Welcome to PastaPete
Where food is more than just a comfort --It is a lifestyle!
Updated: 12 /23 / 2019
12-23-2019 When you know stuff you can do stuff!
I will now provide two links for two of the dishes that will be on the Christmas menu this year. The first is my Cranberry Jello and the second is for my Apple Pie
We had a smaller group at our table this year and that made it easy as there were no political discussions.
Some photos of what was served:
Christmas Day Dinner 2018
Just like Capital One asks What is in your wallet?
I ask what was on your Christmas Dinner Table?
Our Menu this year:
Our First Offering ~ Yummi French Waffles
French Waffles ~ From Nikki Juliano (My Mom)
The Waffles are cooked in standard waffle iron from Black & Decker. This waffle iron makes four squares. Put a helathly dob of dougn in each quadrant. Remove waffles when there is just a hint of golden brown.
1.5 lbs of butter (3 cups)
1.5 lbs of Sugar (3 cups)
1.75 lbs of flour (about 7 cups)
3 tablespoons of Vanilla Butternut Flavoring (Baker’s Kitchen in Ohio)
Cream butter & sugar until fluffy (this means the butter has to be really soft)
Add eggs one at a time – beat well
[ Don’t make dough stiff or your cookies will be dry.]
Cook on a waffle iron about 1 tablespoon per drop. [I use a Black and Decker standard waffle iron $29 at Wal Mart –makes 4 at a time.]
6 eggs, 1.5 cups of butter, 1.5 cups of sugar about 3.5 cups of flour –1.5 tablespoons of flavoring.
I have found a ¼ batch is quick to make and easier with a small hand mixer: 3 eggs, ¾ cup of butter, ¾ cup of sugar and 1.75 cups of flour – about 1 tablespoon of flavoring.
Pasta Pete ~ Chef in Charge 12/2015
The PPP or P Cubed ~ AKA Pasta Pete Pears
This my creation for baking and stuffing Bartlett pears. Take 4 or 5 semi-ripe pears cut in half , scoop out the center and bake at 325 Degrees until soft. Let Cool! Next taking 1/4 teaspoon of Creme de Mint spritz each pear half. Fill the center with Blue Cheese and Walnuts. Top with a Marachino Cheery. Serve Chilled.
Chef Pasta Pete 12/2015
Stuffed Shells (Full Bore Carb City)
This recipe involves the stuffing of Barilla Jumbo Macaroni Shells with a mixture of four different kinds of cheeses that have been blended with chopped Spinach. Of course what really makes this dish stand up and sing is the Secret Sauce. This recipe will divulge the Italian Mojo needed to make the stuffed shells along with the long held secret of the Secret Sauce. This is not a 15 minute recipe but takes a bit longer and guarantees to add at least one half inch to your already overbulging wasteline. Bit Ohhh so Italian and Ohhh so Good!
If you attempt to use "store bought sauce in a jar" the shells will self destruct in 3 minutes or less --we have a word (actually several words) in Italian (more like Sicilian) that describes the fate for those who would do that and loosely translated means "Concrete Shoes". You must scratch build the sauce --not that hard and besides you have to drink a glass or two of wine while you make this recipe --not all bad!
[For those who don't know I have two other websites involved with amateur radio http://www.n6qw.com and https://www.jessystems.com --so at times you may hear me use terms to describe cooking actions that sound a lot like engineering talk --and it is just that!]
The Stuffed Shell recipe is a two part build that should be done sequentially starting with the secret sauce. There is a magic to a tomato sauce when it has "settled and the mixture of aromatic flavors has a 24 hour fermentation process". So make a batch (a big batch) at least 24 hours in advance of the stuffed shell build.
The secret of the Secret Sauce is now revealed: Garlic (more than you would think reasonable) and fresh Basil. Did I also mention liberal use of Virgin Olive Oil? There is just something about a Virgin (Olive Oil --what were you thinking?) that adds the zest to say Ahhhh Yes!
The Secret Sauce Part ~ Make 24 Hours in Advance.
Get a large pot and fill to about 3/4 with water. Put this on high heat and while it is heating--get a glass of wine and take a small break.
A successful filling is best accomplished with a small spoon so that you force the filling into the shells. Pace yourself so that you don't overfill the early ones and skimp on the last ones. The final cooking pan should be a baking dish say about 15 inches long by 9 inches wide and two to three inches thick.
Meatball Magic ~ Works with the Secret Sauce
The Meatball Magic
4 lbs. of lean organic ground beef
Mix all of the ingredients in a large bowl until fully blended. Using a small scoop form each meatball by hand. The template is larger than a golf ball and smaller than a baseball. [For those of us who are both Italian and Engineers -- it is the size of a 32 C Cup.]
