Cooking Basics..Everything you need to know about cooking

Hello my fab readers! Tonight I made baked carbonara! It was really, really, good! Think, the goodness of carbonara, baked with chives, fresh linguine (I used fresh pasta from the grocery store and it was REALLY good), chives, leeks, chicken, and asiago cheese instead of parmesan! I really liked using the asiago instead of parmesan, because it has a bit of a really nice salty flavor. I didn’t take pictures, yes I know! However, it tastes really good! The smell is really good, you can’t wait to take out of the oven!

Fettucine Carbonara with Chives, Leeks, Chicken, and Asiago Cheese

You will need:
– 9 oz fresh fettucine

– 2 eggs (3 if you like a cream carbonara)

– 4 slices turkey bacon

– 1 leek, finely chopped

– 1/4 cup finely chopped chives

– 3/4 cup asiago cheese, plus extra

– 1 tsp garlic salt

– 2 chicken breasts, cooked and cubed

– bread crumbs

– 1 tsp black pepper

– 1 tb olive oil

– 4 slices turkey bacon (or regular bacon)


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Cook turkey bacon until it is crispy, about 5 minutes (make sure to flip the bacon). Take turkey bacon out of the pain, and cook leeks with the olive oil for about 5 minutes.

3. Boil the water for the fresh pasta. Add salt and pasta. Cook for about 3 minutes, then drain.

4. Pour the pasta into a greased baking dish. Pour over egg mixture and chicken and toss. Sprinkle bread crumbs and extra parmesan cheese.

5. Bake for 10 minutes.


{July 10, 2010}   Butternut Squash Tortelleni!

Hey everyone! Tonight I made butternut squash tortlleni! Okay, so I made homemade pasta dough (and I didn’t roll the dough out thin enough, it was a tad bit thick!). Luckily I had wonton wrappers, so those wonton wrappers saved the day! 🙂 The filling was very good, but I had a lot left, which I froze! They still tasted pretty good, so don’t be afraid to try the recipe! And don’t forget to follow me on Twitter! 🙂

First Step: Start off with butternut squash (the one I used was VERY big, make sure it is washed and peeled)

Step 2: Cut the squash in half

Step 3: Using a spoon, scoop out the seeds.

Step 4: Cut into chunks!

Step 5: Bake @ 400 degrees for about 15 minutes.

Step 6: For filling: Mash butternut squash. Now add in 1/2 cup ricotta cheese, 3/4 cup parmesan cheese, 1/2 tsp garlic salt, 1 tsp granulated garlic, and 1 tsp red pepper.

Step 6: Fill Wonton wrappers with filling. Using your finger, spread a little bit of water around the borders, and fold over.

Step 7: Brush water all over wonton, and fold each side, you will have a shape that looks like tortelleni! 🙂

Step 8: Boil in a pan of boiling water for 5 minutes!

Step 9: Bon appetit! 🙂

This the day-after-Fourth-of-July, my friend and I had the cooking bug! We decided to make chocolate-hazelnut ravioli and pinwheel carbonara (I will write about that further down  this post)! The chocolate nutella ravioli was easy to make, all you have to do is fill wonton wrappers with nutella, put water around the edges, fold over, and fry in canola oil! They were very good, and very delicious! It is my version of Giada de Laurentis’ chocolate hazelnut ravioli

First step: Fill the wonton wrappers with nutella (or any other chocoalte-hazelnut filling). Brush water on the edges, and fold over.

Second step: Fry the ravioli’s in canola oil.

Third step: Now they are done!  Put them on a plate with a paper towel to take off grease!

Fourth step: Dust them with powdered sugar and make them look pretty! 🙂

Now for the pinwheel carbonara. It was well, very good! It wasn’t heavy surprisingly and tasted just right! Who knew carbonara is really an egg-based dish (in which the eggs are barely cooked) and not a dish with a base of heavy cream! Shocker, right? Now, here are the steps!

First step: Finely chop 2 leeks and put them in a bowl of water for 10 minutes. This way the sand/grit gets off easily. After they are done with the water bath, put them through a fine sieve so all the water gets out and you don’t loose any bits of leek (s).

Second step: Cook 4 slices of turkey bacon. Leave all the grease. Set aside. Now, cook the leeks in the turkey bacon grease (you may need some olive oil if there isn’t enough grease to coat the leeks). Cook for 5 minutes, or until the leeks or tender. Now crumble pieces of bacon and add them to the leeks.

