July 27, 2013

Linguine Carbonara Plus Mormon Mama Italian Cookbook Review and GIVEAWAY

*Giveaway has ended.  Click HERE to see the winner*
This Mormon Mama Italian Cookbook is Shannon Smurthwaite's first cookbook.   Her Mother's family came from Italy and she learned these authentic recipes from both her Grandmother and her Mother.  

This cookbook is divided up between Appetizers, Soup, Bread, Sides, Pasta, Main Dishes, Sauces and Dessert.
All of the sections have some yummy sounding food, but I am most excited about the bread section.  I want to make every single bread recipe in there, especially the Ciabatta bread that is made in a bread machine.  

I only found one "weird" ingredient in the whole book (anchovy paste).  The rest of the ingredients are all things I have eaten before and even have in my pantry and fridge at all times. 

At the bottom of each recipe she includes either a fun fact about Italians, an Italian word translation or a note about that particular recipe.  I learned a little more about the Italian culture just from reading all of those fun facts. 

I think there is something for everyone in this book and if you would like a chance to win a copy, enter down below.  
Linguine Carbonara

8 oz. linguine pasta
3 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled
1/2 Lb. Italian sausage
1/2 red or green bell pepper, chopped
1 Tbl. all-purpose flour
1 egg
1 can evaporated milk (about 2 cups)
1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/8 tsp. ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/2 c. canned artichoke hearts, chopped
1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese
2 Tbl. cilantro, chopped

Cook pasta according to package directions.  In a large skillet over medium heat; cook the sausage.  Add the chopped bell pepper and saute until tender.  Sprinkle flour over the top and stir to combine.  In a separate dish whisk together the egg and evaporated milk; pour into hot skillet and stir to combine.  Season with red pepper flakes, pepper, garlic powder and Italian seasoning.  Stir in the chopped artichoke hearts.  Sauce will thicken very fast.  If it gets too thick, stir in some of the hot pasta water (or milk).  Stir in the grated cheese.  Serve sauce over cooked noodles and garnish with crumbled bacon and chopped cilantro.  Serves: 3-4

Jenn's Notes: I typed the recipe above with a few slight adjustments I made to the original recipe.  I know that kind of defeats the purpose of reviewing a recipe, but I rarely make a recipe exactly "as is".  

Serve alongside: 

To ENTER the GIVEAWAY for one PDF copy of this cookbook:
1.  Simply leave me a comment on this blog post and tell me your favorite Italian food.
2.  For a bonus entry - Leave me a separate comment with a link to an Italian recipe you have tried and loved.  It can be from any site.   

*If your name does not link me to a blog, be sure to leave me your email address, so I can contact you if you win.

Giveaway will end on on Tuesday, July 30th and I will announce the winner on Wednesday, July 31st.  Winner must contact me within 72 hours or a new winner will be selected.  Good luck.

The publisher provided me with a copy of this cookbook for the purpose of this review, but the opinions expressed herein are my own.


  1. What a great recipe! I'd have to say my favorite Italian food is pizza!

  2. Oh I think I'm gonna make this for dinner! I LOVE anything with an alfredo sauce, my favorite pasta is rigatoni, my son goes crazy for spaghetti and meatballs :)

  3. Just pick one? :) I do love me some lasagna. Thanks for the giveaway.
    annieluh1 (at) gmail (dot) com

  4. My favorite Italian food? Anything with cheese tortellini (especially handmade)...I think it is the most elegant of the stuffed pastas. It is so versatile and delicious that it can be used with sides, entrées, and even some clever appetizers, each time transforming into a delicious new experience!

    mark (a) markcoren (d) com

  5. Pizza. Email Texwest6@gmail.com

  6. Since I mentioned handmade tortellini, here's my favorite recipe for making herbed tortellini...its simple, and freezes well if you make extras. You can take quite a few liberties experimenting with the herbs and the mixture of cheese in the recipe. It is VERY forgiving in my experience...


    Btw, it's a fun word to type too! Thanks for so many great recipes!!!

  7. I really love penne rustica and penne carbonara. The best carbonarra dish was at the Europa restaurant in Leimen Germany. Yum! The way the meats and the sauces meld together and create so many flavors is amazing! johnsonakt@yahoo.com Kristy J

  8. Because it's summer and it's hot, my favorite Italian dish right now is Caprese salad. I could eat that eveday!!
    And that recipe sounds fabulous!

  9. As requested, here is a recipe I have tried and it is so yummy. Italian Wedding Soup - great when the weather cools down!


  10. This book looks like its going to be a good one. If I was to choose an Italian dish that I really enjoy, it would be Spinach and Ricotta Cannelloni. Curtis Stone has an excellent recipe that I make on a regular basis :)

    Tina Dupuis

  11. Aside from PIZZA, I love a very simple penne paste tossed with garlic roasted in olive oil and sprinkled with a little sea salt. - MMM-m-m-m!

