Spicy Pasta With Bucatini

img_1730 Mention pasta and you have my attention. This is a spicy and rich sauce and the pasta is perfect, thick and perfectly married to the cream sauce that accompanies it.

Enjoy.

INGREDIENTS:

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
3/4 Cup Finely Chopped Onion
3 Garlic Cloves, Minced
1 Pound Italian Sausage Links (Mild or Spicy), Casings Removed
1 Cup Dry White Wine
1 (14 Ounce) Can Chopped Tomatoes
1 Tablespoon Tomato Paste
1 Teaspoon Dried Oregano
Salt & Pepper
1 Finely Chopped Hot Chili Pepper (Optional – See Notes Above)
3/4 to 1 Cup Heavy Cream
6 Tablespoons Chopped Parsley Leaves
Pasta of Choice

INSTRUCTIONS:

Heat oil in heavy skillet over medium-high heat.
Add onion and garlic and sauté until golden brown and tender, about 5 minutes.
Add the sausage and sauté until golden brown and cooked through, breaking up with two forks as it cooks, about 7 minutes.
Drain any excess drippings from skillet, the add wine and boil over high heat until almost all liquid evaporates, about 2 minutes.
Add tomatoes and tomato paste and mix well.
Season with oregano, salt, pepper and hot pepper if using.
Simmer 5 minutes, then add the cream and parsley, and simmer until sauce thickens slightly, about 5 minutes.
Use to top hot cooked pasta.

SERVES: 4

NOTES: Use Italian sausage, hot or mild, or use any pork sausage that you like. Could easily be used with andouille sausage.

SOURCE: Italian Food Forever

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Cheesy Meatball Sliders

Back-to-School-Meatball-Sub These are great on a football Sunday or any other day. Adapt the sauce as you desire, or make as given. It is a delicious finger food.

INGREDIENTS:

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 28-oz. cans crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Vegetable oil spray
  • 2 slices country bread, crusts removed, torn into small pieces
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 2 ounces finely grated Parmesan, plus more
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 12 slider rolls, preferably potato

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until onion is softened and translucent, 8–10 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add tomatoes, sugar, vinegar, and bay leaf and bring to a low simmer. Season with salt and pepper and simmer, partially covered, while you prepare meatballs.
  • Preheat broiler. Lightly coat a rimmed baking sheet with vegetable oil spray and set aside. Combine bread and milk in a small bowl and set aside, tossing occasionally, until milk is completely absorbed, 8–10 minutes. Combine chicken, 2 oz. Parmesan, parsley, garlic, eggs, salt, pepper, and soaked bread in a large bowl; gently mix with your hands until ingredients are fully incorporated. Dampen your hands, then form mixture into 12 balls; place 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheet. Broil, rotating pan once, until meatballs are browned, 8–10 minutes. Add meatballs and any juices to sauce and continue to simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, until meatballs are cooked through, sauce is thick and chunky, and flavors have melded, 20–25 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Top each split roll with a meatball, a dab of sauce, and more Parmesan.

SERVES: 6

NOTES: You can vary this as you desire. Use turkey or pork instead of the chicken. Use your own sauce recipe or one that you like.

SOURCE: Bon Appetit

Spittin’getti Casserole

IMG_8555Comfort food time is rolling around and you shouldn’t be caught short. This recipe is sure to please everyone. Mild enough for kids and sophisticated enough to please the adult palate as well.

It makes enough for an army, and warms up pretty well too.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/2 lb. ground round, browned
  • 2/3 lb. pasta of your choice, cooked al dente
  • 1/2 lb Italian sausage or other sausage, browned.
  • 1 c diced onions
  • 1 c diced mushrooms
  • 2 c spaghetti sauce homemade or store-bought
  • 1 c parmesan cheese
  • enough slices of pepperoni to cover the top
  • 8 oz mozzarella cheese, shredded

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Brown the beef and sausage together, remove to another dish.
  2. Cook the onions in the fat from the meet until translucent, then add the mushrooms and saute until limp cooked.
  3. Heat salted water in a separate pot and cook up the pasta, drain well.
  4. Add the meat back in with the onion mixture and mix.
  5. Add the sauce and the pasta to the meat mixture and stir until mixed.
  6. Spread half of the mixture into an casserole pan.
  7. Top with half the cheeses.
  8. Add the rest of the meat mixture to the top, cover with the balance of the cheeses and then the pepperoni..
  9. Bake at 375° for 35-40 minutes, or until bubbly.
  10. Serve with bread and a crisp salad.

SERVES: 8

NOTES: You can use other cheeses if you wish. Use any type of mushroom you desire.

Skillet Moussaka

d12f9d29bf86ba8e69c134926eb859b0I worked in downtown Detroit for many years, my office being but two blocks from Greek town. I thus became something of an expert on Greek food.

Moussaka is a favorite of mine and I’ve made several casseroles over the year, but this recipe is a good but quick substitute. It comes together quite fast, and tastes surprisingly good.

