Pasta

Pasta Recipes

Leftover Pasta? Spinach Frittata!

Ever wonder what to do with all of those leftover noodles from pasta night?  I can never get the sauce to noodle ratio right.  I either have a slew of sauce or a mound of noodles leftover.  In this case, homemade noodles were the culprit.

This might be one of the oddest things I have ever created but I really wanted to use pasta in a new and exciting way.  Originally, I thought I would make mini baked pastas but I couldn’t figure out a way to get the baked pasta to hold its shape.  Instead, I made these wacky frittatas.

The noodles practical hide among the eggs and cheese.  The flavors have transformed from spaghetti and marinara sauce to cheese, eggs and a hint of spinach – from dinner to brunch!

And there you have it folks, a completely new way to use up your leftover noodles.  I hope you enjoy them as much as I did!

Leftover Pasta Spinach Frittatas

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Yields: 12 Mini Frittatas

Leftover Pasta Spinach Frittatas

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 3/4 cups grated Parmigiano Cheese, reserving a few teaspoons on the side
  • 1 1/4 cups lite sour cream
  • 1 1/4 cups ricotta cheese
  • 1 1/4 cups half & half
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground white or black pepper
  • 1 package frozen chopped spinach, drained or fresh spinach
  • 2-3 cups cooked noodles (angel hair, spaghetti or fettuccine work best)
  • Fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • Leftover pesto or marinara sauce, optional

Directions

  1. Place your oven rack in the lowest part of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees F. Generously spray your muffin tins with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. In a frying pan, heat the olive oil and butter and sauté the onions and garlic until softened. Add spinach and cook for another minute. Add your noodles, toss and remove from heat.
  3. In a large bowl, beat the eggs and add the Parmigiano, sour cream, ricotta cheese, half & half, salt and pepper.
  4. Sprinkle a bit of Parmigiano in the bottom of each muffin tin. Add about 2 tablespoons of the cheese mixture into each cup. Mount the pasta mixture in the cups. When you run out of pasta, pour the remaining cheese mixture into the cups, dividing evenly. Sprinkle a bit more Parmigiano over each.
  5. Bake uncovered until bottoms are brown (tops should not be too dry), about 30 to 35 minutes. Loosen with a knife and remove. Top with a bit of pasta sauce (if you have it) and fresh basil leaves before serving.

Notes

The frittata can be served hot, but tastes better at room temperature. Freeze the unbaked frittatas for up to a month to prepare these ahead of time.

http://foodiemcbooty.com/leftover-pasta-spinach-frittatas/

Homemade Pasta

There is absolutely NOTHING like homemade pasta.  Mister is a master of hand rolling pasta dough and the result just doesn’t come close to the dried pasta that is sitting in my cabinet.  This pasta is chewy in all the right places and practically absorbs your homemade sauce like it’s thirsting for it!

Two eggs for one cup of flour is a good ratio to stick to.  One egg per serving.  We made fettucine noodles.  You could cut them thinner to make more of a spaghetti noodle or grab a pasta press.  Either way, try your best to roll your dough out as thin as it will go because the pasta will puff up a bit when you cook it.

Homemade Pasta

Rating: 41

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Yields: Serves 4

Homemade Pasta

Ingredients

  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups of flour (you can substitute 1 cup of white flour for 1 cup of whole wheat flour)
  • Salt

Directions

  1. Combine your flour and eggs with your hands. Turn it out onto a floured surface and knead the heck out of it until it is no longer tacky. You'll really need to put your back into it to get the gluten to cooperate so your dough is smooth and no longer sticky. Let the dough rest for a little while. Cut a chunk off and roll it out on a floured surface as thin as it will go.
  2. Now here's the tricky part (sort of): Lightly flour the top of your dough and gently roll it into a jelly roll. Take a butter knife and make small slices all along the length of the roll. You'll end up with many little rolls of dough. When you (carefully) unroll them, you'll have a big pile of uniform fettucine noodles! It's magic, really.
  3. Boil your noodles in heavily salted water for a couple of minutes. Fresh noodles take little to no time to cook at all. Serve hot with your favorite sauce. This recipe is my favorite.

