Sunday, June 12, 2016

Tortellini, Bacon and Smoked Mozzarella Cheesecake

Fresh chicken eggs are what inspired this recipe, and what goes better with eggs than bacon and cheese? 

                                                                                                                          First I baked the bacon, I always bake my bacon. Next I beat 5 eggs with a 1/4 cup of heavy cream, 1/2 cup of grated parmesan and seasoned them with a little pinch of salt and black pepper. Go easy on the salt because the bacon and the cheese are salty on their own. I chose to use cheese stuffed tortellini but you can really uses any pasta of your choice.
Now I set the pasta to boil, keep them a little al dente because you are going to bake it also. While the pasta was boiling I grated 1/2 pound of smoked mozzarella. When the pasta was done I drained it and set it aside to cool because if you add the eggs when the pasta is hot they will scramble and the cheese will melt. While I was waiting for the pasta to cool I chopped up the bacon. Then I mixed it together in a large bowl, the pasta, bacon, eggs mixture, the smoked mozzarella and I added a cup or more of ricotta cheese until it was well incorporate. At this point I prepared a 9 inch spring form pan by greasing it well with butter and coated the butter with panko bread crumbs. I added the pasta mixture to the pan and topped it with more panko crumbs. I baked it at 350 until it was set and bubbling about 40-45 minutes. Remove it from the oven and let it set up a bit before cutting into it so the slices stay together.
*You can add fresh parsley or any herb of your choice, green onion would be a nice addition too.
**It's a great make ahead meal for a dinner party, you can put it together the day before and spend time with your guests while it bakes.
***A nice salad, a bottle of wine and dessert and your dinner is complete!!
****HAPPY COOKING, CHEERS!!         

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Fettuccine With Shrimp And Prosciutto

Today I had fresh pasta on my mind. I love making fresh pasta, I don't know why I don't do it more often. It is quick, easy, fun and economical. I had a bag of shrimp in the freezer and some leftover prosciutto from pizza night and I rolled with it, my favorite way to cook! There are no specific measurements of ingredients for this recipe. First I sauteed the shrimp seasoned with salt and pepper in butter and garlic. Then I deglazed the pan with lemon juice and white wine, added a nice splash of heavy cream and a pinch of chopped parsley, turned the heat off to rest while I boiled the pasta. Pasta never waits for sauce, sauce always waits for the pasta, especially fresh pasta. 

 Next I dropped the fresh pasta, don't hesitate to make this once in your life!! 3 1/2 cups of flour and 4 extra large eggs.

When the pasta was cooked I tossed it all together in the pan, topped it with prosciutto and garnished it with fresh chopped parsley. The hardest part of this recipe was making the pasta and that only takes about an hour or so once you learn the technique, you need to get a couple of batches under your belt and a pasta maker to master this but it is well worth the effort and it is fun (bonus)! I hope you try this recipe to impress guests or just yourself.
*A nice tossed salad, garlic bread and wine is a perfect meal for a dinner party!
**Always remember to taste as you cook and re-season if needed.