Tuesday, May 30, 2017


Six years ago I cooked pasta every night we ate diner at home for an entire year.  At the end of the year, 298 pasta meals later, we resumed our usual dining routine of pasta 2-3 times a week.  OK, maybe 4 or 5 times.  Well the itch has returned, and I am inclined to resume the nightly pasta, with the blessings of my dear and gracious wife. The goals will be: 1. To come up with as many different dishes as possible, limiting repeats to about 15% of the totals. 2. To see how many non-typical ingredients I can use to make a healthy and nutritious menu. 3. To see if I learned anything from the experience 6 years ago.  I will be disappointed if I haven’t. 4. To create my own recipes and limit the use of others. Although after looking at so many cookbooks it appears there is little that has not been done before, by someone, somewhere.

My definition of a pasta dish is any main course in which pasta of some type is at least 50% of the entre (example – pasta salad with a side of shrimp). I will aim for 100% as often as possible.

Unless circumstances prevent it, all recipes and photos will be posted on my blog and Facebook. And if I can remember, I will keep you posted on my weight.  I can’t commit to my wife’s.

The fun begins on June 1.

Monday, May 29, 2017

5-26 -17 Penne with a Bolognese-like sauce (Not Beef Stroganoff)

1.    Fettuccini
2.    Mixed mushrooms
3.    Ground beef
4.    Olive oil
5.    Garlic
6.    Fresh Basil
7.    Onion
8.    Sundried tomatoes in oil - 3 or 4 coarsely chopped
9.    Sweet Vermouth
10. Salt & pepper
11. Red pepper flakes
12. Heavy whipping cream – about 1/3 cup


Over high heat cook the mushrooms, onion, and garlic until mushrooms begin to brown.  Add the meat and tomatoes and continue cooking over medium-high heat until the meat is cooked.  About half way through this stage add some wine and the Basil.  Stir occasionally.  Add the cream when about 5 minutes before you anticipate the pasta to be ready. Drain the pasta and mix thoroughly with the sauce.  Serve with a topping of your favorite grated cheese.


I was mildly offended when after one bite Patience said, “Beef Stroganoff”. Sputtering to myself, I quickly corrected her, saying this was a variation of a Bolognese sauce. If I must say so myself, it was quite delicious. “Beef Stroganoff…no way”. 

Sunday, May 14, 2017


Ending a beautiful day in a Lowertown way.  Lee and Dee stopped by to chat with Patience who was working in the front garden.  Of course the neighborly thing to do was to share a glass of wine on the porch, followed by dinner. The challenge was what to serve, and once again, Patience’s porch garden came to the rescue.

1.     Penne pasta
2.     Fresh Arugula, coarsely chopped
3.     Olive Oil
4.     Garlic, Onions and Celery
5.     Pancetta, diced
6.     Sun dried tomatoes in olive oil  coarsely chopped
7.     Great Northern Beans – I can, drained
8.     Fresh oregano, thyme, basil, and Rosemary
9.     Toasted panko

Cook the pancetta in olive oil, then add the onion, celery, and garlic, and cook until soft.  Add the beans, herbs, and tomatoes and cook over medium-low heat.  While the pasta is cooking, add the arugula to the sauce and continue cooking over low heat.  When the pasta I done, mix it into the sauce in the same pan, adding pasta water if it is too dry.

Serve sprinkled with the Panko.

The pasta, accompanied by one of Patience's salad of fresh greens made for a delightful dinner.
Everyone considered this a success.  I’m inclined to agree with them.

Thursday, May 11, 2017




1.     Leek – thin slices
1.     Celery
2.     Garlic crushed
3.     Olive Oil
4.     Mixed mushrooms
5.     Sundried tomatoes in oil – coarsely chopped
6.     Dry white wine
7.     Fresh lemon juice
8.     Fresh parsley and sage oil – coarsely chopped
9.     Toasted Panko


Cook the leek and celery in the olive oil until soft.  Add the garlic and continue cooking for about 2 minutes before adding the mushrooms and tomatoes.  Cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until mushrooms begin to brown.  Add splash of wine and allow to cook off before adding fresh lemon juice (about half of med. Lemon).  Lower heat and simmer for 1-2 minutes then add the herbs. 

While the pasta is cooking toast the panko in butter in a small skillet on the stove top and remove when it begins to turn golden.

Add the pasta (recommend one of the shaped pastas) to the sauce; mix well, (add pasta water if needed) and serve, sprinkled with panko.


Patience and I give this a 20 on a scale of 10!  I think it was a perfect combination of ingredients, but it was the fresh parsley and sage and the toasted panko instead of cheese that gave it that little extra oomph.  We will serve this the next time we have dinner guests.