Notes

Refrigerated pasta will last up to three days while frozen fresh pasta should be consumed within three months.

http://foodiemcbooty.com/homemade-pasta/

Note:

To dry your uncooked pasta, you can simply dry them on a drying rack, on plastic coat hangers or in nests, like I did here:

Simply make sure you allow your pasta to dry enough (as if you just purchased it at the grocery store).  Then carefully place your pasta in a ziplock bag and store in the fridge or freezer. Refrigerated pasta will last up to three days while frozen fresh pasta should be consumed within three months.

Homemade Ravioli and Basil Marinara Sauce

I’m one of those Americans that is a bit lost in her heritage, or maybe I should say my lack of heritage.  I didn’t have an Italian grandmother who taught me how to make noodles from scratch or an Ethiopian family who shared recipes centuries old.  I am who I am – a 100% American raised person.

I sometimes wish that I had more of an ethnic upbringing so I would have more to share with my future children (or future cookbooks) but I appreciate what I have learned throughout my cooking adventures.  I think of cooking as a learning experience of a lifetime.  I learn something every single time I create or recreate a recipe and homemade ravioli was no exception.

Now, this wasn’t my first rodeo with fresh pasta, but it did take me a few batches to get the hang of things.  Even after resting my dough was very springy.  I had to trick it into sticking to my countertop with a little water so I could add the filling.  I eventually figured everything out… except one little thing.  I knew this would be a tedious process so I made a double batch of the filling and the dough in hopes of freezing an extra batch.  Thing is, even with the double batches, I ran out of dough.

{DOH!}

Mister came up with a good idea for the leftover filling.  I predict a goulash recipe in the near future.  It’ll complement this gorgeous marinara sauce too.  A new favorite – simple yet sooooo finger licking good.  Simmer, simmer, simmer.  It’s worth the wait!

A big thanks to the wonderful website, My Italian Grandmother, for filling in the gaps here.

And without further ado, visual stimulation:

First, crack some eggs, add some flour and get messy, like so:

Wrap your dough and let it rest while you prep your meat filling (if you are using meat) and kick butt marinara sauce.

For the meat filling, chop your veggies, make ’em sweat and add your beef.  Drain and add seasoning.

Drop the mixture into a food processor (preferably one bigger than mine) to make a meat paste.

(Vegetarians are freaking out now)

{MEAT PASTE!}

Set the paste aside.  Make your delicious meat-free sauce, cover and simmer. I recommend spraying the bottom of your pot before doing this. That was a lesson learned…

Chop of piece of dough from your dough ball, recover and roll the chunk out as thin and as long as you can.  If you like large ravioli, roll out two of these (one for the top and one for the bottom).  Add your filling, drag a bit of water around the filling with your finger, cover with the second strip of pasta dough and press the ravioli around the filling to seal.



For smaller ravioli, you can use one of these pasta strips, add a little less filling, and stretch the pasta around the filling, like so.

Snip excess dough and combine with your large dough ball or save for later to make scrap noodles.  Press the edges down with a fork if you’re feeling especially decorative.

Bring some water to a boil and add your ravioli.  They are done when they float to the top.  Pour some sauce on them and devour immediately.



Homemade Ravioli and Basil Marinara Sauce

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 1 hour

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

Yields: 32 smaller raviolis

Homemade Ravioli and Basil Marinara Sauce

Ingredients

    Pasta Dough
  • 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 5 large eggs
  • pinch of salt
  • Marinara Sauce
  • 2 small cans of crushed tomatoes
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3-5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh basil, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • Meat Filling (Optional)
  • 1 pound 85% lean ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small carrot, grated
  • 1/2 stalk celery, diced
  • 1/4 cup pecorino romano cheese, grated
  • 1/4 cup parmigiano reggiano cheese, grated
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 egg

