Try This Recipe: Spring Bruschetta with Peas, Pancetta, and Ricotta
Food blogger Paul "Sweet Paul" Lowe shares an easy, light recipe that's perfect for springtime parties.
If you like your beef bourguignon with a side of paper flowers, Sweet Paul has written a book just for you.
In Sweet Paul Eat & Make, the food and craft stylist â€” whose real name is Paul Lowe and who writes the Sweet Paul blog â€” gives home cooks and DIY enthusiasts the best of both worlds with easyÂ recipes and clever projects.
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The book is organized by time of day (morning, brunch, noon, night) and divvied up into â€œEatâ€ and â€œMakeâ€ sections, and itâ€™s one big temptation. Who wouldnâ€™t want to make his recipe for red-wine and honey-braised short ribs, where â€œthe meat is falling off the bones and the juices are heavenlyâ€? Or his crispy red cabbage and grapefruit salad, which he describes as â€œlike a spa day on a plate, very healthy and supremely tasty.â€
The crafts are just as appealing and often made from flea-market finds: a cookie stand constructed from vintage pie tins, jam-jar salt and pepper shakers, flowers made from paper coffee filters.
Here a few treasures we learned from this very personable author:
1. Almond buns can help you find a husband. At least thatâ€™s what Loweâ€™s Norwegian great-aunt told him. â€œHer secret [in â€œAuntie Gunnvorâ€™s Skillingsbollerâ€ recipe] was adding grated marzipan. When it melts into the dough, itâ€™s justâ€¦well, try them yourself and see!â€
2. You can put an egg on just about anything and call it brunch. â€œA poached egg on kale salad? Brunch,â€ says the author. â€œA fried egg on a grilled ham and cheese? Brunch. Steak and scrambled eggs? Brunch.â€ We now revere eggs like we never did before.
3. Perfect-looking food is boring. Lowe prefers his dishes and crafts to â€œlook like a real person made them,â€ he says. â€œMy philosophy is very simple: few ingredients, easy steps and amazing results.â€
See for yourself by whipping up his bruschetta recipe then gather some clothespins and fashion yourself a trivet!
Bruschetta with Peas, Pancetta and Ricotta (pictured above)
4 oz. pancetta, cubed
Â½ cup peas, fresh or frozen, thawed
Â½ cup whole-milk ricotta
12 baguette slices, toasted
Fresh basil leaves (torn if large)
About 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
Freshly ground pepper
1. Heat a skillet over medium heat and cook the pancetta until golden, about 4 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Set aside.
2. Have ready a bowl of ice water. In a small saucepan, cook the fresh peas in boiling salted water for 2 minutes, then dunk them into the ice water. Drain on paper towels. (If using frozen peas, cook for 30 seconds, rinse under cold water, and drain on paper towels.
3. Spread a layer of ricotta on the baguette slices and top evenly with the pancetta, peas, and basil.
4. Drizzle with a little olive oil, sprinkle with some salt and pepper, and serve.
Alexandra Grablewski/PEOPLE Great Ideas
You will need:
40 spring-operated wooden clothespins
Dremel tool fitted with a drilling bit or a drill
1. Disassemble all 40 clothespins.
2. Using the Dremel tool, drill a small hole in each clothespin half, about Â½-inch from the tapered end.
3. Thread the clothespin pieces onto the wire in the same direction until they form a circle.
4. Once you have a full circle, wrap the ends of the wire together and twist until the clothespins are tight and secure.
This article originally appeared on PEOPLE Great Ideas.