Cheesy Baked Pasta w/ Sausage & Summer Veggies

Cheesy Baked Pasta with Sausage and Summer Veggies

Ah, it’s almost the end of Summer and I keep thinking, where has it gone? Along with Summer comes lots of fresh veggies like zucchini, bell peppers, mushrooms and yellow squash that I just can’t get enough of!

Colavita


I recently received a lovely care package from my client Colavita, who sent me some delicious pasta, sauces, olive oils and vinegars to sample, which inspired me to make this Cheesy Baked Pasta with Sausage and Summer Veggies. 

Cheesy Baked Pasta with Sausage and Summer Veggies

It’s a tasty and healthy twist on traditional Baked Ziti, using Colavita Fusilli pasta with sweet Italian sausage and lots of colorful summer veggies like zucchini, squash, bell peppers, mushrooms, onions and garlic. I sautéed everything in Colavita Extra Virgin olive oil with a splash of Colavita Chardonnay White Balsamic vinegar for some extra sweet and tangy flavor.

Cheesy Baked Pasta with Sausage and Summer Veggies

I used their Colavita Tomato Basil sauce mixed in to the pasta and veggies along with fresh oregano and basil. AND it has three (3!!) cheeses: ricotta, parmesan/asiago and mozzarella to make it super creamy and cheesy – all baked into a big pot of bubbly goodness.

Cheesy Baked Pasta with Sausage and Summer Veggies

Look. At. This. Cheesy Baked Pasta Goodness. YUM.

Cheesy Baked Pasta with Sausage and Summer Veggies

It’s the perfect dish for a quick and healthy weeknight dinner – and is great served with a green salad and some crusty Italian bread (dipped in Colavita olive oil and vinegar of course!) Enjoy!

Cheesy Baked Pasta w/ Sausage and Summer Veggies

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: 6-8

This is a tasty and healthy twist on traditional Baked Ziti, using Colavita Rotini pasta with Italian Sausage and lots of colorful summer veggies like zucchini, squash, mushrooms, onions and garlic! It also features Colavita Tomato Basil sauce mixed with three cheeses: ricotta, parmesan/asiago and mozzarella to make it super creamy and cheesy baked into a big pot of bubbly goodness. Perfect for a quick weeknight dinner served with a green salad and crusty Italian bread.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound Colavita Fusilli pasta, uncooked
  • 1 pound sweet Italian sausage, ground
  • 2 tablespoons Colavita Extra Virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 tablespoon Colavita Chardonnay White Balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup yellow squash, chopped
  • 1 cup zucchini, chopped
  • 1 cup mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1-16 ounce jar Colavita Tomato Basil sauce
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup Parmesan/Asiago cheese, grated
  • 1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons fresh oregano, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt (add more to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (add more to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Instructions

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions (about 9 minutes for al dente), drain.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  3. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add one tablespoon of olive oil to the pan. Cook sausage until no longer pink, drain fat and set aside.
  4. Add additional tablespoon of olive oil to the pan, and add squash, zucchini, mushrooms and bell pepper. Saute for 5-7 minutes until soft. Add minced garlic and balsamic vinegar and cook for another minute or two. Add the cooked sausage back into the pan.
  5. Stir in the tomato sauce, 1/2 cup of mozzarella and 1/2 cup of Parmesan/Asiago cheese and reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and cook for another 5 minutes until cheese is melted.
  6. Meanwhile, add the ricotta cheese to a mixing bowl and stir in beaten egg, fresh herbs, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes.
  7. Place the cooked pasta in a large pot and add the sausage-veggie-tomato sauce mixture, stirring well. Fold in the ricotta-egg-herbs mixture until thoroughly combined.
  8. Spoon the pasta mixture into an 8x8 square glass or ceramic baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan/Asiago cheese evenly over the top.
  9. Bake at 400 degrees F for 15 minutes until cheese is bubbly and browned.
  10. Let cool for a few minutes, serve hot with a green salad and crusty Italian bread.

Notes

You can also substitute Colavita penne, shells, farfalle or ziti for the fusilli pasta.

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Cheesy Baked Pasta with Sausage and Summer Veggies

Cheesy Baked Pasta with Sausage and Summer Veggies

Colavita has a great line of Italian gourmet food, olive oils, vinegars, pastas,  condiments and other specialty foods, which makes them one of my favorite brands for quality Italian cooking.

