Sunday, February 26, 2012

Rainy Day Sunday

Here in our area of N FL we have had very little winter. January and February are usually quite cold with temperatures dipping below freezing. We usually do warm up nicely during the day but this year as everywhere else in the country we have had unseasonably  warm temperatures. Today, however, we are having some rain, it is damp and very chilly, a perfect day for a fire in the fireplace to take the chill off the downstairs.

The family room mantle changes with the seasons, of course and right now I am enjoying my latest collection of blue and white pieces. A collection that was inspired by a dear friend, I have tried very hard  to NOT begin new collections but caved. I have recently been adding to this new collection of blue and white. I've had the center candle holders for some time and love them on the mantle but they looked a little lost so I added the jar to the left about a year ago and then the rest of the collection which I found at a sweet new little shop in our area called Sweet Patina. They seem to have a wealth of very old and charming blue and white porcelain pieces. I also found the little pot to hold my plant sitting on the tea table at the same shop and it is a perfect height and size.

The jar sitting on the hearth is one of several and I have used them many times with flower arrangements in them when having an outdoor garden party.

Even my furry friends, Miss Scarlet and Huey were enjoying the warmth of the fire on this cold dank day.

Huey especially enjoyed the warmth on his bottom.

A perfect day to peruse some cookbooks and prepare my grocery list for the week.

I am enjoying particularly P. Allen Smiths newest book which is a cookbook. Simple but seasonal recipes. Now this cornbread recipe looks delicious with added blue cheese, Yum. I will share the recipe later in the week.

I hope each of you are enjoying your Sunday afternoon. I'm heading back to leisurely enjoy my fire. It may very well be the last fire we have.

Linking to:
A Stroll Thru Life

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Capellini al Forno

I dearly love Italian food especially pasta, it is my guility pleasure. Recently I tried a new recipe courtesy of Giada De Laurentiis that I saw her prepare on her FN program. I have all of Giada's cookbooks but found this recipe was not in any of her books. Since she has another book due to be out in March I think this recipe may appear in that latest book. It was a winner and a keeper of a recipe.

The book is due to be out March 27. I am looking forward to this new book since I cook from Giada's books often.

This recipe went together very easily and out of habit I always cover the bottom of my spring form pan with aluminum foil.

Dotting the top with the remaining butter insured that it browned nicely.

Capellini al Forno

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, diced, at room temperature, plus extra for greasing pan
1 pound capellini (angel hair) pasta
1 cup plus 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
3 eggs, at room temperature, beaten
3/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup plain breadcrumbs
1 pound prosciutto, sliced 1/8-inch thick and coarsely chopped
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded smoked mozzarella
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 (25-ounce) jar marinara or tomato-basil sauce, warmed

Place an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9-inch diameter nonstick spring form pan. Set aside.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, 4 to 5 minutes. Drain well and place in a large bowl. Add 4 tablespoons butter, 1 cup Parmesan, eggs, parsley, salt and pepper. Toss well until coated.

Sprinkle 1/4 cup breadcrumbs in the bottom of the prepared pan. Spread 1/3 of the seasoned pasta on top. Arrange half of the prosciutto in a single layer on top. Sprinkle half of the mozzarella on top. Add 1/3 of the pasta and push down lightly to form an even layer. Repeat the layers with 1/4 cup breadcrumbs, the remaining pasta, prosciutto, and mozzarella. In a small bowl, mix the remaining 1/2 cup breadcrumbs and Parmesan together. Sprinkle over the layers and dot with the remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Drizzle with olive oil and bake until light golden on top, 45 to 50 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes.

Remove the sides of the pan and cut the pasta into wedges. Serve with warm marinara sauce.

I loved how the layers looked when the sides of the spring form pan were removed from the pan and it was absolutely delicious. If you do not care for prosciutto you could use ham but the prosciutto was wonderful. A must in this dish was the smoked mozzarella and I had difficulty finding it but you should NOT make a substitution in this case, it gave a wonderful flavor.

This is not the best of photographs but it was soooooooo yummy. I will definitely prepare this recipe again. Pared with a simple Mixed Green Salad it made for a memorable dinner.

It is Friday and I am joining Foodie Friday hosted by Michael Lee at Designs by Gollum. There are many wonderful recipes shared at this blogging party and you can see others by clicking HERE.