Pasta alla Carbonara Una Pentola: “One Pot” Revisited

Once Upon a Spice:

It Just Sounds Pretty Doesn’t It?! And It’s as Easy as it Sounds & Looks :-)

Originally posted on Once Upon a Spice:

Carb Close

We all know what pasta embodies, but have you ever wondered what “carbonara” means? Carbonaro means charcoal in Italian, but to this day, the connection to this savory, flavorsome dish remains uncertain. Some food historians believe this pasta may have been popular among charcoal makers working in the Apennine Mountains; or perhaps it is called carbonara simply because of the specks of black pepper it is seasoned with. I’ve turned this delectable northern Italian fare into an “Una Pentola” version for ease of preparation and have added some appealing new additions for an explosion of flavors!



8 ounces of dry spaghetti

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

4 ounces pancetta or slab bacon, cubed or sliced into small strips

4 garlic cloves, finely chopped

2 tablespoons, pine nuts; pignoli (optional)

1 tablespoon chopped capers (optional)

1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon peel (optional)

4 cups chicken broth

1 cup white wine…

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Tuscan Baked Rosemary Lemon Chicken

Originally posted on Once Upon a Spice:

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This luscious, lemony, herb-packed delight was my mama’s “go to” Sunday chicken dish and remains mine today. I can still smell the herbs permeating mama’s kitchen as the chicken roasted in the oven; seemingly for hours until we all sat down to the much-awaited feast. My siblings and I used to battle over the golden, garlicky, lemony bits at the bottom of the roasting pan…there were never enough. Served with pasta aglio olio, a side salad and crusty bread, this is one simple, flavor packed recipe that still spells H-O-M-E. True comfort food for this Italian gal…

abitofbeesknees photo source: abitofbeesknees


2 tbsp. lemon zest

1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

7 cloves garlic, crushed

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

2 tsp. fresh thyme leaves

1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves, finely minced, plus a few sprigs if available

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. black pepper

2-4 lbs. of bone-in…

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Italian Savory Pies–Molto Bene!

Originally posted on Once Upon a Spice:

piatto-pronto-Pasqua_dettaglio_ricette_slider_grande3 Torta Pasqualina

Today is dedicated to savory cakes, pies and tarts. In Italy, there are variety of Italian savory cakes, pies and tart recipes for all occasions. They can be served warm or cold, as starter or one-plate meal accompanied with a green salad. The most used ingredients are meats, fish, vegetables and eggs and can be made with a traditional crust, puff-pastry or pizza dough. However, there are many savory cakes and pies that are not encompassed by a savory shell.

csm_B_ap_Torta_pasqualina_1_cd8d39edb4 Torta Pasqualina

pizza Our Beloved Pizza!

1_Calzone Calzone!

Chicken Pea Mushroom Chicken Pea & Mushroom Pot Pie

The above are mere tasters of the myriad of Italy’s main course “pies.” Whatever the base of these luscious, innumerable savory works of art they are sure to please even the most discriminating palates. In the coming weeks, we will be exploring and sharing some of ” mia familia’s” treasured favorites! Buon Appetito!

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It’s Guest Chef Wednesday! Melissa’s Potato Bacon Torte: A Taste of France 

Originally posted on Once Upon a Spice:


This French torte is a slice of heaven! Packed with potatoes, bacon (jambon) and cream—how could it not? Refrigerated pie dough may be used when you’re in a pinch, but this Pate Brisee style crust is well worth the extra time and little effort. Experience a little taste of France with each and every bite! Serve with a crisp side salad and a tall stem of Chenin Blanc

potato Melissa’s French Potato Bacon Torte


For the crust:

2 sticks cold unsalted butter, cubed

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

1 teaspoon fine salt

For the filling:

4 strips bacon

1 cup heavy cream

3 sprigs thyme, plus leaves for topping (optional)

3 medium baking potatoes, peeled

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

1/4 cup grated gruyere cheese

1 large egg yolk



Make the crust: Pulse the butter, flour and fine salt in a food processor until the…

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Scrumptious Summertime Peach & Plum Galette

Once Upon a Spice:

Use Your Favorite Fruit & Do as the French! Super Easy and AMAZING!!

