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Paulie’s penne… and happy one year anniversary!

I’d have to confess, I’m a pretty lazy person when it comes to obligatory duties and tasks. For instance, I love cooking and photographing my food, but I hate submitting my blog posts to online food databases and to widen my social media circle. One duty that I obligate myself to do for Day7Kitchen is to track my weekly views and which post received more clicks and figure out how to increase the popularity of other posts. Yesterday when I was playing around on wordpress, I clicked through my archives and came to the sudden realization that this blog is already one year old! To be exact, I wrote my first blog post on March 17, 2015. I still remember that first tickle of excitement in my throat when I saw my own recipes publicized with a .com address. Albeit, the blog background was…different and a lot less mature looking. And don’t even bring up the food photography. I’m blushing in embarrassment just thinking about those old days when Y first handed me his Canon DSLR and I was cluelessly fumbling around taking photos. I think I can safely say that I’ve come a long way. (Here is proof: before vs after)

Arugula apple avocado saladkale salmon salad

After an entire year of blogging, I’ve come to learn bits of new things about myself as well. I’d have to confess again that I am not a persistent person when it comes to repetitive tasks. Give me a new hobby and I’ll be fired up about it for… a week, 2 weeks at best. When Tumblr was all the rage, I started my own blog but the heat quickly died within 6 months, and it’s been sadly abandoned ever since. When I was working in Beijing, I really wanted to learn rumba. I took lessons for 2 months, but when the classes ended, so did my enthusiasm. Even with social media like Instagram, my excitement is very short-lived. That’s why you’ll see choppy periods in my Instagram when I posted daily, to quiet periods when there’s nothing for 3 weeks. It’s hard for me to keep up anything consistent.

But this past year, I’ve had to really learn how to persevere with my blog. I knew from reading all those statistics that a blog can only gather momentum if posts are consistent and the heat is steady. When times were hard, especially with school and wedding planning, I almost dropped the ball several times with blogging, but something spurred me on. I think it was my original purpose of starting this blog. (see I forced myself to gather my thoughts and write a moving post, I forced myself to edit those photos, I forced myself to submit to Tastespotting and Food52. And I am so glad I did.

But above all, I am thankful to you, my readers. Without you, I wouldn’t have the motivation to create more original recipes, better food styling, and improve my writing. So this post I dedicate to you all. Thank you for being the soundless supporters behind Day7Kitchen!

In the spirit of this one year anniversary, I’d like to share a pasta dish I made literally a year ago, and the photo had just been sitting in my hard drive…because again…I am lazy. This penne dish is inspired by Paulie’s spicy bucatini amatraciana. I’ve rarely had pasta that has had a kick to it, so this spicy and smoky dish became an instant favorite. So here it is, cheers!

Paulie's Bucatini

Paulie's Penne

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Print


  • fresh asparagus, 1 bunch
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 can of plum tomatoes
  • 1 Tbsp fresh basil, chopped
  • 1.5 Tbsp chili flakes
  • 2-3 strips of bacon
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 3/4 pound of penne pasta, or bucatini
  • pecorino, grated

Cut asparagus in length to 2 inches. Add to a skillet canola oil and asparagus, salt and pepper to taste. Cook for 4-5 minutes until tender and slightly browned. Transfer to a plate for later.

In the same skillet, crisp the bacon for 1 minute on each side. Break into small pieces and transfer to a plate for later.

With bacon grease still in the skillet, add olive oil, garlic, chili flakes, basil, tomatoes. Salt and pepper to taste. Saute for 8 minutes. Add the bacon bits back in and saute for another 1 minute.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to boil and cook the pasta according to instruction until al dente, about 9 minutes.

Turn the heat off and mix in the beaten eggs to the pasta sauce, stir vigorously so the eggs mix without curdling. Add the asparagus back in and stir.

Drain the pasta and add it to the skillet with the sauce. Stir to blend well. Enjoy with grated pecorino on top.



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