipped to my house. The bread comes already baked, but frozen, and you bake it to reheat it. This is their sourdough loaf and the quality is pretty good, so I decided to make Ina's Ultimate Grilled Cheese.
Then I procured the aged Gruyere, the extra-sharp cheddar, the Parmesan, the 1 cup of mayo (have you noticed the price of mayo lately?) and the applewood smoked bacon. I am now in the neighborhood of $30 to make some grilled cheese and I'm not even counting the artisan bread. Ina, you really know how to write some EXPENSIVE recipes.

This recipe seems a little fussy, but it's really not. We need fresh bread, cooked bacon, grated cheese, and a very tasty mayo-Dijon-Parmesan sauce. We butter the outside of the bread and then on both sides of the interior bread we dollop the mayo-Dijon-Parmesan sauce (that stuff is delicious so slather a good bit on). The we add the pieces of bacon and a good amount of the Gruyere and extra-sharp Cheddar. 

Ina uses a panini press, but I don't have one- and personally I don't want anymore kitchen appliances- so I make mine the old-fashioned way. Truth be told, this is a great grilled cheese. I love the mayo-Dijon-Parmesan spread. I love the combination of Gruyere and extra-sharp Cheddar and I love the addition of the bacon. I would recommend this if you're looking for a great grilled cheese recipe. We all loved it and You really can't go wrong here, but I just don't know if it is THE ULTIMATE. 

Ultimate Grilled Cheese

Recipe adapted from Food Network

by Ina Garten

Serves 6

12 slices thick-cut bacon, such as applewood smoked

1 cup good mayonnaise

1/4 cup Dijon mustard

1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 white pullman loaf or sourdough bread, sliced 1/2" thick (12 slices)

6 tablespoons salted butter, at room temperature

6 ounces aged Gruyere or Comte cheese

6 ounces extra-sharp Cheddar

Preheat the oven to 400F. Arrange the bacon on a baking rack set over a sheet pan in a single layer and roast for 10-20 minutes, checking regularly until crisp. Drain on a plate lined with paper twoels and cut in 1-inch pieces.

Meanwhile, combine the mayonnaise, mustard, Parmesan salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Lay 12 slices of bread on a board and spread each one lightly with butter. Flip the slices and spread each one generously withe mayonnaise mixture. Don't neglect the corners!

Grate the cheeses. Distribute the bacon evenly on half the slices of bread. Pile 1/3 cup grated cheese evenly on top of the bacon and top with the remaining bread slices, sauce side down.

Meanwhile, heat an electric panini press or a skillet. When the press is hot, cook the sandwiches for 3 to 5 minutes in batches until the bread is toasted and the cheese is melted. If using a skillet, cook the sandwiches slowly over the lowest heat, allowing the cheese to melt. Cook until cheese is melted and bread is golden brown. Allow to cool for 2 minutes. Cut in half and serve warm.

Wine and Cheese @ IHCC

Sunday, September 10, 2023

Coconut Curry Chicken Meatballs with Garlic Butter

  I think it's safe to say that most everyone loves a saucy meatball served over rice, right? I suppose that's why I kept thinking about Coconut Curry Chicken Meatballs with Garlic Butter served over rice that kept popping up everywhere from Tieghan Gerard's Half-Baked Harvest blog. 

Tender chicken meatballs with a creamy coconut curry sauce, drizzled with a spicy garlic butter?  Yes, please. Sign me up.

Also - this recipe uses that Thai red curry paste and that stuff smells so aromatic and fragrant...I just look for different ways to use it!

Here's the part where I'm going to keep it real: I love all the ingredients for this; I followed the recipe as written; all my ingredients were fresh, but this was just ok. There was some kind of flavor that we didn't care for and we ate it, but I wouldn't make it again. 

I don't usually mind when we don't care for a dish because it helps me to know what we like and what we don't like. The problem with this one is that we do like everything and we expected to love it, but for whatever reason this recipe just didn't work for us.

