Friday, April 13, 2018

Greens, Beans, Fried Bread, Pancetta, and Eggs

This has become one of my new favorite recipes. Thank you Bon Appetit!

Talk about a versatile recipe. This reminds me of the Fried Potatoes and Hot Dogs recipe that my Aunt Marie used to make. I recently rediscovered it when I saw the recipe posted on What's Cooking Italian Style Cuisine. Instead of potatoes, this recipe uses fried bread. What's not to like about that?
Click here for the recipe for Greens, Beans and Fried Bread. Tonight I added poached eggs the recipe. It only made the dish better!

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Quick Skillet Lasagna

Thirty minutes from stove to table. This received rave reviews. The recipe is from Better Home & Garden. And just a heads up, the noodles at the bottom are crispy and delicious!

This is my version which made enough for Chris and I. There was a very small portion leftover.

6 ounces dried lasagna noodles broken up
1 1/2 cup marinara sauce
1 1/2cups shredded mozzarella cheese (6 ounces)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (1 ounce)

Cook pasta according to package directions; drain.
Meanwhile, cook meat in a 10-inch nonstick skillet until meat is brown; drain. Set meat aside. Wipe skillet with paper towel.
Spread about half of the cooked pasta in the skillet. Cover with about half of the sauce. Spoon cooked meat over sauce. Sprinkle with 1 cup of the mozzarella cheese. Top with remaining pasta and sauce. Sprinkle remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese over top.
Cook, covered, over medium heat for 5 to 7 minutes or until heated through and cheese melts. Remove skillet from heat and let stand, covered, for 1 minute. Makes 2 servings.

Monday, April 9, 2018

Greek Spinach - Tortellini Salad

And we are off! Tonight we enter a new phase of making dinner. The 30-minute meal. I started a new job today and my hour plus ride home is a thing of the past. Yippee!

We are starting off the week with a salad, and a little pasta. The recipe for Greek Spinach - Tortellini Salad is from Better Homes and Gardens.

15-ounce fresh baby spinach
4 ounces crumbled feta cheese
1/2 cup grape tomatoes, sliced
2 green onions, chopped
1 teaspoon finely shredded lemon peel
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried dill
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt or sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
9 ounces fresh cheese-filled tortellini
Shaved Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese

In a large serving bowl combine spinach, cheese, tomatoes, green onions, garlic, lemon peel and juice, oil, oregano, thyme, dill, salt, and pepper. Cover; let stand at room temperature while preparing pasta or up to 2 hours; stirring occasionally.

Shortly before serving, cook pasta according to package directions. Drain pasta, reserving 1/4 cup of the cooking water. Toss cooked pasta and pasta water with spinach salad mixture. Serve warm or at room temperature. Top with shaved Parmesan cheese. Makes 6 (2-cup) main-dish servings.

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Potato Gnocchi with Pancetta and Zucchini Sauce

The gnocchi came out like little clouds. The recipe is from Biba's Italian Kitchen. My Mom gave me the book back in 1995. We both loved watching Biba on television. The Gnocchi recipe is easy! I baked the potatoes this morning. I got home from errands at 2:45. I made the Gnocchi and was able to get to 4:30 mass. Not bad! The Gnocchi recipe is at the end of this post.

The sauce took 20 minutes to put together. First I heated olive oil in a saute pan. I browned the diced pancetta. Next, I added 2 sliced zucchini and 1 sliced yellow squash. I sauteed them until they started to break down. I seasoned the pan with salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper. I added a knob of butter and some white wine, maybe about a 1/2 cup.  Meanwhile, I boiled a pan of water and added the Gnocchi. When they rose to the top of the pan I used a slotted spoon to remove the Gnocchi from the water and place them in the saute pan.  After adding the Gnocchi I added some of the pasta water to make a sauce. Over low heat, I stirred everything together and added more water as needed. I finished the sauce with some Parmesan Cheese.

