Sunday, December 12, 2010

1st Recipe: Malawi Inspired

I choose to do pasta this week because of the pasta dish I ordered at Malawi's. Their pasta was simple but elegant and that is what I wanted to try to create this week.

This week the recipe we decided to try was called Pasta with Zucchini, Bacon and Parmesan. I found it on the Food Network website which is where I usually get all my new food recipes from.

It is a very simple recipe but it is packed with flavor and will make you go back for seconds and thirds. As you will see in the pictures I also made a soup. This soup is called Roasted Pear- Butternut Soup with Crumbled Stilton and you can find it on the Food Network website.

This pasta recipe takes 10 minutes to prepare and 20 minutes to cook. It will serve 6 people.

For this recipe you will need:

-1 pound penne rigate pasta
-4 ounces bacon, sliced into 1/2 pieces
-2 large zucchini, diced
-1 cup reserved pasta water
-3/4 cup very loosely packed, finely grated Parmesan cheese
-salt and pepper

Cook the pasta in boiling, salted water to al dente. Drain the pasta, reserving 1 cup of the cooking water. Return the pasta to the pot and set aside.
In a large saute pan, add the bacon and cook until the fat is rendered and the bacon is crispy. Add the zucchini and cook until it starts to soften. 

Place the cooked pasta over low heat. Add the reserved pasta water, cooked bacon, zucchini and the grated cheese. Toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasonings. Serve immediately.

This is a very simple recipe and it only takes 30 minutes and pasta is great for next day leftovers.
These next couple pictures are of the soup I made and the finished product.

Something I did to make the presentation a little more exciting is put my soup in dessert shooters. This makes the soup a fun appetizer but you still save room for the main course. 

This recipe is fantastic and would recommend it to anyone who was looking for a good pasta dish! When my husband and I make this again I think I we'll try adding garlic or onions to it to really play with the flavor.  It's already delicious but I really want to add my own spin.  I can't wait to continue trying new recipes with my husband.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Malawi's Pizza!

Our first restaurant!

I have driven by this restaurant many times and I am always drawn in by the logo so finally today my husband and I decided to give it a try.

Malawi's Pizza is located in the Riverwoods shopping center behind the Macaroni Grill. The first thing that caught my attention when we walked in was the atmosphere. There is a African Safari theme and the decorations are really amazing. There is a big tree near the front that really ties the restaurant together as well as African masks and animals carved out of wood. I would say this restaurant is very exotic and perfect for a big gathering with family and friends.

We walk up to the register and start scanning the menu. There is a menu for pizzas, a menu for pastas, and a menu for salads as well as a create your own pizza or pasta. Everything is reasonably priced so my husband and I decided to share a pasta and pizza. A waiter came up to the register a little after we got there and we told him it was our first time so he was very nice and helped us out. He told us about the menu and his favorites. We decided on the garlic shrimp pasta and a pizza that I can not remember the name of but it had red and yellow tomatoes, mozzarella cheese and a balsamic reduction on it.

We sat down at a booth waiting for the food to be brought to our table and just took in everything around us. When our food came it looked absolutely AMAZING and one bite of each confirmed this. The food was fresh and well crafted. They both had excellent flavor and a effortless presentation. This was food that you wanted to stop eating so you could save some for tomorrow. I am already craving more of the delectable food.

We really enjoyed this restaurant and would recommend it to anyone! If you are ever craving pasta, pizza or a salad I would go to Malawi's Pizza.

The best part of this restaurant is that when you purchase a meal, a meal is given to children in Malawi Africa!

Decorations in the restaurant 

Our food! Sorry we just had to dive in it looked so good!