Coconut Curry Chicken Meatballs with Garlic Butter

Adapted from Half Baked Harvest

by Tieghan Gerard

Serves 6

1-1/2 pounds ground chicken or pork

1-2 tablespoons spicy curry powder

3 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce

1 shallot, chopped

salt and black pepper

chili flakes

1 tablespoon olive oil

6 tablespoons butter

1/4 cup Thai red curry paste

1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger

2 orange or red bell peppers, sliced

2 cups canned full-fat coconut milk

1 tablespoon fish sauce (or soy sauce)

1/2 cup chopped Thai basil, or cilantro

3-4 cloves garlic, chopped

limes, for serving

Preheat the oven to 450F. Line a baking sheet with parchment. 

Add the chicken, curry powder, shallot, 1 tablespoon tamari/soy, salt, and pepper to a bowl. Mix until just combined. Coat your hands with a bit of oil, and roll the meat into tablespoon-size balls (will make 15-20 meatballs) placing them on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, until the meatballs are crisp.

In a large skillet over medium heat, melt together 1 tablespoon butter, the curry paste, and ginger. Cook, 2-3 minutes until fragrant. Add the peppers, coconut milk, 3 tablespoons tamari/soy sauce, and fish sauce(soy sauce). Slide the meatballs into the sauce and simmer 5 minutes, or until cooked through.

Meanwhile, melt 5 tablespoons butter, the garlic, and a pinch of chili flakes. Cook until the butter is browning and the garlic crisps.

Serve the meatballs and sauce over bowls of rice. Drizzle the butter over the meatballs and top with basil or cilantro. 

Tailgate Treats @ IHCC

Sunday, September 3, 2023

Garden Fresh: Creamy Roasted Cherry Tomato Ricotta Pasta {My Fave Summer Pasta Recipe}!

 I love garden fresh pasta dishes that I can throw together with ingredients from my own backyard: cherry tomatoes, basil, and oregano!Have you tried this hand-dipped basket ricotta? It is amazing...creamier and fresher and softer and just a step above the regular storebought ricotta we've been getting for years.Homegrown cherry tomatoes are just a step above the rest. Sweeter and just so different than the storebought varieties. I grew a mix of red and yellow. My basil and oregano grow so well in the backyard. I love being able to step out back and cut fresh herbs!

I'm convinced the best smell in the world is cherry tomatoes, garlic, oil, red pepper flakes and fresh herbs baking away in the oven. The aroma is so heavenly that people will be lining up in the kitchen! Just look at all that flavor! Use a spoon a stir in the fresh ricotta to create a flavor-packed sauce for your pasta. I mean doesn't it just look mouth-watering?

This was among one of my favorite dishes of the summer and also one of my favorite dishes of the year. I made this about a month ago and just now have enough cherry tomatoes to make it again. If you're lucky enough to have some fresh cherry tomatoes, do yourself a favor and make this dish! Use some really good ricotta and be ready to be transported to one of the tastiest garden fresh pastas you will ever enjoy!

Creamy Cherry Tomato Roasted Ricotta Pasta

Adapted from Half Baked Harvest

by Tieghan Gerard

Serves 4-6

1 tablespoon olive oil

3 cups cherry tomatoes

6-10 cloves garlic, smashed

3-4 sprigs fresh oregano

crushed red pepper flakes, to taste

salt and black pepper, to taste

1/2 cup ricotta cheese

1 pound long or short cut pasta

2 tablespoons salted butter

1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 cup fresh basil

Preheat oven to 425F. On a baking sheet, toss together the olive oil, tomatoes, garlic, oregano, and a pinch each of red pepper flakes, salt and black pepper. Bake 15-20 minutes, until the tomatoes are bursting.

Optional: Add 2/3's of the tomatoes, the garlic, and the ricotta to a food processor. Puree until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. (I skipped the blender step and just mixed these ingredients together for a chunkier version of the sauce - which we like better.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta according to package directions until al dente. Just before draining, remove 1 cup of the pasta cooking water. Drain.