Check out their Facebook page, Twitter page, Pinterest and Instagram pages for more great recipes and cooking ideas!

Note: I received complimentary products from Colavita but was not compensated for this post. All photos, copy, recipes and opinions are my own. Please do not share, distribute or use any content without my permission.

Cheesy Skillet Beef Goulash

Cheesy Skillet Beef Goulash

 

It’s summer and OH. SO. HOT. And I honestly haven’t really been in the mood to cook  or do anything lately except lie down in the AC or chill on the beach – but a girl’s gotta eat, right?


Cheesy Skillet Beef Goulash

I’ve also been a bit blue because my Dad is in the hospital and having double bypass heart surgery on Monday morning which is a bit scary..and too much to deal with.

Kristen and Dad

So I decided I needed a dose of some comfort food this weekend to cheer me up and bring me a little closer to home with Dad. 🙂

Cheesy Skillet Beef Goulash

I had a few samples of RedPack petite diced tomatoes on hand and thought they would be perfect for a comforting baked pasta dish – something that reminded me of what Mom used to make for us for dinner.

Cheesy Skillet Beef Goulash

So I whipped up a Cheesy Skillet Beef Goulash – made with ground beef, tomatoes, onion, garlic, elbow macaroni and three cheeses – all cooked together in one skillet, then baked into a pot of bubbly, cheesy goodness.

Cheesy Skillet Beef Goulash

Super simple to make and definitely comforting at that. I think I’ll get through the weekend and Dad’s surgery just fine…after I have some of this deliciousness..and maybe a nap in the A/C. 🙂

Kristen and Dad

Cheesy Skillet Beef Goulash

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 6-8

This is a classic cheesy baked pasta dish made with macaroni, ground beef, diced tomatoes, onion and garlic, topped with Parmesan and shredded cheddar cheese.

Ingredients

  • 1 package elbow macaroni
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3-4 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1- 28 ounce can RedPack petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Fresh ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup shredded mild cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese

Instructions

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the macaroni, drain and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, In a large nonstick skillet, add oil and heat until it's shimmering. Add onion, and cook over medium heat until onion is soft, about 5-7 minutes. Add garlic and cook for about 30 seconds.
  3. Add the ground beef and brown until no longer pink, stirring and breaking it up as you cook.
  4. Add the diced tomatoes and tomato sauce to the skillet and stir. Cook the mixture for about 5 minutes or so until heated through.
  5. Stir in the cooked pasta and Parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper, mixing well. Adjust seasonings to your taste buds accordingly...:)
  6. Top the pasta mixture with both shredded cheeses and bake in the oven for about 10 minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
  7. Top with additional grated Parmesan cheese if desired and serve hot immediately.

Notes

Goes great with a green salad and garlic bread and a crisp white wine like Pinot Grigio or a light fruity red table wine.

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http://www.theartfulgourmet.com/2015/08/09/cheesy-skillet-beef-goulash/

 

Healthy Homestyle Meatloaf w/ Ancho Chile-Red Pepper Glaze :: Wild Mushroom Risotto

Homestyle Meatloaf with Ancho Chile-Red Pepper Glaze
Homestyle Meatloaf with Ancho Chile-Red Pepper Glaze

OK, so I know Meatloaf is one of those dishes we’re all a little bored of by now. Not so glamorous or gourmet, and usually a quick go-to dish when we have nothing else in the fridge and want to make an easy dinner with a few ingredients on hand. Well that was the case last weekend, so I thought – how can I jazz this meatloaf up a bit and make it a little healthier to boot?

Kickin' Ketchup
Kickin’ Ketchup

I have some samples of Kickin’ Ketchup in my pantry that I’ve been meaning to try – it’s a spicy ketchup made out in California with a touch of heat and smooth sweetness.  I thought I would experiment making a spicy concoction made with the ketchup and some ancho chile powder and red pepper jelly (try this one or make your own) – perfect for a Meatloaf glaze or dipping sauce for homemade cocktail meatballs. The balance of the smoky chile powder mixed with the spicy heat of the ketchup and sweet heat of the red pepper jelly is a harmonious combination and I’m lovin’ it. For the meatloaf, I used a combination of ground beef, ground pork and ground veal – the holy grail for a savory juicy meatloaf. I added onions and garlic, some minced zucchini,  a dollop of Kickin’ Ketchup and a dash of ancho chile powder along with oatmeal substituted for regular breadcrumbs. I made some Wild Mushroom Risotto on the side, but this would be perfect with some roasted carrots, sauteed zucchini or mashed potatoes to accompany. Dig in!

