Healthy Mediterranean Cooking at Home

Category Archives: Pasta

America is a melting pot that was formed by the hard-working people who migrated here from lands as far east as China and Japan and as far north as Russia and Europe. They utilized American supplies and prepared them in ways that they had prepared them in their homeland.
True American food is a collection of these culinary traditions passed down from generation to generation”.Each culture brought their cooking methods, food, and spices to America. They farmed the soil, hunted game, and incorporated their ways into the food of America.

Macaroni and Cheese is the ultimate comfort food. So who came up with the idea to combine macaroni with creamy cheese to create a simple casserole?

Pasta and cheese casseroles have been recorded as early as the 14th century in the Italian cookbook, Liber de Coquina, one of the oldest medieval cookbooks, which featured a dish of parmesan and pasta. A cheese and pasta casserole recorded in the medieval English cookbook, The Forme of Cury, was also written in the 14th century. It was made with fresh, hand-cut pasta which was sandwiched between a mixture of melted butter and cheese.

The first modern recipe for macaroni and cheese was included in Elizabeth Raffald’s 1770 book, The Experienced English Housekeeper. Raffald’s recipe is a Béchamel sauce with cheddar cheese which is mixed with macaroni, sprinkled with Parmesan, and baked until bubbly and golden.

The US President Thomas Jefferson encountered macaroni in Paris and brought the recipe back to Monticello. Jefferson drew a sketch of the pasta and wrote detailed notes on how to make it. In 1793, he commissioned the US ambassador to France, William Short, to purchase a machine for making it. Evidently, the machine was not suitable, as Jefferson later imported both macaroni and Parmesan cheese for his use at Monticello. In 1802, Jefferson served “a pie called macaroni” at a state dinner.

A recipe called “macaroni and cheese” appeared in the 1824 cookbook, The Virginia Housewife, written by Mary Randolph. Randolph’s recipe had three ingredients: macaroni, cheese, and butter, layered together and baked in a hot oven. The cookbook was the most influential cookbook of the 19th century, according to culinary historian Karen Hess. Similar recipes for macaroni and cheese occur in the 1852 Hand-book of Useful Arts, and the 1861 Godey’s Lady’s Book. By the mid-1880s, cookbooks as far west as Kansas and Missouri, included recipes for macaroni and cheese casseroles.

Kraft Foods introduced the Kraft Macaroni and Cheese Dinner in 1937, at the end of the Great Depression. Called it “the housewife’s best friend, a nourishing one-pot meal,” and that it was a fast, filling, and inexpensive way to feed a family. In that year alone, 8 million boxes were sold.

Cheesemaking, which began 10,000 years ago, was originally about survival for a farm family or community by taking a very perishable protein (milk) and transforming it into something less perishable (cheese) so that there would be something to eat at a later date. The first cheese factory in the U.S. was built in 1851, making cheddar one of the first foods affected by the Industrial Revolution. Before that, all cheese made in the United States was made on a farm, usually by the farm wife or a cheese maid. As foods industrialize, they often go from being made by women to being made by men, and so it was with cheese: Women were mostly absent from the cheese factories, and didn’t return to cheesemaking until the artisanal cheese revolution of the past few decades. Processed cheese, which was invented 107 years ago, is basically cheese that is emulsified and cooked, rendering it much less perishable (but also no longer a “living food” because, unlike natural cheese, processed cheese’s flavor will no longer alter with age).

Original homemade recipes included pasta, butter or cream, and Parmesan cheese, American cooks often improvised, using cheddar, Colby or the more affordable processed cheese, and spices like nutmeg and mustard. While Cheddar cheese is most commonly used for macaroni and cheese, other cheeses may also be used — usually sharp in flavor — and two or more cheeses can be combined. Popular recipes include using Gruyere, Gouda, Havarti, and Parmesan cheese.

So, while no single cook can lay claim to the classic macaroni and cheese recipe, everyone has a favorite version of the dish.

Here is my version. I like to use a combination of cheeses because it makes for a tasty dish.

