Posts Tagged ‘italian’
Seeing the one you love the mostest in pain sucks…
Knowing you can’t kiss it and make it better or take the pain away sucks the most
The only thing I could do was make him something yummy to at least give his tummy comfort.
Tonight I made him some spicy (yes it’s spicy) shrimp in a white wine marinara sauce over angel hair. It has all of his favorite components – pasta, my Italian gravy and seafood.
Now this definitely is spicy but it’s not so hot that all you get is heat with no flavor. This is really well balanced by the sweetness of the wine and the hotness of the peppers.
My honey was thrilled with this and for a few moments while he was eating, he smiled and seemed to forget about the pain of his injury.
|Spicy Shrimp in a white wine marinara sauce|
- 8 ounces of angel hair pasta
- 1 Tbl garlic, minced
- 1 red or orange pepper, seeded, sliced lengthways and then into 1/2” strips
- 1-2 Tbl extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4-1/2 tsp red pepper flakes *Can add more or less per your hotness factor
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 3/4 cup white wine
- 1 cup
- Marinara Sauce
- 1/2 pound jumbo peeled and deveined tail-on shrimp (about 12-15 pieces)
- Prepare pasta according to package directions.
- While the pasta is cooking, in a skillet over medium heat add the olive oil.
- Add the peppers and sauté for 2 minutes stirring occasionally.
- Add in the garlic and red pepper flakes; cook for 1 minute stirring as to not burn the garlic.
- Remove the pan from the heat and pour in the white wine.
- Return to the heat and stir to mix.
- After 1-2 minutes add in the marinara sauce and stir well to combine.
- By this time the pasta should be done. Drain and allow to rest in the colander while you cook the shrimp.
- Add the shrimp to the sauce and simmer for 2-3 minutes or until the shrimp are opaque.
- Plate the pasta then add the sauce and shrimp on top.
Now if you’ll pardon me, I want to go take care of my baby…
Ya know, I have to give props to Mr. Fantabulous. With my having surgery last week he has been taking unbelievable care of me. Now for those that know me personally, I’ll fill you in on a little secret – I’m a tad stubborn. Okay fine, I’m a lot stubborn when it comes to me being taken care of. Which is ironic considering I’m a Princess *wink* No seriously, I just am not one to let people wait on me or admit that I need help. Well this past week I had to let go and let him help me. I let him baby me and coddle me and just pamper me. Wanna know another secret… I kinda liked it! *SHHHHHHHHHHH!!!* I know.. hard to believe, right! LOL So to my darling husband, thank you baby… I puffy heart you
Therefore, with my being down and out for a week, Mr. Fantabulous had to fend for himself. Now trust me, even if I was held up for like a year the man would not starve due to the magnitude of food in this house. We’re talking full-blown meals in the freezers (yes multiple) – stuffed cabbage, peppers, sausage & peppers, breads, meats, etc… Not to mention the 25+ quarts of Italian Gravy I must have on hand at all time. And tuna.. cannot forget about tuna. Now wouldn’t you think that with having all that variety in the house you’d be set?! Apparently not… the man I swear lived on yogurt, peanut butter, tuna and protein bars.
Since I was feeling a tad better I decided to venture out to the kitchen and make him a real meal while he was working. As you all know his favorite thing in the world is pasta. The man eats it every day, though apparently not when I have surgery. Knowing this, I knew he had to be going through withdrawal. I was going to make lasagna but then I realized I was out (*mental note – add to shopping list*). Fortunately I spied half a box of stuffed shells. Awesome! I haven’t made him those in eons.
Stuffed shells, like lasagna, are super simple. I honestly think the hardest part out of all of it is boiling the noodles. Yeah I know they make those no-boil noodles but they are gross. They have an odd texture and flavor. What I like about these 2 dishes most is that they feed a large group, or Mr. Fantabulous for a couple of nights, and they are hearty. They are classically elegant but edgy enough that you can add just about anything to them (i.e, zucchini lasagna).
This dish took me about eh… 20 minutes to prep and about 35 minutes to bake. This could easily be done any night during the week or you can make this ahead of time and freeze. Just assemble as usual but do not bake. Simply wrap up in double plastic wrap and foil. See below how to bake frozen…
When Mr. Fantabulous walked in the door from work I could hear that “sniff sniff sniff Mmmmm” sound and I instantly perked up. As he was walking up the stairs he said “Wow, honey, I really miss your cooking! I swear I could smell you cooking like something awesome when I opened up the door! I can’t wait until you’re feeling better.”
