Healthy Mediterranean Cooking at Home

Category Archives: Pasta

Short Ribs

I like to serve this dish with potato gnocchi and garden peas.

8-10 servings

Ingredients

6 lb. English-style beef short ribs
3 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
All-purpose flour
2 diced carrots
1 medium diced onion
1 small-diced fennel bulb
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon. finely chopped garlic
2 teaspoons paprika
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1teaspoon minced anchovies
2 cups dry red wine
26-28 oz canned crushed tomatoes
2 cup lower-salt beef broth

Directions

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 325°F. In an 8-quart Dutch oven, heat 2 tablespoons. of the oil over medium heat.

Place 1 cup flour,  2 teas[oons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper in a large ziplock plastic bag. Add the ribs and shake the bag until the ribs are coated.

Add half of the ribs to the pot (or as many as will fit without overlap), and cook, turning with tongs, until nicely browned on all sides, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer the ribs to a platter and repeat with the remaining ribs. Pour off all but a thin layer of fat from the pan.

Add the remaining oil, carrots, onions, and fennel to the pan. Season with salt. Cook, stirring up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan until the vegetables are soft and lightly browned, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the thyme, garlic, paprika, coriander, and anchovies, and cook, stirring, until well distributed and fragrant, about 1 minute.

Pour the red wine into the pot and cook, stirring to scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pot, until the liquid is bubbling
Transfer all the ribs (and any juices that have accumulated) back into the pot. Add the tomatoes and beef broth,  Arrange the ribs as evenly as possible and no more than two layers deep. You may also transfer the mixture to a large baking dish and cover it with foil.

Place the pan or dish in the oven.  Cook, turning the ribs with tongs about every 40 minutes, until they are fork-tender, about3/4 hours. (The meat may fall off most of the bones about midway through cooking; this does not mean that the ribs are fully tender.)

Serve the ribs with the sauce spooned over, sprinkled with chopped parsley.

Make-Ahead Tips

It’s best to braise short ribs a day ahead for a couple of reasons. First, this allows you to chill the sauce so it can be defatted thoroughly. Also, the flavors only get better with time. To reheat, arrange the meat snugly in a baking dish, cover with foil, and put in a 350°F oven. Reheat the sauce on the stovetop.


Turkey Noodle Soup

Broth
Turkey bones {I had a large turkey breast carcass from a 7 lb turkey breast with some meat still attached}
1 carrot halv4ed
1 celery stalk, halved
1 small onion, halved
2 garlic cloves, halved
12 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
Soup
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion finely chopped
1 large carrot peeled and chopped
2 celery ribs with leaves, chopped
8-10 cups turkey broth
2 cups cooked turkey chopped or shredded
2 teaspoons fresh thyme minced, or 1/2 teaspoon dried
8 ounces noodles {I use whole wheat because they do not become soggy in soup}
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions
Place the turkey bones and vegetables in a large Dutch Oven. Add the water and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a bubbling simmer, partially cover the pot and cook for 3 hours. Strain the broth in a fine mesh colander and discard the solids, Add salt and refrigerate the broth until ready to make the soup.
Soup
Heat the oil in a large Dutch Oven and add the chopped vegetable. Saute until tender about 10 minutes. Add the prepared broth. You should have 8-10 cups. Bring to a boil. Add the seasoning and noodles. Cook the noodles in the soup for about 12 minutes. Add the chopped turkey. Taste and adjust salt. Serve in individual bowls or refrigerate for a later time.

Turkey Salad

Ingredients
3 cups leftover cooked turkey, chopped
1 medium onion, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1 cup red grapes, halved
½ cup toasted and chopped walnuts
½ to ¾ cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon chopped chives
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions
Combine the turkey, onion, celery, grapes, and walnuts in a mixing bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste. Stir in enough mayonnaise to moisten the ingredients. Sprinkle with chives. Serve or refrigerate until serving time.


Cooking Dried Beans
When the beans have finished soaking, drain and rinse them with cold water. Put them in a pot large enough to fit the number of beans you are using and cover with cold water by about 3 inches. Cover the pot with the lid and turn on the heat to medium. When the water comes to a boil, adjust the heat so that the cooking water simmers gently. Cook the beans until they are tender, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Taste them periodically to check for doneness. Drain and set aside.

 

Pasta e Fagioli {Pqwtqa And Beans
Ingredients
1 ½ cups dried cannellini beans, precooked
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup diced carrot
1 cup diced celery
1 cup diced onion
2 large garlic cloves, chopped
1 tablespoon dried Italian seasoning
Two 26 oz containers of Italian chopped tomatoes
4 cups vegetable broth
1 Parmigiano-Reggiano rind
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
8 oz elbow pasta, cooked al dente
Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, for sprinkling
Directions
In a large Dutch oven or soup pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the carrot, celery, and onion and saute until they begin to soften, making sure not to brown them. Add in the tomatoes and remaining ingredients except for the cooked pasta and grated cheese. Adjust the heat so that the mixture simmers very gently. Cover the pot and bring to a gentle boil, adjusting the heat as necessary. Cook for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until the beans are fully tender, stirring periodically. Stir in the cooked pasta and heat for 5 minutes or until hot. Remove rind before serving.
Sprinkle each serving of soup with some grated Parmigiano-Reggiano and Italian bread.

 


Broccoli-Cheddar Mac & Cheese

2 servings

Ingredients

6 ounces penne pasta {whole wheat}
1 medium stalk of fresh broccoli, cut into small florets {about 10-12 oz]
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons panko breadcrumbs

Directions

Preheat oven to 425°F.

Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook according to package directions, adding broccoli for the last minute of cooking. Drain.

Wipe the pot dry and place over medium-low heat. Add butter and swirl until melted. Sprinkle flour over the butter; whisk until smooth. Slowly add milk, salt, and smoked paprika; cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture bubbles and thickens about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in Cheddar cheese. Add the drained pasta and broccoli, stirring to coat well.
Combine the panko and Parmesan cheese.

Transfer the mixture to an 8–inch baking dish and sprinkle with panko mixture. Bake15 minutes.

Serve with a tomato salad.


Ingredients

10-ounce package fresh cheese and spinach tortellini
2 tablespoons butter
½ onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 cup grated parmesan cheese (2 ounces)
1/2 teaspoon white pepper (or use black pepper)
8 -9 oz boneless chicken breast, diced
salt to taste
Chopped fresh parsley

Directions

Cook the tortellini according to package directions. Reserve 1/4 cup of cooking water and drain the pasta. Set aside while you make the sauce.
Melt the butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until tender.
Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add the chicken cubes and cook for 10 minutes until cooked through the center.
Lower the heat and stir in the parmesan cheese, pepper, and cream. Stir until the cheese melts. Add the pasta.
If the sauce is too thick, add the pasta water to thin it out. Season with salt if needed. Add chopped parsley and serve in individual pasta bowls.


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.



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