Baked Macaroni And Cheese

Ingredients

1 lb dried short pasta (penne, elbow, fusilli)
4 cups whole milk
1/4 cup unsalted butter, diced
1/2 cup instant flour (Wondra) or all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried yellow mustard
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
8 oz Velveeta processed cheese, cut into cubes
8 oz cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 cup plain panko breadcrumbs

Directions

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. (I prefer to bake this dish at a lower temperature so that the casserole stays creamy.)

Cook the pasta in boiling salted water until al dente. Drain and set aside.
In the same pot mix the cold milk with the instant flour; add the butter and place the pan on medium heat.

Stirring often, bring the sauce to boiling, reduce the heat and cook until thickened, whisking often. Add the salt, mustard, and cayenne. Add the Velveeta and heat until melted. Add the cooked pasta and mix well. Pour into a buttered 9×13 inch baking dish.

Mix the breadcrumbs and shredded cheddar together and sprinkle over the top of the casserole.

(The casserole can be made ahead to this stage and refrigerated until baking time. Add 15 minutes to the baking time if the casserole is refrigerated.)

Bake for 45 minutes until heated through and the topping turns golden.


Fra Diavolo is a spicy sauce for pasta and seafood. Most versions are tomato-based and use chili peppers for spice. Fra Diavolo is served over pasta with shellfish that roughly translates to “among the devil,” getting its name from the hot pepper that gives it its signature heat. It’s traditionally made with shrimp or lobster, and sometimes clams
Debate rages on whether this dish originated in Italy or in one of America’s Italian American communities. Regardless of its origins, it is popular in restaurants, but lobster Fra Diavolo is rarely found in cookbooks. I grew up with spicy shellfish pasta, especially for Christmas Eve, so here is my version. I use lobster tails because they are easier to cook with and eat with the pasta.

4 servings

Ingredients

250g (8 1/2 oz) long pasta
4 small lobster tails, about 4 oz each, split in half down the middle lengthwise
Salt and pepper
Olive oil
6 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
2 (28 oz) containers chopped Italian tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 teaspoons Calabrian chili paste or 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 sprig fresh basil
1 cup seafood broth or clam juice
¼ cup chopped Italian parsley leaves

Directions

In a sauté pan that will be large enough to hold the lobster and cooked pasta, sauté the garlic in 2 tablespoons of olive oil for 30 seconds. Add the seafood broth and simmer for a minute or two. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, chili paste, basil sprig, and salt to taste, or about 1 teaspoon. Simmer until the sauce is reduced about 1 hour. Add the lobster tails cut side down, bring the sauce back to a low boil and cook the lobster for about 5 minutes or until the shells turn red and the meat turns white.

Boil a large pot filled with water. When it comes to a rolling boil, add a generous amount of salt and the pasta, and cook very al dente.

Place the lobster tails on a plate and set aside. Remove the basil sprig. Drain the pasta and add it to the tomato sauce, along with a ladleful of the pasta cooking water. Let the pasta simmer in the sauce, mixing it well, and making sure every strand is coated with the sauce. Pour the pasta on to a serving platter and top with the lobster tails. Garnish with chopped parsley and serve.


Roasted Beef Tenderloin

Ingredients

1 1/2-pound beef tenderloin roast, all visible fat and silverskin removed
3 medium garlic cloves, minced
1 finely chopped shallot
2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Tie the meat in three or four places with kitchen twine. Put the roast in a medium-sized heavy nonstick roasting pan and coat the roast with the olive oil. Rub the garlic all over the meat and sprinkle on the herbs and pepper. Scatter the shallots on top of the meat.

Cook, uncovered, for 25 minutes per pound for medium-rare, or to your desired doneness. Remove the pan from the oven and sprinkle with the salt. Cover with aluminum foil and let stand for 15 minutes. Slice the roast and place it on a serving platter. Drizzle the pan juices over the meat and serve.

Roasted Stuffed Zucchini

Ingredients

4 small to midsize zucchini
1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs (or substitute unseasoned breadcrumbs)
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
8 cherry tomatoes, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
Salt & pepper to taste

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Split the zucchini in half lengthwise. With a serrated spoon scrape out the seeds, digging a trough in the center of the zucchini. Sprinkle the zucchini shells with salt and turn them over on a paper towel to drain for 30 minutes. Pat dry with paper towels.

