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Archive for the ‘Italian’ Category

Since having two babies to take care of, I’m loving meals that are good tasting, fresh ingredients, easy to cook and clean up. Once I saw this chicken parm skillet meal I knew I had to make it.  I have to admit at first I was super intimated to cook on my  cast iron skillet, but we are becoming better friends.  The key is to cook low and slow on it. You could use any skillet for this meal, you don’t need to have a cast iron skillet. This recipe made a ton, so we had leftovers for a few days and it was just as good!

Ingredients:

1 28 ounce can of tomatoes, either peeled or diced

1 tablespoon of olive oil

6 garlic cloves, mashed

1/4 teaspoon of oregano

1/8 teaspoon of red pepper flakes

Salt and pepper to taste

2 cups of water

1 1/2 cups of chicken broth

12 ounce of pasta, your choice

1 cup grated parmesan cheese

1 cup shredded mozzarella

2 chicken breast, cooked and cut into small pieces

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 475 degrees.
  2. Using a food processor, grind the tomatoes until they are ground.
  3. Heat your skillet pan for a few minutes, then add the oil, garlic, oregano, red paper flakes and a few shakes of the salt shaker. Cook until fragrant, about one minute. Stir in the tomatoes , water, 1 cup of the broth and the pasta. Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer and cook for about 20 minutes or until pasta is soft.
  4. Stir in 3/4 cup of the parmesan, a shake of the pepper, and the chicken. Stir in the remaining 1/2 cup of broth.  Transfer to a baking dish, or if using a cast iron skillet, you can put this right into the oven, sprinkle with the remaining cheeses, bake 5 to 10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly!

Adapted from See Aimee Cook

Enjoy!

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Tiramisu For Two

The husband has a new-found love for a desert. Every where we go he orders it. This obsession just started a few months ago. We aren’t where or how it started, maybe it’s a pregnancy craving for him! But, he’s been ordering Tiramisu whenever he can! He’s taking a very hard course for his work and had to study all weekend long instead of playing with Kiley, which I know he missed. I decided to make this recipe for him because I knew he’d like it and really enjoy it after studying so hard for so long!  This recipe is great, because he couldn’t eat a whole tiramisu desert by him self.

Funny story, is the recipe suggest to put into a wine glass, which I did, I made 3 of these, one of those being in favorite wine glass ever. Well, I opened the refrigerator door and bam, it fell on the floor, so we were left with only 2 tiramisu left, so I decided to name this recipe tiramisu for two!

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups heavy cream

1/2 cup of sugar

8 ounces of mascarpone cheese, at room temperature

1/2 cup Marsala wine

1 1/2 cups of Italian roast coffee or a strong dark flavor

1/4 cup dark rum

Lady Fingers, 1 package

2 ounces of dark chocolate

Unsweetened cocoa powder for dusting

Directions:

  1. Whip the heavy cream until it forms a small peak. I suggest using a stand mixer for this, otherwise you’ll be mixing for a long time! Add the sugar and whip a bit longer until the sugar is mixed throughout the cream. Scoop out a cup of the whip cream mixture and set aside for topping the tiramisu when it’s all done.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk the mascarpone cheese and Marsala together until smooth and creamy. Gently fold 1/3 of the whipped cream into mixture, then slowly add rest of whipped cream.
  3. Stir espresso and rum together. Dip each ladyfinger into the coffee mixture, very quickly, no more than like 2 seconds or it becomes very soggy. Place two ladyfingers in the bottom of a wine glass. Spoon over some mascarpone cheese, then using a microplane or garlic grater, grate some dark chocolate over the top of the layer. Repeat this two more times. Cover and refrigerate for 3 hours.
  4. When ready to serve, add some unsweetened cocoa to the top and some of the reserved whipped cream.

Enjoy!

Adapted from Gourmet: Day to Day

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Mushrooms, Chicken, Marsala and cheese, yum! What more can you ask for! Really! Such a great easy meal to pull together when you are looking for that pasta, lots of flavor meal. You need to love the Marsala flavor to really enjoy this dish. If if you didn’t you could tone it down a bit by just adding less Marsala.

Ingredients:

2 boneless chicken breasts, flatten out a bit

1 cup Marsala wine

1/2 cup of Italian seasoned bread crumbs

Flour (enough for dredging)
1 egg
1/2 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons heavy cream
1 tablespoon butter
1 and 1/2 tablespoons flour (for the roux)
1/4 tsp garlic salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoons chopped onion
2 tablespoons EVOO
1/2 pound of your choice of mushrooms
Pasta of your choice
Directions:
  1.  Over medium heat, heat the EVOO. Add the minced garlic, onion and mushrooms. Dredge the  chicken into the flour, egg, and breadcrumbs and add to pan. Cook for 8  minutes each side, sprinkling the garlic powder and garlic salt on each side when cooking.
  2.  When chicken is fully  cooked, remove from heat and set aside. In the same pan, melt the butter. Add the tablespoons on flour to form a roux. When roux has formed, add the Marsala wine and whisk until blended.
  3.  Add the heavy cream and 3 tablespoons of grated Parmesan and bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat and place chicken breast into the sauce. Simmer for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Serve chicken with pasta and top with remaining Parmesan cheese.