Basic Potato Gnocchi

4 large boiling potatoes
1 tbsp salt
1 large egg, beaten in a small bowl
1 1/2 to 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Wash and dry the potatoes. With a knife, make a long, deep incision in the potatoes. Put the potatoes in the oven and bake until they are tender, about 1 hour.

When cool enough to handle, peel potatoes and put them through a potato ricer or mash them with a fork. Put potatoes into a large bowl and season with salt. Add the egg and 1 1/2 cups of flour. Mix the potatoes, egg and the flour together with your hands until the dough begins to stick together.

Transfer the mixture to a wooden board and knead lightly, gradually adding the remaining flour if the dough sticks heavily to the board and to your hands. Knead the dough for 3 to 4 minutes until it is smooth and pliable and just a bit sticky. Divide the dough into several equal pieces. Flour your hands lightly, using both hands, roll out each piece of dough with a light back and forth motion into a roll about the thickness of your index finger. Cut each roll into 1-inch pieces.

Hold fork with its tines against a work board, the curved part of the fork facing away from you. Starting from the curved outside bottom of the fork, press each piece of dough with your index finger firmly upward along the length of the tines. Let the gnocchi fall back onto the work surface. Repeat with remaining pieces of dough until all the gnocchi have been formed. Place the gnocchi on a lightly floured platter or cookie sheet. they can be cooked immediately or stored in the refrigerator, uncovered, for several hours.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Eggs in Purgatory Redone

Eggs in Purgatory has been my go to recipe since I do not even know when. It's fast. It's inexpensive. I always have the ingredients in the house. It is a versatile dish. But it needed an update. I do most of the cooking on the weekends. Recently I have been mastering the art of the poached egg. I have finally found the method that works best for me.

I fill a skillet with water and add a 1/8 tsp of vinegar (I use cider or white wine, which ever bottle is in the front of the cabinet). Bring that to a boil. Crack open the eggs and put each of them in small bowls. When the water comes to a boil I start to pour the egg into the water but I hold the bowl in the water as if pouring it but let the egg sit for moment while it starts to firm up and then pour the egg from the bowl into the water.

That's it for the eggs. I poached them when I got home tonight. The sauce was made this weekend. It was a simple Marinara sauce. I added some sliced hot dogs so it would not be a meatless meal.

The eggs actually oozed out over the sauce. It was so rich and so simple. We served the sauce and eggs over buttered egg noodles. Loved it!

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Mom's Anginette Cookies

We do not color Easter Eggs at our house. We color Anginette Cookies. Once again a recipe of my Mom's has turned into the loaves and fishes story. The recipe says it will make 6 dozen cookies. I ended up with 9 dozen cookies. I did not make the Meat Pies this year. There has been a lot going on and I could not find the time or energy to bake them. This is the first year in forever that I have not made my Mom's recipe. I am sure my Mom and a few Aunts are looking down from heaven in shock. I did feel a little bad yesterday morning not having a piece of Pizziagaina for breakfast.

What has been keeping me occupied to the point of not making a traditional Easter recipe? Well, I will be starting a new job on April 9th. After 18 years with my current employer, it is time to move on. I am looking forward to a new and exciting job. And did I mention my commute will be down to 20 minutes. This will be the first time in 20 years that I will be home early. I have already started putting aside 30-minute dinner recipes!

Eleanor Lombardi's Anginette Cookies-

5 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 tsp baking soda
9 tsp baking powder
pinch salt
1 cup All-Vegetable Shortening
6 eggs
rind from 1 orange
1/3 cup orange juice

Preheat oven to 350˚.

Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt with a whisk.
Cut in the shorting (mix like pie crust)

In a separate bowl, beat eggs and sugar. Mix this with the flour mixture and rind and juice.

Roll into small balls, place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cookies cool on cookie trays for 5 minutes.

For Icing - 1 cup confectionery sugar and 4 1/2 tsp orange juice. Mix sugar and juice until smooth. You may have to add a little more juice.
Happy Easter Everyone!