Fettuccine ricche alla emiliana

December 29, 2013

Fettuccine with Cream and Tomato Sauce

My Dad makes this delicious pasta dish some time between Christmas and New Year every year. Over the years my Dad has modified it quite a bit as a concession to the heart, because he wants it to make your heart happy, your stomach happy and in turn that makes for a happy Dad. Also, who uses 5 eggs in pasta anymore or 3 sticks of butter or whole cream? It’s a wonderful holiday tradition and it wouldn’t be a holiday visit without this scrumptious meal.

Fettuccine dish

Finished Fettuccine dish

This is the original recipe with the modifications [noted].

Dough

1 pound sifted flour

5 eggs [2-3 eggs]

1 teaspoon oil

pinch of salt

Or substitute a similar dry egg pasta.

Sauce

1 1/2 cups butter [1/2 cup or 1 stick]

6 ounce peeled tomatoes, drained [if whole, broken up or canned diced tomatoes]

Salt and pepper

2 ounces green peas, boiled [1/2 cup]

2 ounces sweet pepper, roasted, peeled, cut in strips [from a jar work just as well]

1/4 pound prosciutto (fat and lean), chopped

1/2 cup cream [half and half rather than whole cream]

1 cup of grated Parmesan [or combination of asiago, romano, parmesan]

Preparation:

Dough:

Heap 1 pound of sifted flour on a suitable work surface. Whip 2-3 eggs with a few drops of oil and a teaspoon of salt. Pour the mixture into a well, scooped out of the mound of sifted flour. Kneading manually, bring the flour to the center and continue until the dough reaches a fairly consistent texture. [Add small amounts of warm water as the dough gets dry during the kneading process, this makes up for the extra 2 eggs that we left out.] Dampen a white kitchen towel with warm water , wrap the dough in it and allow to rest for 30 minutes. Roll and cut the dough into 1/2 inch wide strips. [This can be done ahead of time. We use a pasta maker which makes this a fairly efficient process.]

pasta maker

The pasta maker at work

Pasta drying

Pasta drying

Sauce:

Melt half the butter in a pan, add the tomatoes seasoned with a little salt and pepper, and simmer for 8 minutes. Add the peas, the sweet pepper strips, and the ham, and cook together for two minutes; remove from heat and keep warm.

Putting it all together

Cook the pasta in lightly salted boiling water, drain when al dente and transfer to a warmed serving dish. Then, in layers, pour over the cream, half the Parmesan, the remaining butter in softened lumps, and, finally, the tomato sauce. Allow to stand a few moments, mix, and serve on warmed plates; pass the remaining Parmesan at the table.

Layer cheese, butter, sauce on fettuccine

Layer cheese, butter, sauce on fettuccine

Serves 6-8

Copyright © 1972, Luigi Carnacina Presents: Italian Home Cooking

Georgia waiting and watching underfoot

Georgia waiting and watching underfoot


Just Be – Christmas ’11

December 26, 2011

When you change-up a routine, you can experience something completely different and also exactly the same. That’s what happened to me this holiday season.

My family holiday traditions are fairly constant. I’ve written about them before, like in the Christmas Tree Saga of ’08 or ’10. This year because of work commitments I went home to Michigan for Thanksgiving and my folks and sister came to my house for Christmas. This was different, would it work, would there be enough space in my house?

My Mom’s cousin, Father Joe, drove a couple of hours over for lunch one day. They talked about family, reminiscing about people and stories from a long time ago. Then, he’d stop and just look around in wonder that he was actually seeing us. My sister and I mused about what we would talk about at future family gatherings. This was different.

Mom and Father Joe

My Dad made his famous homemade fettuccine dish. Noodles from scratch and the simple cream sauce is just heaven. This was the same.

Homemade fettuccine

Homemade fettuccine

We used Skype for the first time to connect with the other two family units. Seeing them and talking to them made it a more personal holiday call than just via phone alone. Seeing the kids playing with their presents and talking about them, you see the light and excitement in their eyes. Maybe we can keep up these video calls, to keep this more personal form of communication going. This was different.