Enjoy!

Adapted from Kut’s Kitchen.

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We love pasta in our house.  We could eat pasta with every meal if we tried.  But we can’t.  So once a week, we try to at least have one pasta meal. This weeks meal was Baked Penne with Meatballs.  This dish reminded me of Baked Ziti, but just a different noodle and a bit healthier with less cheese!   Even Puggie liked the few pieces of penne she had. This particular recipe made 3 servings.

Ingredients:

1/2 package of ground beef

1 cup of Italian Breadcrumbs

1 egg, lightly beaten

A dash of Italian seasoning

A dash of salt

A dash of pepper

A dash of oregano

A dash of garlic

1/2 box whole wheat or whole grain penne

2-8 ounce jars of tomato sauce

1 cup shredded fresh mozzarella cheese

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, combine meat with spices and bread crumbs. Shape into 12 meatballs.
  3. Transfer meatballs to a foil lined baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes at 400 degrees, turning once. Meanwhile, cook pasta according to box directions.
  4. Coat three ramekins or a baking pan with non stick spray. Add pasta, toss with meatballs, tomato sauce and 1/2 cup of the cheese, divided evenly among ramekins or put in baking dish. Bake for 25 minutes at 400 degrees.
  5. Top with reaming cheese and serve.

Enjoy!

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We are trying to eat healthy, once again here in our household.  I wanted to lighten up this dish a bit, so instead of using a pasta I used a couscous.  We love pasta in our house, but pasta isn’t too friendly if you eat a lot of it! This dish has about 415 calories and makes 2 servings.

Ingredients:

1/4 cup flour

2 chicken breast, pounded out

1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil

4 ounce of mushrooms, sliced

1/4 cup Marsala cooking wine

1/4 cup low sodium beef broth

Dash of Salt and Pepper

1 cup of couscous

Directions:

  1. Place the flour on a large plate. Coat the chicken in the flour. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil and saute the chicken, 1 to 2 minutes per side until lightly browned. Remove to a plate and keep warm.
  2. Add reaming olive oil to skillet and stir in mushrooms. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until tender. Add in Marsala wine and cook for 1 minute, scrapping any pieces off the skillet. Add broth, salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer and return chicken to skillet. Simmer for 15 minutes.
  3. While preparing the chicken, start the couscous as to package.  If using fresh couscous, I generally use 1 cup of water, boil it, add 1 cup of couscous, and turn off heat, stir and then fluff after 5 minutes.

Enjoy!

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At the NYC food and wine festival that the wonderful folks from Shop Rite sent me to, they had a Barilla stand, which I got to meet Ellie Krieger as well, by the way she is a sweetheart! At the Barilla stand they had this awesome dish, three cheese tortellini with sausage and peas, the first bite was amazing!! They were also making another dish at the same time, so the husband got a sample of that and I told him he could have some of my tortellini, so sorry I did! I figured I’d share because we’d come back and get more, but there was no more. It was so good, everyone ate it! So I knew I had to eat it again somehow, somewhere.  That night, back home, I ordered three cheese tortellini from a local restaurant and while it was good, it just didn’t send me where the tortellini from the food festival sent me.  At that point I knew what was for dinner next! This recipe was JUST as good as the chefs that were making it, it’s so flavorful!

Ingredients:

1 bag of three cheese tortellini

4 tablespoons of olive oil

1/2 small onion, diced

1/2 pound of italian sausage, in crumbles

1/2 cup white wine

1 cup peas

1 1/2 cups heavy cream

Salt to taste

Pepper to taste

1/2 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated

Directions:

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
  2. Saute onions in a large skillet until they turn translucent, about 5 minutes
  3. Add crumbled sausages and brown well. Delgaze the pan with wine and reduce well.
  4. Add peas and cook for 1 minute.
  5. Add heavy cream, season with salt and peppers and cook for 5 minutes.
  6. Cook tortellini to package directions. Drain and add to the skillet with sauce, toss well.
  7. Add grated cheese and toss again and then serve.

Enjoy!

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Lasagna Roll Ups

We had a surplus of lasagna noodles in our pantry for some reason and we just had Sicilian Lasagna the week before, so I thought I would make roll ups instead. I never made lasagna this way and I have to admit it’s much easier! Not to mention the lasagna rolls are so cute! It’s pretty easy to make for a weeknight dinner as well.

Ingredients:

6 lasagna noodles

2 cups of spinach

1 cup of ricotta cheese

1 cup grated mozzarella cheese

1/4 teaspoon of salt

1/4 teaspoon of pepper

1 jar (26 ounces) of tomato sauce

1 pound of ground beef or turkey

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cook lasagna noodles according to package, after they are done cooking, drain the water and let them cool off a bit. At the same time brown meat.
  3. Mix the cheeses together, then add salt and pepper. In a glass baking dish pour half of the tomato sauce in the bottom.
  4. To assemble the rolls, lay a noodle flat, add some tomato sauce, a layer of the cheese mixture then some spinach, then a layer of meat. Roll it up and carefully place in baking dish. Repeat for the rest of the noodles. Drizzle the rest of the tomato sauce on top of the rolls.
  5. Cover and bake for 30 minutes.

Enjoy!

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