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Quid Pro Quo

Life would be so boring if we always did what we were already capable of. I had asked a friend what I should make for dinner. He suggested penne with vodka sauce.  Now being Italian you’d think I would have had  made this before. Well try again. My mom always stuck to basic tomato sauces so I chartered into unknown territory. I had to depend on Giada DeLaurentiis for some guidance so I didn’t end up with a pink tasteless sauce.

Since I was making sauce I figured I might as well go all out and make a complete meal. I haven’t properly cooked in weeks so it was “Go big or go home” time. To accompany my sauce I decided to make homemade Italian bread as well as some vegetables on the side. Finally, a balanced meal.I love making homemade bread and I made enough so I could have two loaves.

So here are the recipes I used and managed to make both things while completing a weeks worth of laundry. I felt so productive before work.

Vodka Sauce!

-1 jar tomato sauce

-1 small onion,diced

-garlic minced

-1 TBS olive oil

-can of diced tomatoes with Italian seasoning

-1/2 cup heavy cream

~(1/3) cup vodka (this is totally up to your own taste)

-1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

Dice the onion. Heat the oil in a skillet. Put garlic and onion in skillet. Add the can of diced tomatoes to the skillet.









Now put the jar of sauce in a pot. Add the vodka and the tomato mixture from the skillet. Simmer the sauce on low heat for a half hour. Add the cream and  Parmesan cheese. Heat thoroughly. This tastes amazing. I would have made the tomato sauce from scratch too but I didn’t have THAT much time.

Half-Wheat Italian Herb Bread

1 package of yeast

2 cups whole grain flour

3 cups all purpose flour


3 cups warm water

Italian seasoning

1/3 cup olive oil

Proof the yeast in one cup of warm water. Add the remaining two cups of warm water. Add the whole grain flour and 3 cups of the all purpose flour. Mix well. The dough will be sticky like pictured below.

Knead the dough for 5 minutes




Let the dough rise in a warm spot for an hour until it doubles in size. The dough bowl should be sprayed with vegetable oil as well as the top of the dough so that the dough doesn’t stick to the plastic wrap.

After the dough has risen, punch the dough and roll it out onto a floured surface. Knead the dough for 2 minutes. With a sharp knife cut the dough into two balls or as many loaves as you desire. Place the dough back in the bowl and let rise in the same manner as before.

  Once the dough is risen, shape in oblong loaves and place on a baking sheet coated with corn meal. Score the top of the loaves with a sharp knife to prevent air bubbles. Coat the loaves with some of the olive oil and then sprinkle with the Italian seasoning.

Bake the bread at 375 degrees Farenheit  for about 30 minutes. Your kitchen will smell amazing. I would highly suggest using this recipe when you have company coming over.



The complete meal.

This was delicious. I would definitely make this again. Having only half wheat allowed the bread to still taste normal and not be dense like many whole grain breads.

About ccignarale

I'm a short, quirky Industrial Engineering graduate student that loves to bake. I've done my fair share of boxed desserts and am now ready for a baking adventure. So, I hope that there are some doughy bits of goodness in my future.

One response »

  1. This looks amazing!!


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