For the filling: Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet. Sauté the onions until tender. Add the garlic. Remove the skillet from the heat. Add tomato, breadcrumbs, herbs, and cheese. Lightly season with salt and pepper.

Place the filling down the center of each zucchini half. Place the zucchini in a greased baking dish and roast in the oven until the zucchini shells are tender and the topping is lightly brown (about 25 -30 minutes). Serve as a side dish in this meal.

Basil Pesto Pasta

Ingredients

Pesto
4 packed cups washed basil leaves
½ cup shelled pistachio nuts, pignoli or walnuts
4 garlic cloves, peeled
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Pasta
! cup grated parmesan cheese
One lb bucatini or other long pasta, cooked al dente
2 tablespoons room temperature butter, cut into small pieces

Directions

Place the nuts, garlic, salt, and pepper in a processor bowl. Process until the nuts and garlic are chopped.

Add the basil leaves and process for a minute or two. In the opening spout at the top, pour the olive oil as you process. Keep processing until the mixture is smooth.

Place the sauce in a large pasta serving bowl. Add the hot drained pasta, parmesan cheese, and butter. Gently toss until the pasta is coated in sauce. Serve as a side dish in this meal.


Serve this pasta with a mixed greens salad and Italian vinaigrette.

Ingredients

4-5 cups cooked (leftover) pasta. I used linguine
3 links of Italian sausage
2 cups Marinara sauce
11/2 cups ricotta cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 egg
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
Salt and pepper to taste
8 oz mozzarella cheese, sliced thin

Directions

Brown the sausage links in a skillet and add the marinara sauce. Simmer the sausage in the marinara sauce for 30 minutes. Remove the sausage and cut it into thin slices. Set aside.
Mix the marinara sauce with the pasta. Set aside.
Combine the ricotta, egg, parmesan, parsley salt, and pepper. Mix with the pasta. Coat a 12-inch x 8-inch baking dish with olive oil spray.

Spread the pasta out in an even layer in the baking dish. Top with the sliced sausage and cover the top with slices of mozzarella.


Coat the dull side of a sheet of foil with cooking spray. Place on the top of the baking dish. Bake in a 375-degree F oven for 45 minutes, uncover the dish and bake for 15 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Let rest 5 minutes before serving.


Ingredients for 2 servings

4 oz fettuccini pasta
1 cup Parmesan cheese
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 stick unsalted butter (1/4 cup)
2 cloves of minced garlic
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
8 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/4 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
2 small heads (about 8 oz) broccoli florets, cut into 1-inch pieces

Directions

Boil a large pot of water, add salt and cook pasta to the al dente stage. Two minutes before the pasta is done, add the broccoli. Drain and set aside.


Sprinkle the shrimp with salt, pepper, and the Italian seasoning.
Melt the butter in a deep skillet, add in the garlic and cook for 20 seconds. Do not brown the garlic.
Add the cream, stir in the cheese and bring to a simmer. Add the shrimp and poach in the cream over low heat until pink.
Fold in the broccoli and pasta and cook just until warmed.

Pour the mixture into 2 individual pasta bowls and serve.


Chicken Kiev is a dish made of chicken fillets pounded and rolled around cold butter and herbs, then coated with eggs and bread crumbs, and either fried or baked. In general, this dish of stuffed chicken breast is known in Ukrainian and Russian cuisines as côtelette de volaille. The history of this dish is not well documented, and various sources make controversial claims about its origin. In the 18th century, Russian chefs adopted many techniques of French haute cuisine and combined them with the local culinary tradition. The adoption was furthered by French chefs, such as Marie-Antoine Carême and Urbain Dubois, who were hired by the Russian aristocracy.  The use of quality meat cuts, such as cutlets, steaks, escalopes, and suprêmes became widespread in the 19th century, and a number of original dishes involving such components were developed in Russia at that time.

Kiev is the capital of Ukraine, and while the name of the dish may sound very much Ukrainian, it actually is not. It turns out that Chicken Kiev was invented by a French chef, Nicolas Francois Appert. Chicken Kiev was one of the most popular foods of the 1970s but fell out of fashion by the late 1980s. Ler’s bring it back since it is delicious.

