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Category Archives: Italian Cuisine

Pesto Crusted Cod with Roasted Cauliflower

April 19, 2017

Healthy and delicious… what more does one want??? Try this one…

  • 4 filets of cod or any other white fish
  • ½ cup homemade or store bought pesto
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • Salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Mix the pesto with the breadcrumbs, add a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil if necessary. Season the filets with salt and divide the pesto mixture into 4 parts. Top each filet with the pesto mixture and set aside.

Place on a lined baking sheet and bake in oven for about 10 minutes or till the pesto mixture is golden brown and the fish is cooked through. Baking time will vary according to the filet thickness. Take out and serve with roasted cauliflower and couscous.

Roasted Cauliflower with Tomatoes

  • 1 cauliflower head, cut into florets
  • 1 cup cherry tomaotes
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degree F.

Place the florets and tomatoes onto a lined baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Mix well and roast for about half an hour or till the cauliflower is golden brown. Serve with the fish.

Parsley Pesto Pasta with Roasted Asparagus

April 16, 2017

When I think of spring, I think of asparagus and I think fresh green pesto. This pasta dish is a combination of both. I made a delicious parsley pesto which is very easy to make. I paired it with delicious roasted or grilled asparagus. It is a great side dish or a meal!

  • 2 cups fresh parsley
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/3 cup pistachios
  • Juice of half lemon
  • ¼ to ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • ½ cup grated Pecorino Romano

Transfer the parsley, garlic, pistachios and lemon juice to a food processor. Process till a smooth paste begins to form. With the top open, drizzle the oil till the pesto begins to form. Transfer to a small bowl and add the salt and cheese. Check for seasonings.

  • 2 bunches asparagus
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Cut the ends off the asparagus and cut the tops into 2 inch pieces. Transfer to a lined cookie sheet. Drizzle olive oil and sprinkle salt. Mix well and roast in oven for 30 minutes for till golden brown. Take out and keep aside.

  • ½ pound pasta, cooked al dente with 1 cup pasta water saved

Transfer pasta to a large frying pan. Add the pesto and the saved pasta water and stir over low heat till all the ingredients have come together. Fold in the roasted asparagus and check for seasonings. Serve with grated cheese.

Sausage Basil Dumplings

March 28, 2017

This is a great way to keep kids busy after school. These are delicious dumplings with yummy Italian flavors… serve it with marinara sauce!

  • 3 sausage links, squeezed out of the casings (any kind of sausages)
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 medium shallot, chopped
  • ½ cup basil, chopped
  • 1 cup marinara sauce
  • 1 pack wonton skins
  • Small bowl with water

Heat a non-stick pan with the olive oil. Add the meat from the sausages and brown for 2 to 3 minutes while separating the meat with the back of a wooden spoon. Add the shallot and garlic. Saute for 4 to 5 minutes on medium heat. Turn heat off and cool for 10 minutes. Add the chopped basil and keep aside.

Take one wonton skin, wet the edges with a finger. Place one to two teaspoons of filling in the middle.  Fold the wonton skin in half and seal the top while pleating at the same time. Repeat the process using up the remaining filling.

  • ¼ cup olive oil

Heat a frying pan with 1 teaspoon oil. Add enough dumplings making sure not to over crowd. Brown the dumplings on both sides on a medium heat. Add ¼ cup of water to the pan and cover with a lid. Cook the dumplings on medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes. Take the lid off and cook any excess moisture. Transfer the dumplings to a platter and cook the remaining dumplings. Serve with marinara sauce.

 

Roasted Tomato and Shiitake Mushroom Pasta

March 26, 2017
  • 1 pound cherry tomatoes
  • Drizzle of olive oil
  • Sprinkle of salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Transfer the tomatoes to a lined cookie sheet. Drizzle the oil and sprinkle the salt and mix well. Roast in oven for 30 minutes. Put the tomatoes through a food mill or a blender. Keep aside.

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 cups Shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • ½ pound rigatoni, cooked with ½ cup pasta water to spare
  • Salt
  • ½ cup fresh parsley, chopped

Heat a large frying pan with the olive oil. Add the shiitake mushrooms and sauté on medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the onion and garlic, sauté on medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the roasted tomato sauce, cooked pasta and the pasta water. Mix well, season according to taste and garnish with parsley.

Blood Orange Olive Oil Cake with Cardamom

February 28, 2017

My blood orange obsession continues with this yummy cake- I love citrus with cardamom, so I tried it in this recipe and it was a big success!

  • 1¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup raw sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Juice and zest of 1 large blood orange
  • ½ teaspoon cardamom powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Confectioners sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease, line with parchment paper, grease again and flour a 9- inch round cake pan.

Blend sugar and eggs in a standing mixer on medium speed until blended and light- about 2 to 3 minutes. Add olive oil, vanilla extract, blood orange juice and zest. Blend until light and smooth. Whisk together the flour, cardamom powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt in another bowl. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the mixer and mix on low to incorporate. Pour into the cake pan and bake for 30 minutes. Let cool and dust with confectioners sugar.

Blood Orange Compote

  • 4 blood oranges, peel and supreme (section into segments), juice included
  • 1 teaspoon honey

Add the orange segments, juice and honey to a small bowl. Let sit for an hour.

  • 1 cup whipped cream

Serve the cake with some blood orange compote and a dollop of whipped cream.

 

Seared Cod with Blood Orange Reduction

February 27, 2017

Blood oranges are in season right now- do take advantage of them. They are most delicious oranges you will ever taste and the color is fascinating!! I have been using them for salad dressings, sauces, desserts.. the list goes on…

  • 4 wild caught cod fillets
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra light olive oil
  • 1 cup blood orange juice
  • 2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • ½ cup blood orange segments
  • 3 to 4 green onions, chopped
  • ½ cup green and black olives, chopped

Sprinkle salt and pepper on to the fillets on both side. Keep aside. Heat a non stick pan with the olive oil. Sear the fillets on both sides for about 2 to 3 minutes each. Take out of the pan and transfer to a lined cookie sheet and finish off in a 350 degrees oven. The time will depend on how thick the fillets are. Careful not to overcook the fish.

In the meantime add the orange juice, vinegar, honey, orange segments, green onions and olives. Simmer on a medium heat and reduce by half. The sauce should be thickened and taste tangy and sweet. Pour over the fillets and serve.

Pancetta and Meyer Lemon Roast Chicken Breast

February 15, 2017

Meyer lemons are still in season- make use of them! This is a great recipe…

  • 4 to 6 bone-in chicken breasts with skin

Compound Butter

  • ¼ cup good quality butter, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup pancetta, chopped fine
  • Zest of three meyer lemons
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, grated
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper

Mix all the ingredients in a medium bowl and carefully insert about a teaspoon of the mixture under the skin of each chicken breast. Rub any leftover mixture on top of the chicken breast and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Marinate chicken for 2 to 3 hours.

  • 2 to 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • ½ to ¾ cup chicken broth
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Heat a large frying pan (oven proof) with the olive oil. Brown the chicken pieces with skin side down for 3 to 4 minutes or till golden brown. Transfer to oven and finish cooking till the internal temperature shows 160 degrees F.

Take out of oven and take the chicken pieces out of the pan. On a medium heat, add the flour to the bottom of the pan and stir, taking off all the bits and pieces from the roasted chicken. Slowly add the broth, whisking to avoid any lumps. Mix well, bring to a boil and check for salt and pepper. Serve chicken with gravy.