Grandma Elsie’s Mandel Bread
Same as my Italian great-aunt Josephine’s Biscotti – just substitute one tsp. anise seed for chocolate chips and omit the nuts…
½ cup walnuts, 2/3 cup oil, ½ cup sugar, 2 eggs, 1 tsp vanilla, 2 cups flour, 1 tsp baking powder, ½ cup mini chocolate chips, cinnamon and sugar to garnish
Preheat oven to 350. Toast walnuts until browned and fragrant. Cool completely and chop coarsely.
In a large bowl,sift together the flour and baking powder. Stir into egg mixture. Add nuts and chocolate chips to combine.
On a baking sheet covered with foil, form the batter into 3 loaves. Leave some space between them as they tend to spread. The batter will be quite sticky to work with. Pat into shape with lightly oiled hands.
Sprinkle generously with cinnamon and sugar, and bake for 25 minutes. Remove from baking sheet but keep heat on. Cool for 5 minutes, then cut into 1 inch slices.
Lay the slices on their side on a wire rack and return to the oven to toast for 10 minutes.
Flip the mandel bread and toast for 8 – 10 minutes on the other side. Cool directly on the wire rack. Makes 20-25 cookies.
Pâtes aux Petit Pois, Roquette, et Fromage de Chèvre
Ingredients: 1 pound of bow tie pasta (whole wheat), 2 cups fresh peas, ¾ cup of good quality Italian pesto sauce (or more to taste), 2 large handfuls arugula, 8 ounces soft goat cheese (crumbled), freshly ground black pepper
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add pasta. When pasta has 1 minute left on the clock, add the peas. Make sure the heat is extra high, so the peas don’t drastically lower the water temperature.
Drain the pasta and peas, then return them to the pot. Add the pesto and stir to combine. Add the arugula and toss lightly.
Divide the pasta among 2 shallow bowls. Crumble the goat cheese on top and add a grind of pepper. Serve immediately. Serves 4.