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Pasta Passionata Alla Carbonara…A Taste of Italy and a Free Cookbook

By Marilyn Baron

When I go to a restaurant, I almost always order spaghetti carbonara, if they offer it on the menu. Why? Because when I was a student in Florence, Italy, during my junior year in college, I learned to make that dish. When I returned home, that became my signature dish—the one I always make for company. I like to try out variations from different restaurants to see if they are as good as mine. Most of the time, they’re not.

So when All Romance eBooks, LLC, asked for submissions for their Passionate Cooks cookbook, that was the first recipe I thought of. I renamed it Pasta Passionata Alla Carbonara.

That recipe can be found in the newly released Passionate Cooks eBook, along with recipes from more than 150 romance authors. Much like romance novels themselves, the dishes range from spicy to sweet. There is something for every taste and every level of culinary expertise.  The cookbook includes such delicious-sounding dishes as “Wild Irish” Cream of Crab Soup, Down Home Mac & Cheese and Spicy Shrimp Risotto. There are even gluten-free selections and a few that are timed for Halloween, such as Shrimp of the Devil.

Best of all, they are FREE!

I have to admit, I was tempted to submit a second recipe. I have a recipe from my friend Cathy Goetzke for chocolate-chocolate chip cookies that are out of this world. I was going to call them Sinfully Sweet Chocolate-Chocolate Chip Cookies, named  after my cousin Judi Campo’s baking business Sinful Sweets … OMG LLC™. Since this recipe is not in the cookbook, I’m going to share it with you now.

Sinfully Sweet Chocolate-Chocolate Chip Cookies                                   


1-1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup butter
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 Tablespoons water
12 oz. bag chocolate chips, divided in half
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 egg
1 cup broken nut meats (pecans)


Combine water, butter and sugar in a small sauce pan and bring to a boil. Remove from heat, stir in 1/2 chocolate chips until melted. Transfer to a mixing bowl and let cool.

Beat in egg and vanilla. Sift together dry ingredients and stir into chocolate mixture.  Fold in nuts and remaining chocolate chips. Bake on ungreased cookie sheets at 325 for 9-11 minutes. After removing from oven, let stand on cookies sheets for a couple of minutes before removing to racks to cool.

Note: The dough is very soft and will probably look like it needs more flour. Don’t worry. As it cools it gets stiffer.

Given the odd amounts of sugar and butter, etc., I find it’s easier to just make a double batch. They’ll get eaten.

These cookies are truly to die for. And, while you’re mixing up a batch, why not enjoy them with a serving of my new paranormal e-short story DEAD MIX. In DEAD MIX, the devil goes down to Georgia—Roswell, Georgia, and more specifically, The Lion’s Den music store. Enter at your own risk. Devlin Burns, the shop’s proprietor, specializes in mixing music to die for…on CDs that are guaranteed to knock you dead by the final note. As the citizens of Roswell go missing, one man, Daniel Craig, ventures into town on the hunt for lost souls, a search that will change his life, forever. I hope you’ll give Dead Mix a spin. It is available in a variety of formats at TWB Press.

To get your free copy of Passionate Cooks, Free recipes from today’s hottest romance authors, visit ARe or  download the book from my blog bio page.



What’s New? And while you’re on that page, check out  my women’s fiction, THE EDGER. After you’ve read THE EDGER, find out how you can get a signed cover card from the authors as part of the new KEEPER KASE™ CARDS FOR E-FANS! program.  You’ll love the beautiful painting of the cover by my coauthor and sister Sharon Goldman.

Tamara LeBlanc - October 3, 2012 - 9:15 am

I LOVE how this recipe sounds, YUMMY!! I’m looking forward to downloading the cookbook, Marilyn. What a great idea that was to have a cookbook full of recipes from romance writers (wish I would have thought of that:)
I’m going to put this recipe in my archives (maybe my husband will make it…I don’t cook too well)
Thanks for sharing.
Looking forward to seeing you at M&M!!

AJ Kirby - October 3, 2012 - 9:51 am

Oh my God Marilyn, you’ve ruined my diet! But if you can’t reward yourself once in a while what’s the point, eh?

PS Spaghetti carbonara is a personal favourite of mine too…

AJ Kirby

Marilyn Baron - October 3, 2012 - 10:18 am

I’m looking forward to seeing you at the conference tomorrow, too. I’m not the world’s greatest cook, but I do some dishes well, and this is one of them. That would be great if your husband makes this dish for you. It’s pretty easy to make and it’s delicious.

Marilyn Baron - October 3, 2012 - 10:23 am

That’s amazing that you like spaghetti carbonara. We do have a lot in common. Thanks for commenting.

Susan Carlisle - October 3, 2012 - 10:48 am

I love he book cover and the idea. Thanks for the recipe. They sound great.

Marilyn Baron - October 3, 2012 - 12:28 pm

Thanks, Susan. You know one idea is to gift a copy as a holiday gift. I think there’s a Gift button you can push on the ordering page.

Carol Burnside - October 3, 2012 - 2:25 pm

Thanks for sharing, Marilyn. I’ve already downloaded the cookbook. Can’t wait to try out some of the recipes.

Marilyn Baron - October 3, 2012 - 2:55 pm

Thanks, Carol. I hope you find a lot of recipes you like.

Sandra Elzie - October 3, 2012 - 3:28 pm

Oh my goodness…..I just got off the cruise ship where they fed us every fifteen minutes and now you tempt me with chocolate chip cookies. :-) I can’t wait to download a copy of the cookbook…since I agree with AJ, once in a while we need to spoil our taste-buds and cook something scrumptious.

Marilyn Baron - October 3, 2012 - 3:33 pm

These cookies are worth the extra calories. I’m looking forward to trying out some of the other romance author’s recipes in the cookbook. Thanks for commenting.

Sia Huff - October 3, 2012 - 7:18 pm

Sounds delicious, Marilyn. And the picture of the spagetti carbonara looks great. I’m all for trying new recipes. I just don’t seem to have the time anymore. Maybe I start trying a new one once a month. That could be doable.
Thanks for the CCCookie recipe.

Marilyn Baron - October 3, 2012 - 7:45 pm

Thanks so much for commenting. I’m glad you liked the picture of the carbonara. It’s even better in person.

Art Dees - October 3, 2012 - 7:58 pm

Marilyn – OMG, you know I am the #1 cookie monster. I can never eat just 1, 2, 3 or 4. I will eat the entire plate at one sitting. These cookies sound delicious. Back to Italy – remember when I ordered Spaghetti Bolognese in that wonderful Italian restaurant in Rome at the bottom of the Spanish Stairs – I almost died from the flavor. I have ordered that dish a hundred times since and it has never been the same. I am going there again Nov 17th for the same entree. I can’t wait.

Marilyn Baron - October 3, 2012 - 8:28 pm

Art, thanks for commenting. Yes, I remember that Spaghetti Bolognese and I haven’t been able to duplicate that either. I hope you have fun in Italy and try some of that Bolognese for me. Remember when I tried to get an Amaretto Sour and they had no idea what I was talking about?

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