In the same pot, melt together the butter. Cook until the butter is browning, then add the tomato mixture and 1/2 cup pasta cooking water, stirring until combined. Mix in the Parmesan.

Add the pasta to the sauce and butter, tossing to combine. If needed, thin the sauce with a little of the reserved pasta cooking water. Garnish with additional cheese and fresh basil, and serve! 

Sunday, August 20, 2023

My Top Five Julia Child Dishes! {Happy Birthday, Julia!}


We would hardly be where we are in the food community without Julia Child. She brought life to the world of cooking and made it what it is today. August 15th is Julia's birthday and it just feels right to share my most favorite Julia Child recipes with you!

Biftek Hache a La Lyonnaise/Ground Beef Burgers with Onions and Herbs If you make one Julia Child recipe, make this one! Not only is it one of her easiest recipes, but it is surprisingly delicious. Julia says this is how the French eat burgers - without the bun! The burger patties get dredged in flour which creates a crispy crust and the sauce is so flavorful. These burgers are rich, flavorful, and buttery delicious. In her book, Julia has various ways to change up the sauce and I highly suggest them all. We have these on regular rotation!

Supremes De Volaille A L'Ecossaise/Chicken Breasts with Diced Aromatic Vegetables and Cream I think the picture says it all. This is a stunning chicken dish and one that is so intoxicating as it cooks. The aroma and flavor of the onions, celery, and carrots in this dish are reminiscent of a chicken pot pie. It is so aromatic and comforting. It's one of those dishes that everyone would love!

Julia's Roast Chicken Okay, over the years I've made a lot of roast chicken: Tyler Florence's, Giada's, Yotam Ottolenghi's, and Ina Garten's. Trust me when I say that Julia Child's is THE BEST. Is it easy? No. Is it time consuming? Yes. Julia's method involves lots of butter and rotating and basting the chicken with butter on 5-10-15 minute intervals but it is oh so worth it! If you're looking to try a new Roast Chicken recipe this fall, please try this one! You won't be sorry. The end result is so buttery and delicious - a step above all the rest!
Supremes De Volaille Aux Champignons/Chicken Breasts with Mushroom and Cream We loved the first recipe with chicken breasts and aromatic veggies so much we tried Julia's Chicken Breasts with Mushrooms and Cream and it was equally delicious, especially for those who absolutely love mushrooms! You simply can't go wrong with any of Julia's variations on chicken breasts!
Jacques & Julia's Garlic Mashed Potatoes If you're looking for a side dish for any of these dishes, look no further than Jacques & Julia's Garlic Mashed Potatoes. You can't go wrong here, especially when you've got potatoes, butter, cream, and 10-15 cloves of garlic! This is an amazing recipes that is a people pleaser each and every single time!

Sunday, August 13, 2023

Tessa Kiros' Milky Way Ice Cream Sundae {5 Minutes or Less}

Three ingredients and five minutes and you can have the ice cream sundae of your dreams! It's as close to instant gratification you can get in the dessert world.

All you need is Milky Way bars, cream, and vanilla ice cream. You are halfway to bliss!

All you need to do is melt the Milky Way with some cream in a pan and pour it over the vanilla ice cream. It's as simple as can be, but the resulting sauce is rather complex. It's kind of a cross between a hot fudge and a caramel sauce and when you pour the warm sauce over the cold vanilla ice cream the caramel sets up lightly and all those chewy bits are just the best!

My husband was so impressed with this one and declared it one of his new favorites. I highly suggest it if you're a Milky Way lover, or an ice cream lover, or just someone in need of a quick dessert. It is a winner!

Milky Way Bar Sauce

Adapted from Apples for Jam

by Tessa Kiros

Makes 2 cups

1 cup heavy whipping cream

5 (2 ounce) Milky Way Midnight Bars*

Notes: The only difference between a regular Milky Way bar and a Milky Way Midnight bar is that a Milky Way is made with milk chocolate and a Midnight bar is made with dark chocolate. I used regular Milky Way because we are milk chocolate lovers, but you do you! I also think a Snickers would work just as well, or maybe even better if Snickers is your jam. *I didn't need 2 cups of Milky Way Sauce so I made about 1/4 of the recipe, using a King Size Milky Way bar and about 1/4 cups of heavy cream.