Healthy Homestyle Meatloaf w/ Ancho Chile-Red Pepper Glaze

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Yield: 4-6

Ingredients

  • HEALTHY HOMESTYLE MEATLOAF
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 medium zucchini, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 pounds meatloaf mix (ground beef, veal and pork)
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon ancho chile powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons Kickin' Ketchup (or use regular ketchup and add some cayenne)
  • 1/4 cup instant or steel-cut oats
  • ANCHO CHILE-RED PEPPER GLAZE
  • 1/4 cup Kickin' Ketchup
  • 4 tablespoons Red Pepper Jelly
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ancho chile powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Instructions

  1. HEALTHY HOMESTYLE MEATLOAF
  2. Melt butter in a large saute pan over medium high heat. Add onions and zucchini and cook for about 8 minutes, until tender. Add minced garlic and saute for another minute or two. Remove cooked vegetables from the pan into a small bowl, let cool completely and set aside.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a ceramic or glass rectangular baking dish with no-stick cooking oil spray.
  4. Whisk eggs together in a large mixing bowl, add the cooled cooked veggies, meat, spices, ketchup and oats and mix together thoroughly and gently with your hands.
  5. Take the meatloaf mixture and press together into one large or two small loaves into the baking dish.
  6. Make the Ancho Chile-Red Pepper Glaze per instructions below, and brush over entire meatloaf, saving some extra glaze for serving.
  7. Bake for 1 hour up to 1 1/4 hours until a thermometer inserted in center reads 155 degrees F.
  8. Remove baked meatloaf from oven and let cool for about 10 minutes.
  9. Slice and serve with additional glaze and a side of roasted veggies, mashed potatoes or mushroom risotto.
  10. ANCHO CHILE-RED PEPPER GLAZE
  11. Mix together ketchup, red pepper jelly, garlic salt and ancho chile powder and black pepper. Brush glaze on to meatloaf and save additional glaze for serving.
http://www.theartfulgourmet.com/2013/11/17/healthy-homestyle-meatloaf-w-spicy-tomato-red-pepper-jelly-glaze/

Wild Mushroom Risotto
Wild Mushroom Risotto

Wild Mushroom Risotto

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Yield: 6

Ingredients

  • Mushroom stock:
  • ½ lb. cremini mushrooms
  • ½ lb. white button mushrooms
  • ½ lb. shitake mushrooms
  • 2 quarts chicken stock
  • ½ c. dried porcini mushrooms
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 3 oz. Madeira wine
  • Risotto:
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 2 shallots, finely minced
  • 4 c. Arborio rice
  • ¾ c. white wine
  • Mushroom stock (reserved)
  • 1 tbsp. minced chives
  • 1 tbsp. Italian parsley
  • ¼ c. grated Pecorino Romano
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. To make the mushroom stock, wash and trim the stems of the fresh mushrooms. Reserve the stems and slice the mushroom caps for use later in the recipe. (Make sure to dust of the dirt first and don’t soak the mushrooms).
  2. Combine the chicken stock, stems, dried porcini mushrooms in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, turn down to a simmer, and cook for 30 minutes over low heat. Strain through a cheesecloth and reserve the liquid for the risotto.
  3. Heat a large sauté pan and add 4 tbsp of butter. Add the sliced mushrooms and sauté until browned. Deglaze the Madeira and reduce until almost all the liquid has evaporated. Reserve the mushrooms. (Try to let the Madeira glaze sit, don’t stir).
  4. For the risotto, heat a wide pot or rondeau (flat bottom pot with tall sides) over medium-high heat and add 2 tbsp butter. Add the shallots and sauté until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the rice and stir the mixture together to coat the rice with the shallots and butter.
  5. Add the white wine, lower the heat and cook, stirring constantly, until the wine has evaporated. Begin adding the mushroom stock, a large ladleful at a time. Continue to add the mushroom stock (slowly and continuously), stirring constantly until the rice is just cooked through and all the stock has been absorbed, about 20 mins. The rice should be slightly al dente but have a creamy consistency and not dry.
  6. Stir in the reserved mushrooms, the remaining tablespoon of butter, chives, and parsley. Top off the risotto with Pecorino Romano and season with salt and pepper to taste.
http://www.theartfulgourmet.com/2013/11/17/healthy-homestyle-meatloaf-w-spicy-tomato-red-pepper-jelly-glaze/

