Posts tagged Italian

Saffron Fregola with Seafood

Saffron Fregola with Seafood

Recipe: Saffron Fregola with Seafood

Fregola is a type of pasta from the Italian island of Sardinia, but you can easily substitute the more common Israeli couscous. Serve this hearty stew with a refreshing butter lettuce and pear salad and plenty of crusty bread for dipping.

 

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp. saffron threads
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1/2 lb. medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/2 lb. medium sea scallops, tough muscles removed
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup fregola or Israeli couscous
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 lb. clams, scrubbed
  • 2 Tbs. minced fresh flat-leaf parsley

Instructions

  1. Crush the saffron in a small bowl and add the wine. Set aside.
  2. In a nonstick skillet over high heat, spray with cooking spray. When the skillet is very hot, add the shrimp and sear for 1 minute per side (do not cook all the way through). Transfer to a bowl. Add the scallops and sear for 1 minute per side, also without cooking all the way through. Transfer to the bowl with the shrimp.
  3. In a large, heavy pot over high heat add 1 Tbs. olive oil, the onion and garlic to the pot and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the saffron mixture and cook for 2 minutes. Add the broth and bring to a boil. Add the fregola and stir to combine, then reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 12 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Add the clams, discarding any that do not close to the touch. Cover the pot tightly and steam for 3 minutes. Remove the lid and quickly add the shrimp and scallops. Cover the pot tightly again and continue to cook just until the clams open and the shrimp and scallops are cooked through, about 3 minutes. Discard any clams that failed to open. Ladle the stew into warmed bowls, sprinkle with the parsley and serve immediately.

Preparation time: 10 minute(s)

Cooking time: 30 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 4

Inspired By: Saffron Fregola with Seafood

The Contessa’s Fish Pasta

The Contessa's Fish Past

 

Recipe: The Contessa’s Fish Pasta

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 12 or so oil cured olives, pitted and chopped
  • 1 pound white fish, like striped bass or snapper
  • 1 tablespoon salted capers
  • 3 oz white wine
  • 4 big and fresh tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 8 oz linguine or spaghetti
  • 2 tablespoons parsley, chopped roughly
  • salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. Chop tomatoes roughly. Dice garlic. Deskin fish and cut into bite sized chunks.
  2. Saute oil with garlic for two minutes or so over medium heat.
  3. Add fish, stirring carefully until browned. try not to break it up.
  4. Once browned, add salt and pepper, then half glass of white wine and turn up heat. Stir carefully till wine is nearly evaporated.
  5. In the meantime, heat pot of hot water for pasta, generously salted.
  6. When wine is nearly evaporated, reduce heat, add tomatoes and cook for 10 minutes or so add capers, parsley and olives. Again, stir carefully: you don’t want to turn this into fish puree.
  7. When the tomato juice is released and the sauce is just thickening, turn off heat. You want the tomatoes a little raw.
  8. Cook pasta al dente.
  9. Carefully add the sauce to the pasta over a little heat. stir gently for a minute or two and serve.

Number of servings (yield): 4

Inspired By: The (Not Barefoot) Contessa’s Fish Pasta

Roasted Vegetable Ragu

Roasted Vegetable Ragu

 

Recipe: Roasted Vegetable Ragu

This ragu makes a great side dish or can be used to top pasta or polenta. Pair with some poultry sausage or grilled chicken for a complete meal.

Ingredients

  • 1 medium green pepper, 1/2-inch dice
  • 1 medium yellow squash, 1/2-inch dice
  • 2 medium zucchini, 1/2-inch dice
  • 1 eggplant, ends trimmed, 1/2-inch dice
  • 1 medium onion, 1/2-inch dice
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 can (15 oz) tomato sauce
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1 Tbsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 cup red wine

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Toss pepper, squash, onion, and eggplant in large bowl with oil; season to taste with salt and pepper. Divide and arrange in single layer on 2 large baking sheets.
  3. Roast on separate racks of oven 20 min. Switch rack position of pans for even roasting. Continue roasting about 15 min until tender and browned.
  4. Add vegetables, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, Italian seasoning, and wine to saucepan; bring to simmer on LOW. Cook, stirring occasionally, 30 min.

Preparation time: 20 minute(s)

Cooking time: 1 hour(s)

Number of servings (yield): 6

Inspired By: Roasted Vegetable Ragu
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Italian “Drunken” Noodles

Italian “Drunken” Noodles

Recipe: Italian “Drunken” Noodles

Ingredients

  • 4 spicy Italian sausage links, casings removed
  • 1 large onion, quartered and sliced thinly
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • 1 red bell pepper, cored and thinly sliced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, cored and thinly sliced
  • 1 orange bell pepper, cored and thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, pressed through garlic press
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 2 (14.5 ounce) cans diced fire-roasted tomatoes with juice
  • 2 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • ¼ cup fresh basil leaves, julienned, divided use
  • 8 ounces Pappardelle noodles, uncooked