Directions

    Pasta Dough
  1. With a stand mixer, beat the eggs and salt. Attach dough hook and add flour a little at a time, beating well after each addition. Increase the speed and knead the dough for 5-6 minutes, until the dough is smooth, soft and pliable.
  2. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface. Flour your hands lightly and knead the dough for a minute or two. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let it rest at room temperature for 20-30 minutes.
  3. Note: Making the dough with a machine requires a little less flour than making it by hand. Reserve 1/2 cup or so of the flour. After the dough is kneaded, touch it. If it is silky and slightly moist, it is ready; if it is too sticky, work in the reserved flour.
  4. Marinara Sauce
  5. Saute onion and garlic in oil. Add crushed red pepper, Italian seasoning and basil. Stir to combine.
  6. Add crushed tomatoes and stir. Fill about 1/3 can with water and swish around to clean tomatoes from sides and then pour into the next can and do the same thing. Add to pot. Stir and add sugar and pepper.
  7. Let the sauce come to a boil, stir gently. Reduce heat and let sauce simmer for 1 hour, stirring frequently. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed.
  8. Meat Filling (Optional)
  9. Sweat onion, garlic, carrot and celery in oil. Once vegetables soften add ground beef, breaking up the meat as you add it to your pan. Cook until browned and cooked through. Drain the fat and add the mixture to a food processor, pulse until smooth. Add egg and cheese and pulse to combine.
  10. ASSEMBLY
  11. Lay the pasta sheet on a floured surface. Place your meat or cheese filling about an inch apart on one half of the sheet. Use less than 1 tablespoon of filling (more if you want bigger ravioli). Dip your finger in water and drag your finger around each filling. Place the unused portion of the dough sheet over the half with the filling. Press out all of the air from around the meat and press down lightly on the dough to seal. Cut with a round biscuit cutter or cut into squares.

Notes

Make sure you save all of your scraps of dough. These are always nice in soups or with sauce for lunch later. Cut into strips and cook these in salted boiling water for 3 minutes.

To cook the ravioli, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Carefully add ravioli (if they were frozen you do not need to defrost) to the pot and stir. When ravioli float to the top they are ready.

To Freeze - Sprinkle a baking sheet lightly with flour or cornmeal. Place ravioli on the baking sheet in a single layer. Place in freezer for at least a half hour, or until frozen through. Place in large freezer bags and lay flat. You do not need to defrost these when you want to cook them.

http://foodiemcbooty.com/homemade-ravioli-and-basil-marinara-sauce/

Mac and Cheese With Buttery Goldfish Crust {Vegetarian}

I was at a friend’s house of mine a few nights ago enjoying an evening of fine conversation (and strong wine) when we started to get hungry.  Us ladies searched the pantry for scrumptious treats when she kindly suggested preparing a box of mac and cheese.  I looked at her, wide-eyed in disbelief, as if she had just told a child that Santa doesn’t really exist.

“Blasphemy!” I yelped and rambunctiously explained to her how powdered cheese doesn’t do a noodle justice. It should be banned from the United States for posing as a cheese, heck, all American cheeses should be banned from the cheese section  … but I digress.  I continued my snobbish manifesto until the crooked look on her face made me realize how absurd I was being (I get a little passionate when it comes to mac and cheese, sue me).

Instead of telling her, I decided to show her.  It is so easy to make real deal mac and cheese, you may never make boxed mac and cheese again.  Once you get the hang of things, you can add other ingredients and play with the concept a bit.

This recipe is adapted from Alton Brown’s Mac and Cheese recipe. 

Baked Mac and Cheese With Buttery Goldfish Crust

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Yields: 6-8 Servings

Baked Mac and Cheese With Buttery Goldfish Crust

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound pasta (elbow macaroni, spirals, ziti... your choice)
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 1 tablespoon powdered mustard
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup yellow onion, finely diced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 large egg
  • 6-ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 3-ounces gruyere cheese, shredded
  • 3-ounces colby-jack cheese, shredded
  • salt and pepper
  • Topping:
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup crushed Goldfish Cheddar Crackers or Cheez-It Crackers (or both!)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large pot of boiled, salted water, cook the pasta to al dente. While the pasta is cooking, melt the butter in a separate pot. Whisk in the flour and mustard and keep it moving for about five minutes. Make sure it's free of lumps. Stir in the milk, onion, bay leaf, paprika and cayenne. Simmer for ten minutes and remove the bay leaf.
  2. Temper in the egg. Stir in 3/4 of the cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Fold the cooked pasta into the cheese sauce and pour into a 2-quart casserole dish. Top with remaining cheese.
  3. Melt the butter in a saute pan and toss the crackers to coat. Top the macaroni with the cracker mixture and bake for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and rest for 5 minutes before serving.
http://foodiemcbooty.com/baked-mac-and-cheese-with-buttery-goldfish-crust/

Healthier Italian: Orzo with Sausage, Peppers and Tomatoes

Now, there are recipes and then there are RE-CI-PES!  Man, this one is out of the ballpark.  I don’t know what it is — the creaminess of the pasta and cheese or the heat from the sausage, but boy this is a winner in my book.

