Healthy Mediterranean Cooking at Home

Category Archives: Marinara

Ingredients

1/4 cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
2 white fish fillets, such as haddock, halibut, etc.
1 tablespoon. olive oil
1/2 cup marinara sauce
4 slices of mozzarella cheese
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

Directions

Preheat the oven to 425ºF.
Line a baking sheet pan with foil and spray it with baking spray.
Season fish with salt and pepper and lightly brush one side of the fish with mayonnaise. Cover with breadcrumb and press gently to help adhere. Turn the fillets over and brush with a\mayonnaise and dredge in breadcrumbs. Sprinkle each with Parmesan cheese. Place fish in the prepared pan and drizzle with the olive oil.

Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven.
Spoon ¼ cup of tomato sauce onto each fillet and then top each with two slices of cheese. Return to the oven just until cheese is melted, about 5 minutes.

Potatoes With Kale

Ingredients

Potatoes

4 lbs Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1-inch pieces
2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
1 teaspoon kosher salt
¼ cup olive oil

Kale
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, diced
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 cloves garlic, minced
One bag of fresh chopped kale from the produce department
½ cup water

Directions

For the potatoes: Combine the potatoes, garlic, and salt in a 5-quart saucepan with enough cold water to cover. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until the potatoes are tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain in a colander and return the potatoes to the pan and mash the potatoes until smooth using a potato masher. Add the olive oil.

For the kale: Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion, salt, and pepper. Cook until translucent, about 15 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, for about 30 seconds. Add the kale and water. Cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and tender, 15 minutes. Drain.
Stir the kale into the mashed potatoes. Adjust salt and add more olive oil if dry.


Italian Breaded Pork Chops

Ingredients

¼ cup rice flour or All Purpose Flour
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1 cup Italian Seasoned Bread Crumbs
¼ cup Olive Oil
2 thin Pork Chops, about 5 oz each
Marinara Sauce, homemade or store-bought

Directions

In a shallow dish, beat together egg and mayonnaise.
In a separate bowl, place the flour mixed with salt and pepper to taste, and in another shallow dish place the bread crumbs/
Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat.
Dip each pork chop into flour, egg, and then into the bread crumbs, coating evenly.
Place coated pork chop in the skillet, and brown for about 4 minutes on each side.

Serve with warm Marinara sauce.

Baked Spaghetti Squash

I am not a fan of leftover spaghetti squash, so I was happy to find a small squash {about 1 ¼ lb} at my market that will be just the right size for two.

Ingredients

1 spaghetti squash
Non-fat cooking spray
Kosher salt and fresh pepper to taste
½ teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon onion powder

Directions

Cut the squash in half lengthwise, and scoop out the seeds and fibers with a spoon. Place on a baking sheet, cut side up, spray lightly with the non-fat cooking spray, and sprinkle with salt, pepper, paprika, onion powder, and garlic powder. Bake at 350° for about an hour or until the skin gives easily under pressure and the inside is tender. Remove from the oven and let it cool for 10 minutes. Using a fork, scrape out the squash flesh a little at a time. It will separate into spaghetti-like strands. Place in a serving dish and serve hot. Total servings per recipe will vary depending on squash size.

Parmesan-Roasted Green Beans

Ingredients

1 pound thin green beans (haricots verts)
Extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Trim off the tough end of the beans and arrange the beans on a nonstick cookie sheet. Drizzle with olive oil season with salt and pepper, to taste. Sprinkle the cheese evenly over the top and bake until the cheese melts and forms a crisp shell over the beans, about 10 minutes. Let the beans sit for a few minutes for the cheese to cool slightly. Lift the beans out onto a platter and serve.


 

Skillet Ravioli

Ingredients

9 oz pkg fresh deli spinach ravioli
2 cups Marinara sauce
¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Directions

Heat the marinara sauce in a medium skillet. Gently place the ravioli on top of the sauce. Cover the pan, turn the heat down to low and simmer the ravioli until tender, about 20 minutes. Sprinkle with cheese and serve.

Zucchini Sausage Saute

Ingredients

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
¼ cup finely chopped bell pepper
1 small zucchini, sliced thin
2 Italian sausage links, cooked and sliced thin
½ teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
¼ teaspoon salt

Directions

Heat the oil in a small skillet. Ass the onion and bell pepper. Cook until tender about 5 minutes. Add the zucchini and cook for about 3 minutes. Add the sausage slices and seasonings. Saute until all the ingredients are hot. Serve with the ravioli.


First Step

Poached Cod Fish

3 cups cold water
1 medium bay leaf
A large branch of fresh thyme
3 chive stalks
Salt and pepper
1 lb cod fillets
1/2 medium lemon, sliced paper-thin
3 fresh parsley sprigs, stems trimmed and coarsely chopped
Tomato Pesto Sauce for serving

Directions

Combine all the ingredients except the fish in a large, shallow-sided pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low until liquid is at a simmer. Add fish in a single layer, making sure it is completely covered with liquid. Sprinkle the fish with salt and pepper.
Poach until the cod flesh is opaque and flakes easily (the internal temperature should be 175ºF). Let cool in the poaching liquid off the heat.
Shred the cod.

