Healthy Mediterranean Cooking at Home

Category Archives: Pasta

Chicken And Peppers Over Pasta

Ingredients

For 2 servings. Double for 4.

4 chicken tenders, pounded this
7-8 oz mini peppers, seeded and sliced into strips
Half a sweet onion, sliced
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
1 garlic clove, minced
½ cup chopped fresh basil
Salt and pepper to taste
¼ cup flour1 cup panko crumbs
1 egg, beaten
Olive oil
1 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese

Pasta
8 oz fettuccine
¼ cup butter
1/2 cup chopped parsley

Directions
Bring a large p[ot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta.
Sprinkle the chicken pieces with salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning. Dredge in flour, egg, and panko crumbs. Set aside.
Heat the 1 tablespoon olive oil in a medium skillet. Add onions, peppers, garlic, and basil. Saute the mixture until tender. Remove to a bowl. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and cook the chicken until brown on both sides. Spread the chicken with the peppers and onions, Top with the mozzarella and cover the pan, turn the heat down to low, and let cook until the cheese melts. Remove the pan from the heat.

Drain the pasta. Place the drained pasta and butter in the empty pot. Stir gently over low heat, until the pasta is coated in butter. Add the parsley. Place a portion of pasta on each of the two serving dishes. Top each with two pieces of chicken with peppers and cheese. Serve.


Last week I shared the ratatouille recipe that I made with the freshest end-of-the-summer vegetables. The recipe is versatile and I was able to create a number of dishes from the recipe. The first was an appetizer with brie, the second a delicious pizza and the third was a hearty pasta dish.

Here is the link to the ratatouille recipe.

Pizza

Ingredients

1 lb of your favorite pizza dough

16 oz mozzarella cheese, sliced

2 cups leftover ratatouille

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Directions

Preheat the oven to 459 degrees F.

Oil a large pizza pan and place the dough on the pan. Using your fingers push the dough to the edges of the pan.

Distribute the cheese slices over the dough. Spread the ratatouille over the cheese. Sprinkle with Parmesan.

Place the pan in the oven and cook until lightly brown, 15 to 20 minutes. Let rest 5 minutes before cutting into serving pieces.

Pasta

Ingredients

5 Spicy Italian sausage links, casing removed

2 cups leftover ratatouille

2 cups canned Iranian tomatoes chopped

1 lb short pasta

1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Directions

Place the sausage in a large deep skillet. Brown the meat breaking it into small pieces with a wooden spoon as it browns. add the ratatouille and tomatoes. Heat on low for 39 minutes.

Cook the pasta al dente according to the package instructions. Do not drain. Using a spider or slotted spoon, remove the cooked pasta from the skillet. Stir well and let the pasta cook in the sauce, Mix well and add the grated cheese. Serve in pasta bowls.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Stuffed Chicken Breasts

2 to 4 servings depending on how large you like your portions.
I prefer to butterfly the chicken rather than cut a pocket. The breasts are much easier to fill if butterflied.

Ingredients

2 {8 oz} boneless skinless chicken breasts
Kosher salt and black pepper
Extra virgin olive oil,

For the stuffing
1/4 cup cooked spinach, squeezed dry
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan
1 teaspoon olive oil

Breading
½ cup flour seasoned with salt and pepper
1 egg beaten
1 cup panko crumbs mixed with 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
4 slices of tomato from a large tomato, ¼ inch thick
Olive oil

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F

Make the filling. In a small mixing bowl combine the stuffing ingredients. Mix until well combined.

Pat the chicken breast dry. Place the breast on a cutting board. With a boning knife, butterfly the breast. Place it between two pieces of plastic wrap and pound lightly with a meat mallet to even the meat out. Repeat with the second breast.

Place half of the filling on one breast. Press down firmly on the filling to help it stick to the breast. Fold the other half over the filling and press the edges to seal. Repeat with the second breast.
Dredge the breasts in flour, then dip in the egg, and finally press in the panko crumbs. Place the breast in an oiled baking dish. Drizzle lightly with olive oil.

Bake for 25 minutes. Remove the baking dish from the oven and top each breast with two tomato slices. Place the dish back in the oven for 5 more minutes or until a meat thermometer registers 165 degrees F.

Gnocchi With Peas

Ingredients

One 17 oz pkg Potato Gnocchi or

Homemade Gnocchi

2 pounds russet potatoes
3 eggs
1 cup all-purpose flour

Sauce
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
4 tablespoons butter
1 cup frozen peas, defrosted
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

To make homemade gnocchi

In a covered 8-quart Dutch oven cook potatoes in enough boiling water to cover about 20 minutes or just until tender (do not overcook); drain. Peel potatoes.

While potatoes are still hot, push through a ricer into a large bowl. Using a wooden spoon, stir in eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.