As he rounded the corner I stood there with this…
Yeah… I got “Wife Of The Year” award…. again *giggle* Seeing those big gorgeous eyes light up followed by that amazing smile. That’s the best medicine any doctor could prescribe for my recuperation
|Giving Props and Italian Stuffed Shells||
- 20-22 Jumbo Stuffed Shells (~1/2 a box)
- 8 oz Ricotta Cheese
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup Mozzarella Cheese, Shredded
- 1/4 cup Mozzarella Cheese, Shredded (reserved for end)
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan Cheese plus an additional 2 Tbl reserved for end
- 1 Tbl parsley Flakes
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 2 1/2 cups Italian Gravy or prepared marinara sauce
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Boil shells according to the directions on the package. Set aside to drain.
- While the shells are draining, mix the ricotta, egg, 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella, 1/4 cup grated Parmesan, parsley and pepper. Combine well.
- Ladle 1 1/2 – 2 cups of the Italian Gravy into the bottom of a baking dish. For this I used a 10” round ceramic tart pan (non-removable bottom – don’t want it to leak).
- Spread the sauce around. You want about a 1/2-3/4” thick layer.
- Gently cup a shell in your hand opening the shell up.
- Fill each shell with the cheese mixture. You can add as much as you like depending on your cheese obsession. For this recipe I added about 1 1/2 -2 rounded tablespoons .
- Nestle each stuffed shell side by side into the sauce. You don’t want it jammed in there but you want to ensure each one can stand up without falling over.
- Take the remaining sauce and drizzle over top of the shells.
- Cover with foil and set the pan on a cookie sheet before you put it into the oven. *note – see freezing instructions below
- Bake for 25 minutes then remove the foil.
- Top with the remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese.
- Put it back into the oven uncovered for 5-10 minutes to melt the cheese.
- Garnish with fresh oregano.
- Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes then serve.
*Note: At this point, you could freeze the pan. Double wrap in plastic wrap then foil. To reheat, remove the wrappings and place into a cold oven. Turn the temp to 350 and bake for about 40-45 minutes.
- You must talk with your hands. The more emphasized your flailing your hands are, the ‘louder’ your conversation.
- One can have an entire conversation with just hand gestures.
- Never ever joke about putting a hit out on someone… ever
- “Hey” “Oh” “How u doin’” is acceptable conversations
- “Fahgeddaboudit” is a real word.
- And you must, MUST make amazing Italian Gravy… period!
So while I feel that I mastered #6, I was getting major heat by you guys and gals for not sharing the recipe. Sorry peeps but this one is a signature for me. When I open that bistro some day, I want you to come in and order some pasta with my sauce. You’ll fall in love and see what I keep it under lock and key. Even Mr. Fantabulous doesn’t know it. I mean and he knows EVERYTHING about me.. I mean even my weight! *gasp!* LOL
With that being said, I have a dear friend from college that was giving her family jar sauce *shudder*. She begged, bribed and begged some more for my recipe. Since I hate to let anyone down, I went about making a good basic marinara sauce for her. It’s pretty simplistic and has a rich tomatoe-y flavor. I prefer a thick sauce so this sauce would need to be thinned out a tad (add tomato sauce) if you wanted to make lasagna or stuffed shells. This is the kind of stick-to-the-noodle sauce.
Now if you wanted you could easily add meat to this or even mushrooms while it’s simmering (brown the meat first then add to the simmering sauce).
And yes, that is carrots you see in here. It’s a natural sweetener and marries quite well in marinara sauces. I added just a teensy bit of white sugar to it as the plum tomatoes were just a bit acidic for me. So for my dear friend, Kelli, this is for you hon! I’ll be expecting a dinner invite now
|Simple Italian Marinara|
- 10 cloves Roasted Garlic – yes, roasted garlic. It makes a WORLD of difference!!!
