Ok it’s almost July. And I live in Arizona (meaning I try to stay inside as much as possible this time of year).
So what do I do when I am bored? I look at recipes in magazines. It is interesting how many mistakes there are in what I would hope to be professionally written and reliable recipe sources.
On one occasion, I was going through Every Day with Rachel Ray magazine. I was planning a mozzarella making/appetizer/wine inventory reduction party at my cabin on the following Monday night, so thought I would try some new recipes.
First up was a Lemon-scented Carbonara recipe from Rachel Ray’s June/July issue. And – here is my “trusted” go-to version of that recipe – which of course was a major hit with the crowd who also took the left-over’s home in Tupperware.
( I love lemon so this version has more lemon flavor and very tasty for the warmer months ahead)
Serves 10 (appetizer size servings)
1 ½ lb. Fettuccine
3 TB EVOO
1 lb. Thick cut bacon, chopped
1 tsp. garlic pepper
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
6 lemons, zest and juice (directions below)
2 c white wine (not too dry. I used Château Michelle from Oregon)
5 egg yolks
2 TB freshly chopped parsley, set aside
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese, set aside
1 large yellow tomato, diced, set aside
1 cup can peas, set aside
Fresh ground black pepper to season
Bring a large pot of water to boil and add 1 TB coarse sea salt. Add the pasta and cook until al dented. Drain and reserve about 1 cup of pasta water, set aside. When the pasta is cooked to your liking, run cold water over it to stop the cooking process. Then stir in about 1 TB of EVOO and toss to keep it from sticking together and set aside.
While the pasta is cooking, add the EVOO to a large heated skillet (medium heat). Add the bacon and season with some black pepper, and cooked until brown (do not drain the bacon fat). Add chili pepper flakes and garlic pepper, stir with the zest of all the lemons.
Add the wine and simmer until reduced by half, then simmer for another 1-2 minutes.
In a bowl whisk the reserved pasta water with the egg yolks to temper them. Add the juice of all the lemons to the eggs and whisk together. Pour egg mixture into the skillet (it looks greasy at first, but it will all come together to form a beautifully lemon sauce) and stir over medium heat.
Whisk in the tempered egg sauce. Add the pasta to the skillet, a little at a time and use tongs to toss in the sauce. Fold in the “set aside” ingredients, parsley, cheese, peas and tomatoes until pasta is well incorporated with the sauce. Serve in a large bowl. Option: Top with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
Yogi Tip: (I don’t use Romano cheese because it is too strong over pasta and takes over the flavors).
Second recipe – In that same Everyday with Rachel Ray issue – I found this recipe in her “No-Cook Dessert” section. I corrected the ingredients and directions to make sense, made some changes and additions, and here is the delicious version that I served.
2-Berry Trifle (instead of Raspberry Tiramisu)
Use a glass dish or Trifle dish for visual appeal.
1 pint heavy whipping cream
4 TB sugar
1 cup (or I used one container) of whipped cream cheese
Zest of 2 oranges (reserve juice and set aside)
1 jar raspberry jam or preserves
1 package lady fingers, crushed (I couldn’t get lady fingers so I used cream-filled finger cookie version)
Two pints each, fresh raspberries and blackberries. Wash and set aside. Use the blackberries in the layering and reserve the raspberries for the top.
Whip cream and sugar to soft peaks. Fold in cream cheese and orange zest, set aside. In a small bowl whisk together orange juice and jam and set aside.
Divide crushed cookies in two. Start by layering with ½ the crushed cookies, then cream, raspberry sauce, and blackberries. Continue layering until gone.
Top with crushed cookies. Form a tower with the fresh raspberries for an incredible top. Cover and refrigerate for up to 4 hours. Serve chilled.