One thing I love about this recipe is how quick and easy it is to make.  Plus it’s super versatile too.  You can use just about any kind of sausage and replace Pecorino or Grana Padano in place of the Parmesan.  Heck, I even replaced the orzo with tiny star-shaped pasta.  Okay, I named more than one thing that I love about this recipe… but who’s counting?

I like to think that because you can substitute just about everything in here, this dish could be a healthier version of an Italian meal.  Substitute turkey Italian sausage for a lower fat content and low-sodium broth for the pasta water.  You shouldn’t lose much flavor because of all of the spices that are waltzing around on your taste buds.

This recipe is originally taken from the beautiful Giada de Laurentiis, who, is not my favorite Food Network personality, but cranks out some great dishes from time to time.

Sorry Giada.

I adapted this recipe from Serious Eats.

Healthier Italian: Orzo with Sausage, Peppers and Tomatoes

Rating: 41

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yields: About 6

Healthier Italian: Orzo with Sausage, Peppers and Tomatoes

Ingredients

  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 pound orzo pasta
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 large links of mild Italian sausage
  • 1 raw garlic clove, 2 if you're using roasted garlic
  • 2 or 3 jarred roasted red bell peppers, cut into 1/4-inch strips
  • 2 or 3 plum tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Directions

  1. In a medium saucepan, bring the chicken broth and 3 cups of water to a boil. Add the pasta and bring back to a boil. Cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally. This will depend on your pasta so read the directions on the box, approximate 8 minutes or so. Drain your pasta, reserving about 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid, and set aside.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Add the sausage links, cover and saute until cooked through. You will need to turn these over after a couple of minutes to brown each side. Remove the sausage once they are cooked and cut them into coins. You may want to cut the coins in half to disperse the sausage throughout the pasta more. Place the sausage back into the pan and add the garlic, peppers, tomatoes and red pepper flakes. Stir for about two minutes, or until the tomatoes begin to form a bit of a watery sauce.
  3. Add your cooked pasta into the pan. Add 1 tablespoon of parsley, most of your Parmesan and toss well to combine. Add the reserved pasta liquid to loosen the pasta if necessary. Top with Parmesan and sprinkle with remaining parsley before serving.
http://foodiemcbooty.com/healthier-italian-orzo-with-sausage-peppers-and-tomatoes/

Best schnausage from a grocery store!

Big helper, ready to toast… ANYTHING.

Only stops for food.

Chicken with Tomatoes and Capers on Fresh Pasta

There are two words that will always make my heart flutter:  ITALIAN and HEALTHY.  I recently discovered this great food site called Julia’s Healthy Italian and was immediately inspired to try out one of her recipes.  The thing I liked most about her recipes is that they were so simple.  I don’t mean any disrespect to simplicity here, because simple can be a very beautiful thing.  And in this case, this recipe was just that — beautifully simple.

What really makes this dish stellar is the fresh pasta.  Now folks, I have never owned a pasta machine in my life and to be frank, I don’t know if I ever will own one.  We made this pasta by using good ol’ fashioned elbow grease.  It didn’t take long to prepare and the fresh pasta turned out even better than we had hoped!  Thin and chewy in all of the right places.  Yummy.

Because the pasta does not take long to cook, I had Mister prep the noodles while I started the chicken side of things.  If I were cooking this dish alone, I would still prepare the noodles first, just in case my dough needed to rest at all.  I recommend tossing your fresh pasta into a pot of salted, boiling water as soon as you turn your chicken over.

