Easy summertime pasta
By Madi Williams

PHOTO COURTEY OF RACHELRAY.COM

Pasta is a number one comfort food, but having the same kind over and over can get old. Try out this Rachel Ray spaghetti recipe that’s very simple and tastes delicious. The recipe below is a tad bit different than if you look on the website, but even with taking some ingredients out it still tastes wonderful. 

You will need:

3 leeks

2 tablespoons of olive oil

6 slices of bacon, cut in thin slices

3 garlic cloves, chopped

Salt and pepper

1 28 oz can of Italian whole tomatoes

1 pound of spaghetti

Freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese

The tricky part of this recipe is cleaning the leeks. Cut the tops and roots off, cut them in half lengthwise and then cut them in thin slices so you are getting half a circle from the leeks. Then, fill a large bowl with water and clean the leeks separating the layers, the dirt will go to the bottom of the bowl, dry and set aside.

Cook the bacon in a pan with the oil, once cooked add leeks and garlic until soft, add salt and pepper to taste. Next, add in the tomatoes and mash them, then bring to a simmer and let it thicken. Once the pasta is done cooking add to the sauce and toss together, then top with the cheese. Side it with a garden salad and some breadsticks so you can sop up all the leftover sauce. 

If you can not find the Italian whole tomatoes normal ones will work, you will just need to add some Italian seasonings. If you do not want to mash whole tomatoes, diced or crushed tomatoes also work, or having a mix of all three brings a good texture. This recipe you can make your own by using different kinds of tomatoes and seasonings but as long as you have the bacon, tomato and leeks it will taste wonderful.


Homemade strawberry jam
By Alyssandra Goss

COURTESY OF PIXABAY

This delicious childhood treat is sure to sweeten those warm summer days. With just a few simple ingredients and 30 minutes to spare, this recipe will be ready for you to devour on toast, sandwiches, and, my personal favorite, straight on a spoon. 

You will need:

16-ounce mason jar, for storage

Two-to-three quart heavy saucepan, for cooking

One pound of fresh strawberries, preferably from a local farmers market

A half cup of granulated sugar

Two tablespoons of fresh lemon juice

Pinch of salt

Directions:

Begin by properly washing the strawberries and then pat dry. Cut the berries into large chunks, discard the green tops, and place into a heavy saucepan. At the same time, place the sugar, lemon and salt into the same pan over medium heat, using a “potato masher” to mash the ingredients together. Be sure the texture remains chunky.

Then, bring the mixture to a boil being sure to stir constantly for approximately 20 minutes. Do not stop stirring or the mixture will stick to the pan and burn. Once the mixture is thick and jammy, your jam is ready to be dispersed into a clean and sanitized mason jar. Your concoction will stay fresh in a refrigerator for up to three weeks. Enjoy!

Pro tip:

To test the “jamminess” of your jam, place two or three spoons into the freezer and dip the frozen spoon into the jam. Remove the spoon and allow the jam to sit for two seconds, then promptly run your finger through it. If the jam doesn’t “run into itself,” your jam is ready to go!


Old Glory berry pie
By Madeline Hiller

Your new summer favorite berry pie

COURTESY OF LANDOLAKES.COM

I have made this pie on numerous occasions but it has always been a hit on the Fourth of July due to its patriotic appearance. It’s pretty easy and is bound to be one of the best pies you’ve ever made.

What you’ll need:

Pie dough, enough for two crusts

4 and a half cups of fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced

1­ and a half cups of fresh blueberries

A half cup of granulated sugar

A third cup of corn starch

A half teaspoon of almond extract, divided

1 large egg, beaten

Sanding sugar

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Then, on a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough for one of the pie crusts into a 12-inch, one eighth-­inch-thick circle. Fold into quarters and place into an ungreased nine-­inch pie dish. Unfold and press against the bottom and sides of the dish. Trim excess dough to a half  ­inch from the edge of a plate. Set aside.

In a small bowl, combine the granulated sugar and the cornstarch until well-mixed. Take a quarter cup of the sugar mixture and a quarter teaspoon of almond extract, and add to a small bowl with the blueberries. Toss to coat. Add the remaining sugar mixture and a quarter teaspoon of almond extract to a medium bowl with the strawberries. Toss to coat.

Fold a piece of aluminum foil in half several times to create a two-­inch-wide strip. Fold the ends in so that the strip fits inside the pie dish, and place it into the dish, dividing the crust into one thirds and two thirds sections. Press gently into the dough. With your hand on one side of the foil, gently pour the blueberries into the one thirds section. Pour the strawberries into the remaining two thirds section. Gently level out the fruit and carefully remove the foil.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the remaining pie crust into an 11-­inch circle. Cut five three quarters-inch wavy strips of dough to make the stripes of the flag. Place the strips over the strawberry portion of the pie, leaving space in between each and trimming as needed. Fold the bottom crust over the edge of the strips and crimp the edges with a fork.

Using a two-inch star cookie cutter, cut seven to eight stars from the remaining dough. Arrange the stars over the blueberry portion of the pie. Brush the pie with the beaten egg wash and sprinkle generously with sugar. Cover the edge of the crust with a crust shield or a two-­inch strip of aluminum foil.

Bake for 25 minutes, then remove the foil/crust shield. Reduce the heat to 375 degrees Fahrenheit —190 degrees Celsius — and continue to bake for 60 minutes, until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbling. Cool the pie for one hour before serving.

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