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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Winter Minestrone Soup

ei1b02_winter_minestrone.jpg.rend.sni12col.landscape One of the best parts of Fall is undoubtedly soup. There are so many varieties to choose from. From delicate purees to hearty vegetable stews, there is something for everyone.

This has become one of my favorites for its rich yet varied offering. Do give it a try.

INGREDIENTS:

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, peeled, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
3 ounces thinly sliced pancetta, coarsely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound Swiss chard, stems trimmed, leaves coarsely chopped
1 russet potato, peeled, cubed
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 fresh rosemary sprig
1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, drained, rinsed
2 (14-ounce) cans low-sodium beef broth
1 ounce piece Parmesan cheese rind
2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
Salt and pepper

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Heat the oil in a heavy large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, celery, pancetta, and garlic. Saute until the onion is translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the Swiss chard and potato; saute for 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and rosemary sprig. Simmer until the chard is wilted and the tomatoes break down, about 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, blend 3/4 cup of the beans with 1/4 cup of the broth in a processor until almost smooth. Add the pureed bean mixture, remaining broth, and Parmesan cheese rind to the vegetable mixture. Simmer until the potato pieces are tender, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. Stir in the whole beans and parsley. Simmer until the beans are heated through and the soup is thick, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Discard Parmesan rind and rosemary sprig (the leaves will have fallen off of the stem.)
  3. Ladle the soup into bowls and serve.

SERVES: 6

NOTES: If you can’t get pancetta, use bacon. If you can’t get swiss chard, use spinach. I buy my parmesan in bulk so when I have shaved off to the rind, I throw it in a bag for the freezer. It’s a great addition to any soup.

SOURCE: Giada De Laurentiis, Food Network

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.

Sherry’s Seafood Alfredo

creamy-seafood-alfredo-wide This is what you call decadent. It’s what you call “company dinner”. It’s what you call romantic, rich, and so good you wanna lick the spoon. Go ahead.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 lbs of assorted seafood. Use shrimp, scallops, lobster, crab, oysters, crawfish, fish, clams, etc.
  • 1 lb fettuccine noodles, cooked al dente.
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 c cream
  • 1 c Parmesan cheese (the best quality)
  • 3 lg cloves of garlic minced
  • 1/2 c white wine
  • EVOO
  • pepper
  • 1 c shredded mozzarella
  • 1/2 c chopped fresh parsley

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1.  Melt about 4 tbsp of butter in a saute pan and 1/4 c EVOO.
  2. Salt the seafood which has been defrosted (if frozen and patted dry.
  3. Saute the seafood until barely done. Remove to a separate plate.
  4. Add the garlic and wine and simmer until wine is reduced by half and the garlic is opaque and fragrant.
  5. Add balance of the butter and melt.
  6. Add the cream and simmer softly until reduced and thickened.
  7. Add the parmesan cheese and melt into the sauce.
  8. Add the fettuccine noodles, the seafood, and mozzarella and mix carefully but fully. Salt and pepper to taste.
  9. Reheat gently and serve.

SERVES: 4

NOTES: I would not put more than 3 different seafoods together.

SOURCE: Sherry Peyton

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

Eggplant Sorta Rollatini with Beef

Rollatini3-500x375 Okay, this is a total fraud. This is Eggplant Rollatini minus the roll. It’s the lazy woman’s Rollatini and plus meat.  Tastes like, but doesn’t look like. Company meal for really close friends who won’t care that you didn’t go to enough trouble for them.

Are we clear now?

Besides that minor glitch…it’s damned good.

I mean really really good.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/4 c EVOO
  • 3-4 large cloves of garlic microplaned
  • 1/2 c minced onions
  • 1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes (best quality)
  • 1 tsp hot pepper flakes
  • 1/2 c or so of a good quality red wine
  • 1 lb of ground sirloin (keep the fat down) or at least 93% fat-free
  • 2 medium eggplants
  • 1 container of ricotta cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 c Parmigiano Reggiano grated
  • 2 cups mozzarella shredded
  • 1/4 c minced fresh basil
  • 1/4 c minced fresh parsley

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Heat up the olive oil and add the garlic being careful not to burn it.
  2. Add the onions and saute until translucent.
  3. Add the beef, breaking up and browning it well.
  4. Add the hot pepper flakes, and the wine, bring to a light simmer, and reduce until most of the liquid is gone.
  5. Add the tomatoes and continue the simmer until quite thick. An hour or so. You want to get most of the juice out.
  6. While sauce is cooking, cut the eggplant into slices lengthwise. I found that 12 strips fit perfectly in my lasagna pan.
  7. Place on parchment paper and liberally brush with EVOO and salt and pepper.
  8. Place in a preheated oven at 400° until browned. Turn over and do the same, and return to oven until the eggplants are done. Set aside.
  9. In a bowl add the ricotta, Parmigiano, eggs, and herbs, mixing well.
  10. Assemble oiling your lasagna pan liberally. Then layer a small amount of the sauce in the bottom. Cover the bottom with eggplant slices, then cover with sauce, then add all the ricotta mixture. Sprinkle with about one cup of the mozzarella. Place the remaining eggplant to cover all this. Place the last of the sauce over the eggplant and then sprinkle with the remaining mozzarella.
  11. Place in a 350 oven for 45 minutes, uncover the last 15.
  12. Let it rest for 15 minutes and serve.

SERVES: 8

NOTES: The traditional way is the place the ricotta mixture on each slice of eggplant and roll them up and place them on a bed of sauce and then add more sauce over. Do this if you are into pretty or a masochist.

SOURCE:  Sherry Peyton

 

 

Pasta Ala Trapanese

pastatrapanese1 Nothing new here, just an old standard. Most recipes are pretty much the same. So don’t get all measury. Eyeballing is more than sufficient here.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/2 c of whole almonds, roasted just until browning.
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced or microplaned.
  • 1 regular 15 0z can of chopped tomatoes (the best brand please) or an equivalent of fresh tomatoes, peeled and seeded.
  • 2/3 or so C of sun-dried tomatoes. These can be dried, or stored in olive oil. Chopped.
  • 1/4- 1/3 c EVOO depending on how your sun-dried tomatoes are stored.
  • a tsp or so of hot pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 c of excellent quality Parmigiano Reggiano grated.
  • 1/2 c fresh basil
  • pasta of your choice, about a pound

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Dump your almonds in a food processor.
  2. Add the garlic, and tomatoes.
  3. Whirr and slowly drizzle in the olive oil as it whirrs.
  4. Add hot pepper flakes, salt and pepper and cheese, and just pulse a couple of times to mix.
  5. Cook the pasta.
  6. Pour the sauce over the pasta and gently toss.
  7. Add a handful of chopped fresh basil on top.
  8. Serve with more grated cheese.

SERVES: 4

NOTES:  This dish depends in large part on using the best ingredients. Roasting whole almonds makes a big difference.  The better pastas are those with nooks and crannies to catch and hold the sauce. Make sure your almonds are chopped well enough that they aren’t chunky. The basil must be fresh…Dried is a waste of time.

SOURCE: Sherry Peyton