Other Meatloaf Recipes you might enjoy:

Pioneer Woman’s Favorite Meatloaf

Saveur Meatloaf

Cooking Light Spicy Turkey Meatloaf with Ketchup Glaze

Iowa Girl Eats Mini BBQ Cheddar Meatloaves

Ina Garten Meatloaf

A lighter and healthier classic comfort food: Vegetable Lasagna

Vegetarian Lasagna
Vegetarian Lasagna

Lasagna is one of my favorite comfort foods to indulge in during the Winter time, but as soon as Spring is approaching, I like to lighten up this classic recipe by substituting lots of fresh vegetables like mushrooms, carrots, zucchini and spinach in place of the ground beef or sausage that is used in the heavier, more fat-laden traditional Lasagna recipes. It still incorporates a traditional red marinara sauce and uses lightened up cheeses to give it great flavor, but somehow I feel a little less guilty taking a big bite of this yummy dish made with fresh sautéed vegetables to satisfy my comfort food fix. Goes great paired with a green salad tossed in a light Italian dressing with a glass of light red or white wine, such as a Pinot Noir or Pinot Grigio.

A lighter and healthier approach to the classic comfort dish Lasagna

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 50 minutes

Yield: 10-12

Lasagna is one of my favorite comfort foods to indulge in during the Winter time, but as soon as Spring is approaching, I like to lighten up this classic recipe by substituting lots of fresh vegetables like mushrooms, carrots, zucchini and spinach in place of the ground beef or sausage that is used in the heavier, more fat-laden traditional Lasagna recipes. It still incorporates a traditional red marinara sauce and uses lightened up cheeses to give it great flavor, but somehow I feel a little less guilty taking a big bite of this yummy dish made with fresh sautéed vegetables to satisfy my comfort food fix. Goes great paired with a green salad tossed in a light Italian dressing with a glass of light red or white wine, such as a Pinot Noir or Pinot Grigio.

Ingredients

  • 12 lasagna noodles
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 cup onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup mushrooms, chopped fine
  • 1 cup zucchini, chopped fine
  • 1 cup fresh spinach, chopped fine
  • 1 cup carrots, chopped fine
  • 3 cups marinara sauce (homemade or prepared)
  • 1 cup Ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup low-fat Parmesan cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup low-fat or 2% Mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Fresh basil leaves or parsley, torn for garnish

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Boil salted water in a large pot. Add lasagna noodles and cook according to package directions, drain, separate and set aside.
  3. Heat ½ tablespoon of olive oil on low heat in a large skillet. Cook onion and garlic for three or four minutes and place into a separate bowl. Add another tablespoon of oil to skillet and cook mushrooms, zucchini, spinach and carrots about 5-10 minutes until tender and add to onion and garlic mixture. Add one cup of the marinara sauce to the vegetables and heat through.
  4. Spread one cup of the remaining marinara sauce into the bottom of a 13x9 glass greased baking dish and layer with half of the noodles, vegetables and ricotta cheese. Sprinkle with half of the Parmesan and Mozzarella cheese and salt and pepper to taste. Repeat with another layer of marinara sauce, noodles, vegetables and ricotta cheese, sprinkling with remaining cheeses, salt and pepper. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 15-20 minutes until cheese is golden and bubbly.
  5. Let cool for 10-15 minutes, cut lasagna into squares and top with fresh basil or parsley. Serve with a green salad and glass of light red wine.

Notes

Recipe can be made ahead and kept covered in the refrigerator before baking. Can also be kept in the freezer tightly wrapped and reheated in the microwave for leftovers. For a Vegan version of the recipe: omit ricotta cheese and use Vegan soy-based cheese in place of the Parmesan and Mozzarella cheese.

http://www.theartfulgourmet.com/2013/02/12/a-lighter-and-healthier-classic-comfort-food-vegetable-lasagna/

Pot of Gold: Mom’s Chicken Noodle Soup

Mom's Chicken Noodle Soup
Mom’s Chicken Noodle Soup

I love coming home for the holidays, not only to spend some quality time with family and friends but for some of Mom’s cooking! With all this crazy weather lately I haven’t been feeling so hot and of course, just in time for Thanksgiving. I flew home to stay with my parents earlier this week, and Mom had the perfect remedy – a big ol’ pot of her homemade Chicken Noodle Soup. I could smell the delicious golden aroma brewing on the stovetop the second I walked in the door and  knew I was home.

