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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Gillian Harvey’s After School Sugar Cookies [RECIPE]

Gillian Harvey's After School Sugar Cookies
After School Sugar Cookies are a busy parent’s best friend. (Photo courtesy Gillian Harvey)

Writer Gillian Harvey is a busy woman. Not only is she the author of the upcoming Everything is Fine (which you can pre-order now before it hits US bookstores in January), but she is also mom to five adorable, energetic kiddos. So when we asked her to share one of her favorite recipes, it came as no surprise when she offered up this one for her after school sugar cookies. After all, what parent doesn’t need a quick cookie recipe in their culinary arsenal? We hope you love baking up this batch of sweet goodness with your little ones! —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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Enchilada Sauce [RECIPE]

Enchiladas with enchilada sauce

Why buy canned enchilada sauce when it is so easy to make it at home? (Photo by Jathan Fink, Jadeworks Entertainment)

Although you can purchase ready made enchilada sauce at the grocer’s, it is helpful to know how to make it yourself for those times you can’t get to the store. It is easy to prepare, tastes great, stores in the fridge for up to a week and even freezes well. It also isn’t only for enchiladas. I use it when making other recipes too when I’m looking for a tomato sauce with a bit of zip, like with my beef and bean burritos. If you make the sauce in advance, just be sure to warm it before adding it to your recipe. Read more of this post

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