Kung Pao Spaghetti alla Vodka – a Sichuan-style pasta with vodka sauce. You may be familiar with California Pizza Kitchen’s uber popular Kung Pao Spaghetti. Think of that spicy kung pao taste with a rich and creamy vodka sauce. It’s a dish that will have you going back for extra helpings!
Got leftover spaghetti? If you’re like me, you make enough pasta to feed a small army… there are always leftovers in our house. Last night I made Spaghetti Agli e Olio – a wonderful dish with a ton of garlic, olive oil, red pepper flakes, and parmesan. One of my favorite ways to reinvent this dish, is to make Spaghetti Pizza. Simply add eggs and then sauté until golden brown. What could be easier than that?!
This is not so much a recipe as it is an inspiration – you can use virtually any noodle dish you like and add extra ingredients, such as cheese, bacon, or greens. If you are using a heavily sauced pasta dish, shake off the excess sauce before adding the egg and sautéing. Then add the extra sauce at the end to top the spaghetti pizza.
It’s been a while since my last post, but I have a good excuse – I’ve been in Italy getting married! Actually, my husband and I were married this past Spring, but no joke, it was performed in the basement of a bail bonds facility with stacks of paper piled high on each desk and paint peeling from the wall. Truth be told, the Justice of the Peace did a perfectly lovely job, but the scenery left a lot to be desired. That being said, we previously decided we would make up for it by having a ceremony in Italy, thereby redeeming ourselves in the romance department.
During the Christmas season for over a decade, my husband’s family has gone skiing in a tiny little village nestled in the heart of the Dolomites. Every year, the same group of Americans, who live all over the globe, descend on this quaint village for a week of eating, drinking, dancing and skiing – my husband calls them his extended family, and they truly are. I went for the first time last year, and everyone was so welcoming, it was like I had been going my entire life. This year was particularly special, with my family in attendance as well as our very good friends from Washington, DC.
Dotted throughout the mountains are alpine huts that serve wine and food to hold you over till the next hut along your path. I am new to skiing, so I am limited as to which huts I can reach in a day (you can only get to the huts by skiing). I can, however, make it to one affectionately called, ‘The Wine Bar’. It’s a rustic little place – maybe 500 sq/ft at best, beautiful wood interior, just a few tables, and always PACKED with skiers. I’m not sure anyone even knows the real name of the place. Suffice it to say, the place is a wonderful wine bar that also serves fantastic cured meats and delicious cheeses. In the States, this would be a swanky place requiring proper attire; atop the Dolomites, it only serves hungry skiers still in their ski boots.
The day my husband and I skied to The Wine Bar, the area was completely socked-in and by the time we made it up to the pass, the wind started to pick-up. I couldn’t wait get out of the elements and warm up with a big glass of wine and some charcuterie. However, when we skied up, there were no skis out front – they were CLOSED! NOOOOO! Sadly, we would have to come back later in the week when it was open. Relegated to the decidedly larger restaurant next door, we managed to find a seat at the packed bar. Once properly ‘watered’ with a glass of red wine, we ordered some lunch – a plate of Spaghetti alla Carbonara. The confetti of crispy pancetta was a delightful salty counterpart to the creamy pecorino and egg coated noodles – it was a perfect meal for the cold and weary. This place may not have had quite the ambiance of The Wine Bar, but it certainly had some great Spaghetti all a Carbonara.
Homemade pasta is all about the dough. Well duh…you may be thinking. Obvious statement aside, truly good dough will make all the difference in the world between the madness you will feel when you haven’t worked your dough correctly versus and the pure pleasure you will feel when you crank out sheet after sheet of paper thin (yet architecturally strong) pasta.