My favorite mac and cheese


I used to obsess over the best combination of cheeses to use for my mac and cheese. Then, I discovered that my obsession was so unnecessary. The creamiest and tastiest mac and cheese does not need the most expensive cheese or combination of cheeses. The trick is to cook the pasta in milk. Seriously. Instead of boiling the pasta in water then tossing it in a mixture of milk … [Read more...]

Lacto-vegetarian lasagne with pesto and Mornay sauce


If Mornay sauce doesn't sound familiar, there's no need to draw back in fear. It's just white sauce, really, Béchamel sauce (Besciamella to the Italians) to be more precise with grated cheese stirred in. This is a very easy recipe, very tasty, very creamy. It's based on a recipe by Gabriele Corcos. Oh, yes, we are fans of Extra Virgin. We love Gabriele's cooking, we think … [Read more...]

How to cook yaki-chow, a cross between yakisoba and chow mein


What the heck? Yeah, what the heck. I was going to make yakisoba but I was out of soba noodles, sake and mirin. But I had thin oriental wheat noodles, dashi, oyster sauce, hoisin sauce and Chinese rice wine. So, right, what the heck, cook with whatever's available. And this noodle dish that is literally a cross between yakisoba and chow mein was born. Call it fusion, call … [Read more...]

How to cook: Baked mac with cheesy topping: the lacto-vegetarian version


My younger daughter, Alex, is celebrating her birthday today and some of her girl friends are spending the weekend with us. Tonight was the big birthday dinner and we're expecting a few more of her friends to arrive. Alex asked only for three dishes for her birthday dinner -- baked mac, chicken yakitori and tres leches cake.The baked mac recipe is among the top ten most … [Read more...]

Spaghetti with ham, veggies and white sauce in 20 minutes flat


Alex is having a small sleepover. I made roast chicken and bihon guisado (a no-meat version, actually, to go with the chicken) for a late lunch and I thought the leftovers would be enough for dinner. But Alex was craving for pasta. Having been baking all afternoon, I wasn't inclined to make something that would require a lot of prepping. I wanted to indulge her but the … [Read more...]

Macaroni soup with meatballs, corn and spinach


Simple, rustic and warming. The ingredients are simple and readily available, and the procedure is tailor-made for newbie cooks. You make meat balls, brown them in butter, pour in the broth, add the rest of the ingredients and that's it! But like most chunky soups, this isn't something you can hurry up because it's the slow cooking that will bring all the flavors together … [Read more...]

Spaghetti with salted pork, zucchini and carrot


Spaghetti aglia e olio is a great building block to create endless varieties of pasta recipes. It's very tasty and very fragrant, and quite neutral enough to go with a lot of other ingredients. So, you just start with the basic garlic-olive oil-parsley sauce then add anything you want -- meat, seafood and vegetables -- vary the additions and you have a new pasta aglia e … [Read more...]

Pasta with sausage and spinach


If you're familiar with pasta aglia e olio, this is something similar. Garlicky. But, instead of parsley, there's spinach. If you've seen the fettuccine with bacon and creamy spinach sauce in the archive, this is similar to that one too. Except there is no cream. And, instead of bacon, there's sausage meat. And, in some ways, this dish is also similar to the angel hair … [Read more...]