Frictilia – Fried Sweet Dough for Mardi Gras

A thousand different names, a million different variations, all derived from ancient times, likely as soon as people learned to mix flour and liquid into a dough, roll it out, fry it, and sweeten it. Certainly a version was already well known in ancient Rome: frictilia. Apicius mentions them as a cheap and delicious street food passed out to people celebrating Saturnalia.

Small Price, Big Flavor Meals: ‘Q.B.’ (Quanto Basta) – The Most Important Acronym in Italian Cuisine (and Braised Pig Shanks with Polenta.)

This is such a marvel of a plate. Deep, satisfying flavors perfect for any cool eve – despite its humble market consideration. You can alter the flavors by fiddling with the marinade and sudes and any sauces. The meat the next day is even better in sandwiches and the cooking pot remains perfect to be blended and mixed into noodles for a pasta dish the following eve. QB.

Literary Recipe (The Pasta Papers): Stephen Hawking’s Carbonara

Contain an incredibly large, dense mass in your kitchen. Hide it behind a door that says ‘loo’ or ‘bathroom’. Invite a dumb undergrad over, (any faculty will do though economics would be preferable,) telling him or her you want them to take part in a revolutionary experiment. When he gets to your house, have him sit down and then slowly explain to him about black holes. (Don’t worry if you make a mistake or two. He’s dumb, so he’ll never know the difference.) Pour him plenty of beer as you do. When he asks to use the loo, show him to the door behind which you’ve hidden the black hole – but remember to give him the pasta dough before he steps inside.

Small Price, Big Flavors: Penne with Ricotta and Bacon

t’s late. It’s been a fairly busy day, your girl friend will be getting back about 20 minutes or so after you will, tired and a little stressed at the ongoings of the day. It’s your turn to cook and you really, really don’t feel like prepping a meal. What’s worse: you’re hungry, even ravenous. You want massive, mouth-filling, gut-fulfilling fair in a hurry. Pizza? Burgers? The deli on the corner?

Wednesday Will (at Halloween) – 6 Witches’ Polenta with Ragu…

t’s unclear just where Shakespeare’s popular ‘Weird Sisters’ soup chefs came from, or if they were sisters at all, given their physical disparity. Some commentators say they were British natives, others that they emigrated from Sweden or Norway while a few even mention the Mediterranean. In any case, what is clear is that at some point they started working in the kitchen at Holinshed’s Soup, Steak and Salads in Brodie, Scotland.

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