Step Two

Cakes
1lb cod, poached and shredded
4 cups of mashed potatoes
1/2 cup of finely chopped onion
2Garlic cloves, minced
2 eggs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup chopped parsley

For cooking
White rice flour
4 tablespoons butter

Directions

Combine the cake ingredients in a mixing bowl.
Coat a large piece of waxed paper lightly with white rice flour. Measure the cakes with a 1/4 measuring scoop and drop them on the floured paper. With floured hands shape into little patties. Coat highly in a little flour to remove any sticky areas. Makes about 18

Heat the butter in a large skillet and lightly brown the patties on both sides. About a minute on each side until light gold.
Cover a baking sheet with parchment and place the patties on the pan. Bake in a 400-degree oven for about 20 minutes until hot.

Serve with 2 cups marinara sauce and add 2 tablespoons of basil pesto to the sauce.

Creamy Orzo With Spinach

Ingredients

11/2 cups uncooked whole wheat orzo pasta
3 cups chicken or vegetable broth
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 medium onion chopped
2 cloves garlic minced
1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 cup heavy/whipping cream
1/2 cup grated Italian Fontina cheese
10 oz pkg frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and drained
Salt & pepper to taste

Directions

Bring the broth to a boil in a medium saucepan with a cover. Add the orzo, lower the heat, and cover the pan. Simmer the orzo until the broth is absorbed, about 30 minutes. Set aside in a bowl.
Melt the butter in the empty saucepan and cook the onion until soft. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the spinach and cook for 3 minutes. Stir in the cream, Fontina cheese, seasoning, salt, and pepper to taste. Add the orzo and cook over low heat until all the ingredients are hot.


2 servings

Ingredients

2 flounder fillets (1 pound total)
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
½ cup Italian flavored bread crumbs
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup Marinara Sauce
½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Directions

Preheat the oven to 425°F.

In a baking dish large enough to just fit the flounder spread the marinara sauce over the button of the dish. Place the fish in the dish and season the fish fillets with salt and pepper.

Mix the Parmesan with the bread crumbs, and olive oil and sprinkle over the fillets. Press down on the breading to be sure it coats the fish.

Bake for 15 minutes, or until the fish is cooked and the topping is golden.
Top each fillet with ¼ cup shredded mozzarella cheese.
Return to the oven and bake until the sauce is hot and the cheese melts.

Serve With cooked spaghetti and a green vegetable.

 


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.


Cauliflower Parmesan

Ingredients

½ cup all-purpose flour
1 large egg and ¼ cup water, beaten together
1 ½ cups panko Italian unseasoned bread crumbs
Kosher salt, as needed
Black pepper, as needed
1 small-medium head cauliflower, trimmed and divided into large floret clusters
½ cup of vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups Marinara Sauce
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Directions

Heat the oven to 400 degrees.
Place flour, eggs, and panko into three wide, shallow bowls. Season each with salt and pepper. Dip a cauliflower piece first in flour, then egg, then coat with panko. Repeat with remaining cauliflower.


Fill a large skillet with oil. Place over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, fry cauliflower in batches, turning halfway through, until golden brown. Transfer fried cauliflower pieces to a paper towel-lined plate.
Spoon the marinara sauce over the bottom of an 8-inch baking pan. Place the cauliflower evenly in the baking dish. Transfer pan to oven and bake for 20 minutes. Sprinkle with the shredded mozzarella and return to the oven until the cheese melts.

Lemony Chicken or Turkey Cutlet Piccata

Ingredients

4 servings

1 lb boneless skinless chicken or turkey breast cutlets
Kosher salt and black pepper
½ cup flour for dredging
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons capers rinsed and drained
Fresh chopped parsley for garnish

Directions

Pat the chicken breast pieces dry and season with kosher salt and black pepper on both sides. Lightly coat the chicken on both sides with the flour (shake off any excess flour).
In a medium skillet, heat the extra virgin olive oil over medium-high heat until shimmering but not smoking. Cook the chicken on 1 side for about 2 minutes, then turn over to cook for 3 minutes. Add the butter and capers. Drizzle the lemon juice over the cutlets and let simmer for 2 minutes. Garnish with parsley and serve.

Linguini with Pesto Cream Sauce

6 servings

Ingredients

Pistachio Basil Pesto Sauce
4 cups washed basil leaves
½ cup shelled pistachio nuts
4 garlic cloves, peeled
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
⅔ cup extra virgin olive oil

Cream Sauce
1 lb linguini
1 cup pistachio basil pesto sauce
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup heavy (whipping) cream

Directions

For the pesto sauce
Place the pistachios, 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.
Cook the pasta al dente according to the package directions. Drain the pasta in a colander.
In the same pot add the pesto, cream, and Parmesan cheese. Warm over low heat and then add the cooked linguine. Cook for a minute or two. Pour into a serving bowl and top with freshly ground black pepper.