My Grandmother used to make this recipe with a secret ingredient called George Washington Golden Seasoning, a powdered chicken soup base with chicken fat and seasonings that gives an extra savory, golden chicken-y flavor to the soup broth, developed by a distant relative of George Washington. I’m not sure if this is even around anymore, but my Mom uses Lisa Marie chicken base (a brand from Syracuse, NY). If you can’t find this brand, use a few tablespoons of any quality chicken bouillon or chicken soup base to bump up the flavor of the chicken broth – you can find plenty of these at your grocery store or at Amazon online. Make sure to add plenty of fresh veggies (carrots, celery and onion) and let the soup simmer to it’s shimmering, golden delicious state for at least a few hours to let the flavors meld.

One tip: we always keep the egg noodles and cooked, pulled chicken separate from the broth to avoid the broth getting cloudy – this also ensures the noodles don’t get soggy and you are left with an absolute pure and delicious golden broth that will warm your bones and lift your spirits.


All I can say is three words: Pot. Of. Gold.

A Pot of Gold: Mom’s Chicken Noodle Soup

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 3 hours

Total Time: 3 hours, 30 minutes

Yield: 6 quarts

Ingredients

  • 1 (5-6 pound) whole stewing chicken
  • Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 2-3 tablespoons Chicken Soup Base seasoning (or quality chicken bouillon)
  • 4 carrots, sliced into 1/2 inch thick rounds
  • 4 stalks celery, halved length-wise, sliced thin
  • 2 small onion, diced
  • 1 handful fresh parsley, finely chopped, for garnish
  • 1 package dried wide egg noodles

Instructions

  1. Wash and drain chicken, put in large soup kettle. Cover with water, heat to a boil.
  2. Remove scum before complete boiling starts and add seasonings.
  3. Let simmer until chicken is half cooked, about 1 hour.
  4. Add vegetables and cook until tender, another 2 hours.
  5. Remove chicken and take all white and dark meat off the bone, set aside in a separate bowl.
  6. Boil noodles separately according to package directions and drain.
  7. Ladle soup broth over chicken and noodles, garnish with fresh parsley and additional salt and pepper, to taste.
  8. Serve with crackers or fresh crusty bread.

Notes

This recipe makes a double batch which serves 8-10. Cut recipe in half for a smaller crowd.

http://www.theartfulgourmet.com/2012/11/21/pot-of-gold-moms-chicken-noodle-soup/

Other Chicken Soup recipes you may enjoy:

Pioneer Woman’s Chunky Chicken Soup

How Sweet Eats Healthy Harvest Soup

Kalyn’s Kitchen Chicken Barley Soup

Tyler Florence’s Chicken Noodle Soup

Ina Garten’s Chicken Noodle Soup

Veal Saltimbocca & Roman Sauteed Peas w/ Pancetta

Veal Saltimbocca
Veal Saltimbocca

Veal Saltimbocca is one of my favorite dishes, and makes a simple, elegant meal for any dinner occasion. This traditional Roman dish uses thinly pounded veal scallopine cutlets which are sautéed in butter and oil, then topped with crispy prosciutto and sage with a buttery white wine sauce.

This Romanesque Italian dish is usually served with a side of mashed potatoes or Piselli alla Romana – savory buttered peas sautéed with onion and pancetta (recipe follows). Make it a complete meal by serving with an Arugula salad, topped with shavings of Parmigiano-Reggiano and a dressing of EVOO and lemon juice and some fresh cracked black pepper. Enjoy with a glass of dry white wine and crusty Italian bread.

Veal Saltimbocca with Buttery Wine Sauce (Saltimbocca alla Romana)

1 lb veal scaloppine, ¼ inch thick
Salt and freshly ground pepper
12 to 14 sage leaves
¼ lb thinly sliced prosciutto, slices halved
4 tbsp unsalted butter
2 tbsp olive oil
½ cup dry white wine
Sage leaves, for garnish


Place veal cutlets between 2 pieces of plastic wrap and with a meat pounder or heavy sauce pan, pound veal to 1/4 inch thick. Cut scaloppine in half crosswise and season on both sides with the salt and pepper.

Place 1 sage leaf on top of each scaloppine and cover each with a half piece of the prosciutto.