Pour half the cream into a heavy-bottomed pan and heat gently. Coarsely chop the Milky Way bars and add to the pan, stirring all the time with a wooden spoon, until they are completely melted. Make sure that the cream is not too hot and that they are completely melted. Make sure that the cream is not too hot and that nothing gets stuck on the bottom of the pan, which would ruin your chocolate. When everything is nearly all melted together, add the rest of the cream, and whisk to break up the soft lumps. Remove from the heat and carry on whisking until the sauce is completely smooth. Cover when it has cooled a bit. Serve warm or even at room temperature, but store in the fridge if you don't finish it all. Even a teaspoon of it cold or at room temperature is great for lifting the spirits.

Ovens Off @ IHCC

Sunday, August 6, 2023

Summer of Salads #10: Jacques Pepin's Zucchini and Olive Salad


This summer I turned up the notch on my veggie consumption. I was drinking green smoothies, making salads, and having meals consisting of nothing but veggies. Of course, I haven also reasoned that eating lots of veggies makes it okay to eat them with cheese. If a chef didn't write cheese into the recipe, well let's just say I did it for them!

For example, this week I chose a Jacques Pepin Zucchini and Olive Salad that was a very simple recipe consisting of zucchini, white wine vinegar, olive oil, olives, chives, salt and pepper. But to my horror, I feel like Pepin missed a perfectly good opportunity to adorn the top of this salad with crumbles of goat cheese. Right? I mean they pair so well together why wouldn't you?

And, take your time in the cheese section of your market because goat cheese has come A LONG WAY since it was first brought to market. I really like the Orange Blossom Honey Goat Cheese, but my newest obsession is the Everything Bagel Goat Cheese. Either of those version would be good here.

Pepin says to cut the zucchini into 1/4" rounds, dust it with salt and bake it for about 5-7 minutes to firm up the zucchini and heat up/cook some of the moisture out. This salad can be served warm or cold, but I enjoyed it best served warm. The zucchini pair so well with the briney olives and the creamy goat cheese. I also sprinkled my salad with a little red pepper flakes because I like things a little spicy. This was a really good salad that would make for a pretty appetizer when entertaining and/or served next to fish and/or chicken. I would definitely make it again, with cheese- of course!

Zucchini and Olive Salad

Adapted from Essential Pepin

by Jacques Pepin

Serves 6

2 zucchini (about 1-1/2 pounds)

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup pitted oil-cured black olives

2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives

Optional: sprinkle of red pepper flakes and/or goat cheese

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Wash the zucchini, trim off the ends, and cut into 1/4" thick rounds. Arrange the rounds in one layer on a large cookie sheet and sprinkle with the salt. Bake for 5-7 minutes, until the zucchini renders some of its moisture and softens slightly.

Transfer the zucchini rounds to a bowl and toss them gently with the pepper, vinegar, and oil. Serve immediately, garnished with the black olives and chives. 

The Three Sisters @ IHCC

Sunday, July 30, 2023

Garden Fresh: Half Baked Harvest's Simplest Zucchini Parmesan Pasta

 I love a garden fresh pasta made with ingredients straight from the backyard: zucchini, cherry tomatoes, and basil. A garden fresh pasta like this is a good reason to especially if you top it with fresh Burrata! Fresh veggies and cheese...always a win!
 The zucchini sauce is best, in my opinion, if you grate some of the zucchini and cut the rest into bigger and smaller pieces. This way some of the zucchini melts into the sauce and you have some smaller chunks of zucchini and some larger. However, if you wanted a smoother sauce altogether you could simply grate all the zucchini. Make it your own!
 This is a simple pasta dish consisting of zucchini that gets cooked down with butter, pasta water, and cheese until it makes a fresh tasting sauce that coats the pasta. Short pasta shapes are best and I'm a big fan of farfalle, or butterfly pasta.You can chose to keep this dish rather simple by just tossing the pasta with the zucchini sauce, or you can top it with some cherry tomatoes and creamy, dreamy Burrata cheese! I look for any excuse to enjoy Burrata. It is quite simply the best topping of all!