Great for a quick meal.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 medium eggplant, peeled and diced.
  • 1 1/4 pound ground beef
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon fresh oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon allspice
  • dash pepper
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 cup milk
  • 4 ounces shredded Monterey jack or mozzarella cheese, grated
  • chopped parsley (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Peel and cut eggplant into diced chunks about 1/2 inch each.
  2. Brown beef with garlic in skillet; drain.
  3. Add eggplant, tomato paste, water, oregano, salt, onion powder, cinnamon, ground ginger, allspice, and pepper.
  4. Cook about 10 minutes or until eggplant is tender.
  5. Combine milk and egg in small bowl. Set aside.
  6. Melt butter in small saucepan. Add milk mixture. Cook over low heat stirring constantly until thickened
  7. Power white sauce over meat mixture. Top with cheese.
  8. Place skillet in oven about 6 inches from broiler and broil on high for 2-3 minutes or until cheese is browned. If you don’t want to turn oven on, you can cover the skillet and just cook until the cheese melts.
  9. Sprinkle chopped parsley on top if desired.

SERVES: 6

NOTES: You can make a traditional roux of flour and butter if you wish instead of the egg, but the carbs will be higher.

SOURCE: Low Carb Yum

Chicken Cacciatore Sicilian Style

chicken-cacciator-su-1860010-x I consider this comfort food. It has some of my favorite things. Tomatoes, lots of garlic, olives.

Who needs anything else. Place on a bed of pasta of your choice, and you can tuck in with relish.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 -5 garlic cloves
  • 1⁄4 cup olive oil
  • thighs 4-6
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 tbsp jar capers
  • 1/2 c  olives, halved
  • 1⁄4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1⁄8 teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • 1 28 oz can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 c dry white wine
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced small
  • 1/2 green pepper, diced large
  • 1/2 red pepper, diced large
  • 8 fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • angel hair pasta

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Salt and pepper the thighs and place in a large saute pan and brown in some EVOO.
  2. Remove to a dish. Add the onions and celery and sweet peppers and saute until softened and translucent.
  3. Add the garlic, capers, and wine, and saute until the wine has been reduced by half.
  4. Add the mushrooms and saute until softened.
  5. Add the tomatoes and vinegar and stir until warmed.
  6. Add the chicken thighs back in, cover and simmer gently for about 30 minutes.
  7. Cook the pasta.
  8. Add the olives and stir in.
  9. Serve.

SERVES: 4

NOTES: Vary the chicken as you wish. Use the best olives you can find.

SOURCE: Adapted from Food.com

Vietnamese Chicken Wings

06 I love chicken wings. And I love Asian food. So of course, the two work together quite well.

I suspect that this recipe is not standard, but rather one of dozens that fit the definition. Like so many foods, often the recipe is a family one, and varies accordingly.

However, this was perfect in my book. Spicy, a bit hot, but not overwhelming.

Perfect snack food.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2lbs wings, (about 12-14), cut up if you prefer or left whole.
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 c lime juice (about 2 whole limes)
  • 1/4 c fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp canola oil (or other)
  • 2 stalks of lemongrass, diced, or 1 tbsp minced.
  • 1-2 habeneros or birds-eye chile

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Mix all the ingredients together and place wings in it. Marinate for several hours, preferably overnight.
  2. Place wings on a grill and cook slowly.
  3. Take the marinade and pour into a saucepan and simmer for ten minutes.
  4. Use the marinade as a periodic baste as you grill the wings until they are very crispy and well charred.
  5. Serve.

SERVES: 6

NOTES: Getting the wings nicely charred is the goal here.

SOURCE: Recipe Tin Eats

Chicken Tinga

20130910-265977-chicago-tacos-el-perejil-chicken-tinga Now we are talking down home cookin’! Down home as in Mexico I mean.

Tinga is pretty much a stew. And it’s just dumped in a taco or a tostada or rolled up into a burrito. Add whatever else you like and as always, ya got a meal.

This is no doubt a recipe that can be varied in a number of ways and is authentic comfort food, so the recipes vary from family to family. Still the basics are the same.

Not too much trouble, and worth a lot in flavor.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs
  • 1 cup medium diced white onion
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
  • 2 large tomatillo, husk removed, rinsed, and roughly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • One (14.5-ounce) can fire-roasted diced or crushed tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons roughly chopped chipotles plus 2 tablespoons adobo sauce from one (7-ounce) can
  • 1/2 cup homemade chicken stock or low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Kosher salt

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Heat oil in a Dutch oven or large pot over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add chicken thighs skin-side down and cook until well browned, about 6 minutes. Flip thighs and continue to cook until other side is lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate, leaving fat in pan, and set aside.
  2. Add onions and garlic to Dutch oven and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions have browned around the edges, about 5 minutes. Add tomatillo and cook until browned around the edges, about 4 minutes. Add oregano and cumin and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add tomatoes, chipotle, and adobo sauce and stir to combine. Remove from heat.
  3. Transfer sauce to the jar of a blender and puree until smooth. Pour sauce back into pan, stir in chicken stock and bay leaf, and bring to a boil over medium heat. Nestle chicken thighs in sauce, reduce to a simmer, and cook until meat registers 165°F in thickest part of thigh on an instant-read thermometer. Transfer chicken to a plate and let sit until cool enough to handle. Remove sauce from heat and discard bay leaf.
  4. Pull chicken meat into strips, discarding skin, any large pieces of fat, and bones. Stir chicken into sauce and cook over medium heat until warmed through, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and season with salt to taste.
  5. Spoon chicken into warm tortillas and top with tomatillo salsa, onion, cilantro, cheese etc.

SERVES: 4

NOTES: Add diced cooked potatoes and maybe some corn and you have a meal you can put over rice or noodles.

SOURCE: Adapted slightly from Serious Eats