Month: March 2021

How Much Penne Pasta Is One Serving?

How much penne pasta is one serving?

My wife and I joined a group of friends at their beach house for the weekend. As usual, I volunteered to cook the food, which, just as usual, everyone else was secretly hoping for (all you have to do is ask, guys).

I wanted to make my signature penne tomato pasta. So I went to the grocery store and stocked up on penne rigate, a couple of cans of whole peeled tomatoes, a piece of parmesan cheese, a bulb or two of garlic, and some sea salt.

Cooking for a crowd is always a challenge—especially if you’re used to measuring ingredients for a couple of persons. To add to it, there wasn’t a kitchen scale at the summer house and penne pasta tends to get bigger when cooked.

How much of it was I supposed to cook?

Is Maple Joe Real Maple Syrup? (Review)

Maple Joe maple syrup

Make no doubt about it: Canadians love their maple syrup. So much, they put a maple leaf on their national flag. Maple syrup is made from xylem sap, the juice that runs in sugar maple trees during late winter and early spring and carries soil nutrients from their roots to the leaves.

I came across Maple Joe’s maple syrup at the grocery store the other day—and I decided to try it out and write this review. If you’re curious to know more about this maple syrup and the company behind the brand, keep on reading.

Why Do Beets Taste Like Dirt?

BeetsNick Collins (via

Everyone knows that beets are loaded with nutrients. They’re low in calories and fat, and contain small amounts of almost all the vitamins and minerals you need on a daily basis.

As with many other things that are really good for you, beets come with a character. No matter how you clean and cook them, they always end up smelling and tasting like dirt.

Why is that so?

How to Cook Penne Pasta With Tomato Sauce (Recipe)

Penne pasta with tomatoes and hard Italian cheese

This recipe is inspired by the penne tomato pasta that my wife and I had in a shoreside restaurant at Lake Como in Italy’s Lombardi region a few years ago.

Lake Como is a beautiful resort an hour’s train ride from the world’s fashion capital Milan. It’s known for its dramatic scenery of Italy’s third-largest lake set against the foothills of the Alps.

If you have a chance to visit it one day, I highly recommend that you do. Other than the lakeside restaurants, you can also go hiking, boating, or learn to fly an old Cessna seaplane with Aeroclub Como, also known as the oldest seaplane flight organization in the world.

What You Can Cook in a Stainless Steel Frying Pan

Tomato sauce for pasta

Thinking of upgrading your cookware? Since you’re here, I’m going to bet that stainless steel is somewhere on top of your list.

Stainless steel frying pans are not cheap to buy and, to keep food from sticking, you need to know a thing or two about how to use them. But buy a good one and use it well, and you’ll be able to take your home cooking to the next level.

Trust me, I’m telling you this out of experience. I used to cook all of my food in non-stick pans. Until I grew tired of replacing them every 1-2 years because the coating would wear off. I then “graduated” to cast iron skillets which I still swear by, but not for all foods.

Some time ago, I began buying high-quality stainless steel cookware. Now, I do most of my cooking in American and Dutch pans and pots.

The Only Guide to Barilla Pasta Numbers You’ll Need

Barilla Bucatini N. 9

If you’re a fan of Barilla pasta just like me, you’ve probably noticed that every pasta shape has its own number. Spaghetti are no. 5, bucatini no. 9, linguine no. 13, and so on.

Those numbers are more prevalent and printed on the front of the package of Barilla’s European pasta. Whereas in North America, they’re harder to spot and they’re printed on the side of the package.

Make This Pizza in Your Stainless Steel Pan (Recipe)

Homemade Margherita pizza

My cousin was about to buy a stainless steel frying pan on sale this week, when she took a photo of it and texted me, “Do you think I can also make pizza in it?”

I love it when, every now and then, someone asks me a good cooking question. Stainless steel cookware is, after all, touted for its durability and versatility. If your pan has a metal handle and you don’t mind the burn marks, you could even use it over a campfire.

To be sure I wouldn’t mislead my cous, I double-checked the make and model of the pan online while she was eyeing it at the store. It turned out to be oven-safe as I expected.

But could she really bake pizza in it?

How to Get Pasta Noodles to Stick to the Sauce

PastaKlara Kulikova (via Unsplash)

A reader reached out to me yesterday, asking if I could help troubleshoot her pasta cooking technique. “I did everything the recipe said,” she wrote, “yet I couldn’t get the sauce to cling to the noodles. What am I doing wrong?”

The question was so good, I thought of dedicating an entire post on the topic. If you, like Jane from Ohio, came here wondering how to get pasta noodles to stick to the sauce, that’s exactly what I’m going to help you find out.

Scratched Your Stainless Steel Pan? (Read This)

Stainless steel frying pan

I made cacio e pepe the other day and it came out amazing. For those of you who haven’t checked out my cacio e pepe recipe yet, I highly recommend trying it. But some cheese from the sauce had stuck to the bottom and sides of my stainless steel frying pan.

Normally, I’d clean the pan using a powerful cleaning powder for the purpose (I’ll tell you all about it in a few minutes). I’d sprinkle plenty of powder on the pan, pour lukewarm tap water inside it, and start scrubbing the food residue off of the surface with a soft scrub sponge.

This time, I was lazy and in a hurry to use the pan for sautéeing a bunch of asparagus as a side dish. And most of you probably see where this story is headed… I decided to be “smart” and gently scrape off the cheese with a spoon.

Guess what? I ended up scratching my stainless steel pan.