Chicken with Tomatoes and Capers on Fresh Pasta

Rating: 41

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Yields: Serves 6

Chicken with Tomatoes and Capers on Fresh Pasta

Ingredients

    For the chicken:
  • 1 1/2 lbs chicken breast, cut in half lengthwise
  • 1 small yellow onion, largely diced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 beefsteak tomatoes, chunked or one 28-ounce can plum tomatoes cut in half, juice discarded
  • 2 tablespoons capers
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley or 2 tablespoons dried parsley
  • 1 chicken bouillon cube
  • 1/4 cup dry white or Marsala cooking wine
  • pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes (if you like a little heat)
  • For the pasta:
  • 2 cups flour (I used 1 cup all-purpose and 1 cup wheat flour)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • water, as needed

Directions

    For the pasta:
  1. Blend together flour, eggs and salt. Add water, one tablespoon at a time, until dough comes together but is not sticky. Check after each tablespoon to see if dough has firmed. I used about 5 or 6 tablespoons. You'll need more if your flour is older.
  2. Roll dough as thin as you can with a rolling pin. If dough starts to spring back when rolled, let the dough rest for ten minutes and try again.
  3. Roll the flat sheet of dough into a jelly roll. Using a very sharp knife, trim the edges and slice the roll into small rounds (as wide as you want your noodles to be). Unroll the rounds into long noodles and toss them with flour on a baking sheet to dry or cook immediately. Fresh noodles will take about 4 minutes to cook. They are done when they float to the top of the water. Makes two medium-sized portions of pasta.
  4. For the chicken:
  5. In a large pan, sauté the onions in oil on medium for about 8 minutes or until the onions are clear and sweated. Add all the remaining ingredients except for the chicken breast and mix well. Place chicken on top of the tomato mix.
  6. Cook with cover on for 10 minutes or so, until the chicken gets fully white on top. Turn chicken over and cook another 5 minutes.
  7. Place a slice of chicken on each plate and top with tomato mixture and juice. Serve with fresh pasta and enjoy.

Notes

Toss your cooked pasta with fresh pesto for some major flavor butt-kicking.

http://foodiemcbooty.com/chicken-with-tomatoes-and-capers-on-fresh-pasta/

Farmer’s Market Pasta Salad

The other day at the farmer’s market in Denver I picked up these beautiful cherry tomatoes (among other finds).  Inspired by all the market’s fresh ingredients, I decided to make a Farmer’s Market Pasta Salad using their tomatoes and peppers.

This pasta salad turned out great.  It was light and satisfying, perfect for the summer.  Plus this recipe makes enough to share with a large group.  I brought a big bowl of this pasta salad to a big BBQ for the 4th of July.

If you can manage, try making this day before your big event.  I noticed that the flavors melded better as time went on.

Farmer’s Market Pasta Salad

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Yields: Serves at least 12

Farmer’s Market Pasta Salad

Ingredients

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more for seasoning
  • 1 pound bow tie pasta
  • 1 cup organic Italian Dressing (Tuscan is my favorite to use)
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 cups halved cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 diced green bell pepper
  • 1/2 diced red bell pepper
  • 1/2 diced yellow bell pepper
  • 1/4 to 1/2 diced red onion (according to your tastes)
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan, plus more for topping

Directions

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over medium heat. Add the pasta and cook it according to the package directions.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, in a small bowl, whisk together the dressing, mayonnaise and sugar.
  3. Drain the pasta well, transfer to a large serving bowl and let cool. Add the tomatoes, peppers, parmesan cheese, fresh basil, salt, to taste, and the black pepper. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to combine. Add parmesan cheese to top and serve.
http://foodiemcbooty.com/farmers-market-pasta-salad/

Anne Burrell’s Spaghetti and Meatballs

Spaghetti and meatballs is an adored meal from my childhood.  My single mother worked hard and often to provide for us and didn’t have a lot of extra time to cook.  When she did find some time, spaghetti and meatballs was always a favorite dish.  There are so many different recipes out there for meatballs and sauce and heck, even the type of noodle you use.  This is my favorite meatball recipe by far.  I watched Anne Burrell make this on television once, and I was completely in awe.  Her knowledge in the kitchen along with her bubbly personality practically hypnotized me to drive to the grocery store to buy ingredients.

Whenever I make this, I follow the meatball recipe to a tea.  The sauce is the thing that tends to differ each time I make it.  I’ll throw in a dash of this and a dash of that… sometimes adding wine and extra seasoning… always tasting in between stirs until it’s just right.  If I’m not in a hurry, I will make the sauce first, even before the meatballs.  The longer you can let your sauce simmer, the better the flavors will meld together.

