My Crazy Yummy Spaghetti and Meatballs

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Today I’m posting a Comfort Classic recipe for Monday, since I actually haven’t made a real “one pot meal” in the last week. But I figure my spaghetti and meatballs are so delicious and comforting, which is just as important for a Monday meal. My spaghetti and meatballs recipe is one of my go-to classics dishes I have been whipping up for over 10 years now. After years of practice and perfecting, many a guest can attest that this is one of their favorite meals I’ve produced from my kitchen. It’s one of those comfort classics that I often times crave after a tough day. Or after an easy day. Then again I could eat this pretty much any day actually. I use a smoked cumin in the sauce, which adds a special, savory quality you will LOVE when you make it. Fresh tomatoes are also key to keeping everything fresh and bright. The meatballs are packed with all kinds of spices and even Parmesan cheese that really set them apart from other meatballs. And of course, I recommend using perciatelli instead of plain old spaghetti, for it’s magical sauce-soaking powers.  Give this a try. Trust me. You will NOT be disappointed 🙂

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Lamb and Mint Ragout Pasta

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This pasta recipe is one of my faves that I have made in recent memory. The beauty of this dish is using small, diced pieces of lamb sirloin, and cooking the sauce as if you would a stew. Cooking it slowly will really bring out the flavors of the sauce, which is sooo delicious. The pancetta adds a smoky flavor that really enhances the lamb flavor as well. For this pasta, I was actually inspired by a recipe I read in the most recent issue of Food and Wine, by Marcella Hazan. She is my home chef idol, who is completely self-taught, reproducing classic Italian family recipes for her husband and loved ones after moving to New York back in the 60’s. Today, she actually owns a cooking school teaching the art of Italian cooking. Her flavors are fresh and delicious, and embody what I believe cooking is all about: love, and cooking for loved ones. My version has mint and red bell pepper, which adds some more flavor layers and sweetness.

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Smoked Salmon and Mustard-Dill Orechiette

Mustard Salmon and Dill Orechiette

I have always loved the classic combo of salmon, mustard, and dill. In Cyprus in the summers, where my mom’s side of the family is from, we love going to this cozy little Italian restaurant that has the most amazing pastas. We always order a few different pastas for the table to share, to further maximize our lusty, pasta-inhaling experience. One of our must-haves that we always order is their salmon mustard pasta. The mustard dill sauce just bursts with flavor and creaminess.  This is my adaptation of that pasta. It’s a very savory pasta, and the different layers of flavor components really create a diverse, delicious sauce for the orechiette. In my adaptation, I subbed out the baked salmon for smoked salmon and added some mushrooms for even more flavor and meaty texture… The mushrooms seem to tie the dish together, and the smokiness of the salmon takes it to another level of good.

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