Fry the meatballs in olive oil until lightly brown all over and then place in the sauce. (Cook for four hours). [The Secret Sauce previously described has to be 4X the amount --lots of sauce needed or cut this recipe by 1/4. This recipe was developed based on feeding 12 people --an average Italian gathering! ] BTW -- I did invest in a very large cauldron (about 10 quarts) and that is what I use to cook the meatballs and sauce.
Select a cookong pan that is compatible with sauce (don't use aluminum --glass tray the best) When cool place the meatballs and sauce in the refrigerator for up to one day before use. This adds to the flavor. Warm the sauce and meatballs so before use so that they are hot but not boiling.
Quiche ~ This is not Italian for a"Quickie"
1 deep dish pre-engineered frozen pie crust (Marie Callendar Brand-9 Inch keep Frozen)
1 package of shredded Monterey Jack Cheese (only use 2/3 of the bag)
1 package of fresh Baby Spinach (not frozen) (use about 1/2 of the bag)
1/2 pint of whipping cream
6 Mushrooms (Clean and slice into pieces)
3 Strips of thick Deli Type Bacon. All fat is cut off and the meat is cut into small pieces
4 Eggs ( remove the after birth white thingies and only use 2 and 1/2 yolks)
1/2 teaspoon of white pepper
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon of minced garlic (Must be fresh no dry stuff here)
Step one --preheat your oven to 400F
Begin by cutting up the bacon and browning the bits and pieces in a small frying pan that has about a teaspoon of Virgin Olive Oil that has been heating over medium heat. Cook until the bacon bits start to stick to the pan. Drain and put aside
Next is the spinach. Eyeball about 1/2 a bag or so and put in a large bowl. Even though the bag says it is washed --wash and rinse several times. Using my German made cooking shears (used these on the bacon too), after washing I snip the stem ends off of the spinach. After that step is completed rinse again and this time with the shears cut up the Spinach so it is smaller pieces. Put aside
Next is the eggs. After getting out the white stuff out down to about 2.5 yolks whip with a hand whisk. Add in the cream and whip again to mix the contents. Next add the white pepper and minced garlic. Stir again. Now add the bacon bits and mushrooms. Finally add the chopped spinach. Add the pinch of salt.
Pour into the pre-engineered frozen pie crust. Smooth the contents since it is thick to even out the mixture. Top with a bit of Monterey Jack Cheese.
Place in oven for about 45 minutes. You can tell when it is done by observation. The center will turn golden brown and swell as though it is about 9 months pregnant.
Remove from oven and let stand for about 3.75 minutes and serve hot. A wedge about 3.95 inches as measured on the circumference is about the right serving size.
Adjunct dishes include a nice tossed green salad, some Italian bread and of course your favorite white wine.
For dessert -- something light such a strwaberries with cool whip is perfect.
For two people there is probably enough for a second meal. Don't count the calories, carbs,satuarted fat, cholesterol --it is off the scale but this tastes so good.
Pizza From Pasta Pete ~ PFPP
Ok guys and gals here is another secret revealed --- Pasta Pete's Pizza. Start first by visiting the following Betty Crocker website for the basic recipe which you will dutifully modify according to my instructions.
1. To the dough mixture, as specified in the recipe, you will add 1 tablespoon of dry crushed rosemary, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt along with 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder. This pumps things up and is a lot better than dry tasting Bisquick biscuits.
2. Here is the secret sauce topping you will use and is enough to cover the pizza from the Bisquick recipe.
1 can of Hunt's tomato sauce, 15 ounce size
5 cloves of medium sized Garlic --minced (Your hands should smell after doing this step.)
1 tablespoon of Virgin Olive Oil
1 tablespoon of dried parsley
3/4 tablespoon of dried Basil
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of pepper
1/2 teaspoon of dried onion
Begin by heating the oil in a medium sauce pan over medium heat, add the garlic, salt, pepper and onion. Let simmer until the Garlic is limp BUT not burnt. Add in the sauce, parsley and basil. Stir and let simmer covered for about 1/2 hour.
The Final Assembly:
Make the dough (with the added ingredients) per the Bisquick instructions. Separate the dough into two pieces and place/form each piece to cover a 9 X15 inch cooking pan.
Smother the dough with the pre-made sauce and then add the topping in the following layers:
Pepperoni (Dietz and Watson sliced Pepperoni --don't be chintzy --fully cover the sauce)
Sliced (very thinly sliced) mushrooms
Skim Shredded Mozarella Cheese ( cover generously)
Finally top with grated Parmesan Cheese
Cook per the Bisuick instructions --serve hot with a glass of red wine.