Just like any other recipe, it takes a few runs to get the timing down.  So keep an eye on everything.  Other than that my best advice is to heavily salt your boiling water when you cook your noodles.  “Like an ocean,” as Anne would say.

Anne Burrell’s Spaghetti and Meatballs

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Yields: About 40 Meatballs

Ingredients

    For the meatballs:
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups diced spanish or yellow onion
  • kosher salt
  • 3 garlic cloves, smashed and finely chopped
  • 3/4 pound each ground beef, veal and pork
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
  • 3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 6 tablespoons water
  • 1/3 cup bread crumbs
  • 3 large eggs
  • For the sauce:
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup spanish or yellow onion
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup good red wine, such as Chianti
  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes, or plum tomatoes in puree, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions

    For the meatballs:
  1. Coat a large saute pan with olive oil and put the pan over medium heat. Add the onions, season with salt, to taste, and saute until they are translucent and aromatic but have no color, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 2 or 3 more minutes. Remove from the heat and cool.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the meats, rosemary, Parmesan, water, bread crumbs, and eggs. Season generously with salt and add the cooked onions and garlic. Combine until well mixed. Use your hands to mix 🙂
  3. Make a small patty of the meat mixture, cook it in a saute pan and eat it. This is a tester patty to check to see if the seasoning is correct. Adjust the seasoning if needed.
  4. Roll the meat mixture into 3/4-inch meatballs. Coat a large saute pan with olive oil and put over high heat. Working in batches, cook the meatballs until they are brown on all sides. Remove from heat and set aside.
  5. For the sauce:
  6. Heat the olive oil in the same pan. Add the onion and saute over medium heat until translucent, 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 2 more minutes. Add the wine and cook on high heat, scraping up all the brown bits in the pan, until almost all of the liquid evaporates, about 3 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, parsley, oregano, salt and pepper.
  7. Add meatballs to the sauce, cover and simmer on the lowest heat for 20 minutes, until the meatballs are cooked through.
  8. In the mean time, cook your spaghetti according to package directions in heavily salted water.
  9. Drop your freshly cooked al dente pasta into the same pan, toss together with the sauce and serve immediately. Add some fresh grated parmesan and enjoy!

Notes

Add a portobello mushroom to the meat mixture and use egg whites to save on the fat content. You can also substitute whole-wheat spaghetti for some added fiber.

http://foodiemcbooty.com/awesome-spaghetti-and-meatballs/

Homemade Gnocchi with Mushroom Sauce

Today, begins a journey of epic proportions.  Ladies and gentlemen, I would like to introduce to you the first recipe of my autumn recipe extravaganza, a very rich Gnocchi with Wild Mushroom Sauce.  Originally, the recipe called for store bought gnocchi… and as you know, this doesn’t fly in my cookbook!  Plus I had never made gnocchi before.  I couldn’t resist this awesome opportunity to try making these little pillowy cushions of deliciousness.

Overall my favorite part of this recipe was the sauce.  It is sooooooo tasty!  I let my sauce simmer for a long time, and eventually had to add a bit more chicken stock to wet it again.  If you’re looking to substitute whole-wheat flour, I’d stick to a half/half ratio.  The sauce, especially with the added parmesan cheese, masks that chalky whole wheat flour aftertaste.  I also added garlic to the sauce.  I found it odd that the original recipe I followed didn’t call for garlic anyway.

Homemade Gnocchi with Mushroom Sauce

Prep Time: 1 hour

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 45 minutes

Yields: 6-8 Servings

Ingredients

    For the Gnocchi:
  • 2 large russet potatoes, halved
  • 1 extra-large egg, beaten
  • 1 cup of all-purpose flour, divided
  • fine grain sea salt (for potato water)
  • For the Mushroom Sauce:
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 pounds mixed wild mushrooms, stemmed and thickly sliced
  • 2 teaspoons garlic, minced
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • 1/4 cup dry vermouth
  • 3/4 cup low-sodium chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon chopped thyme
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 pounds homemade gnocchi
  • 6 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon white truffle oil (optional)

