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Recipe: Pesto pasta Alla Genovese

I go to Cibo for my favorite comfort food…farfalle alla genovese. Cibo is owned by renowned chef Margarita Fores, who also by the way owns Adora, and has brought exquisite Italian cuisine to the Philippines. I wish I can ask Margarita for the recipe of her farfalle genovese, but since I can’t, I just searched the Internet for a quick recipe for this dish. I was surprised to have found quite a lot of ways to do it, and so I just combined the different recipes and came up with my own. :)


  • 4 tablespoons pesto genovese (you can add more if you like a strong pesto taste)
  • 1/3 cup evaporated milk
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose cream
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2 shitake mushrooms
  • 1 cup uncooked pasta noodles (whatever kind you like; I use penne)
  • a drizzle of olive oil (just enough to saute the mushroom)
  • a pinch of salt (I use sea salt)


  • Cut your mushrooms in thin slices, in the size you want
  • I just buy prepared pesto genovese in the grocery, but it is better if you can prepare it yourself. Here’s how to make fresh pesto genovese by a rather quirky chef. Note that the video also includes how to use the pesto genovese in pasta…you may want to ignore that because it’s overly simplified. Hehehe!

Cooking Instructions:

Cook your pasta noodles in a separate pan.

Heat olive oil in a pan and saute the shitake mushrooms for a minute. Add your pesto genovese, all purpose cream, evaporated milk. Stir until the mixture looks even, and then add water. Bring to a boil and add salt to taste.

Then, you can add in your cooked pasta…and you’re done! You can put in some freshly ground pepper before you serve. And, don’t forget the bread!

Recipe: Vegetable Tempura

My all time favorite food is shrimp tempura, but since I cannot eat shrimp anymore, I’ve settled for vegetable tempura. I was totally surprised that it was delicious and packs its own surprising twist to the traditional ebi (shrimp) tempura. It’s super easy to cook, too!

I just thought I’d share this recipe for those who want to cook something healthy for their family. The kids won’t even know that those are veggies! :)

Ingredients for the Tempura Batter:

  • 1 cup all purpose flour (I use gluten-free flour due to diet restrictions)
  • 2/3 cup super cold water
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (I use sea salt because it’s more nutritious)
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil (this is optional)

Vegetable Ingredients:

You can actually throw in whatever veggies you like, but I usually use the following:

  • 2 carrots
  • 2 bell peppers (green or red will do)
  • 5 asparagus
  • 3 jicama (this is singkamas in tagalog. and yeah…it’s wrong to refer to singkamas as turnips)

Ingredients for the Tempura Sauce:

  • 1 cup water
  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce (better if you can use kikoman)
  • 2 teaspoons mirin (mirin is japanese vinegar, adding it is optional)
  • 4 tablespoons sugar (I use mascovado instead of brown sugar. If using mascovado, make this 3 tablespoons only.)
  • 6 tablespoons grated radish
  • 2 teaspoons grated ginger (you can adjust this according to taste)

Other Ingredients:

  • 3 – 4 cups of the healthiest frying oil you can get…or afford. :)

Prepare the Tempura Batter:

Mix the cold water, salt, baking powder, egg, and sesame oil in a bowl. Add the flour bit by bit, until you have a somewhat thick batter. Be careful not to over-stir the batter. It’s good to leave a few small lumps of flour because it gives the tempura it’s unique look.

Prepare the Vegetables:

You can slice your veggies your own way. For presentation purposes, I slice my veggies as thin as I can slice them, while maintaining a length of 3-4 inches. Toss all the veggies together in a bowl.

Prepare the Tempura Sauce:

Boil the water, soy sauce, mirin, and sugar together. After it reaches aboil, turn the fire off and put in the grated radish and grated ginger.

Cook Your Tempura:

Put your frying oil in a deep cooking pan/dish or a wok. The oil should be about 2 inches deep. After 5 or so minutes, see if your oil is hot enough. How? Take a small dollop of the tempura batter and throw it into the oil. If it rises quickly, that means your oil is hot enough; otherwise, you have to wait some more.

Using chopsticks, or whatever you have that comes near to it, get  a handful of mixed veggies, dip it into the batter, and dip it the oil…releasing it from the chopsticks gently. After 30 seconds, you can take it out from the oil and drain it on paper towels.

Viola! You now have your vegetable tempura! Serve with tempura sauce. Best when eaten with rice. :)

If you want a visual instruction on how to cook your vegetable tempura, you may want to view the video below. However, we sort of differ in the recipe in some way, and even in the cutting of the veggies. I noticed she cooks her veggies one at a time because they come in big slices. As mentioned above, I slice mine like match sticks, mix them, and put the mixed handful into the batter, then into the oil. They come out more fun to look at, I think. Hehehe!

Kare-kareng Gulay for My Mom

I am super fond of eating out. In fact, I’m not so bothered that I am not such a good cook because I’d rather eat out anyway. Hihihi. But today is an exemption for two big reasons: it’s my mom’s 57th birthday and it’s a Holy Thursday. Sadly for my mom, and unfortunately for me, all the good restaurants are closed in observance of the Holy Week. But you see, a daughter just has to make her mom’s birthday special come hell or high waters…and so, I found myself reviewing the Kare-kareng Gulay recipe which I did once before and turned out to be an overwhelming peanut butter mixture of some sort. I figured that it will be a lot better this time since I’m doing it with good intentions. And guess what?! It was gooooooood!!! My dad cannot get over it, and the birthday girl liked it a lot! I’m super happy!

And so, before I forget what I did, let me share the recipe. You might want to cook for a special person someday. Here goes:

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