In a large skillet, combine 2 tbsp of the butter and the oil and heat over high heat. When the mixture starts to brown, add the scaloppine, prosciutto side down first for 1 minute. Reduce the heat to medium and flip over scaloppine, sauté turning as needed, until the scallopine are evenly browned and cooked through about 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer the scallopine to a warm platter and tent with foil to keep warm.

To make the sauce, add the wine to the skillet and with a wooden spoon scrape the pan bottom to deglaze it. Increase the heat to high and allow the sauce to reduce until golden and syrupy, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the remaining butter. Season with the salt and pepper, and pour over the veal. Garnish with the remaining sage and serve warm.

Serves 6.

Roman Sauteed Peas
Roman Sauteed Peas

 Roman Sauteed Peas with Pancetta (Piselli alla Romana)

1/2 cup butter
1 medium onion, chopped fine
4 cups peas, fresh and shelled (or 1 package frozen peas*)
1-1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
4 tbsp. chicken stock or water
6 thick slices pancetta, chopped fine (can also use bacon or prosciutto)
1/4 tsp. sugar

Place butter and onion is a saucepan and saute over medium-low heat until the onion is soft and translucent. Add peas, salt, pepper, stock and pancetta; cook until peas are tender and pancetta and onions are cooked through. Add sugar, mix well and serve hot with Veal Saltimbocca.

*If frozen peas are used, follow cooking directions on the package after cooking the onion.

Serves 4-6.

Recipes from Techniques of Italian Cooking, Institute of Culinary Education.

 

Classic Comfort Food:: Beef Stroganoff

Beef Stroganoff

Beef Stroganoff is a dish that always reminds me of home  – my mother used to make this on cold winter nights as a special treat for my Dad who is a total ‘meat and potatoes guy’ – obsessed with anything including beef, noodles and gravy. Maybe it’s a German-Polish thing? It must be, because I’m totally obsessed with meat and potatoes too. 🙂

She oftentimes prepared this dish with ground beef for a quick and easy dinner, but I’ve adapted her recipe a bit by using beef sirloin and added some wine, fresh garlic and thyme to make my own savory version. You could also add some tomato paste and dill or substitute Cognac for the red wine.


True comfort food for a chilly night, just like Mom made it.

Classic Comfort Food:: Beef Stroganoff

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 45 minutes

Yield: 6-8

Ingredients

  • ½ lb. fresh white mushrooms, sliced (2 cups)
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • ¼ c. flour
  • 2 lbs. round steak (sliced ¼”-1/2” thick)
  • 1 tsp kosher or sea salt
  • fresh ground pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/3 c. red wine
  • 1 1/2 c beef broth
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme, chopped fine
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped fine
  • 1 c. sour cream or creme fraiche
  • 1 package wide egg noodles

Instructions

  1. Boil a large pot of water and cook egg noodles per directions. While water is boiling, heat a heavy skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Saute onion, mushrooms and garlic until soft in 2 tbsp butter and remove from pan.
  3. Cut steak into strips 2 ½” long and ¾” wide. Melt remaining 2 tbsp butter in pan. Toss steak strips in flour and coat. Brown meat in butter until well browned on both sides. Add salt and pepper, worcestershire, mustard, wine and broth. Simmer on low, stirring occasionally, until meat is tender (about 1 ¼ hours).
  4. Add mushrooms, onion, garlic, thyme and parsley and cook approximately 7 mins, until sauce thickens.
  5. Add sour cream or creme fraiche, stir until smooth and remove from heat.
  6. Serve over hot buttered egg noodles and garnish with more parsley. Enjoy with some crusty bread, a green salad and a glass of red wine.

Notes

To make a casserole: combine beef stroganoff mixture with cooked egg noodles with butter and spoon into a greased casserole dish. Bake 30 minutes at 350 degrees in the oven and then top casserole with crunchy fried onions and bake 10 mins more until onions are crunchy and golden brown.

http://www.theartfulgourmet.com/2011/11/02/classic-comfort-food-beef-stroganoff/

Ragu alla Bolognese w/ Handmade Tagliatelle :: Onion, Olive & Rosemary Focaccia :: Blood Orange Panna Cotta

ragu alla bolognese

A Classic Italian Dinner for any Special Occasion

The following collection of recipes are from an Italian cooking class I took recently with Chef Peter Johnson at The Institute of Culinary Education. The Ragu alla Bolognese we made is the official “Classic” Bolognese Ragu recipe (deemed official by the Accademia Italiana della Cucina in 1982). Bolognese Ragu originated in the city of Bologna in Northern Italy. This rich, chunky meat sauce is created with a base of finely chopped onions, celery, and carrots (the holy trinity otherwise known as ‘Mirepoix‘), white wine, ground beef or veal (or a mixture if you prefer), tomato paste, milk and a touch of cream and simmered on low for 1-2 hours to let all the flavors meld together. The key is to cook slow and low to ensure a tender flavorful ragu sauce.

