Pasta with sausage and goat cheese | Photo by HealthyandLazy
I can’t help but love pasta. I come from an Italian family, with Italian grandmothers, and an English mother who has forsaken her own culinary tradition (can’t really blame her for moving away from English food, right?) and has joined the cult of the Italian. I grew up on Italian food, and am delighted to roll out another Italian recipe today – and from the most authentic Italian establishment around, Carrabba’s.
Okay, so maybe it’s not authentic, but this pasta is darn good. They don’t serve it there anymore, but there was a time, several years ago, when this was the dish to get. I’ve never seen anything like it in any restaurant in Italy, and I’ve been to a bunch. Oh well. The concept is simple – pasta with Italian sausage (non-meat sausage in this case) and goat cheese. The execution is just as simple. This is a great weeknight dinner, quick and easy.
So good it should be illegal.
Here’s a family favorite for you. Growing up, this was my go-to birthday dinner – only now, years later, I’ve learned to adapt the recipe to make it veg-friendly. It’s not a light, summery pasta by any stretch of the imagination. It’s moderately heavy and extremely flavorful.
In my travels, I regularly order it just to see how it stacks up against momma’s. So far, my mom wins every time. In Italy, it’s usually even egg-ier than the recipe here, but they typically use a lighter meat (prosciutto instead of bacon, usually). So, experiment. Try more eggs, less eggs, more parm, more bacon (or veggie bacon) – that’s what cooking is all about. This is my favorite carbonara recipe, but it certainly doesn’t have to be yours.
Vegetable and Cheese Bruschetta
Here’s a winner. It doesn’t have a name as of yet, but “cheese and veggies on toast” seems fairly accurate, although less than eloquent. Got a better name for it? Drop it in the comments. The idea for this recipe came from a close family friend who, along with her husband, deserves to have a restaurant of her own. She doesn’t use cheese or bread, but instead uses the veggie mixture as a simple hot dish or cold on top of salads. We made some modifications and love our new recipe, but feel free to experiment on your own.