Wednesday, March 23, 2011

recipe alert

2 new developments in cooking at the casa stephens: homemade pizza and inventing pasta recipes.

ryan has been craving and thick crust pizza (doesn't really exist in this part of italy and it's cheaper to make my own anyway) so i found a homemade crust recipe and we have been making our own...pretty delish. i have kind of avoided (until now) any recipes where i had to use yeast because i'm intimidated by anything that depends on some sort of chemical reaction for it to work right in cooking, but i gave this a shot.

i found the recipe here and it made enough for 2 pizzas this size so i froze the other dough ball for the next time.
for the toppings i slapped some crushed tomatoes on there for sauce, threw on some browned ground beef, sliced onions, sliced (real) mozzarella, and salt and pepper. (can i just say that i can eat real mozzarella for every meal of the day, and seeing as though i can get a tennis ball sized ball of it at my grocery store for 40 CENTS, that just might become a reality pretty soon). ok, then i baked the whole thing for 20ish minutes, until the crust was brown in a few places and the cheese was amazingly melty.

of course there is no after-being-baked picture because we always
begin to devour it before we have time to snap a photo, oh well, you get the idea
and the crust worked perfectly, it rose just like it was supposed to and was the perfect texture, it even browned on the bottom making it perfectly crunchy on the bottom and soft on top.

second: peas, pancetta, and panna pasta. so easy and sooooooo good (and i don't even like peas, well i used to not).

the stuff:
extra virgin olive oil (always)
3-5 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 little container of diced pancetta (pre-diced bacon pieces)
pinch of ground pepperoncino (chili powder or spicy paprika)
healthy pinch of salt
1/2 cup white wine
3/4 cup of green peas per person, frozen
1/4 cup panna da cucina (kind of like heavy cream but better, martha is tearing up memphis trying to find some place that sells it, but just use heavy cream for now)
enough pasta for how ever many people you have

alright, put your hot water on to boil for your pasta. meanwhile saute the garlic and pancetta in the olive oil for 5ish minutes until it's smellin really garlicky awesome. throw in your pepperoncino and salt and mix those around. then put the wine in there and let it simmer for a few minutes to get the alcohol out (you know how to do this). when the wine has reduced a little, after a couple of minutes, throw in your peas. you may need to add a little bit of water if there doesn't seem to be enough liquid for the peas to soak up, but not too much or your sauce will be too liquidy. ok, let all that simmer and talk to each other while you're cooking your pasta. turn the heat off on your peas when you go to drain your pasta. when the simmering has stopped on your peas, add your panna (or heavy cream) stir it up and let it set up for a minute (the panna does this, it gets thicker after a few minutes but i don't know if the cream will). then mix your pea mixture with your drained pasta and enjoy! mmm, boy it was good. it's good with grated parmesan on top too.
happy cooking!


  1. umm i can't even tell you how delicious both of those look! still no success on the panna... but i'm not giving up yet!