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Category Archives: Italian Cuisine

Corn and Green Bean Pappardalle with Herbed Ricotta

May 20, 2018
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen corn
  • 1 cup green beans, chopped and rinsed
  • Salt
  • ½ cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 2 cups homemade or bottled marinara sauce
  • ½ pound cooked pasta (I used pappardelle) with ½ cup pasta water to spare

Heat a wide frying pan with olive oil. Saute the onion and garlic on medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the corn and green beans. Sprinkle a teaspoon of salt. Saute on medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the basil and check for seasonings. Add the marinara sauce, bring to a boil and then add the cooked pasta with the pasta water. Mix well, bring to a boil and check for seasonings.

Herbed Ricotta

  • 1 cup fresh ricotta
  • 2 garlic cloves, grated
  • Zest of one lemon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup basil, chopped
  • 1/3 cup parsley, chopped

Mix everything together in a large bowl. Check for seasonings and serve with a dollop of ricotta on a serving of pasta.

Pasta with Beans and Artichoke

April 23, 2018

This is a simple pasta made with ingredients in my pantry and fridge… very delicious!

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1/2 cup pancetta, chopped

1 large shallot, chopped

3 garlic cloves, chopped

½ cup marinated artichoke hearts, crushed with fingers

1 14 ounces cannellini beans, rinsed and drained

½ pound orcchiette pasta cooked al dente with 2 cups pasta water spared

Salt

½ cup Parmigiano Reggiano, grated

½ cup parsley, chopped

 

Heat a large frying pan with the olive oil. Add the pancetta and sauté on medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes till pancetta is golden brown. Add the shallot and garlic and sauté on medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the artichoke and beans. Saute for 2 to 3 minutes. Add 1 teaspoon salt. Add the cooked pasta with 1 cup pasta water. Mix well and bring to a boil. Add the cheese and parsley. Check for seasonings and add more salt and pasta water as needed. Serve warm.

Fettuccine with Scallops and Garlic

April 2, 2018

I served this delicious pasta dish with some yummy asparagus, simply cooked with some olive oil and salt… very springy!!

  • ½ pound fresh fettuccine
  • Salt
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, sliced
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 10 large scallops, cleaned
  • ½ cup clam juice
  • Juice and zest of one lemon
  • ½ cup chopped fresh parsley

 

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to package label and reserve ½ cup cooking water, then drain and keep aside.

In the meantime, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Brown the scallops on both sides about 30 seconds each. Take out and keep aside, let cool and slice each scallop into 3 to 4 slices. Reheat the pan on medium heat and add the garlic, red pepper flakes and ½ teaspoon salt. Cook for about a minute. Add the clam juice, lemon zest and juice. Add the pasta and the pasta water. Add the scallops and parsley, toss to coat and cook for another minute or two until the scallops have warmed through. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil before serving.

Pasta with Sausage and Sweet Pepper Sauce

February 12, 2018

  • ½ pound pasta, al dente with a cup of pasta water set aside
  • 4 chicken sausage links, chopped in ¼ inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Heat a large frying pan with the olive oil. Add the sausages and sauté on medium high heat, stirring constantly. Saute for 4 to 5 minutes till the sausages are golden brown. Keep aside.

  • 1 cup fresh tomato sauce or marinara sauce
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 orange pepper
  • 1 tablespoons extra light olive oil
  • Salt
  • 1/3 cup shredded parmesan cheese

Start the grill outside or preheat the broiler. Coat the peppers with the oil and grill or roast them till the skin is charred- about 20 minutes. Place the peppers in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap for 20 minutes. Take the peppers out and peel the skin and take the seeds out. Place the peppers in a blender with the tomato sauce. Blend till smooth. Taste for seasonings and add salt if needed.
Add two cups of the sweet pepper sauce to the sausages and add the pasta and half cup of the pasta water (add more water if needed). Mix well and check for seasonings. Serve with cheese on top.

Pasta Primavera with Wine Sauce

February 11, 2018

Meatless Monday continues with this delicious pasta primavera I made with a wine sauce. I served it on top of healthy whole wheat spaghetti! It was yum!