Handmade Tagliatelle


We made the Tagliatelle Pasta from scratch, first making the homemade dough by slowly mixing eggs into a flour mound until all the flour and eggs are mixed through, then letting the dough rise for about an hour and running it through a pasta machine to create long, super thin bands of dough and finally cutting the individual pasta strips by hand. You’ll need a lot of space, a lot of time, a lot of patience, and a lot of love – but the handmade pasta is totally worth the effort!

rosemary_focaccia

We made a delicious Onion, Olive and Rosemary Focaccia Bread to serve with the pasta and Bolognese Ragu, so crispy and savory and good!

blood orange panna cotta

And of course we topped off the meal with a delicious Chianti and a Blood Orange Panna Cotta for dessert. Blood oranges have a crimson, blood-colored flesh, are smaller than an average orange and are grown in Texas and California, but originated in Sicily, Italy. They have a sweet-tart flavor that goes delicious with the sweet-tart Greek yogurt and cream in this light, refreshing dessert.

Ragu alla Bolognese w/ Handmade Tagliatelle :: Onion, Olive & Rosemary Focaccia :: Blood Orange Panna Cotta

Yield: Makes 2 cups; serves 6

Gorgeous savory homemade pasta and bolognese sauce paired with homemade focaccia bread and a blood orange panna cotta for dessert makes a delicious Italian meal for any special occasion.

Ingredients

  • Ragu alla Bolognese Sauce:
  • 1 (5 oz) piece pancetta, finely chopped
  • 2 ribs celery, finely chopped in a food processor
  • 1 small carrot, finely chopped in a food processor
  • ½ small yellow onion, finely chopped in a food processor
  • ¾ pound lean ground beef
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 ½ cups milk
  • 2 tbsp heavy cream
  • Salt and Fresh ground Pepper to taste
  • Homemade Tagliatelle:
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Onion, Olive & Rosemary Focaccia:
  • Dough
  • 2 ½ tsp (1 envelope) yeast
  • 1 scant cup warm mashed potatoes
  • 2 c warm water
  • ½ c plus 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 5 c all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¼ c extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ c water
  • Toppings
  • 2 tbsp fresh rosemary leaves
  • ½ c thinly sliced onions
  • ½ c pitted Kalamata or Gaela olives
  • ½ c grated Pecorino cheese
  • Blood Orange Panna Cotta:
  • 2 ½ cups blood orange juice (fresh squeezed, approx. 12 oranges), divided
  • 1 ¾ tsp unflavored gelatin
  • 1/3 c. sugar, plus 2 tbsp, divided
  • 7 teaspoons finely grated orange peel, divided
  • 2/3 c. plain Greek-style yogurt (Fage)
  • 2/3 c. heavy whipping cream
  • ½ tsp fresh lemon juice
  • ½ tsp cardamom seeds, crushed (from about 16 pods)