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp fresh ground black pepper
- ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 large yellow onion, diced
- 4 carrots, peeled and diced
- 6oz can tomato paste
- 1 cup fresh basil leaves
- 2 tablespoons fresh oregano
- 2 (28-ounce) can plum tomatoes (it you can’t find that use regular puree or crushed)
- 1 (28-ounce) can of water (rinse out one can into another)
- 1 Tbl sugar *optional
- ¼ cup fresh grated Parmesan *optional
- In a medium saucepan, sauté the onions and carrots with the oil over medium heat until the onions are translucent and the carrots are soft.
- Add tomato paste and stir well.
- Cook for about 5-10 minutes or until you ‘smell’ the tomato paste cooking. Do not burn!
- Add the roasted garlic, salt, pepper, basil, oregano, cheese, sugar and stir together until incorporated.
- Pour in the tomatoes then water.
- Bring to a soft boil then lower the heat to a simmer (low heat).
- Take an immersion blender and smooth out any chunks.
- Simmer for 1-2 hours, uncovered stirring occasionally.
I’ll wait while you gawk at the picture a little longer. It’s pretty, isn’t it? Dear lord was this good!
Um hey… wipe your chin, you’re drooling!
I’ll break this down into sections – pasta dough, ravioli filling, cream sauce… seems easiest.
|Spinach Crab Ravioli with a Shrimp and Lobster Cream Sauce|
- Homemade Pasta recipe up until you chill the dough.
- 1 egg white, beaten
- 1 cup low-fat Ricotta
- 1 bag of spinach leaves, stems removed
- 1 Tbl unsalted butter
- 1 clove garlic, chopped
- 1 Tbl minced shallots
- 1/4 cup cooked snow crab meat
- 1/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano Cheese
- 1 egg
- Shrimp and Lobster Cream Sauce
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 2 cups whole milk
- 3 Tbl butter
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp white pepper
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1 1/2 tsp seafood base *optional but it does ‘make’ the dish
- 1/2 cup fresh grated Pecorino Romano cheese
- 2 cups fresh spinach leaves, rough chopped
- 1 cup cooked lobster chunks
- 12 jumbo shrimp, thawed and deveined
- 1 Tbl minced shallots
- In a large saute pan, add the butter and melt.
- Add the garlic and shallots and saute until golden brown.
- Add the spinach, salt and pepper and cook until the spinach is wilted.
- Put this in a colander and squeeze out all of the juice. You want the spinach as dry as possible.
- Once dry,place it in a big bowl then add the egg, ricotta, crab and pecorino cheese.
- Season with salt and pepper and mix until combined – leaving the crab chunks in tact.
- Set aside.
- Remove the chilled dough from the fridge.
- Roll out pasta using either your pasta machine or a rolling pin. You’ll need a very thin sheet of pasta as thin as you can possibly manage without tearing the pasta.
- Place one of the pasta sheets onto a lightly floured surface.
- Using a small cookie scooper, scoot out spinach crab mixture onto pasta sheets. Be sure to keep a small bit of distance between each scoop. ~about every 2″ apart.
- Using a pastry brush, brush egg white around each bit of filling, making the dough damp not wet
- Take the second piece and cover the bottom piece with it, be careful to not tear it.
- Use your fingers to seal the pasta sheets tightly together and remove any air.
- Press around each ravioli being careful not to squeeze the filling out.
- Using a round ravioli cutter or in a pinch you can use a fluted pastry cutter, cut each ravioli and put on a sheet pan sprinkled with VERY lightly with flour. Set aside until ready to boil.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to boil.
- In a 12″ sauce pan, add 2 Tbl butter, shallots, and saute until shallots are translucent over medium heat.
- Add the shrimp and cook 3-4 minutes or until pink and curled.
- Remove shrimp from pan and set aside.
- Add the 1 Tbl of flour and melt.
- Add in the flour and whisk for ~2 minutes.
- Add in the milk and heavy cream and whisk to incorporate.
- Add in the salt, pepper, nutmeg, seafood base stirring to combine.
- Increase the heat to medium-high whisking constantly to slightly thicken.
- Add the cheese and whisk.
- Add in the spinach and stir with a rubber spatula.
- At this point you’re ready to put it all together.
- Add the ravioli to the pot of salted boiling water.
- IMMEDIATELY turn the heat down to a gentle boil.
- While you do this, add the shrimp and lobster to the cream sauce and reduce the heat to low stirring to combine.
