I am starting to lose my mind, and not necessarily in the bad way…just slowly starting to lose my complete sense of time as we inch our way closer to the 60-day marker! Also, I can’t believe my wedding is almost two months away! It feels like only three or four posts ago it was still a year away! It’s a little crazy how fast time flies, and this past weekend (or rather weekends) was no exception! All that’s left is finalizing and ordering the wedding favors, Frankie’s suit, and the ceremony readings, then TA-DA! All done! But I digress, which I am likely to do frequently since that’s how my whole life has been filled recently with Roscoe Village’s Burger Fest mid-July, house sitting for a week up north end of July (along with Lord Tuggs’ 3rd Birthday on July 22nd!), and just trying to keep on top of my day job, which hit a busy spike that will last well into September and October.
OH! And did I mention that two weekends ago was my Bachelorette/Bridal Shower weekend?!?! I won’t go into too much details, but my sister-in-laws knocked it out of the park! You never would have known that they had NEVER done this before, but the whole afternoon and evening was SUPER interactive with games, jokes, stories, and being surrounded by such good people…I mean, it was perfect. Absolutely perfect! Plus, we even got to see Frankie perform at Booze Your Own Adventure at LOL Theatre in Chicago, which was a blast and a half! Such a great time, and Momma Sully was a true champion! She came to every part of the weekend, stayed out late with the girls, and hand fed her over indulged daughter pizza before the show…#bestmomever.
Okay, so, as you can see without going into too much detail, it’s been busy, and no doubt the next few weeks are going to continue to be crazy…so I’m doing the best I can to keep on top of recipes and updates to the blog—which, if you haven’t noticed, WE GOT ANOTHER FACE LIFT! This one is more permanent as we also invested in a newer recipe format, which you can now print more easily without printing EVERYTHING (WP Tasty for anyone looking to add a new touch to their page as well), AND I’ve been getting more involved in Photoshop to develop Pintrest Pins specifically for recipes of my own! I’ve also got a few new gadgets, courtesy of this past weekend, that is helping with the development of new recipes! Oh, and a couple new cookbooks are on their way too: Cravings: Recipes for All the Food You Want to Eat, and Cravings: Hungry for More (will arrive later this Fall) by Chrissy Teigen. So once those arrive, I’ll be writing that up and putting that in the Delicious reads category! So a lot of the time I do have will be updating old recipes into the new format, rebolstering the Instagram (which I haven’t done in ages…) rather than writing new posts, so definitely check out my insta (@therealcookingmaggie) for recipes I’m remaking and adjusting! But don’t worry! I won’t be gone too much longer…just, you know, wedding! WEDDING! AH!!!
But again, I digress, as I said I would do. We’ve been trying to eat clean (Whole30-esque) 3-4 days a week, and one of my go to’s when we aren’t eating clean is pasta! I love a good pasta, and recently, my local grocery store has been stocking dried pappardelle pasta! Ugh, my favorite! So, in honor of the new look and new recipe cards, I present to you one of my favorite pastas to make: Pesto! I love homemade pesto because basil is just SO GOOD, and recently, since we’ve been trying to cut cheese out a little more, I’ve been making pesto completely from scratch instead of adding in a little jarred pesto gevonese to strengthen the pesto flavors. And the reason I love pesto so much is because it’s lighter than other sauces, and you do SO MANY different flavor combinations with it! This particular combination, I think, is a total classic! Prosciutto & Peas! (Or pancetta, if you can find it, or bacon if neither of these options is available to you.) For such little ingredients, they pack a powerful flavor! And if you’re looking to bolster the heartiness just a little more, add in some diced cooked chicken too! But in the summer, when it’s already hotter than sin, sometimes not having to spend a ton of time by the oven or stove can be a really, really good thing! And I highly recommend eating this dish outside, by an open window, or on your stoop, which we have done because, you know, when it’s nice you any where to sit and enjoy it is good enough for us!
Wishing a great remainder of your summer, hoping to have a little time to post one more new recipe in the coming weeks, and thanking you all for the love, support, (and patience) as Frankie and I embark on this new chapter in our lives! Check the instagram for more updates my lovelies! — Cooking Maggie
Sometimes, alliteration makes a dish taste as good as it sounds on the tip of your tongue – not to mention pesto is a great summer dish to enjoy on your front porch, an open window, or on your stoop! Love me a good stoop meal from time to time.
- 3 cups of fresh basil leaves, loosely packed (roughly 3 small packets of basil or 1 big packet, plus more for optional topping)
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for topping
- 1 1/2 tablespoons pine nuts or walnuts (I like walnuts more, and they aren’t as expensive!)
- 3 garlic cloves
- 3/4 cup of olive oil (plus more for drizzling)
- 1 tsp salt (plus more for salting the pasta water)
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 4 oz packet of prosciutto*
- 3/4 cup frozen peas
- 1 packet of pappardelle (set aside 1 1/2 cup of the pasta water once you’ve finished cooking)**
- For the pesto, put all of the ingredients into a food processor (or blender), and blend till well combined. It will be on the chunkier side for now, but don’t worry, we’ll thin it out soon. Once combined, set aside.
- Bring a pot of salted water to boil and cook the pappardelle accordingly to the package. Save 1 1/2 cups of the pasta liquid before you strain out your pasta!
- While the pasta is cooking, in a large pan (which we will use again), fry up the prosciutto till it’s nice and crispy. Remove from heat, and set aside.
- If you need to, thin out your pesto by adding a couple tablespoons at a time to your pesto until it’s at your desired consistency. You can also add some olive oil to it as well – for me personally, I added water till the pesto was still thick enough to stick to the pasta, but thin enough to coat everything (roughly 3/4 cups).
- In your prosciutto pan, turn up the heat to medium-low and add in the peas. Stir/cook for about 1-2 minutes (you’re just aiming to get the meat warm again and to thaw out the peas). Once the peas are softened, add in your pasta and pesto, stirring until well combined.
- Remove from heat and serve in a bowl, topping with a little drizzle of olive oil, parmesan cheese, and/or more fresh basil! ENJOY!
* If you can’t find prosciutto, pancetta works great, OR if you want to save a little $$$, use 3-4 strips of thick-cut bacon. Cook in the oven, at 400°F, on a rimmed baking sheet covered in aluminum for ~15-20 minutes or until crispy – thick cut may take a little longer.
** I happened to see the pappardelle in my grocery store’s pasta aisle, but spaghetti…or any kind really, will work perfectly too!