Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Penny for your thoughts

There are a lot of opinions out there on how children should be educated. I want to hear your thoughts. I think all of the options - public, homeschool, and private - have pros and cons. So...let me know. What are you doing or planning on doing and why? Just curious.

Easy on your wallet

This is a recipe for Giada's Penne La Carbonara. It is so yummy and very fast to make! And, if you substitute bacon for the pancetta it is really inexpensive. I used pancetta this time but next time I will use bacon. I'm also posting my recipe for gorgonzola bruschetta. Gorgonzola just happened to be on sale so I thought I would try it. It turned out really good.

1 pound pancetta, diced into 1-inch cubes
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup heavy cream, at room temperature
1 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1 pound dried penne
4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
Heat a large saute pan, until hot. Add pancetta and saute until golden brown and crispy, about 5 minutes. Season with black pepper and remove pan from heat.

In a medium bowl, beat the eggs and cream. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in Parmesan, reserving 2 tablespoons for garnish.

In a large pot, boil 6 quarts of salted boiling water. Add pasta and cook until al dente, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain pasta in a colander. Do not rinse with water; you want to retain the pasta's natural starches so that the sauce will stick. While the pasta is still hot, return it back to the pot. Add the browned pancetta and mix well. Add the cream mixture and coat the pasta completely. It's important to work quickly while the pasta is still warm so that the cream mixture will cook, but not curdle. Add remaining Parmesan and chopped parsley.

Talia's Gorgonzola Bruschetta

1 cup gorgonzola cheese
half a loaf of french bread
4 garlic cloves
2 tomatoes
1-2 tsp dried basil or 5-6 fresh basil leaves

Slice the french bread about 3/4 inch slices. Place on baking sheet. Broil for about 2 minutes on one side and then about a minute on the other side. Watch it carefully so it doesn't burn. As soon as you remove it from the oven, rub each piece of bread with one clove of garlic - just peel the clove and rub it on each side of the piece of bread. The heat will help "melt" the garlic onto the bread. Drizzle each piece of bread with olive oil. Top each piece with gorgonzola and tomato mixture (recipe to follow).

Tomato mixture:
Core the two tomatoes. In a food processor place the tomatoes, remaining three garlic cloves (mince them so there won't be any big chunks), basil, salt and pepper. Pulse for just a few minutes. You want the tomatoes to be slightly big chunks. Drain the excess liquid before placing the topping on the bread. Enjoy!
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