And then, when it’s time for a break, we can all sit around the living room and read a book or a newspaper or an iPad and just be; be content, be quiet, be together. With family, you can be yourself, you can be happy, you can be moody, you can be incredulous, you can be laughing at them and you can be laughing with them. It’s also a sure bet that you’ll be teased by them. This was the same.

The best thing about my holiday was that amidst all the new logistics, fun visits, great food, I could also just be!

Happy Holidays!

Christmas Tree '11


Zeppole

December 29, 2010

Another  holiday food treat, Zeppole, a fried Italian Donut. It may take a bit of fiddling to get the oil temperature right, but eating these piping hot is a gastronomical delight. Enjoy!

Zeppole (Italian Donuts)

Ingredients:
2 eggs
1 c flour
2 tsp baking powder
1½ tsp sugar
½ lb ricotta (1 cup)
¼ tsp vanilla
dash of salt
1 qt oil for frying
confectioners sugar
honey

Preparation:
Beat eggs until foamy. Add other ingredients (but not oil). Batter is sticky. Heat oil to 375°F. Divide batter into 4 portions.  Use spoon to pick up small portion. Push into hot oil with another spoon. Fry until golden brown. Remove and drain on brown paper.  Sprinkle with sifted confectioners sugar and honey.
Note: zeppole will turn in hot oil.

–Origin unknown, could be based on Grandma’s old recipe

Zeppole

Zeppole sprinkled with Confectioners Sugar and drizzled with Honey

 


Christmas Tree Saga of ’10

December 23, 2010

Seems like we’ve had quite a saga while trying to get the family Christmas  tree in the last few years. See the ’08 saga.

I was traveling home on Sunday, which means everyone waited for me to come home before getting the tree. Since Christmas is on a Saturday this year, It seemed like 5 days would be plenty of time to go out and cut our own tree. Apparently, not many people cut their own trees anymore because there are so few places where you can, at least in our little corner of central Michigan. We went by the place we got the tree last year and the year before, there was a sign in the yard that said closed and there was a gate blocking the driveway. So, finding the owner’s house, Dad stopped and asked. They had closed for the season, they were only open through Sunday, the 19th. Huh?

So, that was it. We had to resort to getting a Christmas tree from a lot. I guess most people get their trees way early so the lot was a little sparse. One comment, “All the trees are either too perfect or oddly shaped”. Well of course we went for the oddly shaped and ended up with one really fat tree.

Fat Tree from the Lot

Fat Tree from the Lot

Luckily, there weren’t any real problems putting the tree up. It was wrapped and so we decided to not cut the wrapping string until we got it in the house. I really don’t think we’d have been able to get it in the house otherwise.  Another facetious comment, heard while cutting off the string, “And why are you in the emergency room? Got crushed by the Christmas tree.”

So, this year’s saga, not quite so dramatic, but still the tradition turned on its ear yet again.

Happy Holidays!

Decorated Christmas Tree

Christmas Tree '10


Rum Balls

December 21, 2010

Another holiday favorite! Rum Balls

32 Vanilla wafers

1 cup pecans

2 tbsp cocoa

1/4 cup white corn syrup

1/4 cup rum

confectioners’ sugar

Blender chop the Vanilla wafers, place crumbs in large bowl. Blender chop the pecans, add to crumbs and add cocoa, syrup and rum and mix well. Coat hands with confectioners’ sugar and roll mixture into balls. Refrigerate for at least  1 hour, then roll in confectioners’ sugar. You may need to re-coat with confectioners’ sugar if you don’t eat them right away.

– from Oster Kitchen Center Cookbook ©1980


The Christmas Tree Saga of ‘08

December 19, 2009

Author’s note: This was an email to siblings and their families that didn’t make it home for Christmas 2008 in Michigan:

Part 1

One of our timeless family traditions entails gathering as many kids that are home and going off to the Christmas Tree farm with Dad to cut down our own tree. Usually, this is an enjoyable, satisfying holiday tradition culminating with a steaming cup of hot cocoa provided by Mom when we get home.

Well, the year of ’08 will live in infamy as the most opposite experience to the “enjoyable, satisfying” one we usually have. Here’s what happened….

Read the rest of this entry »


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