Instructions

  1. Place a large, heavy-bottom pan or braising pot over medium-high heat; add a small amount of oil and once the oil is hot, crumble the spicy Italian sausage into the pan in small chunks (you want to keep the sausage fairly chunky), allowing it to brown in the oil for a few moments on each side; once the crumbled sausage is browned, remove it from the pan/pot with a slotted spoon and place into a small bowl to hold for a moment.
  2. Add the sliced onion into the pan with the sausage drippings, and allow it to caramelize and become golden for roughly 5 minutes or so, stirring to keep it from burning.
  3. Once the onion starts to become golden, add the salt, Italian seasoning and cracked black pepper, and stir to combine, then add in the sliced bell peppers, and allow those to saute with the onion for about 2 minutes until slightly tender and golden.
  4. Next, add in the garlic, and once it becomes aromatic, add in the white wine and allow it to reduce for a few moments, until almost completely reduced.
  5. Next, add in the diced tomatoes with their juice, and return the browned spicy Italian sausage back into the pan, and gently fold the mixture to combine; allow it to gently simmer for about 3-4 minutes to blend the flavors, then turn the heat off;
  6. Add in the chopped parsley and about half of the julienned basil; stir, and keep warm while you prepare the noodles.
  7. Prepare the pappardelle noodles according to instructions on package; then, drain the noodles very well, and add them directly into the sauce, using tongs to gently toss and combine the pappardelle noodles with the sauce and all of the ingredients in it; check the seasoning to see if you need to add any additional salt or pepper.
  8. To serve, add equal portions of the “Drunken” noodles to bowls, and garnish with a sprinkle of the remaining julienned basil; you can even top with shaved Parmesan, if desired, and an extra drizzle of olive oil.

Number of servings (yield): 4

Inspired By: Italian “Drunken” Noodles

Lasagna Soup

Lasagna Soup

Recipe: Lasagna Soup

This soup tastes just like a bowl of lasagna. Serve with breadsticks or crusty rolls and a salad for a complete meal.

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 pound Italian turkey sausage, casings removed
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (32-ounce) container chicken stock
  • 1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 (14 1/2-ounce) can petite diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 4 ounces broken lasagna noodles
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 3 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup reduced-fat shredded mozzarella cheese

Instructions

  1. Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large nonstick saucepan or Dutch oven. Add the sausage, onion, bell pepper, and garlic. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the sausage is crumbled and browned, 8 – 10 minutes.
  2. Add the broth, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, salt, and crushed red pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the flavors are blended, about 20 minutes. Add the noodles; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the soup thickens slightly and the noodles are tender, 10 – 12 minutes. Remove from the heat; stir in mozzarella, basil, and the Parmesan. Serve with breadsticks.

Preparation time: 10 minute(s)

Cooking time: 30 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 8

Inspired By: Bobby’s Lighter Tastes Like Lasagna Soup
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Sausage and Bean Soup with Pasta

Recipe: Sausage and Bean Soup with Pasta

Ingredients

  • 1 15-ounce can cannellini beans, drained
  • 1 pound ground turkey sausage
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 1 medium carrot, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 cup ditalini pasta, or any small pasta
  • grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese (optional)

Instructions

  1. In a large pot, brown the sausage. Remove from pot. If there is a lot of fat left in the pot, pour this out but do not wipe out pot.
  2. Add onion, carrot and olive oil and saute for 2-3 minutes until soft.
  3. Add garlic and saute about a minute more.
  4. Add the tomatoes, chicken broth, thyme, bay leaf, some salt and pepper, the drained beans and the sausage and cover the pot.
  5. Cook for an hour over low heat, at a gentle simmer.
  6. Add the pasta and cook, uncovered, until the pasta is tender. Check the seasoning and add more salt and pepper to taste. If the soup is too thick for your liking, you can add more chicken broth.
  7. Serve with grated cheese on top.

Preparation time: 15 minute(s)

Cooking time: 1 hour(s) 10 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 6

Inspired By: Sausage and Bean Soup with Pasta

Pasta with Escarole, Beans, & Sausage

Recipe: Pasta with Escarole, Beans, & Sausage

Ingredients

  • 1/2 lbs Penne Rigate, prepared per pkg directions, keep warm
  • 2 pkgs (15 oz each) Fresh Chopped Escarole
  • 1 pkg (about 1 1/4 lb) Hot Italian Pork Sausage Patties, crumbled
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (crushed red pepper)
  • 2 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 can (15.5 oz) Cannellini Beans (do not drain)
  • 1 cup Chicken Culinary Stock
  • 1/2 cup Shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped fresh Italian parsley (flat leaf)
  • Sea Salt and Cracked Black Pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Blanch escarole 1-2 min in large pot of boiling salted water. Drain; set aside.
  2. Cook sausage in large skillet on MEDIUM-HIGH, stirring frequently and breaking up with spoon, 5-7 min, until thoroughly cooked. Remove sausage and set aside. Drain drippings from pan.
  3. Add oil, red pepper flakes, and garlic to skillet. Reduce heat to MEDIUM-LOW. Cook, stirring, 1 min. Add sausage and escarole; stir to combine. Cook 1 min; reduce heat to LOW. Add beans and liquid and stock; simmer 1 min.
  4. Add pasta to escarole mix; stir to combine. Add cheese and parsley; stir to combine. Let simmer, 2-3 min. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Personal Notes

Why blanch greens? It’s recommend for vibrant color and less bitter taste.

