It’s been forever since I last cooked something for the Cooking Italy group which is all about the wonderful book “The Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking” by Marcella Hazan. You know how things like that go; in between cooking for the Daring Cooks, the Daring Bakers and various other cooking groups and challenges… it almost seems impossible to keep things up!

The problem is that I like them all, but reality is that I simply cannot do them all. Not all the time anyways… On top of that I had decided to lose weight (whatever happened to that…lol) and figured I could do without rich and creamy pasta sauces for a while. Well, I can tell you that it sure helps to not eat rich and creamy but it doesn’t help if you then end up baking chocolate cakes or other sweet and wonderful goodies! O well, as long as we’re healthy right? 😉

I bumped (yes, bumped… It’s a very large book….lol) into Marcella’s book last week and then figured it was about time I got back into cooking with the group. I totally love her recipes and the two I will share with you today are two prime examples how simple cooking can be soooo rewarding.

The first one is a delicious tomato bruschetta which is just simple and gorgeous all on it’s own. Works perfect as an appetizer, a snack or a light lunch. We had this together with the pasta as there is not a lot of greens in the pasta and I figured that instead of doing a salad I make a nice bruschetta. The bruschetta was on the Cooking Italy schedule even before I started with the group, but I hadn’t made it and I love all bruschetta’s.. so a natural choice!

It amazes me every single time how much flavor you get by simply rubbing a clove of garlic over a toasted piece of bread! The recipe said to spread the garlic over the bread but I tend to find that a bit too overpowering so I rubbed half a clove of garlic over the fresly toasted bread, sprinkled it with olive oil and put the tomatoes on top. Key in this recipe is to use good tomatoes. You do not want the watery type. That will just kill the taste of the bruschetta. So nice tomatoes, whatever variety you have in your area and remove the seeds for the most part and chop them in small pieces, mix with fresh basil and put on top of your warm toasted bread. Add some salt and pepper and you’re done!

And delicious it is!

By the time we got to the pasta it was dark, so not the best light to shoot a pasta dish. The pasta was incredible; there is hardly any ingredients in there and it is still very good and very tasty! You should give it a try!



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Pasta with cream and sausages

Servings: 4


  • 225 gr sweet sausage
  • 1,5 tbsp chopped onion
  • 25 gr of butter
  • 1 tbsp of vegetable oil
  • freshly ground black pepper salt and freshly grated parmezan for the table
  • 150 ml whipping cream
  • 450 gr of pasta (this sauce benefits from using a pasta shape that traps the sauce well such as conchiglie or fusili


  • Skin the sausage and crumble it as fine as possible1
  • Put the chopped onion, butter and vegetable oil in a small saucepan. Turn the heat to medium and cook until the onion becomes colored a pale gold, Add the crumbled sausage and cook for 10 minutes. Add a few grindings of pepper, all the cream, turn the heat to medium high and cook until the cream has thickened, stirring once or twice. Taste and correct for salt.
  • Toss the sauce with cooked, drained pasta and serve at once with grated parmesan on the side.


The nutritional values above are calculated per portion. The details are based on standard nutritional tables and do not constitute a professional nutritional advice.

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