Chicken Kiev

For the herb butter
4 tablespoons butter, softened
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon dried tarragon
1 teaspoon dried chives
1/4 teaspoon pepper

For the chicken
2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
Salt & pepper
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 egg, beaten with 1 teaspoon water
1 cup panko bread crumbs
1 tablespoon vegetable oil and 2 tablespoons of butter for cooking

Directions

Combine the ingredients for the herb butter in a mixing bowl. Place mixture on plastic wrap or waxed paper and roll into a small log; place in the freezer for several hours.


Place the chicken breasts, 1 at a time, between 2 pieces of plastic wrap. Pound to 1/8-inch thickness. Season each piece of chicken with salt and pepper.
Lay 1 chicken breast on a new piece of plastic wrap and place 1/2 of the herb butter in the center of each breast. Using the plastic wrap to assist, fold in the ends of the breast and roll the breast into a log, completely enclosing the butter; roll very tightly. Repeat with the second breast. Place chicken in the refrigerator for 2 hours.

Place egg and water mixture in 1 pie pan, flour in another, and bread crumbs in a third pie pan.
Dip each breast in the flour and then the egg mixture and then roll in the bread crumbs. Press on the crumbs to completely cover the chicken rolls.
In a frying pan over medium-high heat a mixture of 2 tablespoons butter and 1 tablespoon oi. Gently place each breast in the pan, sealed side down, and cook until golden brown on all sides including the ends, turning frequently until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F.

Or
Follow the same method for preparing the herb butter and chicken as above. Place the chicken rolls in a lightly oiled baking dish and dot the chicken with additional butter and bake at 375°F for about 30 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.

Lemon Parmesan Orzo

ingredients

1 cup uncooked whole wheat orzo pasta
1 tablespoon olive oil
¼ cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Directions

Bring 2 cups salted water to a boil. Add in 1 cup of orzo, simmer for 7-8 minutes, test for al dente, drain; drizzle with oil. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Heat over low just until hot and serve.

Green Beans With Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Ingredients

1/2 lb green beans, tips removed
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
5 sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
Salt & Pepper to taste
Pinch red pepper flakes

Directions

Bring a pot of salted water to boil. Add the beans and cook just until they are tender-crisp. The time may vary depending on the size of your beans or how fresh they are but generally for 3 minutes. Drain in a colander and set aside.

Heat the oil in the pan and add the chopped tomatoes, a teaspoon of water, and salt and pepper. Return the beans to the pan and toss in the tomato oil mixture and cook for a minute or two so the beans absorb the flavor of the oil. Remove from the heat and serve warm or at room temperature.


Tetrazzini is an American pasta dish made with diced poultry or seafood and mushrooms in a butter/cream and cheese sauce flavored with wine or sherry. It is served hot over linguine, spaghetti, egg noodles, or some other types of pasta, garnished with parsley, and sometimes topped with breadcrumbs, almonds, or cheese (or a combination). Tetrazzini can also be prepared as a baked noodle casserole.

The dish is believed to be named after the Italian opera star Luisa Tetrazzini (1871–1940) an Italian coloratura soprano of great international fame. She enjoyed a highly successful operatic and concert career in Europe and America from the 1890s through to the 1920s.

This dish is widely believed to have been invented around 1908–1910 by Ernest Arbogast, the chef at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco, California, where Tetrazzini was a long-time resident. However, other sources attribute the origin to the Knickerbocker Hotel in New York City. Good Housekeeping published the first reference to turkey tetrazzini in October 1908, saying readers could find the dish of cooked turkey in a cream sauce, with spaghetti, grated cheese, sliced mushrooms, and bread crumbs on top, at “the restaurant on Forty-second street.

Of course, there are many versions of this recipe and here is mine.

Turkey Tetrazzini

Ingredients

1 pound fettuccine
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 cups chopped cooked turkey
2 cups frozen peas
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
1 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
8 ounces cremini mushrooms, stemmed and thinly sliced
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon dried sage or poultry seasoning
1/4 cup sherry
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups chicken broth
2 cups whole milk or half-and-half
Topping
1/2 cup fine dried bread crumbs
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon paprika
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Directions

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the fettuccine and cook until just al dente. Drain and return to the pot. Toss with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Stir in the turkey and peas and set aside.