Third Step: Combine 2 eggs, 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, 1 tsp garlic salt, and 1 tsp dried oregano. (Sorry, I forgot to take a picture of this step:)

Fourth Step: Toss in 10 oz pinwheels pasta. Turn off the heat. Now stir in egg mixture (yes, I know barely cooked eggs! My friend said, “Isn’t it like unhealthy to eat pretty much raw egg?” I responsed, “It’s kind of cooked! The cooked pasta, leeks, and turkey bacon, cooks the egg.”)

Have an amazing week everyone! 🙂

{June 24, 2010}   Spaghetti and Meatballs

Spaghetti and meatballs is a classic dish! Actually, it’s not an authnetic Italian dish, but it’s still pretty amazing! I always thought it was an Italian dish, until I read Teresa Guiduice’s (from Housewives of New Jersey) cookbook Skinny Italian. I strongly suggest you go out and buy that cookbook, because it has some pretty awesome recipes! I love her recipe for marinara sauce (which I use for the sauce, making only one change, which is adding one small can of tomato sauce so I get more sauce for the spaghetti and meatballs). If you want to impress people, this is the way to go. The homemade meatballs are to die for! This is real homemade spaghetti and meatballs, we’re not using frozen premade meatballs or already made marinara sauce, trust me, you won’t go back! The funny thing about this is, it is not hard to make! The only hard part is letting the sauce simmer for a good 1 1/2 hours, to let all the flavors really come out! I took pictures of this step by step, so you know EXACTLY what to do!

1. Saute 2 tablespoons fresh basil, 1 meduim finely chopped onion, 2 tablespoons olive oil, and about 1/2 cup chopped portabella mushrooms for about 3 minutes, or until veggies look tender.

2. Add one 6 oz can tomato paste, one 8 oz can tomato sauce, one 28 oz can diced tomatoes, 1/2 cup hearty red wine (you can barely taste it, but it adds some awesome flavor, however, you can omit it), and 3 1 /2 tablespoons sugar. Let simmer.

3. Combine 1 pound turkey, 1 egg, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tsp garlic salt, 1 tsp black pepper, 1/4 cup aged parmesan cheese, and one package Lipton onion soup mix (the lipton onion soup mix is the key to sucess!) Form into meatballs, I like to make fairly small ones, but you can do big ones if you wish.

3. Sear the meatballs in 3 tablespoons olive oil, about 2 minutes on each side, or until each sides have a brown color.

4. Add the meatballs to the sauce, and let simmer for 1 1/2 hours. Whens sauce is done simmering, add 1 lb cooked spaghetti and bon appetit!

{June 23, 2010}   Shrimp Scampi!

Another scampi recipe! This is actually pretty good! My friend and I both loveddd it! It’s ultra-delish and tasted great! It doesn’t use loads of butter, which is always good! You need to marinade the shrimp overnight, so make this ahead of time! If you don’t have enough time to marinade overnight, marinade it for about 1 1/2 hours before making.

You Will Need:
– 1/2 pound shrimp (shells off)

– 4 tablespoons butter, cut into 8 small cubes

– 2 tablespoons fresh chopped basil (optional)

– 3 tablespoons garlic salt (divided)

– 2 cloves garlic

– 3  1/2 tablespoons old bay

– 2 tablespoons olive oil

– salty chicken broth (Bring 1 cup of water to a boil, now add one chicken bouillon cube. DO THIS INSTEAD OF CHICKEN BROTH IN A CAN! It’s saltier, and tastes better)

– 1 tablespoon black pepper

– 2 tablespoons lemon juice

– 1 tsp red pepper flakes

– 1 lb linguine (cooked)

– 2 tablespoons Italian seasoned bread crumbs


1. In a bowl, mix together cubed butter, old bay, basil, black pepper, 1 1/2 tablespoons garlic salt, shrimp, and lemon juice. Cover and let marinade overnight (or at least 1 1/2 hours).

2. Sautee garlic in olive oil and add 1 1/2 tablespoons garlic salt as well as red pepper flakes. Now add in shrimp/butter mixture and let cook for about 4-5 minutes, or until shrimp is well cooked. Now add in enough salty chicken broth to make a sauce. Stir in bread crumbs.

3. Toss in warm pasta until it is coated in the sauce.

4. Bon appetit!

et cetera