Limoncello Raspberry Torte

_DSC5636

Like I said in the previous post, I was going to post the dessert that my sister made for our parents. We were going with a full Italian theme, so it made sense to go with something like, say, tiramisu. But, my sister doesn’t like tiramisu, so it seemed unfair for her to make something she doesn’t even enjoy eating. We have had a lot of cheesecake recently, so that was also out. That’s when she came across this recipe for a limoncello raspberry torte. We actually had limoncello by chance from our family trip to Italy a couple of years ago. We bought a bottle because it was supposed to be a popular drink, but for some reason, we never opened it. So this seemed like as good as time as any to crack it open. The recipe itself is super easy and it tastes good too.

_DSC5609

Ingredients

  • 2 cups raspberries, divided
  • 2 tbsp confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 tbsp Limoncello
  • 1 brick, 8 oz, Neufchatel cheese
  • Shortbread cookies for serving

_DSC5631

Directions

  • In a bowl, mash 3/4 of the raspberries
  • Mix in the sugar and limoncello, until raspberries are chunky, but semi-reduced
  • Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes
  • Place cheese on a plate
  • Combine remaining berries with the reduced mixture
  • Pour the mixture over the cheese
  • Spread the mix over shortbread cookies and enjoy

Sirloin Steak with Red Wine Sauce

_DSC5622

We’ve been doing this blog thing for a few months now and I have kept up with it a lot better and more consistently than I ever thought. Who knew I’d actually enjoy it. It has made me branch out and try new things, take some risks, be more creative, and plate better. My mom also keeps updated with it, checking periodically. But, without fail, every time I talk to her, she always asks me when she is going to get a meal like that, or why she is the one cooking when we come back to visit. Which, actually, is a good point. That seems unfair, so when we went back home for Labor Day, my sister and I decided to whip up our parents a full 4-course Italian meal because my mom was specifically asking about the shrimp scampi that I made previously. So that ended up being the 2nd course, with the 1st being a salad. This steak was the 3rd and then my sister made a raspberry limoncello dessert, which I will post later. The recipe called for flat iron steak, but I used sirloin instead because why not. It is super simple and the sauce is pretty damn tasty.

_DSC5615

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs of sirloin steaks
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tbsp EVOO
  • 6 tbsp cold unsalted butter
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 2 1/2 cups dry red wine

_DSC5618

Directions

  • Salt and pepper the steaks, drizzle with EVOO
  • Cook to your desired doneness and then let it rest, tented with foil
  • Slice the steaks against the grain
  • For the sauce, melt 2 tbsp butter in a saucepan on medium heat
  • Saute the onions till done, then add salt and cook for a few more minutes
  • Add the garlic and oregano and saute for another minute
  • Stir in the tomato paste and cook for a few minutes, stirring constantly
  • Mix in the wine, stirring occasionally, until the sauce reduces by half (says 10 minutes, but it took a lot longer for me)
  • Melt 4 tbsp butter (cut into chunks) into the sauce
  • Strain the sauce into a bowl, extracting as much liquid as possible
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Pour over the steak, or serve on the side and enjoy

 

_DSC5625

Overall the steak and the red wine sauce was really good. It was cooked just right and the sauce didn’t have too heavy of a wine flavor. It was a little shocking how much butter went into it, but it was delicious, so all was forgiven. My parents really enjoyed it too, which was the most important part.

Pasta Carbonara

So on my home from work today, I was thinking spaghetti because I was feeling lazy. And what is easier than ground beef and pasta sauce? But then I thought I should put in some effort and stopped at the market to buy some bacon in order to make a carbonara. I love carbonara and order it quite often. I enjoy the creaminess of the pasta, and of course, the bacon/pancetta. So I started to make this dish, and guess what? NO CREAM. I had no idea. I would have put money on it that there was some heavy cream involved. But alas, there is not, which isn’t a bad thing. I got the recipe from the Food Network.  Other than that, this dish came out quite well, but it was fairly heavy, and we had no room for dessert after (even though I had bought a cheesecake).

_DSC5523

Ingredients

  • 1lb spaghetti
  • 2 tbsp EVOO
  • 4 bacon strips sliced (I used 8 lol)
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup grated parmesan
  • Pepper
  • Fresh parsley, chopped

_DSC5526

Directions

  • Salt and boil pasta
  • While pasta is cooking, fry the bacon in a large, deep skillet on medium heat until crisp
  • Add the garlic and continue to saute for a minute
  • Mix the 2 eggs and parmesan cheese together, avoiding clumps
  • Drain the noodles well, and toss into the bacon fat, coating them well
  • Mix the noodles in the fat for a minute over heat
  • Remove the pan from heat and mix in the egg and parmesan mix, allowing the hot noodles to cook the eggs
  • Add a dash of chopped parsley to each plate and enjoy

 

Roasted Tomato Spaghetti

DSC_0064

So I was trolling Yahoo! Food and came across this recipe for a slow roasted tomato sauce. With nothing better to make, I decided to try it. I realized half way through that I had no meat to pair with it, and was super close to running to the market to pick up something, but ended up doing something more unbelievable…leaving it a vegetarian meal. Both proud and disappointed at the same time, this meal was decent, but not what I expected. I followed the recipe exactly, but it ended up being a little too sweet for my taste (maybe less balsamic next time), or adding meat (the salt from meat would probably even it out).

DSC_0005

Ingredients

  • 1.5 lbs cherry tomatoes
  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1/2 cup EVOO
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
  • 2 teaspoons packed light-brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt

Instructions

  • Mix tomatoes and garlic in a baking dish
  • Mix EVOO, balsamic, thyme, brown sugar, and salt in a bowl
  • Pour mix over the tomatoes
  • Bake at 325 degrees for about an hour

DSC_0008

So after they were baked/roasted, I honestly did not know what to do with them. I tried to break the tomatoes and mix them to make a sauce, but while the tomatoes broke, the skins didn’t really reduce. So I ended up putting a few of the tomatoes in the food processor and pulsing it a bit to make a sauce that I could mix with my spaghetti. Overall, it was like I said earlier – not what I expected, but I would definitely try it again with a few adjustments.