- The pasta should be done in 4-8 minutes. Fresh pasta doesn’t take long.
- Place the cooked ravioli in the sauce then plate.
- Garnish with chives and some spinach pesto.
We were having family stop up Saturday night so I made dinner for us – Pollo pomodoro con peperoni e spinaci ( which my sister, niece and her bf loved), Yuengling Bacon Cheddar Chive muffins, Angel food cake and ‘Hostess’ cupcakes. The food was awesome (or so I’m told) but I wasn’t too keen on the outcome of the cupcakes. The filling didn’t set so while it tasted awesome it still was too thin for my liking. I know what I did wrong which is good so I’ll definitely give it another shot.
Our friends stopped over too and we had game night with them. Have you guys ever played the card game “Golf“? Totally fun and honestly about the ONLY way I will ever play anything named golf! I just do not have the patience or attention span to play the real game. I would be that one wandering around on the green in the golf course in the cart We also played ‘Phase 10′ . Our BFF’s introduced us into the game and totally love it! Definitely check it out. Since I knew they were coming earlier I had whipped up a batch of pizza dough and set it in the bucket to rise as I knew, even though I was making a big dinner, we would want snacks later. Trust me, if you ever visited me, you would NEVER EVER starve! The pizza was a huge hit.
Today, I was a true lazy butt. Yep… got up at 6am, brushed my teeth and crawled back in bed until… you ready for this? 2pm! Yep.. 2pm! I didn’t go back to sleep, instead I laid in bed watching movies and musicals. I mean I honestly did NOTHING and it was AWESOME!!!
AWESOME I TELL YA!
Since Mr. Fantabulous’ birthday is coming up this week, we went out for lunch at a quasi-local American-Mexican place. Now we’re home with full bellies, he’s off napping and I’m going through my orders for this week.
It’s been a while since I’ve posted some recipes so I am sorry. Just work (my real job) has been SUPER busy and it’s left me with no free time. But I’ve realigned my schedule to give you guys more ‘TKW’ attention
So for today, since it’s cooler weather again, I’m going comfort food for you. I’m mixing it up a bit and making it healthier. Even Mr. Fantabulous who HAAAAAAAAAAAATES zucchini really likes this! I’m talking Zucchini Lasagna.
|Time for comfort food – Zucchini Lasagna|
- 3 Large Zucchinis
- 2 Packages Frozen Chopped Spinach, defrosted and drained
- 1 jar marinara sauce
- 1 cup roasted red peppers, chopped
- 1 cup baby portabella mushrooms, sliced
- 15oz Ricotta Cheese
- 4 Tbl Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 2 Garlic Cloves, chopped
- 2 large eggs
- 2 cups Mozzarella Cheese, Shredded
- ½ cup Mozzarella Cheese, Shredded (reserved for end)
- ½ cup Parmesan Cheese
- 2 Tbl parsley Flakes
- Salt and Pepper
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees
- Peel zucchinis and slice into thin strips – this is where a mandolin comes in super handy. If you don’t have one, use a cheese slicer.
- Lay flat on foil-lined baking sheets.
- Brush each side of sliced veggie with 3 Tbl olive and top with salt and pepper.
- Bake for 20 minutes until slightly crispy
- In large sauce pan sauté the red peppers and mushrooms in the remaining olive oil for about a minute.
- Add the garlic and sauté until slightly golden; about a minute.
- Add the sauce, cover and simmer for 15 minutes
- Spray large lasagna pan with olive oil spray
- Mix ricotta cheese, eggs (slightly beaten), ½ cup mozzarella cheese, ¼ cup parmesan cheese and parsley in a bowl. Set aside.
- Spread 1/2 cup sauce on bottom of lasagna pan.
- Layer enough strips of zucchini to line the bottom of the pan.
- Next add a thin layer of spinach followed by the ricotta cheese mixture, ¼ cup mozzarella cheese and sauce – evenly distributing enough so you can have enough of the fillings for each layer.
- Repeat layers with remaining ingredients. Top with Parmesan cheese.
- Cover with foil and bake for about 35 minutes.
- Remove foil and sprinkle on reserved ½ cup of mozzarella cheese.
- Increase temperature to 350.
- Bake for 15-25 minutes or when a knife is inserted that the zucchini is soft.
- Let cool 15 minutes before eating.