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Category Archives: Italian Cuisine

Sausage Mushroom Calzone

February 5, 2019

3 to 4 links sausage of choice, casings off and crumbled

1 tablespoon olive oil

 

Heat a frying pan with the oil and add the crumbled sausage. Saute on medium heat for 4 to 5 minutes till the sausage is golden brown. Turn heat of and keep aside.

 

10 ounces Cremini mushrooms, sliced

1 tablespoons olive oil

Salt

 

Heat a frying pan with the oil and add the mushrooms and cook on high heat for 4 to 5 minutes. Add salt and continue cooking till mushrooms have wilted and golden brown. Keep aside.

 

½ cup fresh ricotta cheese

1 teaspoon salt

¼ cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano

1 garlic clove, grated

 

Mix all the ingredients and keep aside.

 

1½ – 2 cups grated mozzarella cheese

1 egg, beaten

2 balls of store bought or homemade pizza dough, each divided into 4 parts

2 cups tomato sauce, homemade or store bought

 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

 

Roll each quarter into thin circles on a lightly floured surface. Place 1 tablespoon of ricotta mixture on one half of the circle and spread with knife. Add 1 tablespoon of sausage mixture and mushroom mixture. Top with couple tablespoons of cheese and fold over, securing edges by folding in and pressing with a fork. Brush the top of each calzone with egg and create a slit in the middle with a knife for the hot air to escape. Place on a lined cookie sheet and bake for 15 to 20 minutes till golden brown.  Serve with tomato sauce.

Chicken and Mushroom Ragu

December 10, 2018

Chicken and Mushroom Ragu

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound dark meat ground chicken
  • 10 ounces cremini mushrooms, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 medium shallots, chopped
  • ½ cup red wine
  • 2 cups marinara sauce
  • ½ pound cooked pasta
  • Salt

Heat a large frying pan with olive oil. Add the ground chicken and separate with a wooden spoon while sautéing over medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms and saute for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the thyme, garlic and shallots. Saute for 3 to 4 minutes and add the wine. Mix well and scrape the bottom. Add the marinara sauce and cook for ten minutes on a simmer with the lid on. Add the cooked pasta and mix well. Check for seasonings and serve hot.

Turkey Meatballs with Zucchini

October 29, 2018

Turkey Meatballs with Zucchini 1

  • 1 pound ground dark meat turkey
  • 1/3 cup prepared pesto
  • 1 cup grated zucchini
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • ¼ cup breadcrumbs
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 cups homemade or store bought tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoons extra light olive oil
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ pound whole-wheat spaghetti, al dente

In a large mixing bowl, add the turkey meat, pesto, zucchini, eggs, breadcrumbs and salt. Mix well with fingertips and keep aside for an hour.

In the meantime, in a large saucepan, heat the olive oil. Add the onion and garlic. Saute on medium heat for a couple of minutes and add the tomato sauce. Cook on medium heat for 5-6 minutes and turn it down to a simmer.
Form medium sized meatballs and begin adding to the simmering sauce. Once all the meatballs are formed, cook on medium heat for 20 minutes.

Serve on top of al dente spaghetti.

Turkey Meatballs with Zucchini

Pork Ragu Lasagna with Pesto Bechamel

October 16, 2018

Pork Ragu and Pesto Bechamel Lasagna

Pork Ragu

  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 3 cups fresh tomato sauce
  • Salt

Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan. Add the pork and cook on high heat and separate the meat with a wooden spoon. Saute for a 3 to 4 minutes on medium high heat. Add the onion, garlic, thyme and rosemary. Saute for 5 to 6 minutes. Add the tomato paste and sauté for a minute. Add the tomato sauce and cook on medium heat for 20 minutes. Add salt if necessary and turn heat off and keep aside.

Bechamel Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cups milk
  • ¼ teaspoon powdered nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • ½ cup fresh or store bought pesto

Heat a medium saucepan and add the flour and butter. Melt the butter on medium high heat. Cook for a minute or two, stirring constantly. Slowly add the milk and whisk to make sure all the lumps are taken out. Bring to a boil and lower the heat to medium. Cook for 5 to 6 minutes. Add the nutmeg and salt. Turn the heat off and keep aside. Add the pesto and mix well.

Lasagna

  • 1 cup shredded Pecorino Romano
  • 12 lasagna sheets (I used no boil pasta)

Preheat oven to 400 degree F.

Line a 9 X 11 glass pan with a quarter cup of béchamel sauce. Cover the bottom and add four pasta sheets. Spread one cup of meat sauce on top. Sprinkle ¼ cup shredded Pecorino. Place another 4 sheets on top. Pour about ¾ cup of béchamel sauce- spreading it all over the pasta. Add another cup of meat sauce. Add ¼ cup of shredded Pecorino. Place another 4 sheets on top and cover with the remaining béchamel sauce. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Take the cover off, sprinkle the remaining cheese on top and bake for another 15. Serve hot with salad and garlic bread.

Morel Mushroom Risotto

October 2, 2018

Mushroom Risotto
I served the risotto with lamb chops- yum!

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium shallot, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 pack wild mushrooms, sliced (about 2 cups)
  • 1 cup Arborio rice
  • 3 to 4 cups mushroom broth
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 3 to 4 dried morel mushrooms
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1/3 cup half and half
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/3 cup Pecorino cheese, grated

Soak the mushrooms in the warm water for 3 to 4 hours. Take the mushrooms out and strain the water of any sand/impurities. Keep the water aside. Chop the mushrooms and add the wild mushroom heap.

Heat the morel broth and the packaged mushroom broth in a medium saucepan and keep warm (use 3 cups of packaged broth in addition to the morel broth; use 4 cups of packaged broth if not using morels).
Heat a wide frying pan with the olive oil. Add the shallot and garlic and sauté on medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the wild and morel mushrooms and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes on medium high heat. Add the rice and sauté for a minute. Add a half cup of warmed broth to the rice mix and stir on medium low heat. As soon as the liquid is cooked off, add the next half-cup. Stir and cook till the rice grains are cooked through- it should take about 20 minutes. Add half and half, butter, cheese and salt. Mix well and check for seasonings. Add pepper and serve hot.

Spinach Polenta

September 25, 2018
  • Shrimp in Poblano Sauce and Spinach Polenta2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ cup pine nuts
  • ½ cup golden raisins
  • 1 cup chopped and thawed (frozen) spinach, excess water squeezed
  • 1 cup fine polenta
  • 1½ cups milk
  • 2 cups broth
  • ½ cup Monterey jack cheese, grated
  • Salt

Heat a medium saucepan with olive oil. Add the pine nuts and raisins and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the spinach and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the milk and the broth and bring to a boil. Slowly add the polenta while stirring constantly. Cook according to box instructions. Add the cheese and check for seasonings. Serve with shrimp.

Fresh Mozzarella and Tomato Sandwich

September 17, 2018

Tomato and Mozzarells Sandwich

Eat them while the tomatoes are still around…

  • Sliced baguette or a piece of garlic bread
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 3 to 4 slices fresh mozzarella (1/4 inch thick)
  • 5 to 6 fresh basil leaves
  • One medium tomato or several grape tomatoes, cut in half
  • Salt

Cut a big enough piece of the garlic bread and slice and toast. Spread the mayonnaise on both pieces of bread. Place the mozzarella slices on one side of bread and sprinkle some salt. Place the tomatoes and basil leaves. Place the other piece of bread on top and serve.