Pasta and fresh-baked bread two days in a  row?!? You’d think I was married to an Italian. Oh. Wait. I am married to an Italian.

It started last might when I had to work late. I came home to bread fresh out of the oven and spaghetti with anchovies, sun-dried tomatoes, and crushed red pepper on the stove.

I swooned.

The pasta dish is nothing short of spectacular. Even folks who would never dream of eating an anchovy love this one. There’s no fishy taste. It’s just an explosion of flavor.


The basic is about a quarter-cup of olive oil in a skillet. Add a clove or two of minced garlic, and then maybe six anchovy fillets. The anchovies will pretty much dissolve into the oil. Add the sun-dried tomatoes, a hefty pinch of red pepper flakes, and a bit of black pepper.

Meanwhile, cook your pasta. Drain it, reserving a half-cup or so of the pasta water. Add the drained pasta to the sauce and mix well. Add a bit of the cooking water if the pan is too dry.

Stir in some freshly-grated parmesan or romano cheese, and mangia!

It is fresh-bread-dunking-good!

The bread is a James Beard loaf. It only proofs once, so it’s one that can be on the table in just a couple of hours.

James Beard Bread

  • 2 package of active dry yeast
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water (100-115 degrees)
  • 3 to 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 egg white beaten with 1T water
  • course salt, sesame seeds, poppy seeds

In a large mixing bowl combine yeast and sugar. Let proof about 5 minutes. Add oil and 1/4 cup water. Mix.

Add salt. Add 1/2 cup of flour and continue mixing.  Slowly add remaining flour.

Knead for several minutes until the dough springs back and is satiny and smooth. It is a fairly wet dough.

Form into a loaf about 20 to 22 inches long, let loaf rest about 20 minutes.

Brush lightly with egg wash and sprinkle with salt or seeds.

Bake in a 300° oven about 55 minutes.

Tonight, I had some chicken and decided I wanted ravioli – but not in a tomato sauce. A creamy red pepper sauce was what I came up with.

I sauteed two cut-up chicken breasts in a  bit of olive oil. When they were partly done, I added two red peppers I had cut in strips. Next went a clove of minced garlic.  When the chicken was cooked, I added about a half-cup of white wine and let it cook down. Next went a cup of chicken broth. When it was hot, I added about a half-cup of cream and about a cup of shredded assiago cheese. I then added about a teaspoon of Spanish paprika. We are the paprika kings with smoked Spanish paprika, Hungarian sweet paprika, Hungarian hot paprika, and Spanish sweet paprika. I thought sweet was best for this one…

A bit of black pepper, and then I thickened it with a pinch of cornstarch mixed with water.

I cooked up some cheese ravioli, mixed it all together, and called it dinner!



It came out really pretty – and tasted pretty good, as well. More of Victor’s bread from last night and we had ourselves another feast!