Last weekend Koen and I helped out with his father’s wine tasting event – the Tipies Wijncafé (Teepee Wine Café). It was a join venture with my father-in-law’s Grand Vin and one of the Brörmann’s favorite restaurants Het Hooihuis. This is the second time Grand Vin has hosted a wine tasting at Het Hooihuis and we had beautiful sunny weather and a great turnout! Special for the warm weather, Grand Vin debuted its new Rosé and Rosé Spumante. I especially enjoyed the spumante all afternoon! To pair with the wine, Het Hooihuis created a special menu including oysters, burgers, and white asparagus soup. Yum!
A couple of weeks ago Koen had a few friends over for a boys’ night, so I asked my sister-in-law Barbara if I could come visit her in Tilburg. We had a fun girls’ night with ice cream and cocktails!
After spending a couple of hours making moussaka Sunday, I wanted to try an easier dish last night and decided on Spaghetti Aglio E Olio. The name translates into English as “spaghetti with garlic and oil”. Spaghetti Aglio E Olio is really easy to make with few ingredients – only spaghetti, garlic, olive oil, parsley, red pepper flakes, and parmesan. I don’t think I’ll make this as a main course again – better as a side dish!
I wasn’t sure what I would be making this past weekend, so I asked my colleagues for ideas. One of my colleagues is Greek and recommended making moussaka. First I had to ask what that is, but then I quickly learned that it’s an extremely popular and prevalent dish in the Eastern Mediterranean consisting mostly of eggplant, ground beef, and bechamel sauce. There is no set recipe for moussaka, so I finally settled on the Moussaka Recipe from Simply Recipes. This is my most difficult recipe yet! There are many steps and it took me around 1 hour and 45 minutes to prepare the moussaka for the oven. But luckily I chose to make this recipe on Sunday, and I had the whole afternoon! The results were delicious and I’ll be making this again in the future!
I was really excited to try Macaroni all’Amatriciana! Although it’s described as one of the most famous sauces out of Rome (originally from Amatrice) and Italy, I had never tried it. The main ingredients are guanciale (cured pork cheek), tomatoes, and Pecorino cheese served with bucatini, a thick, hollow spaghetti. I needed to make a few substitutions – guanciale is really difficult to find outside of Italy and I read pancetta is typically the best substitution and the Albert Heijn didn’t have bucatini, so I used macaroni. I thought the preparation of the tomatoes was a nice touch! Instead of using canned diced tomatoes, the recipe calls for blanched fresh tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and then chopped before adding them to the sauce. Although the tomatoes require a bit of work, I was able to make the Macaroni all’Amatriciana in about 30 minutes!
Sugo all’Amatriciana (Amatriciana sauce) is very similar to Sugo alla Carbonara except with tomatoes and Pecorino instead of eggs and Parmesan. I will definitely be making this dish again and will be on the lookout for the guanciale and bucatini!