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Cook Your Stress Away

Posted in Caro Diario.(dear diary..), cucina, and recipes

bow-tie-pasta.jpg copyright, 2008, Maria Liberati

Stress is caused by many things including  not taking time out to do things that we enjoy. Today yes, most people are living their lives on the internet and almost attached to their cell phones and Blackberry-especially today with the news of higher prices of gas, foods and cost of everything in general. People are so afraid to take time out to enjoy themselves-almost to the point that they feel guilty about doing something simple like preparing and enjoying a great meal at home or taking a walk, even something simple like setting aside some time once a week to have your meal ‘al fresco’ outside- in your backyard,terrace if weather permits (if possible). If weather does not permit then eat ‘al fresco’ style inside- casual fare using brightly colored plates and dinnerware to brighten up your spirits makes a big difference.


Taking time to enjoy some of the finer things in life, no matter how small can make a world of difference in the way you approach life and can give you a whole new outlook on life.

Here is a great recipe to make for a casual dinner that should chase your stress away.


Farfalle con Ricotta

(Butterfly or bow tie pasta with Ricotta)


1 lb of butterfly (farfalle) pasta

8 ounces of frozen or fresh (washed and chopped) spinach

1 small onion finely chopped

½ cup ricotta (regular or low fat)

1 tablespoon of chopped fresh parsley

2 fresh basil leaves

1 tsp of dried oregano

Pinch of nutmeg

1/2 cup of dry white wine

4 tblsps of olive oil

Pinch of salt

Pinch of pepper

2 tblsps of milk

3 tsps of kosher salt


Heat oil in saucepan and sauté onions till just golden. Saute for 1 minute. Add in white wine and let liquid evaporate for 1 minute. Add in spinach and the ricotta. Stir while mashing ricotta with fork.

Add in milk, salt and pepper to taste. Let cook for 10 minutes.


Bring 6 cups of water to boil for pasta. Add in kosher salt. Add in pasta and stir with wooden spoon. Cook for 8 minutes or time indicated on package.


Drain pasta and add into ricotta sauce. Top with freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano and mix gently and serve.

“Mangia Bene, Vivi Bene”

For more great recipes get your copy of  the best selling book The Basic Art of Italian Cooking at

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