CFPP ~ Chili From Pasta Pete
For Christmas 2015 (since I am the cook) I made an executive decision to have an NTC. So OK NTC stands for Non Traditional Christmas where the food being served is not normally done for a Christmas Feast. This year the Bill of Fare included: Chili and Cornbread, Baked Potatoes, Biscuts and Gravy, Scratch Made Pizza, Lasagna, Slow Cooked Pork Ribs, Asparagus and Salad. For dessert we had French Waffles and Homebrew Cherry Pie.
One recipe in particular I wanted to share is the Homebrew Scratch Made Chili that is shown in the photo above. Yes that is an Industrial Sized Crock Pot and the volume made will easily feed 12 people (that is the Italian Standard of measure).
4 lbs of Chuck roast that has had most of the fat surgically removed (got to love those ceramic paring knives)
Three 15 Oz cans of Bush's Pinto Style Chili Beans in Mild Sauce ( We spice it up later.)
Three 10 Oz cand of Rotel Tomatoes with Chilies (Don't get the ones with Cilantro)
1 heaping tablespoon of Chili Powder
1 heaping tablespoon of Cumin
7 Medium Cloves of garlic minced into small pieces
1/4 of an onion finely chopped (Again our Italian/Engineer Standard about a 32 C Cup is the full onion)
1 teaspoon of Salt
1 teaspoon of Pepper
2 large Green Peppers chopped inot sqaures about half the size of a postage stamp
7 Medium Carrots sliced to about the size of a quarter.
The slow cook full flavore development takes 16 hours on slow cook so adjust your serving time to 16 hours before that and that is when to light off the pot.
Begin by cubing the vhuck roast into cubes about 2 inc cubed. Later you will come back and shred the meat after about 12 hours of cooking.
Start by placing about 2 tablespons of Virgin Olive Oil in the bottom of th crock pot and then place the cubed beef on top of the oil base. The remaining ingredients are added in any order your hearts desires. When the lats ingredient is added stir the pots os everything is mixed uniformly. Turn on the pot and wait for 12 hours to pass.
Once you hit the 12 hour mark stir the contents of the pot to bring the parge chunks to the surface. My Mechanical Engineer Son, Nicolas came up with a quick and uniform procces. The tools needed are a large non metallic spoon and a pair of tongs. Once a piece of meat is fished out the spoon holds the meat and the tongs are used to shred the meat and th shredded part is placed into the mixture. Continue doing this process until all the meat is shredded.
Stir the pot to achieve an uniform mixture and recover for 4 more hours of cooking.
The Chili can be served in a bowl or placed on top of a baked potato. Typical toppings include chopped onion, sharp cheese and even sour cream. About at the 15.5 hour mark make the corn bread!
Chef Pete 2015
New Recipes for 2016
Here is my recipe for stuffed cabbage --yes stuffed cabbage! Really Yummy. Typically the ingestion of cabbage is guaranteed to give you a severe case of flatulence. Do not enter small spaces or ride the subway after a meal of my stuffed cabbage!
One pound of 93% Ground Beef
I and 1/2 cups of cooked rice
1 small cabbage
2 cans of Hunt's Tomato Sauce (15 oz size)
1/2 cup of grated Parmesan Cheese
1 heaping Teaspoon of Garlic Powder
1 Tablespoon of minced dried onion
1/4 Teaspoon of Salt
1/4 Teaspoon of Groud Pepper
1 Dash of Chili Powder
1 Tablespoon Of Virgin Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon of Dried Basil
1 Tablespoon of Dried Parsley Flakes
Begin this Odyssey by first prepping the cabbage which entails carefully peeling off the cabbage leafs and removing the central cord. This process provides the medium that is large enough for stuffing. The prepared leaves are par boiled in a large sauce pan so that they become supple for stuffing but not limp --we all have heard the term limp dick --this is not what is desired! The two photos below show the leaves with the central cord.
While the leaves are boiling, by the way -- when they are just about right (not a limp dick) I remove them from the heat and add a large measure of ice cubes to quickly cool down the leaves -- this is now time to prepare the stuffing. I use Minute Rice and cook it in the Microwave. In a large mixing bowl combine the ground beef, cooked rice, parmesan cheese, garlic powder, salt, pepper and chili powder. Mix thoroughly! Then add 1/2 can of tomato sauce (about 7 oz). Mix thoroughly!
I use throw away aluminum cooking pans and start the process by draining any water from the cabbage leafs and add a heaping table spoon of stuffing to each leaf and sinply roll it up and place in the pan. Gage the stuffing so you will fill the pan (there is enough for a second meal). See the photo below.