Amatriciana and French Toast

There is a legitimate reason as to why there is a lack of activities here in my blog.

1. Work is a killer lately. I’ve got to do a lot of things, plus I’ve been attending meetings and reports that needs to be done.

2. I went on a short vacation. I was supposed to post something during my vacation, but there was no internet in the province!

Okay, enough excuses.

If you ask me if what dish I can cook confidently, without hesitation I would answer, pasta! I think that’s the first ever dish I’ve “perfected.” But of course, my mom can still cook a better pasta dish than me. My mom has worked in Italy for almost 15 years, so without a doubt she can cook better. Hello, she has probably tasted the best pasta dish in the world!

I was a graduating college student when I first heard and tasted of the pasta dish Amatriciana. A pasta dish that came from the town of Amatrice. What I remember the best about this dish is its spiciness and the bacon!

Fast-forward to 2013, this my version of Amatriciana.

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Ingredients:

  •  3 ounces pancetta, cubed
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/4 teaspoon red hot chili pepper (or to taste – mine was very fresh and hot)
  • 1/4 cup of dry white wine
  • 1 cup canned whole tomatoes and juice, crushed (use San Marzano if you can)*
  • 8 ounces Bucatini pasta (or spaghetti)
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Pecorino cheese
  • salt to taste

Instructions:

  • Bring a large pot of well salted water to a boil.
  • In a large fry pan, cook the pancetta over medium heat for several minutes until crisp but not brown. Remove the pancetta with a slotted spoon and reserve, but leave the fat in the pan. Add the olive oil, onions and chili pepper and cook for several minutes until the onions are just soft but not browning.
  • Add the white wine and cook for one minute. Add the tomatoes (I just use my hand to crush them) and the juice and reserved cooked pancetta and cook over medium low heat, uncovered, for 15 minutes. You want most of the liquid to cook off.
  • Meanwhile, cook the pasta until still a little firm. With tongs, remove the pasta from the boiling water and place right into the tomato mixture. Thoroughly coat the pasta with the tomato mixture. Turn off heat and add the cheese, tossing well. Taste for salt and add if needed. Serve immediately and pass extra Pecorino around. Be sure to serve a big red wine with this dish.

Recipe courtesy of The Italian Dish.

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I’m not really good at plating and I forgot to take pictures while cooking. My brother was too excited to eat, hence the messy plate.

My version, is not the same as the one I’ve tasted before; mine’s not that spicy! I’ve been putting tons of hot sauce (before, I use tabasco, but it’s not spicy enough!) and red-hot chili peppers (Anthony Kiedis! haha), but it’s still not spicy enough.

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Despite the lack of “kick,” my brother actually liked it! Phew!

After dinner, my brother told me that he’s still hungry. I honestly don’t know what kind of appetite he has. He’s been eating a lot, but he’s not getting fat! I envy him a lot! The only thing that I can cook is French Toast. I’m too lazy to put so much effort in this, because I was really tired and the meat in the freezer wasn’t thawed.

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Ingredients

  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons honey, warmed in microwave for 20 seconds
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 8 (1/2-inch) slices day-old or stale country loaf, brioche or challah bread
  • 4 tablespoons butter

Directions

  • In medium size mixing bowl, whisk together the half-and-half, eggs, honey, and salt. You may do this the night before. When ready to cook, pour custard mixture into a pie pan and set aside.
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Dip bread into mixture, allow to soak for 30 seconds on each side, and then remove to a cooling rack that is sitting in a sheet pan, and allow to sit for 1 to 2 minutes 
  • Over medium-low heat, melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a 10-inch nonstick saute pan. Place 2 slices of bread at a time into the pan and cook until golden brown, approximately 2 to 3 minutes per side. Remove from pan and place on rack in oven for 5 minutes. Repeat with all 8 slices. Serve immediately with maple syrup, whipped cream or fruit.

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I haven’t been cooking a lot lately, and I have a feeling that I would never be able to cook this June. I have bigger responsibilities now. I will blog about it after every thing’s finish.

Can I ask you guys a favor? Pray for me; that I can do the tasks given to me and to successfully finish my responsibilities on time and with flying colors (cheesy!).

Till my next kitchen adventure! 🙂

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