Number of servings (yield): 6

Inspired By: Pasta with Escarole, Beans, & Sausage

Ricotta Cookies

Recipe: Ricotta Cookies

This classic Italian cookie is real crowd pleaser any time of the year. It’s easy to make and has a unique flavor.

Ingredients

  • For the cookies:
  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 pound ricotta cheese
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • For the glaze:
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350°F.
  2. Cream butter and sugar together until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time and beat thoroughly. Add
    ricotta and vanilla; beat 1 minute.
  3. Sift together dry ingredients then combine with moist ingredients until thoroughly incorporated.
  4. Drop by teaspoon onto cookie sheet (I use a melon ball to get a uniform size). The dough is
    sticky.
  5. Bake for 11-15 minutes until bottoms are light brown.
  6. Meanwhile, mix all ingredients for the glaze until smooth. If too thick, add a bit more milk. You could also add lemon zest for additional lemony flavor.
  7. Once cooled, you can frost these with the glaze.

Personal Notes

This recipe makes a lot of cookies. It also works well halved.

Number of servings (yield): 75 cookies

Inspired By: Ricotta Cookies

Vegetable Lasagna with Red Pepper Sauce

Recipe: Vegetable Lasagna with Red Pepper Sauce

This meatless lasagna recipe is bursting with fresh vegetable flavor. Zucchini, mushrooms, and chopped onions are all layered between lasagna noodles and cheese. The red pepper sauce brings all those flavors together.

Ingredients

  • 6 no-boil lasagna noodles or regular lasagna noodles
  • 8 ounces zucchini and/or yellow summer squash, halved and sliced
  • 2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms (optional)
  • 1/3 cup chopped onion
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 cup fat-free or low-fat ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 recipe Red Pepper Sauce
  • 1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 1 medium tomato, seeded and chopped

Instructions

  1. If using, cook the regular noodles according to package directions (omit salt).  No-boil noodles do not need to be pre-soaked, but make sure that the sauce covers them completely.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet cook and stir zucchini or yellow summer squash, mushrooms, and onion in hot oil over medium heat for 6 minutes or until zucchini is tender. Drain well.
  3. In a small bowl stir together ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, and black pepper. To assemble, place 3 lasagna noodles in a 2-quart square baking dish, trimming to fit as necessary. Top with ricotta mixture, half of the vegetable mixture, half of the Red Pepper Sauce, and half of the mozzarella cheese. Layer with remaining lasagna noodles, vegetables, and sauce.
  4. Bake lasagna, uncovered, in a 375 degree F oven for 30 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella cheese and the tomato; bake 5 minutes more or until heated through. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. Makes 6 servings.

Red Pepper Sauce

  1. In a large skillet cook 3 cups chopped red sweet peppers and 4 whole cloves garlic in 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. (Or, you may use one 12-ounce jar roasted red sweet peppers, drained. Omit cooking step.) Place pepper mixture in a blender container. Cover; blend until nearly smooth. Add 1/2 cup water, 1/4 cup tomato paste, 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar, and 1 tablespoon snipped fresh oregano or 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed. Cover; blend with several on-off turns until oregano is just chopped and mixture is nearly smooth. Return to skillet. Cook and stir over medium heat until heated through. Makes about 2 cups.

Personal Notes

Tip: If you are in a hurry, substitute 2 cups of jarred spaghetti sauce. The red pepper sauce can be made ahead and frozen or purchased pre-made from Wegmans (in the prepared foods section).

Cooking time (duration): 55 min

Number of servings (yield): 6

Inspired By: Better Homes & Gardens Low-Fat & Luscious Italian
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Baked Ziti

Recipe: Baked Ziti

Ingredients

  • 1 pound dry ziti pasta
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 2 (26 ounce) jars spaghetti sauce
  • 6 ounces provolone cheese, sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups sour cream
  • 6 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add ziti pasta, and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes; drain.
  2. In a large skillet, brown onion and ground beef over medium heat. Add spaghetti sauce, and simmer 15 minutes.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Butter a 9×13 inch baking dish. Layer as follows: 1/2 of the ziti, Provolone cheese, sour cream, 1/2 sauce mixture, remaining ziti, mozzarella cheese and remaining sauce mixture. Top with grated Parmesan cheese.
  4. Bake for 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until cheeses are melted.

Cooking time (duration): 55 min

Number of servings (yield): 10

Inspired By: Baked Ziti I

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