Easy Sausage and Pepper Stew

Ingredients

Olive oil
1 large garlic clove, minced
4 links spicy Italian pork sausage, or any style sausage, cut into one-inch pies
1 medium onion, diced
2 large bell peppers, cut into one-inch pieces
2 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into one-inch pieces
1/2 lb fresh green beans, trimmed and cut into one-inch pieces
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
2 tablespoons tomato paste
28 oz container of finely chopped Italian tomatoes
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Pour enough olive oil into the bottom of a Dutch Oven and heat over medium-low. Add the sausage and cook until brown on all sides, stirring the sausage pieces often. Add the garlic, Italian seasoning, and tomato paste and stir until completely combines. Add the remaining ingredients, stir well, and bring the mixture to a slow boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pan and simmer the stew for about an hour or until all the vegetables are tender. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Spoon into individual bowls and serve with a slice of Italian beard.


Serves 8

For the beef
3-4 pound chuck beef roast
1 teaspoon salt plus more to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Flour for coating meat
2 tablespoons olive oil

For the sauce
1 large carrot, diced (about 1 cup)
1 large celery stalk, diced (about 1 cup)
1 bell pepper, diced (1 cup)
1 onion, diced (1 cup)
1 tablespoon dried Italian seasoning
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup medium-bodied Italian red wine
2 cups low sodium beef broth
Two 28-ounce containers of chopped Italian tomatoes
1 bay leaf
1 lb. pasta

Directions

Trim most of the outside fat from the meat. Pat dry with paper towels. Season generously with the salt and pepper and lightly rub with all-purpose flour.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large, heavy pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, but not smoking, add the roast and brown on all sides, 10-12 minutes. Transfer the meat to a platter.

Reduce the heat to medium and heat 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add the vegetables and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10-12 minutes. Add the tomato paste and seasoning and stir for about 1 minute.

Add the wine and stir to incorporate the vegetables. Add the beef stock, the tomatoes, the bay leaf, and the roast with any juices accumulated on the plate. Bring to a boil.

Cover the pot, reduce the heat, and simmer on very low, turning and basting the meat every half hour or so, until the meat is very tender about 4 hours. (You can also put the pot into a 300°F oven and turn the roast every hour.)

Boil the water for the pasta.

Remove the meat from the pot and place it on a cutting board, covered loosely with aluminum foil to rest for 10 minutes. Taste and adjust sauce seasoning, remove bay leaf, and keep the sauce hot.

Cook the pasta.

Cut the meat into thick slices and place them in a deep serving dish. Spoon some of the sauce over the meat and reserve the rest to add to the cooked pasta.

Toss the pasta with the remaining sauce and serve with the roast.


Skillet Chicken Parm

Ingredients

2 boneless and skinless chicken breasts (about 12 oz total)
Salt
Freshly ground pepper
All-purpose flour
¾ cup Italian seasoned panko crumbs
1 large egg
Olive oil
Warm Marinara sauce, recipe below
6 ounces Italian Fontina or Mozzarella cheese, sliced thin
Cooked spaghetti

For the Sauce
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
26-28 oz container Italian chopped Italian tomatoes
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon salt or to taste
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning

Directions

Prepare the sauce:
Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan. Add the remaining ingredients and cook until thickened, about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Prepare the chicken
Cut off any fat on the chicken. Place a breast between two sheets of plastic wrap. Pound lightly with a meat mallet to an even thickness. Repeat with the second breast. Season the chicken lightly with salt and pepper. Spread out the flour and breadcrumbs on two separate plates. Beat the egg in a wide shallow bowl until thoroughly blended. Dredge the chicken in flour to coat lightly and tap off excess flour. Dip in the beaten egg, hold them over the bowl, letting the excess egg drip back into the bowl. Transfer the chicken, one piece at a time to the plate of breadcrumbs, turn it to coat with breadcrumbs, patting gently, and making sure that each breast is well coated with breadcrumbs. If you have time refrigerate the breaded chicken for several hours.

Heat a thin layer of olive oil in a wide, heavy skillet over medium-high heat until a corner of one of the coated breasts gives off a sizzle when dipped in the oil. Add the chicken pieces without touching each other. Fry, turning once, until golden on both sides and cooked through about 6 minutes. Top each chicken breast with several spoonfuls of marinara sauce. Place the sliced cheese over the sauce to cover the chicken completely. Cover the pan and turn the heat to low. Cook a minute or two until the cheese melts. Serve over spaghetti.

Green Beans With Garlic

Ingredients

Salt
2 pounds green  beans, trimmed
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium-size garlic cloves, minced

Directions

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, and fill a large bowl with ice water. Boil beans until just tender but still crisp and bright green. Start testing after 4 minutes or so, being careful not to overcook. When done, drain in a colander. Heat the oil in the pan over high heat. Add beans and garlic, and cook, stirring and tossing constantly, until beans are heated through. Sprinkle with salt and serve.

 



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