Tag Archives: pasta

My favorite new cookbook: America’s Test Kitchen’s “Pasta Revolution”

Pasta Revolution by America's Test Kitchen - it's my new favorite

Let me introduce you to my newest ATK cookbook – Pasta Revolution. I won this little beauty in a random drawing after participating in an on-line chat with Julia Collin Davison of America’s Test Kitchen. I was so excited to receive it. The book is a beautifully comprehensive collection of everything pasta. Chapters include Pasta 101, New Classics, Italy’s Greatest Hits, Pasta for Company (and my favorite – Pasta for Two), Pasta Salads, and two chapters on sauces – Pesto & No-Cook Sauces and Sauces from the Slow-Cooker.

So many choices, so little time

But wait, there’s more! You’ll also find a chapter on Whole Wheat Pasta, specialty pastas like gnocchi or tortellini, and even a chapter on Asian pasta dishes. See? I told you it was comprehensive! Here’s a sampling of what’s inside:

America’s Test Kitchen may just be my favorite series of cookbooks ever. Why? Because they take all the guess-work out of cooking. And by that, I mean you never have to worry about whether a recipe will work or not. Not when it comes from the crew at ATK. They go to great lengths to research and experiment with each recipe. They admit that they fail and tweak repeatedly to bring you the best possible version of each recipe published. I appreciate that.

What you get is a series of foolproof recipes along with a breakdown of what worked and what didn’t, tips on equipment and favorite brands, product reviews, and even shopping advice. When I make a recipe from America’s Test Kitchen, I know it will be spot on every single time. When they talk, I listen.

And speaking of vodka, last night I made the Penne alla Vodka for dinner and it was incredible. Seriously scrumptious. What a gorgeous photo!

Here’s the proof. Not that you need it, but I want you to know that I’m totally putting my money where my mouth is. Or in this case, I’m putting the pasta where my mouth is. One forkful at a time. Repeatedly.

ATK's Penne alla Vodka - simple ingredients, tremendous flavor

You know what I loved about this recipe? Everything. It was easy to make. It was packed with flavor. The sauce was perfect, especially when it got trapped inside those little penne tubes. I loved the slight heat from the red pepper flakes. If the vodka is a turn off for you, I promise it does not permeate the dish. It would be fine without it, but it does add great flavor without an alcohol ‘bite’ to it if you leave it in. Which is why they give you tips about which vodka to use. I’m telling you, these guys think of everything.

My overall rating for this dish is a sold 10. I would eat this over and over again. In fact, we’re having leftovers tonight. That rumor that pasta dishes taste even better as leftovers the next day? It’s true. Especially red sauces. And this one warms up beautifully.

You want to see how it turned out, don’t you? You know you do. Here you go. You’re welcome. {wink}

NanaBread's Penne alla Vodka from ATK's Pasta Revolution

If you love pasta or know someone who does, put this one on your shopping list. It is most definitely a keeper. Special thanks to the social media group at America’s Test Kitchen and to Julia Collin Davison, my favorite contributor at ATK. I swear that girl loves bacon as much as I do. We should form a club.

I’m never going to wash my cookbook-flipping hand again.

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Mom’s Creamy Beef Stroganoff

Mom’s Creamy Beef Stroganoff – still one of my favorite meals


My mom’s creamy beef stroganoff has been a family favorite for more than 40 years. It’s delicious, quick and simple to make, and so good you’ll find yourself eating it cold right out of the fridge. It has some of my favorite foods – steak, mushrooms, pasta and sour cream. Now you can make it, too!

12 ounces egg noodles, extra-wide
2 tablespoons butter
½ cup onion, minced
2 cups button mushrooms, thinly sliced
½ teaspoon garlic salt
1 teaspoon beef bouillon granules
1 pound sirloin steak, trimmed and thinly sliced
16 ounces sour cream (or lite sour cream)
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 pinch ground nutmeg
salt and pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon Italian flat-leaf parsley, minced

In a large saucepan, cook egg noodles until al dente. While the noodles are cooking, prepare your sauce ingredients. In a nonstick skillet over high heat, melt the butter; add onions and mushrooms. Cook, stirring often, until the mushrooms are golden brown. Add garlic salt and beef bouillon granules and stir to combine. Add thinly sliced steak and toss just until steak is still medium-rare (it will continue to cook in the sauce later).

In a bowl, combine sour cream, flour and nutmeg, stirring until well combined. Turn the heat under the skillet down to medium, and stir the sour cream mixture into the skillet until all ingredients are combined and the sauce is heated through; remove from heat. Don’t overcook here, or the beef will get rubbery and the sour cream will break down. Toss sauce into cooked, drained egg noodles and stir until well combined. Add salt and pepper to taste (and more nutmeg if you’re a fan). Sprinkle parsley over the top and serve warm.

I like to serve this with warm, buttered deli rye bread and a nice green salad.

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