Instructions

  1. Put the pancetta into a heavy-bottomed medium pot (preferably terra-cotta) over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until its fat has rendered, about 10 minutes.
  2. Add the celery, carrots and onions and cook, stirring frequently, until soft and lightly browned, about 15 minutes (caramelize the mire poix over low heat).
  3. Add the beef and cook, stirring occasionally, until broken up and lightly browned and beginning to sizzle, about 5 minutes. Add the wine to the pot; cook until evaporated, about 4 minutes. In a small bowl, stir together the tomato paste and 2 tbsp water; add to the pot and stir well to combine. Reduce the heat to low and simmer the sauce, stirring occasionally and adding some of the milk, little by little, until all the milk is added and the sauce is very thick, about 1½ hours.
  4. Season the ragu with salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Stir in the cream right before serving and toss with the pasta. Top off the pasta with grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.
  5. Homemade Tagliatelle:
  6. Form the flour into a mound on your work surface (stainless steel or cutting board) and create a well in the center. Sprinkle 1 tsp kosher salt over the flour. Add the eggs, yolk, olive oil and 2 tbsp water to the well.
  7. Using a fork, incorporate eggs and liquid in a slow circular motion, pulling in a small amounts of flour until dough becomes stiff.
  8. Knead dough, adding a little flour as necessary, to prevent sticking, until it’s smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Wrap in plastic wrap; let rest for 30 minutes.
  9. Cut dough into quarters.
  10. Flatten 1 quarter into a rectangle (cover the other quarters with a towel to prevent from drying out). Sprinkle some flour on your surface and on top of the dough and pass it through a pasta roller set (KitchenAid accessory or hand roller) set on the widest setting.
  11. Fold dough into thirds, creating another rectangle; feed open edge through pasta roller set at widest setting. Fold again; roll twice more using same setting. (Keep sprinkling some flour on both sides of the dough to keep from sticking as you go).
  12. Decrease setting one notch and roll pasta through again; repeat, decreasing setting by one notch each time until you’ve reached the second-to-last setting, creating a 1/16 inch-thick sheet. (The sheet will be quite long and continually get thinner as you go, so you’ll need two hands to do these last few rolls to keep the dough from ripping or sticking together).
  13. Sprinkle sheet with flour; halve cross-wise. Transfer to a flour-dusted parchment paper. Repeat with remaining dough, adding flour-dusted parchment paper between each layer.
  14. Tightly roll each sheet, from short end to short end; cut cylinder cross-wise into 3/8 inch-wide strips.
  15. Unroll strips and toss with cornmeal or semolina; spread on a floured parchment sheet and cover with a kitchen towel. Let dry for 30 minutes.
  16. Cook Tagliatelle in a large pot of salted boiling water until al dente, about 2 minutes. Drain; transfer to a bowl and toss with 2 cups of the Bolognese Ragu. Serve with grated Parmigiano-Reggiano.
  17. Serve with warm Foccacia bread, an Italian green salad and a glass of Chianti. Mangia!
  18. Onion, Olive & Rosemary Focaccia:
  19. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  20. Add the yeast to warm water and stir to mix through. Let the yeast and water mixture sit for a few minutes. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the yeast mixture, potatoes, 2 cups of water, and ½ cup of oil. Add the flour and salt and using the paddle attachment, mix at a low speed for 2 to 3 minutes. The dough will be sticky and rough.
  21. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow the dough to ferment until doubled, 45-60 minutes. Coat half a sheet pan with the 2 tbsp of oil and press the dough evenly into the pan. Let the dough rest periodically if it seems too elastic.
  22. Press the rosemary, onions, olives and cheese evenly into the surface of the focaccia and allow the dough to double, about 30 minutes. With the point of a pastry knife, pierce the dough gently at 2 inch intervals. In a squirt bottle, combine the remaining oil and water. Shake well and spray across the focaccia, moistening it well. Add your favorite toppings.
  23. Bake until well browned on the top and bottom, about 25 minutes. Let cool slightly, cut into squares and serve.
  24. Blood Orange Panna Cotta:
  25. Pour 1 cup juice into medium saucepan; sprinkle gelatin over. Let stand 15 minutes.
  26. Stir in gelatin mixture over low heat until gelatin dissolves, 1 to 2 minutes. Add 1/3 c. sugar and 5 tsp orange peel; stir until sugar dissolves, 1 to 2 minutes longer. Strain into medium bowl, pressing on solids. Discard solids in strainer. Cool juice mixture 10 minutes. Whisk yogurt, cream and lemon juice into orange juice mixture until smooth. Divide among six small goblets or sherbet glasses. Chill until set, at least 4 hours ahead.
  27. Stir 1 1/3 cups orange juice, 2 tbsp sugar, 2 tsp orange peel, and cardamom in medium saucepan over low heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat and boil until reduced to 6 tbsp, 16-17 minutes. Strain syrup into small bowl; chill.
  28. Spoon some of the syrup over each panna cotta and serve. For extra garnish, serve with some berries and some sprigs of mint.

Notes

Bolognese recipe from the Bolognese Chapter of the Accademia Italiana della Cucina, decreed as the official “Classic Ragu alla Bolognese” recipe in October 1982.

Blood Orange Panna Cotta recipe sourced from Bon Appetit, January 2011.

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Bolognese Ragu

 

Handmade Tagliatelle

 

 

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