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Failure and comfort

Tomorrow is Big Kid’s birthday. He saw the Perfect Party Cake in my Baking book and liked it. That boy likes fruit and jam so I know he was attracted to the red jam filling between the cake layers. I know many who baked this cake had problems with the cake not rising. I read all the tips but alas, my cake failed too. Maybe it was the dark pans, maybe it was the lower heat I used (since I was baking with dark pans), maybe I overbeat or underbeat the batter but whatever it was, my cake did not rise. They were barely an inch tall. I would not be able to recreate the tall four-layer cake from the book. It was disappointing. After some consideration, I just decided to cut my losses and abandon the project. Don’t shout at me. It’s already too late. I have placed an order for a cake from a bakery. A lemon mousse cake because my boy likes tart desserts too. I felt sad because I’ve always baked birthday cakes for my family unless there was a specific request for something else.

I didn’t have the mood to make dinner but we got to eat. I took the 4 egg yolks left over from the cake recipe and made comfort food – pasta with carbonara sauce. We had rotini carbonara with bacon, peas and garlic. Yum. I feel slightly better.

 

Boiled pasta till al dente. Meanwhile, put sliced bacon into a cold saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, under bacon is crispy. Pour oil away leaving a teaspoon and stir in minced garlic and some frozen peas. Cook till garlic is fragrant and peas are heated through. Remove from heat. In a medium bowl, whisk together egg yolks, 1/2 cup half-and-half, 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan, salt and pepper. When pasta is done, drain pasta and pour it back to the pot. Toss the egg mixture through the hot pasta then toss with the bacon mixture. Serve immediately. 

 
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Posted by on July 20, 2011 in Cooking, Food, Life

 

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JFR’s Spaghetti Bolognese

After more than a month of not having pasta, my boys asked for pasta a few nights ago. I promised to make it this week and while catching up on Kitchen Flavour’s blog, I came across a Spaghetti Bolognese recipe she has posted from Jamie Oliver’s Jamie’s Food Revolution. It’s a simpler recipe compared to other food celebrities’ and what I like most about it is it doesn’t ask for tomato paste and red wine, both of which I don’t cook with on a regular basis. I didn’t have fresh basil so I used dried basil instead and added it with the oregano.

The sauce turns red after the hour-long simmering and the addition of Parmesan in the sauce makes it rich. You can stop simmering after an hour but if you like your sauce to be thicker, simmer for an additional half an hour with the lid off. It’s a tasty sauce and the boys enjoyed their meal although I think they had more enthusiasm for the garlic toast…!

Read Kitchen Flavour’s post for her adapted recipe or click here for the original recipe.

 
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Posted by on June 3, 2011 in Cooking, Food

 

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French Fridays with Dorie: Gnocchi a la Parisienne

It’s Friday already!! I had forgotten all about writing my French Fridays with Dorie (FFWD) post! I didn’t forget to make this week’s dish though. We had it for dinner on Tuesday and this is what it looked like, a dish of thick, soft dumpling baked in a Béchamel sauce with cheese on top:

It’s called Gnocchi a la Parisienne, where the gnocchi (the dumplings) are made of choux pastry unlike the Italian style which is commonly made of potatoes and flour. The dumplings are light and soft so much so you don’t feel that you’ve eaten much even after finishing a big plate of this. I followed Tante Leo’s style from the recipe and beat one egg white separately before folding into the dough. The dough was scooped out using a teaspoon and it took about half an hour for me to cook the entire batch. For the cheese topping, I used a combination of Gruyère and old Cheddar for more colour and flavour. I’m not sure if the Béchamel sauce is supposed to turn out smooth and easy to pour but mine didn’t. It was thick and slightly lumpy but I was able to spread a layer on the bottom of the pan and also spread the rest of it over the gnocchi.

If not for Dorie making a comparison to macaroni and cheese, I wouldn’t have any idea how this dish would taste like as I’ve never had gnocchi before. It is like a pasta and cheese dish except the ‘pasta’ here is soft, boiled cream puffs. I love the cheesy crust on top but I do feel this dish would be even better with some bacon in it. ;-) I saved some for my Italian neighbour and she enjoyed it too.

Making gnocchi is another first for me, I love this cooking club for making me giving me the opportunity to cook new types of food!

French Fridays with Dorie is back to its usual format of every member cooking the same dish each week. Click here to look at the Gnocchi a ala Parisienne other members made.

Next week’s recipe: Michel Rostang’s Double Chocolate Mousse Cake (Yippee, dessert!!)

 
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Posted by on January 14, 2011 in Cooking, Food, French Fridays with Dorie

 

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Slow-cooker Bolognese Sauce

I mentioned yesterday about a slow-cooker bolognese sauce that I’m going to cook. I stumbled upon that recipe when following a link about Lasagna Cupcakes posted by FoodForTots on her Facebook page.  The recipe came from Framed Cooks‘ blog which took me to her bolognese sauce recipe. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on September 1, 2010 in Cooking, Food

 

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