Pear, Walnut, and Gorgonzola Salad

This salad is quick and easy to put together and yet it tastes like something you’d get in a nice upscale restaurant. The pear seems to cut a bit of the salty taste of the Gorgonzola, and the walnuts add a nice crunchy texture. Topped with a raspberry-poppy seed dressing, well, let’s say this one is a keeper.

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Popovers stuffed with ice cream and drizzled with chocolate
Popovers with ice cream and choclate sauce
Popovers make a perfect dessert with just a bit of ice cream and chocolate sauce.

These seem quite fancy, yet they are one of the fastest and simplest desserts. And even with a little ice cream and chocolate sauce, they are still light enough that you can eat several without feeling overwhelmed. Even though they are fast, popovers can be a bit finicky; we’ll have a few tips as we go along, but the first couple of times you make them, they might not pop.

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Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing

Vinaigrette dressings are really simple to put together. Just remember this: 1 part vinegar, 2 parts oil; you can’t go wrong. Continue reading “Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing”

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Hand-crushed Marinara Sauce

Based on a recipe I found in Rustic Italian Food by Marc Verti and David Joachim. The original called for far more oil and way too much salt; I backed off on these ingredients and added fresh basil to make what I think is a much nicer-tasting sauce. Continue reading “Hand-crushed Marinara Sauce”

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Basic Pasta Dough

Cutting the pasta

Does home-made pasta seem difficult? We thought so too, but once we tried it we found out that, not only is it really easy, but it makes your pasta-based dinners even better. Now we make fresh pasta about once a week.

UPDATE (5/21/2017): We’ve learned a lot about making pasta over the years, including the exact ratio of flour to liquid: 5 parts flour (by weight) to 3 parts liquid (also by weight), plus a pinch of salt. So to make 8 ounces of perfect pasta dough you need 5 ounces flour (pretty much any kind) and 3 ounces of liquid (pretty much any kind). Now you might find some people who claim the ratio is 3 parts flour to 2 parts liquid. This ratio will result in a dough that is too soft and a bit sticky. Do not be fooled, we make pasta dough weekly and have tried many ratios before settling on the 5 to 3 ratio.

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