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  1. To freeze gnocchi: cook them in boiling water for about a minute - drain - pour some oil on them - mix - lay the gnocchi on a cookie sheet (better if they don't touch but if they do it's no big deal) - put the cookie sheet with the gnocchi in the freezer - once frozen put the gnocchi in bags. Works perfect
  2. My favorite version is this: - put some olive oil in a pot - add a clove of garlic - add a sprig or two of rosemary when you start to get a "the garlic is a cooking smell" throw in the cooked beans ( canned (already cooked) , dry, fresh, or frozen (to cook beforehand) - add water and salt - boil just a little bit - pass all or most of the beans through a food mill - put the bean mush in a pot (it should be a little liquidy because the pasta will absorb quite a bit of water) - boil . add dried spaghetti broken up into 2 inch size pieces - cook for about 10 minutes done. (you can drizzle a little oil on the top if you like)
  3. Ricotta --- boiled again Make cheese (remember that if you use sheep's milk you will get a lot more ricotta than if you use cow's milk --- use goat's milk and you will get about nothing --- It takes about 6 liters of sheep's milk to make 1 kg of cheese - 10 kg of cow's milk to make 1 kg of cheese and 15 liters of goats milk to make 1 kg of cheese (this is all more or less, but you get the idea - sheep milk makes lots more cheese than cow or goat milk cheese - same story for ricotta) Strain the whey to get rid of all the leftover clumps of cheese Put the whey on a burner and give it a good stir. (if you want more ricotta - but this is cheating- add a glass of milk) now leave it and heat slowly - don't touch it --- do not touch it. Let it be. Heat slowly --- try to heat it too quick and you will burn your pot. The ricotta will start to surface --- don't do anything --- and do not bring it to a bubbly boil. As soon as you see the ricotta "break" (meaning -- the surface looks all white and then you hear a BLOOPP and the surface cracks) Shut off the burner Leave it for about 5 minutes Carefully - very carefully - skim the ricotta off the top and put it in a ricotta basket (or something similar) to drain. and that's it.
  4. I don't even know if this is the appropriate place in the forums to be posting or not but what does everyone think about these groupon/living social/blooming something or other deals? I am back in the States for an "extended" visit with quite a bit of time on my hands and a little cash in the wallet... so I wonder - should I take the plunge and take advantage of the deals or what?
  5. Cannelloni stuffed with spinach and parmesan cheese Kelly, what is this dish? The pasta is filled, rolled, then baked? I can't quite tell from the photo. Also, I adore the ricotti gnocchi in the Zuni Cafe cookbook. I don't know how they compare to Mario's version, but they are wonderful and light and sauteed in butter.
  6. Answer: we took it out 9 hours later --- rather burnt on the top (and we chopped off the head because it was fried - and didn't have much on it anyways since we took off the cheeks before cooking) but the inside is cooked and the taste is perfect!
  7. I have what was an 80 pound pig (dead) and now about 50 lb (deboned - back legs cut off to make prosciutto) pig cooking in the brick oven .... It's been in for about 8 hours now and I have no idea if it is done. How long does it usually take to cook a 50 lb pig??
  8. Well - if someone comes in with a crappy attitude then tell them to piss off and go crap their pants. If someone comes in and asks "could I please use your bathroom" -- well of course they can. If someone comes in and rushes to the bathroom and doesn't give you a chance to do squat --- well, not much you can do. I guess all the people working there have to have a type of "dude going into bathroom to shoot up" or "dude going into the bathroom because he doesn't want to go pee on someones doorstep" radar and go from there.
  9. It should be fine. If you leave an egg on the table for an hour in the US you are sure to be killed if you eat it. In Italy they ask "why the heck would take up space in the fridge for eggs"??) If you leave a window open at night in Italy you are sure to die (you won't actually die but you will suffer from migranes for the rest of your life. In the US the response to this would be something like "say what?" I guess it is all just a point of view of what will kill/harm you.
  10. How to make Spaghetti Carbonara the "authentic" "right" or "only" way has been cause of many Italian barroom brawls, Italian family falling-outs (usually due to some sort of in-law who obviously does not have a clue), and the main reason why your Italian boyfriend hates your Italian best friend (she puts SAUSAGE in her carbonara amore , for crying out loud, its not a possible!!! it's a crime) ... or at least this has been my experience. So I DO NOT make carbonara when my anal boyfriend, mother-in-law, and best friend are seated at my table. I certainly would never order carbonara at a restaurant -- the chances of it being terrible are just too high. I would never make carbonara for more then 5 people. meat - pancetta, bacon, prosciutto crudo, or sausage all work fine egg- 1 egg per person (or 1 egg yolk per person but 1 whole egg for every third person) parmigiano (1 egg yolk size per person) cream-- well no, but sometimes just a little tiny bit if I am feeling insecure I think the most important thing is that you don't scramble the eggs -- you HAVE to get the right temperature -- too cold and it is nasty - too hot and it is scrambled (yuck) --- just right is creamy. As for leftover carbonara I would definitely give it to my neighbors cats (not for being worried about dying from the eggs but from the simple fact that carbonara does not reheat well (scrambled egg effect)--- other pastas maybe -- carbonara - no (unless of course I was really really really tight on money ... but in that case I would make polenta)
  11. Use the stuff you have in your freezer! Usually (or before I figured it out) I would make an extra batch of whatever and stick it in the freezer. .... and then just let it basically rot there because I was always "afraid" to use it (as in everytime I opened the freezer I would think to myself "no- don't want to use that - what if there is a snowstorm tomorrow and we have nothing to eat" In August! or "That lasagna would be so handy in case unexpected guests arrive - what a shame to waste it right now") The new me actually uses what is stored in the freezer and has yet to be left foodless in a snowstorm and has yet to have unexpected guests leave the house hungry....... not to mention no more guilty feelings about throwing mystery items out of the freezer.
  12. It's like being on an airplane and getting stuck with a couple screaming babies. Suck up and deal with it. I think it is all about attitude. It's up to you if you want to ruin your dining experience by some rotten little beast or you just block it out of your mind -- or stay home. The other day I was out for lunch (in Italy however where we all know that even at the best restaurants kids get treated better than the paying adults) - a little boy was sitting next to us and was a total PIA. I found it annoying but the amazing thing was that no one else did. They just continued and got on with their dining experience. Nobody complained - nobody did anything, basically they all accepted the fact that children do exist and they will be little buggers but what can you do? Better to accept it and get over it. Sure common sense would make you think that if your child is being an ass you get him/her out of the restaurant and beat or threaten as required. But not everyone does it - or maybe they are simply use to it and don't even notice?
  13. Chop off the stems - bread them - and fry them and serve with some sort of sauce that you like.
  14. Bread made this am. It tastes great. Last time I made bread I left the little bit of dough (with yeast)stuck on the bowl ... once dry I added some water and used it as a faux starter. Added a bit of water and flour every day for 3 days and then about 1 lb of flour and the water required (and salt) to make a sloppy dough - stuck it in the fridge over night - pulled it out this am- mixed well and then put on a baking sheet - left to rise for about 3 hours - and then in the oven (regular one not the brick). Despite the big cave between the top crust and crumb I am satisfied with the result.
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