I loved this garden fresh pasta. It was light and fresh and simply singing with summer flavors! It is a delicious way to use up all that zucchini on hand!

Simplest Zucchini Parmesan Pasta

Adapted from Half Baked Harvest

by Tieghan Gerard

Serves 6-8

1 pound pasta, any cut works

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

3-4 medium zucchini (yellow or green, shredded or chopped)

3 cloves garlic, chopped

1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme

chili flakes, to taste

salt and black pepper, to taste

2 tablespoons salted butter

1 cup grated Parmesan 

1/2 cup grated Pecorino or Manchego cheese

1 cup fresh basil, chopped

Optional: Burrata cheese for topping, if desired

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta according to package directions until al dente. Just before draining reserve 1-1/4 cups of the pasta cooking water. Drain.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the zucchini, garlic, thyme, chili flakes, salt, and pepper. Cook until the zucchini is golden, 5 minutes. Mix in the butter. Using the back of your spoon or potato masher, mash down the zucchini until it becomes a chunky sauce.

Add 1 cup of reserved pasta water and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Add the pasta, parmesan, and pecorino, and toss until melted. Add more pasta water if needed to thin the sauce. Remove from the heat, toss in the basil. Serve topped with more cheese, if desired, and enjoy!

Sunday, July 23, 2023

Summer of Salads #9: Mark Bittman's Sichuan-Style Cucumber Salad {The Most Delcious Cucumber Salad Ever}


You're gonna think I'm crazy. But that's ok. I'm gonna say it anyway. This Sichuan-Style Cucumber Salad is one of the best things I've ate all year! I'm not kidding.

I had another salad planned this week but my friend gave me two beautiful cucumbers from her garden and since we're making Cool Treats this week at I Heart Cooking Clubs I decided I'd made a cucumber recipe. Because nothing is as cool as a cucumber, right?

This is NOT your typical cucumber salad served all summer long. This cucumber salad will BLOW YOUR MIND! I'm still not sure why on earth this is so dang delicious, but I ate the ENTIRE recipe all by myself. I couldn't stop! Something wonderful happens when you cut those cucumbers and let them sit for 30 minutes with salt and sugar sprinkled over top and then combine them with a soy sauce/sesame oil dressing with garlic and fresh hot chile and cilantro and lime juice and peppercorns! I mean WOW, I absolutely inhaled this. 

I even tried to put half away in the fridge but I kept licking my lips and getting that taste and I found myself going back to the fridge and eating the rest straight outta the bowl!

There is so many wonderful flavors going on here and the cucumber is just so bright and fresh and crunchy and flavorful and delicious. It's just simply addictive! Please get some garden fresh cucumbers and make this! I can't recommend it enough!

Sichuan-Style Cucumber Salad
Adapted from Mark Bittman
Serves 2-4

1 pound cucumbers
about 2 teaspoons slat
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorns*
1 small clove garlic
1 teaspoon minced fresh jalapeno or other hot chile
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon lime juice or rice vinegar
2 teaspoons sesame oil
chopped cilantro, to your taste
NOTE: I couldn't find Sichuan peppercorns so I just used fresh cracked black pepper!
If the cucumbers are seedy (you'll know as soon as you cut into one), cut them in half lengthwise and scrape out the seeds with a spoon. (If they're not seedy, don't!). Chop the cucumbers, I like 1/2" or slightly bigger pieces. Put them in a colander or strainer and sprinkle with the sat and sugar; toss a bit and let sit for 20 to 30 minutes.

