Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Formaggio in Casa

As often as I can, I write down old family recipes in my recipe notebooks. I want to make sure I have every little detail down so I can continue preserving my family culture, foods, and traditions.

I always loved the simplicity and taste of when my nonna made her own cheese. So I made sure to ask her how to make it and document it. We had lunch and then a nice espresso as we waited for the cheese to curdle on the big pot she had put on the stove. She laughed the entire time that I wanted to record this and save it as she explained the process to me. Here is the recipe and my photographs!


1 gallon of whole milk
1 tablet of Junket Rennet Tablets
                          Cheese Molds                     

let's make it
1.  Place a large pot over low heat and pour the entire gallon of milk in the pot.

2. Place 1 tablet in a small cup with a teaspoon of water and break it apart with a spoon.

3. Place the broken apart tablet in the pot with milk and stir.

4. Place a lid over the pot and cook on low heat until the tablet begins to curdle the milk and chunks start to form. It is around 1 and a half hours. Be sure to check on it occasionally.

5. Once all of the broken up cheese rises to the top, take a kitchen skimmer and take the cheese out of the pot and onto a plate.

6. Take the cheese and place it in the cheese mold to cool for about 1 hour.

7. Once the cheese has cooled, you can slice the cheese into pieces for everyone to enjoy. 

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Bucatini all'Amatriciana

amatriciana-pasta-bucatini-italian-dinner-food blogger- nj food blogger

I grew up with pasta. I mean obviously, I am indeed Italian. But I won't lie, sometimes pasta can get boring for me. Gasp! I know, I know, I admitted it. Which is why I love when pasta dishes have a different flair to it!

Don't get me wrong, I would never trade our pasta with fresh homemade tomato sauce... but sometimes I want something a little more extra. 

So here is my Papa's (he has his own youtube cooking show now: Pasta Fazool!) Bucatini all'Amatriciana. He whipped it up one night for his episode and of course, I snagged the recipe. 

It's super simple with lots of flavor and will truly wow your next dinner guests ;) Buon Appetito! 

1 lb Bucatini pasta
 2oz extra virgin olive oil
 1 med onion chopped
 6 oz smoked bacon chopped
 2-3 oz of you favorite white wine
 12oz can of peeled tomato (San Marzano) preferred
 Salt and chili pepper to taste
Pecorino Romano and Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese

let's make it 

1.  Pour 2 oz. of extra virgin olive oil in a pan over medium heat. 

2. Chop up one medium onion and place it in the pan with the oil. Stir frequently to not burn. 

3. Chop up about 6 oz. of bacon and place it in the pan with onions. Let cook and sizzle until light brown. 

4. Add the peeled and squished tomato sauce. Let ingredients cook and simmer. Stir occasionally.  

5. Add the white wine, chili pepper, and salt. Stir and cook for around 20 minutes. 

6. Boil Bucatini pasta in another pot as per box instructions (al dente preferred. ) 

7. Once pasta and sauce are cooked, drain the Bucatini. 

8. Scoop enough sauce to pour over Bucatini pasta and mix it well.

9. Before serving each dish, add another spoonful of sauce over the pasta.  

amatriciana-pasta-bucatini-italian-dinner-food blogger- nj food blogger

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Biscotti Anise

Okay these cookies are quite possibly the most delicious, moist, pillows of sweet goodness you'll ever eat. Seriously, one bite and you're hooked... so take a glass, fill it with milk and without a doubt you'll be eating more than you even thought possible. 

Whenever there is a lack of sweets in the house, (we are a sweets family, so it is a problem at times) my Mamma will whip out a few simple ingredients and begin to make these heavenly cookies. The aroma of anise will soon dance it's ways into the halls of our home, inviting you to come and indulge in one... or ten. 

These cookies are so simple to make, and with just a few ingredients that are likely in your cabinet... you too will be pouring yourself na bella tazza di caffè. Buon Appetito!

(for the dough)


  6 eggs

4 cups flour
2 cups sugar
6 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. Anise Extract 
8 oz. Mazola Oil 
1 juice from squeezed orange
(for the glaze)

2 cups confectioners' sugar 
3 tbsp hot water
1 tsp anise extract
sprinkles for decoration

let's make it 

1. Preheat the oven to 375

2. In a large bowl, mix together the eggs, and sugar. 

3. Add the flour, spoonfuls at a time, then the baking powder, salt, anise extract, oil and juice from the orange. 

4. Add additional flour as needed until you can roll out the dough into thick, long loaves. 

5. Once you have kneaded the dough into loaves, place them onto a baking sheet and bake at 375° for 15 minutes. The cookie should still be white, make sure you don't leave the cookies in for too long past 15 minutes, because the bottom will begin to burn. 

6. Once the cookies have cooled, whisk together the 2 cups sugar, 3 tablespoons of hot water, and 1 teaspoon anise extract. 

7. Spoon the glaze over the cookie loaves, and then sprinkle on the sprinkles. 

8. Cut the loaves at a slanted angle. Let the glaze harden before serving.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Classic Tiramisu

The ultimate Italian dessert, in my opinion is the Tiramisu. It is a classicwith  simple ingredients, and sure to be a hit at every gathering, especially for coffee lovers. 

"Tiramisu" litreally means "pick me up", and I can only guess that when you spoon into a soft, creamy, and coffee soaked sponge of a piece.... you will be picked up by all of its coffee and sugary goodness. 

This recipe is very simple, and is the way my mamma has always made it, and everyone always loves it whenever it makes an appearance. Buon Appetito! 

  4 egg yolks
4 egg whites
3/4 cup granulated sugar
16 oz mascarpone 
1 cup heavy cream
1 tbsp. rum
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
lady fingers (around 35)
dark chocolate (for shaving on top)
2-3 cups brewed espresso

let's make it 

1. In a mixing bowl, beat the egg yolks with sugar. I also choose to place the bowl in a pot of hot water, so it takes away the bacteria in the raw eggs. 

2. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. 

3. Combine both the egg whites and egg yolks with sugar together.

4. Add the mascarpone cheese to the egg mixture, and beat until smooth. Add the heavy cream, rum, and vanilla extract. 

5. Make the espresso coffee, and then place it in a low, flat pan. 

6. Dip the lady finger cookies in the espresso and begin to place them side my side in a baking dish. Once one layer of cookies is filled, pour the mascarpone cream over it. Continue until you have around 3 layers of cookies and cream in between.

7. Shave dark chocolate on the last layer. Freeze for about 2 hours before serving.