• caesar pasta salad
    Lunch

    Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad

    Caesar Salad is probably one of the most universal salads out there. The problem is there is really only so much to do with it. That’s where this idea for the pasta salad came from. I love a good pasta salad for lunch so this recipe was born. I made caesar salad dressing a little while back and was definitely looking to give it a try again. I went with the traditional method (basically making mayo from scratch). The proportions this time around worked out even better. I also kept it a little simpler leaving out extra vinegar and capers, but added a little grainy mustard. The great thing about…

  • cacio pepe milanese
    Dinner

    Brown Butter Cacio e Pepe

    Cacio e Pepe is a pretty classic, easy pasta recipe which is what I love about it. The problem I have with it is, for a dinner, it can almost be TOO simple. I wanted to find a way to make it a little more interesting and also incorporate a protein source with the recipe. The answer is this Brown Butter Cacio e Pepe with Parmesan-Milanese Chicken. This chicken breasts are pretty straight forward. I started with some thin pieces, gave them a quick egg coating, and then into a breadcrumb/parmesan mixture. Then its just a simple pan fry in an oil/butter mixture. See, pretty simple! Now is the fun…

  • chicken bolognese
    Dinner

    Summery Chicken Bolognese

    Now that it basically feels like summer here in DC, its seemed like the right time to look at lightening up some of my favorite recipes. A prime target is one of my favorite pasta sauces: bolognese. When you think of bolognese typically a heavy, hearty meat sauce comes to mind, so I wanted to go after that. So, I started with the meat selection. Normally, I go for pork, beef, or lamb which all tend to be a bit heavier. This time I went with chicken; chicken sausage to be specific. I like cooking with sausage since it helps give a good base flavor to the sauce since its…

  • spicy pepperoni sausage pizza
    Dinner

    Spicy Pepperoni-Sausage Pizza

    This pizza is a homemade homage to a few of our favorite eat out pizza options. If you ever find yourself in the DC area, there are two really good local pizza favorites: Matchbox and All Purpose. They are in many ways similar in there pizza styles; generally thinner crust, wood-fired, and using high quality toppings in great combinations. Definitely check them out if you visit, you can’t go wrong and each have a few locations. Our go to pizza tends to be a a sausage and pepperoni combo. Matchbox has a fairly standard one that meats this with spicy Italian Sausage (actually pretty mild to me). All Purpose adds…

  • italian wedding soup
    Dinner,  Soup

    Italian Wedding Soup

    Italian Wedding Soup is easily one of Rob’s favorites. He isn’t a big soup person and often says that he doesn’t always view soup as a meal by itself. That said, when he wasn’t feeling great the other day, he happily agreed to a big bowl of Italian Wedding. So, Italian Wedding is a generally pretty simple soup. It’s some pasta, meatballs, and a leafy green (traditionally escarole) in broth. Now that said, Rob is very particular about his Italian Wedding Soup. He has a pretty long list of do’s and don’ts. It covers almost every aspect of the soup, from the pasta to the meatballs. First off is the…

  • lemon ricotta basil pasta
    Dinner

    Lemon-Basil-Ricotta Pasta

    I have been looking for ways to come up with some new warm weather pastas. I wanted to get away from cream sauces; however, I really like the flavors I often use in them. This recipe was my first attempt of this year on this. While I made this one with chicken, it was actually a bit of a test bed for what will eventually become a shrimp-based recipe. I really wanted a light flavor but with a little bit of some richness. I loosely based this recipe on one of my favorite cream sauce pastas using similar flavors. For the base flavors, lemon and basil were the natural choices…

  • creamy tomato pasta
    Dinner

    Creamy Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta

    This is another recipe that is loosely inspired by an Ina Garten one. I love a good pasta; unfortunately, tomato sauces are a little harder to innovate. This one started out as her sausage and fennel pasta, but we modified it along the way with some different flavors. Rob and I really liked the idea of a creamy tomato sauce like Ina’s recipe. To mix it up we added a little shallot with the fennel. The bigger add for us was some sun-dried tomato. I really love them as an ingredient; they have a bit of saltiness and are better than regular tomatoes in my opinion. This is one of…

  • Rabbit sausage bolognese
    Dinner

    Rabbit Sausage Bolognese

    The idea to make something with rabbit was all Rob, as was the cooking. His love of a gamey meat sauce over pasta definitely highlights the Italian in him. As strange as it sounds, this kind of recipe is almost comfort food to him. So I let him cook for me, for our Sunday night date-night-in dinner. This started with an idea Rob had to make a Wild Boar (yes BOAR) pasta sauce after watching an episode of Phil Rosenthal’s food travel show on Netflix. PSA: If you haven’t watched “Somebody Feed Phil” or its PBS predecessor on Netflix, DO IT NOW!!! Our local butcher didn’t have boar at the…

  • spaghetti and meatballs
    Appetizer,  Dinner

    Chicken-Pork Meatballs

    Meatballs are such a versatile ingredient. You can eat them as a snack or over pasta. Plus they can be eaten right away or frozen to save for later. At any given time I probably have at least two dinners worth of meatballs in my freezer just waiting to be heated. I make meatballs in many different ways, more often than not based on the types of ground meat available at the grocery store. This trip, I was glad that they had chicken-based Italian sausage and ground pork. I didn’t want to double down on pork Italian sausage since I wanted to be able to build a little more of…

  • stromboli
    Dinner

    Pepperoni Stromboli

    I have always liked Stromboli. Its a lot like pizza but in many ways even easier. Its one of those things that you can throw together in less than 10 minutes but you can use to feed a pretty large number of people if needed. If you are like me and you have pizza dough in your freezer, just in case. For stromboli, you can just roll out the dough into any roughly rectangular shape. We ended up doing a bit of a braided approach; this not only looks nice, but allows it to vent a bit. I went really simple with some jarred marinara, big pepperoni, and a standard…