Grind the peppercorns in a spice grinder. (If you have a spice grinder than can handle it, add the garlic and chile, too - I used a mortar and pestle for this). Otherwise, mince the garlic and chile and combine with the peppercorns.

When the cucumbers look darker and slightly shriveled, toss the colander a few times to remove as much liquid as possible that's clinging to them. (You don't have to rinse; if anything, you'll wind up adding salt.) Put the cucumbers in a bowl and add all the other ingredients except cilantro. Taste and adjust the seasoning, then garnish with cilantro and serve. Bittman says room temperature is best, but I liked this as cold as can be best!

Sunday, July 16, 2023

Garden Fresh: Pasta alla Bersagliera {Pasta Aglio, Olio e Peperoncino}

 Disclaimer: I watch a fair amount of YouTube. The kids at school think they have a claim on YouTube and that adults and/or teachers just don't watch it. They are always so surprised to hear me talk about it.

I love the cooking and travel vlogs, among others. This week I discovered the Pasta Grammar channel and I watched them make a dish called Pasta alla Bersagliera, which is a pasta dish based off Spaghetti Aglio e Olio (Spaghetti with Garlic and Oil). The Bersagliera sauce is just like Spaghetti with Garlic and Oil, except they add in little red Italian peppers (peperoncino) and a couple tablespoons of tomato paste. The YouTube video that inspired this dish is below if you'd like to give it a watch!

I was so glad to discover this dish because I have some of the ingredients out in my garden: little red peppers, basil, and I decided to add some cherry tomatoes.  
It's real simple! You place the olive oil in the pan with the cherry tomatoes, tomato paste, sliced red peppers and cook that down for a little bit. Then add the garlic and cook over low heat (being careful not to burn the garlic) until the garlic imparts its flavor and is a slightly golden brown. Some people toss the garlic, but I kept it and garnished my dish with it! The sauce will look broken, but that's okay. It will come together when you add the pasta and the pasta cooking water.
I researched many Spaghetti Aglio e Olio recipes prior to making this. Some called for one garlic clove, some called for 3, and others called for 8. I decided on 3 garlic cloves and 3 little hot peppers. I like that you can vary the ingredients based on your personal taste. Some people might want to add less garlic, or maybe more. Some might only like 1 pepper while others prefer more. It's up to you! The beautiful thing about cooking in your own kitchen is making it your own! This is a spicy and flavorful delight and tastes quite fresh and delicious! If you have the ingredients on hand you might want to try it!

                         Pasta alla Bersagliera or Pasta Aglio, Olio e Peperoncino 

                     Adapted from Pasta Grammar/Youtube and Giada De Laurentiis

                                                          1 pound spaghetti

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

3 cloves garlic, germ removed

1-2 red peppers (pepporicino) 

handful of cherry tomatoes

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil leaves

reserved pasta water, amount depending on how you like your sauce

Notes: This recipe and the measurements is based off of Giada De Laurentiis' Spaghetti Aglio e Olio and I have simply substituted the red pepper flakes for red peperoncino and added 2 tablespoons of tomato paste. I got this idea from watching Pasta Grammar on Youtube and since I had the red peperoncino on hand I decided to adapt Giada's recipe and give it a go! This is a combination of their recipes with a little personal touch of my own with the cherry tomatoes. I don't claim it was authentic!

Place 6 quarts of salted water in a a large pot and bring to a boil.

In a medium to large skillet place the olive oil, cherry tomatoes, tomato paste, sliced peppers, and garlic (garlic should be left whole with the germ removed). Cook the mixture over low heat until the garlic becomes slightly golden brown. You do not want to burn the garlic! Remove the garlic. Add about 1 cup of hot water from the pasta pot and set aside.

When the pasta pot comes to a boil, add the pasta and cook about 2 minutes less than package directions. When the pasta is almost done, reserve about 1 cup of the pasta water. Drain pasta and add the pasta to the pan with the oil and tomato sauce. Stir and decide how much pasta water you need to make your sauce and pasta come together. Garnish with basil or other herbs, if you like and serve. 

 From The Garden @ IHCC