Add about half of the flour; mix well. Stir in enough of the remaining 1/2 cup flour to make a soft, pliable dough. Divide dough in thirds.

On a lightly floured surface, roll one portion of dough at a time into a 1-inch-thick rope. Cut rope into 1/2-inch pieces. Using your thumb, make an indentation in the top of each piece. Place on a baking sheet; chill while preparing the sauce (up to 2 hours).

Heat the butter and peas.

To cook the gnocchi

In the Dutch oven bring a large amount of salted water to a rapid boil. Add the gnocchi; cook for 10 to 15 seconds or until the gnocchi starts to float to the top. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the gnocchi as they rise to the top of the boiling water, to the p of the pan with the butter and peas. Add the cheese and mix well. Serve.

 


Beef Stroganoff

Serve with a salad.

Ingredients

1 pound beef tenderloin fillet tips
Salt and pepper
3 tablespoons unsalted butter,
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 small onion, sliced
4 oz sliced mushrooms
2 cups beef broth
1 teaspoon prepared Dijon mustard
1/2 cup sour cream
5-6 oz egg noodles, cooked to package directions
Chopped parsley leaves, garnish

Directions

Cook the noodles, drain, and reserve.
Melt butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion to pan; sauté 2 minutes or until tender. Add beef and flour mixture to pan; sauté 3 minutes or until beef is browned. Gradually add broth, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Add mushrooms; cover and cook for 5 minutes or until mushrooms are tender.

Reduce heat to low; gradually stir in sour cream mixture. Cook, uncovered, 1 minute or until heated (do not boil). Stir in parsley, if desired. Serve over the egg noodles.


Spinach Pasta

Serve with garlic bread

Ingredients

8 oz spinach spaghetti or regular spaghetti
¼ cup olive oil2 garlic cloves, minced
1 small red onion, sliced
1 large zucchini, quartered and sliced
3 plum tomatoes, diced
½ teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
Salt to taste
8 oz jar pitted Kalamata Olives, drained
1 ½ cups grated Parmesan cheese

Directions

Heat the oil in a skillet and add the onion and zucchini. Saute until soft, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, and tomatoes. Stir well and add salt to taste. Cook until the tomatoes soften, about 5 minutes. Stir in the olives and keep warm.

Cook the spaghetti al dente and drain, reserving ½ cup of pasta water.

Add the sauce to the drained pasta along with the pasta water and cheese. Stir well and serve in individual pasta bowls with garlic bread.


While this post is about dinner for two, I am posting my traditional meatball recipe because when I make the entire recipe. That way I can freeze them in small batches for the future. Add a Garden Salad to round out the menu.

Italian Meatballs

Makes 18 to 20 meatballs. Make the meatball mixture early in the day.

Ingredients

1 pound ground beef
1 pound ground veal
1 pound ground pork
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 eggs
1 cup freshly grated parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese
3 tablespoons chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
3cups stale Italian bread, crumbled
1 ½ cups lukewarm water
Olive oil

Directions

Combine beef, veal, and pork in a large bowl. Add garlic, eggs, cheese, parsley, salt, and pepper.

Blend bread crumbs into the meat mixture. Slowly add the water 1/2 cup at a time. The mixture should be very moist but still, hold its shape. Refrigerate for several hours.
Shape the meat mixture into 3-inch balls.

Heat enough olive oil to cover the bottom of a large skillet. Fry meatballs in batches.

When the meatball is very brown and slightly crisp, remove it from the heat and drain on a paper towel. (If your mixture is too wet, cover the meatballs while they are cooking so that they hold their shape better.)
For dinner for two;
Place a ladle of sauce in a small baking dish. Place 4 meatballs in the dish. Cover with sauce. Cover the dish and bake in the oven with the ravioli.


Marinara Sauce

Ingredients

2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
2 large cloves of garlic
¼ cup chopped onion
¼ cup tomato paste
¼ cup of chopped fresh basil leaves
½ teaspoon of crushed red pepper (optional)
Two 26 oz containers can of finely chopped Italian tomatoes
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil. Add the remaining sauce ingredients and stir until well mixed. Bring the sauce to a simmer and cook partially covered for 1 hour.

Ravioli Bake

I love that ravioli; i can be cooked this. No more breaking apart in boiling water. If you double the recipe use two baking dishes that can go into the dishwasher. The ravioli need to be in a single layer to cook properly.

Ingredients

2 cups marinara sauce
Half a package of frozen cheese-filled ravioli (25 to 27 1/2 ounces)
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

Directions

Defrost the ravioli on a plate in a single layer covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated overnight.
Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray bottom and sides of rectangular baking dish 13x9x2-inches, with cooking spray.

Spread 1 cup of the pasta sauce in a baking dish. Arrange the ravioli in a single layer over the sauce; top with half of the remaining pasta sauce. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil; bake uncovered 15 minutes longer or until bubbly and hot in center.