Originally posted on Once Upon a Spice:

Best Whole Fresh Plum & Peach Galette–Tart

Sweet & luscious summertime Galette pronounced Ga-let, is a French name for “tart.” An open-faced pie of sorts which offers the full experience of  pie, but in delicate delicious bites filled with rich flavors. This tart is a favorite summertime dessert at our house. You can make it with any seasonal fruit, such as rhubarb, peaches, cherries, apricots or apples. The dough is buttery, flaky and very forgiving and comes together in 10 seconds in a food processor.

Best Slice Serve with a dollop of whipped cream, fresh fruit slices & a sprig of mint

Pate Brisee:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup ice water

1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar


1/4 cup plus 1/3 cup sugar

1/4 cup ground almonds

1/4 cop all-purpose flour

2 1/2 pounds large plums & peaches—halved, pitted…

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What do the French Have For Lunch? Croque Madame

Originally posted on Once Upon a Spice:

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In France, Croque Madame is a toasted ham and cheese sandwich with the addition of a simple white cream sauce and fried egg. The Croque Monsieur is the same, but without the egg. This creamy, cheesy, slightly salty, flavorful French delight originated in French cafés and bars as a quick snack or lunch. Typically, Emmental or Gruyère cheese is used.

The name is based on the verb croquer (“to crunch”) and the word monsieur (“mister”). This well-known, countrywide sandwich’s first recorded appearance on a Parisian café menu was in 1910. Croque Monsieur and Madame, in France, are as common to the French as grilled cheese is to us Americans; still served in café’s everywhere in France today.

Makes 2 servings; can be doubled


2 tablespoons butter

3 tablespoons all purpose flour

1 1/2 cup whole milk

Pinch of ground nutmeg

1 bay leaf

1/2 cup each of grated parmesan…

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Coq au Vin (Chicken with Wine)


photo source: strandedfoodie

Coq au Vin simply means; chicken with wine. The delectable delicate flavors of this classic French dish kisses your palate with essences of fresh herbs and subtle wine. Coq au Vin is really quite easy to put together, so there’s no need for any intimidation factors. I used Pinot noir in this recipe for the light lemony taste it provides, but any good dry red wine will suffice. I love this classic dish so much; I’ve been known to make it twice in one week—now that’s true love…


1 tbsp olive oil

1 onion, finely chopped or 1 cup pearl onions

1 cup carrots or whole mini carrots

4-5 strips of bacon chopped, or 1 cup pancetta, chopped

4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced or minced

4 sprigs of fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dry

1/4 cup whole capers

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts or 8 pieces of bone in thighs and legs

1 1/2 cup of Cremini or baby bella mushrooms, halved or sliced

1/2 bottle of Pinot noir

1 cup whipping cream

salt & pepper to taste

handful flat leaf chopped parsley


photo source: lavenderhillssonoma


Cook bacon or pancetta in a tablespoon of olive oil. Remove bacon to a paper towel-lined plate. Salt and pepper the chicken pieces and brown in bacon fat over medium-high heat. Place on a plate, set aside. Sauté chopped onion & carrots over low heat for 5-7 minutes, add garlic when onion is tender and sauté for 1 minute longer. Place on the same plate as chicken and bacon.

Add mushrooms to the pan and brown for 4-5 minutes over medium-high heat.

Return chicken, veggies and bacon to the pan, pour wine over all, bring to a boil, then lower the heat to low, add thyme and simmer for 40 minutes. Add cream and capers and simmer for 10 minutes longer.

Sprinkle with chopped parsley before serving.

Serve over rice or mashed potatoes and crusty bread to ensure every drop of the amazing sauce is properly consumed.

Serves: 4-6