  12. My grandmother came over from Italy as a young woman so I know all about good Italian food! It's always so nice to be able to add another dish to my repertoire! I'll be trying this!

  13. One of my favorite dishes of all time is this one from Lidia Bastianich of Lidia's Italy. It's delicious every time and will make you feel like you've just eaten a piece of heaven.


    1. hahaha, forgot to give you the name of it...Skillet Gratinate of Chicken and Mushrooms

  14. My favorite Italian food is gnocchi!!! We made it every Christmas growing up. First with my Grandma and then with my dad. I have so many memories. My kids now have memories making it with my dad that they treasure even more since he passed away last year.

  15. I don't have a website or a blog or anything although many people have told me I should but here is another of my favorite and easy Italian dishes. With this easy of an Alfredo recipe NO ONE SHOULD EVER BUY BOTTLED OR PACKAGED POWDER ALFREDO.... EVER!!!!!

    1 stick butter (real butter)
    1-2 gloves garlic (or more if you like it)
    1/4 cup flour
    1 quart cream or 1/2 & 1/2 (cream is yummier but more calories)
    1-2 cups grated Parmesan cheese (NOT from the green canister!!)

    All of this is done over medium to medium low heat. Melt butter and saute garlic for 1-2 minutes, do not burn. Add flour and cook for 1-2 minutes, this takes out the flour taste. Add cream. Stir until sauce thickens some. Add cheese and whisk till smooth. You will know it is done when you pull the whisk out and it isn't stringy!! Pull off heat and serve over Angel Hair Pasta. You can also add cooked chicken and sauteed mushrooms!! Stores well in fridge, too heat up just put a tablespoon of milk in it and warm in microwave or on stove.

    My Italian grandma taught me to add the flour so that the sauce doesn't break so easily. Professionals don't use it but it sure helps the hurried homemaker!!!

    BTW my email is ramonageorge@gmail.com
    I hope I win!!!!

  16. I love eggplant Parmesan. I make it easily by peeling the eggplant, slicing it thinly, spreading mayonnaise on both sides, dipping in Italian bread crumbs, and baking them at about 375 until golden brown. Then I layer cheese and marinara sauce and bake again until the cheese is melted. Ta Da!

  17. Ooh my favorite Italian dish is definitely fettuccine alfredo. tamramorgan@gmail.com

  18. My favorite Italian meal is Shrimp and Broccoli Alfredo. I like anything with alfredo.

  19. Jenn,

    Grazie molto!

    Thank you for the very fun review! I appreciated you sending me the link today.
    Wishing you well.

    Ciao Bella,
    Shannon M. Smurthwaite, author
    Mormon Mama Italian Cookbook

  20. When I was a kid, my mom had an Italian woman who taught her how to make a fresh pasta sauce. We LOVED it growing up and now I make the same thing for my kids in the summer and they BEG for it when we have fresh tomatoes in our garden.

    1/4 c olive oil
    5-6 basil leaves (Fresh)
    4-5 cloves garlic
    1/4 tsp. salt
    Combine all about ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth. Add tomatoes, that have been scalded and peeled, and blend until only slightly chunky. Serve over thin spaghetti or angel hair pasta with Parmesan cheese.
    This recipe is easier to see made first. I don't know how many tomatoes, maybe 3-4 lbs. I do it in my blender and have about 3-4 cups of finished sauce. Roma or other meaty tomatoes are best. With juicy tomatoes, squeeze after peeling to get rid of excess juice so sauce is thicker. This sauce is not cooked besides the scalding of the tomatoes.


    hashbrownsss at hotmail dot com

  21. This is also a favorite at our house for using zucchini, even my self proclaimed zucchini hater loves this recipe from Our Best Bites. It is Zucchini Ribbon Pasta with Light Creamy Lemon Basil Sauce


  22. http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/spaghetti-with-parmesan-bacon-10000000443522/

    This is the recipe I make time and again.

  23. Chicken piccata is by far my favorite Italian dish!

  24. This is the recipe I generally use


  25. Lasagna is my favorite. I love your blog! Debbie dch1155@yahoo.com

  26. I like good ol' spaghetti with tomato sauce!

  27. I happen to love Spaghetti Carbonara, so I can't wait to try this recipe. The book sounds like it's full of yummy recipes--I love Italian!

  28. This is how I usually make my Spaghetti Carbonara:

  29. Love Manicotti- simple and oh so yummy!

  30. Oh i feel i am gonna build this for dinner! i really like something with an alfredo sauce, my favorite alimentary paste is pasta.

  31. I love and eat pizza regularly ( I did tonight), but I am really loving lasagna with 'zucchini' noodles lately!