Winter Minestrone with Spinach and Butternut Squash [RECIPE]

Winter Minestrone
When you’re in the mood for soup, try a big pot of Winter Minestrone with Spinach and Butternut Squash. (Photo by Jathan Fink, Jadeworks Entertainment)

We love minestrone, but the canned stuff can be either too bland or far too salty. So why not make up a batch of your own? It’s far easier than you think, and the addition of pancetta and loads of veggies such as butternut squash and spinach make it a hearty soup that you’ll want to make again and again.

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Simon Fairfax’s Pasta Schizophrenica [RECIPE]

(Photo courtesy Simon Fairfax)

Simon Fairfax, author of the new Medieval saga that begins with A Knight and a Spy 1410, is not only a very capable writer, he also knows his way around a kitchen. He received this recipe from “Alice’s” (the Contessa’s) mother (see our recent interview for details), who calls it Pasta Schizophrenica, as it turns out differently each time! The good thing is, like so many typical Italian dishes, there’s really no right or wrong when preparing this dish, hence the name. In essence, this is very simple and quick to prepare, and can be made in about 10 minutes. “But you must use good quality, fresh ingredients,” Simon says. “This recipe includes what works on a regular basis. However, you could use no basil or more pepper; passata rather than chopped tomatoes; pasta instead of gnocchi; sliced pancetta rather than cubed; etc., etc. Well, you get the picture! Pork, especially wild boar—Cinghiale—is very popular around Tarquinia/North Lazio and features in many dishes.” We hope you enjoy this recipe, as written and photographed by Simon himself. —J&H

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Slow-Cooked Marinara Sauce [RECIPE]

Marinara sauce
Marinara sauce is easy to make, but oh so yummy! (Photo by Jathan Fink, Jadeworks Entertainment)

Now that temperatures have dropped, we start thinking about comfort food. And what’s more robustly flavored and delicious than scrumptious Italian food on a cool autumn night? This marinara sauce is a little different than others we’ve made because it utilizes pancetta (an Italian bacon) to lend a hint of smoke to the flavor profile, which we love. It’s also great to make ahead, stores well, and is super easy to prepare. Best of all it is really versatile and goes wonderfully with everything from spaghetti and meatballs or chicken parmesan to a big dish of homemade lasagna. Yum!

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Pepperoni and Mushroom Pizza [RECIPE]

Pepperoni and mushroom pizza

Cut out the pizzeria and make your favorite pizza at home in a fraction of the time. (Photo by Jathan Fink, Jadeworks Entertainment)

Since the pandemic started, we’ve been met by lots of long lines and even longer wait times at our local pizzeria, even though we ordered ahead. If you’re in the same boat, try making pizza at home. It’s easy, fast, and delicious. (And as you can tell in the photo below, Heather rather enjoyed her slice, fresh out of the oven). Read more of this post

Slow Cooker Lasagna Soup [RECIPE]

Slow Cooker Lasagna Soup

Slow Cooker Lasagna Soup marries all the flavors you love from traditional lasagna into one yummy bowl! (Photo by Jathan Fink, Jadeworks Entertainment)

You don’t have to create a gigantic pan of lasagna to enjoy the flavors you crave. Instead, prepare our slow cooker lasagna soup and have dinner on the table by the time you get home from work. Packed full of veggies and lightened up with two different kinds of chicken sausage, this is one meal that is both healthy and delicious. And if you’re avoiding gluten, buy Barilla’s Gluten Free Oven-Ready Lasagna noodles made from corn and rice. You’ll never even notice the difference! Read more of this post