With all the fresh vegetables coming to market now, this is the best time of year to make Pasta Primavera.

Ingredients

1 lb bucatini pasta or your favorite pasta
2 tablespoons butter
3 garlic cloves mashed
2 medium zucchini, dices
Half a medium onion, diced
1 small yellow bell pepper, diced
10 cherry tomatoes, halved
1 tablespoon lemon zest
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
Salt and black pepper to taste
⅓ cup heavy cream
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
A handful of basil leaves torn into small pieces

Directions

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta until al dente.
While the pasta is cooking, melt the butter in a large, deep skillet. Add the garlic and stir until incorporated. Add the diced vegetables and lemon zest. Sprinkle it with salt, black pepper, and the crushed red pepper flakes. Cook the vegetables just until they begin to soften. Turn the heat to low and add the cream and basil leaves.

Remove the pasta from the cooking water with a spider or large pasta fork and place the pasta right into the skillet with the vegetables. Mix gently and add the cheese. Serve in individual pasta bowls.


Orecchiette Pasta with Sausage and Kale

4 to 6 servings

Ingredients

16 ounces orecchiette pasta
16 ounces Italian sausage
1 large bunch Tuscan kale, de-stemmed, and leaves chopped
1 large shallot, sliced
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1 cup salted pasta water
1 lemon, juiced
Salt, to taste
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

Directions

Fill a large pot with water and set it over medium-high heat. Add a tablespoon of kosher salt (or 2 teaspoons table salt) per quart of water.

When the water is boiling, add the pasta and stir it rapidly to separate the pasta, since the orecchiette has a tendency to stick together. Cook until al dente, 9-11 minutes. Scoop out 1 cup of the pasta water, then drain.

Cut the sausage into small chunks.
Add the sausage into a large skillet coated with olive oil over medium heat. Cook for 6-7 minutes, stirring occasionally until the sausage is cooked through.

Add the chopped kale, shallot, red pepper, and garlic to the skillet. Stir to combine and cook for 5 minutes until kale is wilted.

Add the cooked orecchiette, 1/2 cup pasta water, and lemon juice to the skillet. Toss to combine and heat until the pasta water thickens to form a light sauce. If the pasta seems dry, add more pasta water. Add Parmesan cheese and serve pasta in shallow bowls.


If you do not have an air fryer use the broiler. You may need a few more minutes for cooking depending on how well you like your fish cooked. Salmon and swordfish also work in this recipe.

Air Fryer Tuna Kabobs

Sauce
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 teaspoons dried thyme
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Kabobs
2 fresh tuna fillets, about 6 oz each cut into 1-inch cubes
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 medium zucchini, cut into 1-inch cubes
½ red onion, cut into 1-inch cubes
Bamboo sticks soaked in hot water or metal skewers that fit your fryer
4 oz cooked thin spaghetti

Directions

 


Combine the sauce ingredients in a mixing bowl and set aside.
Thread the tuna on two long skewers. Thread the vegetables on 4 skewers, alternating the vegetables. Place the skewers on a platter and brush with some of the sauce. Let the skewers rest at room temperature for 15 minutes.
Preheat your air fryer to 350 degrees F and heat for 5 minutes.
Place the prepared skewers into the air fryer basket for 4 minutes. Brush with the sauce and turn the kabobs over. Brush that side with sauce. Cook for 4 to 6 minutes more depending on how well cooked you like your fish.
spread the cooked spaghetti on a platter. Place the kabobs on top of the spaghetti and pour the remaining sauce over the kabobs. Swerve immediately.


Ingredients

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 lb green beans, trimmed and cut into 2-inch lengths
1 lb short pasta
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus additional for drizzling
4 cloves garlic, sliced
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Zest and juice of 3 lemons
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup grated Pecorino-Romano, plus more for serving
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
½ lb shrimp peeled, deveined, and cut in half crosswise

Directions

Prepare a bowl of ice water and set it aside. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the green beans and cook until bright green and just barely cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes. Use a spider or strainer to transfer the green beans to the ice bath and let cool completely before draining. Keep the water boiling in the pot.

Add the pasta to the same pot of boiling water. Let cook to al dente, about 3 minutes less than the package instructions. Save ½ cup pasta water. Drain the pasta.

Heat the olive oil in the pot over medium-high heat. Cook the garlic and red pepper flakes until fragrant but not browned, about 1 minute, then add the lemon zest, lemon juice, and pasta water.

Add the butter and shrimp. Stir for 2 minutes. Add drained pasta and blanched green beans, and cook, tossing, until well combined about 3 minutes more. Turn off the heat and gradually stir in the cheese, tossing constantly. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Divide pasta among serving bowls and garnish with parsley, more cheese, and a drizzle of olive oil.



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