Category Archives: Italian

Jim’s Dough Makin’

Crostinis, loaves, croutons, French bread, Italian bread, pastries, he makes it all.

He gets upset when a grocery store doesn’t carry Pita bread.

He is… Chef Jimi Karanikolaou.


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With a collection of recipes from his Grandma Bev, to his own creations, Chef Jimi is a bread connoisseur! He makes the best, buttery dinner rolls.  

Fettuccine Alfredo with Sausage & Bell Peppers

Mmm Creamy Alfredo sauce. My absolute gluttonous favorite. I would eat it everyday if it didn’t mean suffering the consequences. This version is paired with a sausage and bell pepper medley. Just because the Alfredo sauce is so creamy and flavorful with garlic, the sausage and bell peppers could be replaced with any meat and veggies. And this isn’t limited to Fettuccine pasta noodles either, try it on top of any pasta! It’s just THAT glorious.

Fun Fact: When choosing bell peppers at the market, think about what you’ll cook them with. Bell peppers with 3 bumps (or points) at the bottom, tend to be sweeter and keep their shape; great for eating raw or dipping in Ranch dressing. Bell peppers with 4 bumps are better for cooking and getting that nice, charred taste. To me, there’s not THAT much of a difference. Just cool to know.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 package Fettuccini pasta, boiled ‘al dente’ (“to a bite”, not too cooked and soft)
  • 3 – 4 tablespoons Flour
  • 4 tablespoons Butter
  • 2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil (not pictured)
  • 4 – 6 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • About 1 cup Heavy Whipping Cream (1 med. container is fine) (Or milk)
  • About 1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese (a 5 oz. container will do)
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper, chopped length-wise
  • 1 Green Bell Pepper, chopped length-wise
  • 1 package of Smoked Sausage (about 1 pound)
  • About 1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning (not pictured)
  • Optional: cilantro or parsley for garnish
  • Salt & Pepper

Boil pasta in large pot with a lot of water. (Read my “Boiling Pasta” post for great details on mastering al dente pasta. Unless you’re confident they’ll turn out great, the extra seconds to read it is well worth it.) Reserve about 1 cup of the starchy water and set aside. Drain and set aside.

Sauté the bell peppers and sausage in a little olive oil on medium-high heat. Add salt and pepper. They’re done when softened and charred around the edges. Set aside in separate bowl or container.

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In the same and emptied pan, add the butter to make a roux (pronounced “rue”). After it melts, add equal parts flour, or a little less at first. Add more if you want it thicker. Turn up the heat a little. Stir constantly to prevent burning. Then add the minced garlic to slightly toast before pouring in heavy whipping cream. Keep stirring.

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Turn the heat back down and add the parmesan cheese. This is the part where you add as much starchy water as you’d like from the pasta earlier. Season with salt and pepper, and Italian Seasoning. Taste the sauce at this point and see if it needs more seasoning.

Pour the Alfredo sauce over the pasta, and add the sausages and bell peppers. Depending on how large your pans are, I usually do this part in the same pot I used to boil the pasta.

Serve with garlic toast (See my “Seasoned Garlic Butter” post)

Recommended: Garnish with diced tomatoes and cilantro or parsley.

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Seasoned Garlic Butter

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  • Melt 3 tablespoons of butter (or margarine, if you prefer). You can do this in a microwave for about 30 seconds.
  • Add about 1 tablespoon of Italian Seasoning or your favorite herbs.
  • Mince 2 cloves of garlic finely, then add to butter sauce.
  • Drizzle while warm or baste with a brush onto bread to make garlic toast.

Garlic Butter on Toast

Spinach. Not just for Popeye..

Spinach can be juiced, put in salads, sandwiches, creamed, and so much more. Here are a few ways I’ve used it.

Stir–Fry

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  • In a pan, add a little olive oil. The spinach will wilt so much that you don’t want too much oil to make it soggy. The spinach can also look like it’s over crowding the pan, but you can pile it pretty high.
  • On medium heat, slowly stir, letting the several layers wilt.
  • Add minced garlic, salt and pepper.
  • That’s it! SO good as a side for rice and stir–fried meat.

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This is how much the same pan reduced down. I leave the garlic pieces a little bit chunkier in this dish and it’s amazing.

Spinach & Artichoke Dip

This was soo good that we forgot to take an official photo. This picture was found but it captures the need we had to cut up crostini bread to eat with the dip right away.

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  • 1 small package (10 oz.) of frozen chopped spinach
  • equal parts chopped artichoke hearts (jarred, canned, or frozen, doesn’t matter)
  • 1 package (6 to 8 oz.) of cream cheese.. Melt slightly in microwave.
  • 1/3 cup mayo
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • salt and pepper

Serve at room temperature or warm.

Just Raw

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Great as a salad or as the greens in a hearty sandwich.