While the pasta cooks, in a large deep skillet, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and 3 tablespoons of the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and celery and cook, stirring, until translucent, about 2 minutes.

Add the mushrooms, salt, and sage and cook, stirring, until the mushrooms have released their moisture and begin to brown slightly about 2 minutes.

Pour in the sherry and stir to lift any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Cook for 1 minute, until the liquid evaporates.

Set aside the vegetables and return the skillet to the heat. Add the remaining 3 tablespoons butter and let it melt, then sprinkle the flour into the pan and cook, stirring, until the flour has been absorbed and the mixture bubbles about 1 minute.

Gradually add the broth, stirring continuously, and when the mixture begins to thicken, add the milk and cook, stirring, until the sauce is thickened, about 5 minutes total.

Remove the skillet from the heat and pour the sauce over the pasta mixture in the large serving bowl. Stir in the mushroom mixture until well mixed.

In a small bowl, combine the bread crumbs, Parmesan, and paprika with the melted butter. Sprinkle evenly over the pasta mixture and serve immediately.

This dish may be prepared ahead. Bake at 375 degrees F for 30 minutes or until the casserole is heated through and bubbling.


This dish is always a big hit when I take it to a potluck dinner.

Meat Sauce

Ingredients

3-26-ounce containers chopped Italian tomatoes
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 large garlic cloves, peeled and chopped fine
1 pound ground beef
1 pound meatloaf mix( pork, veal, beef)
1 lb Italian sausage, casing removed
1 teaspoon salt or to taste
½ teaspoon coarse black pepper
1/4 cup tomato paste
1½ teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

 

To prepare the meat sauce
Heat the olive oil in a heavy 4 to 5-quart pot over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 8 minutes. Make a little room in the center of the pot, add in the garlic and cook, stirring, until the garlic is lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Add the ground beef, meatloaf mix and pork sausage and season lightly with salt. Cook, stirring to break up the meat until the meat changes color and the water it gives off is boiled away, about 10 minutes. Continue cooking until the meat is brown, about 5 minutes. Add the seasonings and bring to a boil and cook, scraping up the brown bits that cling to the bottom of the pot. Pour in the tomatoes, then stir in the tomato paste until it is dissolved. Bring to a boil, adjust the heat to a lively simmer and cook, uncovered, stirring often, until the sauce thickens and takes on a deep, brick-red color, about 3 hours.

The sauce can be prepared entirely in advance and refrigerated for up to 5 days, or frozen for up to 3 months.

Lasagna

Ingredients

Meat Sauce (recipe above)
12 uncooked fresh lasagna noodles
2 containers (15 oz each) ricotta cheese
1 box (9 oz) frozen spinach, thawed, drained and squeezed dry
2 teaspoons dried basil leaves or Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon garlic powder Salt and pepper to taste
1 egg
1 lb sliced mozzarella cheese
Grated Parmesan cheese

Directions

In a mixing bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, spinach, basil, garlic, salt, pepper, and egg.
Oil a 9×13 inch baking dish. Spread about 2 cups of sauce in the bottom of the baking dish. Place 4 fresh noodles on top of the sauce. Layer half of the mozzarella slices on top of the noodles. Spread half of the ricotta filling over the mozzarella. Add 4 more noodles. Spread with some of the meat sauce. Add remaining mozzarella slices, remaining ricotta filling and cover with 4 more noodles. Cover the noodles with a good amount of sauce. You may not need all of the sauce from the recipe above.

Spray a sheet of foil with cooking spray and place it face down on the lasagna and seal tightly. Heat the oven to 375°F. Bake the lasagna for45 minutes. Remove the foil and sprinkle the top of the lasagna with Parmesan cheese. Return the baking dish to the oven and cook for 15 minutes more. Let stand 15 minutes before serving.

To bring to a potluck-cover the dish again and place it in a thermal carrier.


The Mediterranean diet is a way of eating based on the habits of those who live in countries bordering the Mediterranean sea, like, Spain, France, Greece, and Italy. Here is a good example of a dinner based on this type of diet. It is a very healthy way of eating.

