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Category Archives: Italian Cuisine

Bolognese Sauce with Spaghetti

July 17, 2018

I would highly recommend this recipe for bolognese sauce- it is easy to make and really delicious! The pancetta and sausage flavor it amazing.. definitely worth a try…

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 medium carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary
  • 2 to 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • ½ cup pancetta, chopped
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 2 large Italian sausage links, meat taken out of the casings
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 cups tomato sauce
  • 1 cup beef or chicken broth
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • ½ pound spaghetti, cooked al dente

Heat a heavy saucepan with the olive oil. Add the onion, carrot, celery, rosemary and thyme. Stir and sauté on medium heat for 5 minutes. Add one teaspoon of salt. Add the pancetta and sauté on medium heat till the vegetables are soft and pancetta is crispy. Add the beef and sausage and separate vigorously with the back of a wooden spoon while stirring. Saute for 3 to 4 minutes on medium high heat. Add the white wine and scrape off all the golden brown bits from the bottom. Add the tomato paste and sauté for a minute. Add the tomato sauce, broth and milk. Bring to a boil and simmer on medium low heat with lid on for 2 hours. Stir every 15 minutes or so to check the consistency. Once the consistency is according to taste, check for seasonings and serve with spaghetti.

Herbed Ricotta and Potato Gnocchi

July 15, 2018

This is my first try at making gnocchi at home. I am not a big fan of the potato variety.. so I decided to make them with ricotta and potato. I also added herbs and some Romano cheese. The result was absolutely delicious. I paired it with a simple marinara sauce….The trick to fluffy gnocchi is not over mixing and over kneading the dough…

  • 1 one pound russet potato
  • ½ cup whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • ½ cup freshly ground Pecorino Romano
  • 1 cup plus more flour

Cook the potato till soft to the fork. Take the skin off and put the potato through a potato ricer into a bowl. Add the ricotta cheese, salt, pepper, nutmeg, thyme, chives, egg and cheese. Mix well. Gradually add the flour, one tablespoon at a time till the dough comes together and not sticky- try not to over knead the dough. Separate into four sections and roll each into ½ inch thick logs on a floured surface. With a knife, cut bite-sized gnocchis. Place on a floured cookie sheet and let sit for an hour. Make the sauce in the meantime.

Gnocchi1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Marinara Sauce

  • 1 can San Marzano tomatoes (chopped or whole, if whole, crush them with fingers)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan. Add the onion and garlic. Saute on medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes and simmer for 20 minutes. Taste for seasonings and add salt and pepper as necessary.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the gnocchi for 2 to 3 minutes or till they float to the surface. Serve with marinara sauce and freshly grated cheese

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.