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
  • 1 cup Cremini mushrooms, cleaned and chopped into quarters
  • 1 cup Shiitake mushrooms, cleaned and chopped into 2 inch pieces
  • 1 medium red pepper, chopped
  • Salt
  • 2 garlic cloves, grated
  • 1 cup zucchini, chopped
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 3 cups homemade or store brought tomato sauce
  • ½ pound whole wheat spaghetti, cooked al dente
  • Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, grated

Heat a large frying pan with the butter and oil. Add the thyme and both the mushrooms. Saute on medium heat for 4 to 5 minutes. Add the red pepper, salt and garlic. Saute for 2 to 3 minutes and add the zucchini. Saute for a minute and transfer the vegetables to a plate. Deglaze with wine and scrape all the brown bits off and cook the wine down to about half a cup. Add the tomato sauce and bring to a boil and cook for 10 to 15 minutes. Add the vegetables back and check for seasonings. Serve on top of spaghetti and top with cheese.

Braised Short Ribs with Citrus Gremolata

December 12, 2017

 

I would highly recommend this dish for the holidays. I served it with polenta and it was an amazing dinner. Oh, and don’t forget a copious amount of red wine…

  • 4 pounds short ribs, excess fat removed
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1 tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped

Place the short ribs in a large glass dish and sprinkle the salt, pepper, thyme and rosemary. Refrigerate overnight. Take out an hour before cooking.

  • 2 tablespoons extra light olive oil
  • 1 cup carrots, chopped
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 2 ribs celery, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 1 fresh bay leaf
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups red wine
  • Salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Heat a heavy saucepan with the olive oil until smoking. Brown the ribs on both sides for 4 to 5 minutes each in two to three batches. Keep aside. Add the carrots, onions, celery and garlic. Saute on medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the tomato paste and sauté for minute. Add the flour and sauté for another minute. Add the thyme, rosemary and bay leaf. Add the chicken broth and red wine and bring to a boil. Add the ribs back into the liquid and transfer to the oven. Bake for 2 to 3 hours or till the meat is falling off the bone.
Take out of oven and take the ribs out onto a platter. Strain the braising liquid and squeeze all the moisture out of the solids. Discard the solids and return the liquid to the saucepan. Reduce to desired consistency- there should be about a cup and a half to two cups of liquid remaining. Check for seasonings and return the ribs back into the liquid. Top with gremolata and serve.

Citrus Gremolata

  • 1 tablespoon thyme, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon rosemary, chopped
  • 1/3 cup parsley, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • Zest of one lemon
  • Zest of two clementines or half a navel orange

Mix all the ingredients in a small bowl, cover and keep aside.

Sausage and Peppers Sandwiches with Ricotta Cheese

December 5, 2017

Sticking with the Italian theme but these are sandwiches- sausage and peppers but elevated with the herbed ricotta cheese. I served the sandwiches with oven fries. I highly recommend this one!

Ricotta Cheese

½ cup full fat ricotta cheese

1 garlic clove, minced

1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped

¼ cup Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, grated

1 teaspoon salt

Mix all the ingredients in a small bowl and keep aside.

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 pack chicken sausages (I used roasted garlic ones from Trader Joes), sliced

1 large or 2 medium red pepper, cut into 1 inch squares

1 large yellow onion, cut into 1 inch squares

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 cups tomato sauce (jar, bottle or fresh)

Salt

½ cup fresh basil, chopped

Heat a medium saucepan with the olive oil. Add the sausage pieces and sauté on medium high heat and brown both sides, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add the onion and garlic and sauté on medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the tomato sauce, bring to a boil and lower the heat to a simmer. Cover with lid and cook for 15 minutes. Take the lid off, add the peppers and 1 teaspoon salt. Cook on medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes, or till the peppers are soft, but not too soft and falling apart. Check for seasonings and garnish with basil.

 

4 ciabatta rolls, toasted with a drizzle of olive oil

 

Add some sausage and peppers into a toasted roll. Top with a dollop of ricotta cheese. Serve with oven fries.