Directions

    For the Gnocchi:
  1. Place the potatoes in a pot of cold, salted water. Bring the water to a boil and cook the potatoes until tender throughout, about 40-50 minutes. Remove the potatoes one by one and quickly peel them. Use a fork, food mill or ricer to mash them into a bowl. Don't over mash the potato, you want a nice fluffy result with no noticeable lumps. Let the potatoes cool for about 10 minutes.
  2. Shape the potatoes into a pound with a well in the middle. Pour the egg into the well and sprinkle on 3/4 cup of flour. Work the potato mixture gently by scraping and chopping with a metal cutter. The dough should be moist but not sticky, almost billowy. Add a bit more flour if needed, let rest for 10 minutes.
  3. Lightly flour the work surface and gently roll the dough several times with a very light touch. The dough should feel light and airy. Divide the dough into eight logs. Gently roll each log on a floured surface so it's about 2cm thick. Use your metal cutter to cut off 1/2 inch pieces of gnocchi. Mark the gnocchi with a fork by lightly (but quickly) rolling them down the side the inside of the fork's prongs. This will leave little crevices for your gnocchi to pick up your delicious sauce.
  4. Bring some salted water to a boil. Place the gnocchi in batches into the boiling water. Remove them with a slotted spoon as soon as they float to the top. Saute in butter for 50 seconds or until they brown slightly.
  5. For the Wild Mushroom Sauce:
  6. In a large pan heat the olive oil with the butter. Add the frozen gnocchi and saute about 5-10 minutes, turning gnocchi frequently, until lightly browned. Add the mushrooms and shallots and cook over high heat, stirring occasionally, until browned, 12 minutes. Add the garlic and stir, one minute. Add the vermouth and cook until evaporated. Add the stock, cream, and thyme, season with salt and pepper. Drizzle with truffle oil (a good quality extra virgin olive oil works too) and serve.

Notes

If you do not want to use all of your gnocchi immediately, place them on one or more parchment-lined trays and freeze at least 1 hour. Transfer to a plastic freezer bag for freezing up to one month.

http://foodiemcbooty.com/gnocchi-mushroom-sauce/

Recipe adapted slightly from Food and Wine and Jonathan Waxman’s recipe in the New York Times.

First photo courtesy of The Beer Cook

Second photo courtesy of The Komfort Kitchen

Baked Mac and Cheese and the Kitchen Sink

Comfort Food is one of my biggest weaknesses (and equally strongest passion).  Chicken and dumplings, Shepherd’s pie and (of course) macaroni and cheese.  If the food takes me down memory lane and back to my youth, I’m a fan.

I am constantly updating this recipe.  Every time I make this dish, it turns out a little different each time. I throw in whatever ingredients I find laying about my kitchen (and surrounding areas).  It makes life a little more interesting maybe, but doesn’t make for a solid recipe.  Keep that in mind as you follow this thing.  I call this the “Mac and Cheese and the Kitchen Sink” recipe for that reason.

Baked Mac and Cheese and the Kitchen Sink

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 55 minutes

Yields: 8-10 Servings

Baked Mac and Cheese and the Kitchen Sink

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound elbow macaroni (penne is mighty tasty too)
  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 tablespoon powdered mustard
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup yellow onion, finely diced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup sharp cheddar, shredded
  • 1/2 cup monterey jack, shredded
  • 8 ounces processed cheese food
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Italian seasoning, to taste
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs or crushed croutons

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the pasta to al dente. Season with a bit of salt and pepper and extra-virgin olive oil to keep from sticking.
  2. Melt the butter in a small sauce pan. Whisk in the flour and mustard and keep it moving for about five minutes (the butter should be frothy and free of lumps). Stir in the milk, onion, bay leaf, and paprika. Simmer on low for ten minutes (until yellow in color) and remove bay leaf.
  3. Temper in the egg by taking some of your butter sauce mixture and adding it to the beaten egg first to regulate the temperature (dumping the egg straight into the sauce results in what is essentially scrambled eggs). Stir in all of your cheese, reserving a bit to sprinkle over the top.
  4. Fold the noodles into the mix and pour into a 2-quart casserole dish. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top.
  5. Melt the remaining butter in a saute pan and toss the bread crumbs to coat. Top the noodle mixture with the bread crumbs. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Remove from oven and rest for five minutes before serving.
http://foodiemcbooty.com/baked-mac-and-cheese/

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