Parmesan-Crusted Flounder

4 servings

Ingredients

3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons paprika
1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
Olive oil mayonnaise
4 flounder fillets (about 1 pound total)
1 lemon, cut into wedges
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400ºF. In a shallow dish, combine the Parmesan cheese with the paprika and parsley.  Season the fish with salt and pepper. Brush the fish lightly with mayonnaise and dredge in the cheese mixture. Place on an oiled baking sheet or dish, drizzle with a little olive oil and bake until the fish is cooked through and beginning to brown along the edges 10 to 12 minutes. Serve the fish with the lemon wedges.

Whole Grain Pasta With Zucchini And Tomatoes

4 servings

Ingredients

2 tablespoons plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 large garlic clove, minced
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Salt
1 medium zucchini (about 8 oz) quartered lengthwise and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
1 tablespoon of prepared basil pesto
1 cup fresh mini San Marzano or grape tomatoes, halved
8 oz whole-grain linguine pasta
Pasta water

Directions

Combine 2 tablespoons oil, garlic, pepper flakes, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in small bowl; set aside.

Heat the 1 tablespoon oil in a skillet over medium-high heat, add zucchini and ¼ teaspoon salt, and cook, stirring frequently, until zucchini is tender, about 5 minutes.

Push zucchini to the sides of the skillet to create a clearing; add the oil-garlic mixture and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and stir to combine the garlic tomato mixture with the zucchini and cook for 1 minute longer. Remove skillet from the heat and stir in pine nuts and pesto.

Bring 4 quarts of water to boil in a large Dutch oven. Add pasta and 1 tablespoon salt to the boiling water; cook until al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup pasta cooking water, drain pasta and return pasta to the Dutch oven. Turn the heat on to low.

Add sauce and reserved cooking water to the pasta and toss to coat. Season with salt to taste. Transfer to a serving bowl.


All three dishes can be baked in the oven together, staggering the cooking time needed by each dish.

Stuffed Sole Fillets

Stuffing Ingredients
4 large shrimp, peeled, deveined, tails removed, finely chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 scallion, minced
1 medium garlic clove, minced
½ celery stalk, finely chopped
1 mini bell pepper, finely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, minced
1 tablespoon chopped chives
Salt and pepper
½ oz oyster crackers crushed

Fish
12 oz sole fillets
Lemon juice
Butter

Directions

Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat a baking dish just large enough to hold the fish with olive oil cooking spray.


Combine the filling ingredients in a medium mixing bowl. Spread the filling evenly over each fillet and add a few drops of lemon juice over the stuffing.

Roll each fillet, jelly-roll fashion, and skewer it with toothpicks and place in the prepared baking dish.

Dot each roll-up with butter and cover the baking pan loosely with foil and bake for 10 minutes. Remove the foil and cook for another 10-15 minutes, or until the fish flakes easily when touched with a fork.

Easy Mac & Cheese

No need to make a white sauce to get creamy mac & cheese.

Ingredients

12 oz whole wheat elbow macaroni
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 cup sour cream
Kosher salt and pepper
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 cup Velveeta cheese cut into small cubes
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

Directions

Heat the oven to 400°F. Cook the pasta for half the time recommended on package directions; drain.
In a large bowl, whisk together the mustard, sour cream, and 1⁄2 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Fold in the onion and the Velveeta.


Add the cooked pasta to the bowl and toss to coat.

Transfer the pasta mixture to a greased 12×8-inch baking dish and bake until beginning to brown, 20 minutes.
Remove the baking dish from the oven and sprinkle the shredded cheddar cheese over the top of the casserole. Return the baking dish to the oven and bake until golden brown, 10 minutes more or until the cheese is melted. Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Nut-Crusted Zucchini Sticks

Ingredients

1 medium-large zucchini, trimmed and cut into thin wedges
2 tablespoon olive oil
Pinch each of salt and pepper
1/2 cup finely ground nuts (any kind)
1 tablespoon dried Italian seasoning

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with foil and coat with cooking spray.


Place the zucchini wedges in a ziplock bag with the oil, salt, and pepper. Shake. Add the Italian seasoning and nuts. Shake until well coated. Place the zucchini on the prepared baking sheet and place in the oven. Roast the zucchini for 25-30 minutes until crispy and tender.



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