Healthy Mediterranean Cooking at Home

Tag Archives: Italian Cusine

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.


Pasta

Ingredients

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups green beans, cut into 2-inch lengths
1 lb bucatini pasta
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus additional for drizzling
4 cloves garlic, grated
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Zest and juice of 3 lemons
3 tablespoons butter
1 cup grated Pecorino-Romano cheese, plus more for serving
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley

Directions

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 minutes. Use a spider or strainer to transfer the green beans to a colander.
Add the bucatini to the same pot of boiling water. Let cook to al dente, about 3 minutes less than the package instructions. Reserve ½ cup of pasta cooking water. Drain the pasta.

Return the pot to the stovetop and add the olive oil, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Cook for 1 minute, then add the lemon zest and juice and 1/4 cup pasta water. Return the pasta to the pot. Add the butter and green beans, then toss to coat the pasta and beans in the sauce. Keep tossing until the sauce is glossy and thickened, 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 4 serving bowls and garnish with parsley, more Pecorino, and a drizzle of olive oil.

Italian Sausage And Peppers

Ingredients

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 lb Italian sausage
2 bags of mini peppers, stems removed
1 large onion cut into thick slices
2 garlic cloves, grated
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Directions

Heat the oil in a large skillet with a cover. Cut the sausage links in half and add them to the skillet. Brown the sausage on all sides. Add the remaining ingredients. Reduce the heat to low and simmer the ingredients until the vegetables are tender.


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.


4 servings

Topping:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Pasta:
Kosher salt
8 oz bucatini or spaghetti
1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for serving
4 slices applewood-smoked bacon, diced
2 large cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
¼ cup finely diced red onion
1/2 cup white wine
(1 pound or 1 bag or 30) small clams, cleaned
1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley

Directions

For the topping: Heat a small skillet over medium heat. Add the olive oil and breadcrumbs and toast, stirring often, until golden brown and crispy. Season with salt. Set aside to cool. Stir in the Parmesan.

For the pasta: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta for 3 minutes less than the package directions, about 9 minutes. Drain well, reserving 1/4 cup pasta water.

Put the olive oil and bacon in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook, stirring often, until browned and crispy, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook an additional minute. Add the tomatoes and red onion; toss to coat. Deglaze with the white wine and add the clams. Cover the skillet with a lid and shake gently. Cook until all the shells have opened, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the clams to four individual pasta bowls, discarding any unopened clams.

Add the pasta to the skillet and toss in the sauce. Add the reserved pasta water to create a loose sauce. Toss with the parsley. Scoop equal amounts of pasta and sauce over the clams in the pasta bowls.

Sprinkle each with the breadcrumb topping. Serve with a drizzle of olive oil and ciabatta br+ead.



%d bloggers like this: