Everyday Italian Recipes

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Broiled Salmon with Herb Mustard Glaze

Post  justmecookin on Thu Oct 30, 2008 5:15 pm

Broiled Salmon with Herb Mustard Glaze

2 garlic cloves
3/4 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
3/4 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 tablespoon dry white wine
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons whole-grain mustard
Nonstick olive oil cooking spray
6 (6 to 8-ounce) salmon fillets
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 lemon wedges

In a mini food processor, combine garlic, rosemary, thyme, wine, oil, Dijon mustard, and 1 tablespoon of whole-grain mustard. Grind the mustard sauce until combined, about 30 seconds. Transfer to a small bowl. Add remaining 1 tablespoon of whole-grain mustard to the sauce and stir to combine. Set aside mustard sauce.

Preheat the broiler. Line a heavy rimmed baking sheet with foil. Spray the foil with nonstick spray. Arrange the salmon fillets on the baking sheet and sprinkle them with salt and pepper. Broil for 2 minutes.

Spoon the mustard sauce over the fillets. Continue broiling until the fillets are just cooked through and golden brown, about 5 minutes longer. Transfer the fillets to plates and serve with lemon wedges. Makes 6 servings

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Macaroni and Cheese

Post  justmecookin on Thu Oct 30, 2008 5:19 pm

Macaroni and Cheese

Butter, for greasing dish
12 ounces wide egg noodles
2 cups heavy cream
2 1/2 cups whole milk
2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more for pasta water
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cups (packed) grated Fontina
3/4 cup (packed) finely grated Parmesan
3/4 cup (packed) grated mozzarella
4 ounces cooked ham, diced, optional
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Butter a 13 by 9-inch glass baking dish and set aside. Cook the noodles in a large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes. Drain well, but do not rinse.

Whisk the cream, milk, flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper in large bowl to blend. Stir in 1 cup Fontina, 1/2 cup Parmesan, 1/2 cup mozzarella, ham, if using, and parsley. Add the noodles and toss to coat. Transfer the noodle mixture to the prepared baking dish.

Toss the remaining 1 cup Fontina, 1/4 cup Parmesan, and 1/4 cup mozzarella in a small bowl to blend. Sprinkle the cheese mixture over the noodle mixture. Bake until the sauce bubbles and the cheese melts and begins to brown on top, about 20 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving. Makes 6 servings

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Stracciatella Soup

Post  justmecookin on Thu Oct 30, 2008 5:22 pm

Stracciatella Soup

6 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 tablepoons chopped fresh basil leaves
1 cup lightly packed spinach leaves, cut in thin strips
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Bring the broth to a boil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. In a bowl, whisk the eggs, cheese, parsley, and basil to blend. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Stir the broth in a circular motion.

Gradually drizzle the egg mixture into the moving broth, stirring gently with a fork to form thin strands of egg, about 1 minute. Stir in the spinach, then season the soup, to taste, with salt and pepper. Ladle the soup into bowls and serve. Makes 4 servings

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Rolled Chicken Sandwich with Arugula and Parsley Aioli

Post  justmecookin on Thu Oct 30, 2008 5:26 pm

Rolled Chicken Sandwich with Arugula and Parsley Aioli

Aioli:
1/2 cup lightly packed baby arugula
1/2 cup lightly packed fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 anchovy fillet
2 teaspoons chopped fresh chives
1 small garlic clove, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup lowfat plain yogurt
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon lemon zest
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Sandwich:
8 ounces roasted chicken breast, shredded (about 2 small chicken breasts)
4 (8-inch) whole-wheat tortillas (recommended: Guerrero)
1 1/3 cups baby arugula

For the Aioli: Place all the ingredients, except the salt and pepper, in the bowl of a food processor. Blend until the mixture is smooth. Transfer the aioli to a medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper.

For the Sandwich: Add the shredded chicken to the aioli and mix well. Preheat a heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat. Using tongs, add the tortillas, 1 at a time, and cook until warm, about 30 seconds each side. Place the warm tortillas on a work surface and spread with the chicken mixture, leaving a 1/2-inch border.

Sprinkle the arugula over the chicken mixture. Carefully roll up the tortillas, jelly-roll fashion. Cut each rolled sandwich in half, diagonally, and transfer to a serving platter. Serve. Makes 4 servings

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Cheesy Baked Tortellini

Post  justmecookin on Thu Oct 30, 2008 5:39 pm

Cheesy Baked Tortellini

Olive oil
2 cups marinara sauce
1/3 cup mascarpone cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 pound purchased cheese tortellini
2 ounces thinly sliced smoked mozzarella
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly oil an 8 by 8 by 2-inch baking dish. Whisk the sauce, mascarpone cheese, parsley and thyme in a large bowl to blend. Cook the tortellini in a large pot of boiling salted water until just tender, about 2 minutes. Drain.

Add the tortellini to the sauce and toss to coat. Transfer the tortellini mixture to the prepared baking dish. Top the mixture with the smoked mozzarella and Parmesan. Cover and bake until the sauce bubbles and the cheeses on top melt, about 30 minutes. Makes 4 to 6 servings

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Fusilli with Sausage, Artichokes, and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Post  justmecookin on Thu Oct 30, 2008 5:42 pm

Fusilli with Sausage, Artichokes, and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

3/4 cup drained oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, sliced, 2 tablespoons of oil reserved
1 pound Italian hot sausages, casings removed
2 (8-ounce) packages frozen artichoke hearts
2 large cloves garlic, chopped
1 3/4 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup dry white wine
16 ounces fusilli pasta
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan, plus additional for garnish
1/3 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
8 ounces water-packed fresh mozzarella, drained and cubed, optional
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Heat the oil reserved from the tomatoes in a heavy large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the sausages and cook until brown, breaking up the meat into bite-size pieces with a fork, about 8 minutes. Transfer the sausage to a bowl.

Add the artichokes and garlic to the same skillet, and saute over medium heat until the garlic is tender, about 2 minutes. Add the broth, wine, and sun-dried tomatoes. Boil over medium-high heat until the sauce reduces slightly, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the fusilli in boiling water until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring often, about 8 minutes. Drain the pasta (do not rinse). Add the pasta, sausage, 1/2 cup Parmesan, basil, and parsley to the artichoke mixture.

Toss until the sauce is almost absorbed by the pasta. Stir in the mozzarella. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Serve, passing the additional Parmesan cheese alongside. Makes 6 servings

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Baked Rigatoni with Bechamel Sauce

Post  justmecookin on Thu Oct 30, 2008 5:46 pm

Baked Rigatoni with Bechamel Sauce

Bechamel sauce:
1 stick unsalted butter (4 ounces)
1/2 cup and 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 quart whole milk, at room temperature
Pinch fresh nutmeg
Sea salt and white pepper
1 cup grated fontina
1/2 pound thinly sliced prosciutto, julienned
1 pound dry rigatoni
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, diced

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Bechamel sauce: In a 2 quart saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk until smooth, about 2 minutes. Always stirring, gradually add the milk and continue to whisk until the sauce is smooth and creamy. Simmer until it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. This will take approximately 10 minutes.

Remove from heat and stir in nutmeg, 1/2 cup fontina, prosciutto and season with salt and white pepper. Set aside. In a large pot, bring to a boil 6 quarts of salted water. Add the rigatoni and cook for about 5 minutes.

Since you will be cooking the pasta a second time in the oven, you want to make sure the inside is still hard. Drain in a colander. Return pasta to the pot and pour in bechamel sauce. Using a wooden spoon, mix well until all the pasta is coated with the sauce.

Into a greased 13 by 9-inch baking dish, pour the pasta with cream sauce. Smooth out top and sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup fontina. Dot the top with diced butter and bake in oven for 25 minutes or until bubbling and the top is golden brown. Makes 6 servings

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Spaghetti with Asparagus, Smoked Mozzarella and Prosciutto

Post  justmecookin on Thu Oct 30, 2008 5:51 pm

Spaghetti with Asparagus, Smoked Mozzarella and Prosciutto

2 pounds asparagus, trimmed
3/4 pound spaghetti
4 tablespoons olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto, cut crosswise into strips
6 ounces smoked mozzarella cheese, diced (about 1 cup)
6 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil leaves

Cook the asparagus in a large pot of boiling salted water until crisp tender, about 2 to 3 minutes. With a spider or slotted spoon, remove asparagus from boiling water to a bowl of ice water to cool and stop the cooking. When cool, strain, cut asparagus into 1-inch pieces, and set aside.

Return the water in the pot to a boil, adding additional water, if necessary. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, tender but still firm to the bite, about 8 minutes. Drain the pasta, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid.

Heat the oil in a heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about 20 seconds. Add asparagus to the skillet. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Add the pasta, and if needed, some of the reserved cooking liquid. Toss to coat. Add the prosciutto, mozzarella, and basil, and toss to combine. Turn off the heat. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and serve. Makes 6 to 8 servings

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Penne with Spinach Sauce

Post  justmecookin on Thu Oct 30, 2008 5:56 pm

Penne with Spinach Sauce

1 pound whole wheat or multi grain penne
3 garlic cloves
2 ounces goat cheese
1 ounce reduced fat cream cheese
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6 ounces fresh baby spinach leaves
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add the penne and cook until it is tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 12 minutes.

Mince the garlic in a food processor. Add the goat cheese, cream cheese, 3/4 teaspoon of salt, 1/2 teaspoon of pepper, and half of the spinach leaves. Blend until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Set the cheese and spinach mixture aside. Meanwhile, place the remaining spinach leaves in a large bowl.

Drain the pasta, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid. Spoon the pasta atop the spinach leaves in the bowl. Scrape the cheese and spinach mixture over the pasta mixture and toss to coat, adding enough reserved cooking liquid to moisten. Season the pasta, to taste, with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the Parmesan over and serve. Makes 6 servings

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Farmer's Pasta

Post  justmecookin on Thu Oct 30, 2008 6:00 pm

Farmer's Pasta

Butter, for greasing pan
2 tablespoons (or more) olive oil
6 ounces pancetta, chopped
4 teaspoons minced garlic
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
7 cups whole milk
8 ounces Fontina cheese, grated
4 ounces mozzarella cheese, grated
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
6 ounces provolone cheese, grated
1 pound rigatoni pasta
3 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups fresh coarse bread crumbs
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling

Butter a 13 by 9 by 2-inch baking dish. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add the pancetta and saute until golden and crisp, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pancetta to a small bowl.

Pour off all but 1/4 cup of the pan drippings (if necessary, add more oil to the pan drippings to equal 1/4 cup total). Reduce the heat to medium. Add 3 teaspoons of garlic and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the flour and whisk for 2 minutes.

Gradually whisk in the milk. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the sauce thickens slightly, whisking often, about 5 minutes. Gradually whisk in all the Fontina, mozzarella, Parmesan, and provolone cheeses.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the rigatoni and cook until almost al dente, stirring occasionally, about 7 minutes. (The pasta will continue cooking in the oven.)

Drain pasta and add directly into the cheese. Add the parsley, basil, and pancetta and toss to coat. Season the pasta mixture, to taste, with salt and pepper. Transfer the pasta mixture to the prepared dish.

Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil in a heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add the remaining garlic and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Remove from the heat. Add the bread crumbs and toss to coat.

Sprinkle the bread crumb mixture over the pasta mixture. Drizzle the top with extra-virgin olive oil and bake until the sauce bubbles and the bread crumbs are golden brown, about 20 minutes. Makes 8 servings

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Cioppino

Post  justmecookin on Thu Oct 30, 2008 6:03 pm

Cioppino

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large fennel bulb, thinly sliced
1 onion, chopped
3 large shallots, chopped
2 teaspoons salt
4 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
3/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper flakes, plus more to taste
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes in juice
1 1/2 cups dry white wine
5 cups fish stock
1 bay leaf
1 pound manila clams, scrubbed
1 pound mussels, scrubbed, debearded
1 pound uncooked large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 1/2 pounds assorted firm-fleshed fish fillets such as halibut or salmon, cut into 2-inch chunks

Heat the oil in a very large pot over medium heat. Add the fennel, onion, shallots, and salt and saute until the onion is translucent, about 10 minutes.

Add the garlic and 3/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes, and saute 2 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste. Add tomatoes with their juices, wine, fish stock and bay leaf. Cover and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer until the flavors blend, about 30 minutes.

Add the clams and mussels to the cooking liquid. Cover and cook until the clams and mussels begin to open, about 5 minutes. Add the shrimp and fish.

Simmer gently until the fish and shrimp are just cooked through, and the clams are completely open, stirring gently, about 5 minutes longer (discard any clams and mussels that do not open). Remove bay leaf. Season the soup, to taste, with more salt and red pepper flakes. Ladle the soup into bowls and serve. Makes 6 servings

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Fettuccine Alfredo

Post  justmecookin on Thu Oct 30, 2008 6:05 pm

Fettuccine Alfredo

18 ounces fresh fettuccine
2 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
12 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cups grated Parmesan
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
Salt and freshly ground white pepper

Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 4 minutes. Drain. Stir 2 cups of the cream and the lemon juice in a heavy large skillet to blend. Add the butter and cook over medium heat just until the butter melts, stirring occasionally, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat.

Add the pasta and toss. Add the remaining 1/2 cup of cream, and Parmesan to the cream sauce in the skillet. Add the lemon zest, nutmeg, salt, and white pepper. Toss the pasta mixture over low heat until the sauce thickens slightly, about 1 minute. Makes 6 to 8 servings

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Tilapia with Purple Potato Crust and Chive Rosemary Oil

Post  justmecookin on Thu Oct 30, 2008 6:08 pm

Tilapia with Purple Potato Crust and Chive Rosemary Oil

4 (4- to 6-ounce) tilapia fillets
8 to 12 ounces purple potatoes, peeled and very thinly sliced
1 tablespoon fresh minced rosemary leaves, plus 1 tablespoon
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup minced fresh chives
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Place the fish fillets on a work surface and season with salt and pepper. Top each of the fillets with enough slices of potato to completely cover the surface of the fish, overlaying the potatoes like shingles. Sprinkle the potatoes with a bit more salt and pepper, and the 1 tablespoon rosemary leaves.

Heat a large, oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and the butter. When the butter is melted and the oil is hot add the fish, potato side down. Place the skillet in the oven and bake until the fish is cooked through, about 15 to 17 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine the extra-virgin olive oil, chives, the remaining 1 tablespoon rosemary, salt and pepper in a small bowl.

To serve, place the fish on serving plates, potato side up. Drizzle the fish and the plate with the chive oil. Serve immediately. Makes 4 servings

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Classic Italian Lasagna

Post  justmecookin on Thu Oct 30, 2008 6:12 pm

Classic Italian Lasagna

Bechamel Sauce:
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus 2 tablespoons for the lasagna
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
4 cups whole milk at room temperature
Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
1 1/2 cups tomato sauce, recipe follows
Salt and white pepper
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound ground chuck beef
Salt and pepper
1 1/2 pounds ricotta cheese
3 large eggs
1 pound lasagna sheets, cooked al dente
2 packages (10 ounces each) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
3 cups shredded mozzarella
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Bechamel sauce: In a 2-quart pot, melt 5 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. When butter has completely melted, add the flour and whisk until smooth, about 2 minutes. Gradually add the milk, whisking constantly to prevent any lumps from forming.

Continue to simmer and whisk over medium heat until the sauce is thick, smooth and creamy, about 10 minutes. The sauce should be thick enough to coat the back of wooden spoon. Remove from heat and add the nutmeg and tomato sauce. Stir until well combined and check for seasoning. Set aside and allow to cool completely.

In a saute pan, heat extra-virgin olive oil. When almost smoking, add the ground beef and season with salt and pepper. Brown meat, breaking any large lumps, until it is no longer pink. Remove from heat and drain any excess fat. Set aside and allow to cool completely.

In a medium sized bowl, thoroughly mix the ricotta and eggs. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Into the bottom of a 13 by 9-inch baking dish, spread 1/3 of the bechamel sauce. Arrange the pasta sheets side by side, covering the bottom of the baking dish. Evenly spread a layer of all the ricotta mixture and then a layer of all the spinach. Arrange another layer of pasta sheets and spread all the ground beef on top.

Sprinkle 1/2 the mozzarella cheese on top of the beef. Spread another 1/3 of the bechamel sauce. Arrange the final layer of pasta sheets and top with remaining bechamel, mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses. Cut the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter into 1/4-inch cubes and top lasagna.

Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place lasagna dish on top, cover and put on the middle rack of the oven and bake until top is bubbling, about 30 minutes. Remove cover and continue to bake for about 15 minutes. Makes 6 servings

Simple Tomato Sauce:
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 (32-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes
2 dried bay leaves
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, optional

In a large casserole pot or Dutch over, heat oil over medium high heat. Add onion and garlic and saute until soft and translucent, about 5 to 10 minutes. Add celery and carrots and season with salt and pepper. Saute until all the vegetables are soft, about 5 to 10 minutes.

Add tomatoes and bay leaves and simmer uncovered on low heat for 1 hour or until thick. Remove bay leaves and check for seasoning. If sauce still tastes acidic, add unsalted butter, 1 tablespoon at a time to round out the flavors. Add 1/2 the tomato sauce into the bowl of a food processor. Process until smooth. Continue with remaining tomato sauce.

If not using all the sauce, allow it to cool completely and pour 1 to 2 cup portions into freezer plastic bags. This will freeze up to 6 months.

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Penne with Vodka Sauce

Post  justmecookin on Thu Oct 30, 2008 6:23 pm

Penne with Vodka Sauce

1 quart Simple Tomato Sauce, recipe follows, or store-bought marinara sauce, blended until smooth
1 cup vodka
1/2 cup heavy cream, at room temperature
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1 pound penne

Simmer the tomato sauce and vodka in a heavy large skillet over low heat until the mixture reduces by 1/4, stirring often, about 20 minutes. Stir the cream into the tomato and vodka sauce. Simmer over low heat until the sauce is heated through. Stir in the Parmesan cheese until melted and well blended.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente, tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes. Drain the pasta and transfer it to the pan with the sauce, and toss to coat. Makes 6 servings

Simple Tomato Sauce:
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
2 (32-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes
4 to 6 basil leaves
2 dried bay leaves
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, optional

In a large casserole pot, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and saute until soft and translucent, about 2 minutes. Add celery and carrot and season with salt and pepper. Saute until all the vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, basil, and bay leaves and reduce the heat to low.

Cover the pot and simmer for 1 hour or until thick. Remove bay leaves and taste for seasoning. If sauce tastes too acidic, add unsalted butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, to round out the flavor. Pour half the tomato sauce into the bowl of a food processor. Process until smooth. Continue with remaining tomato sauce.

If not using all the sauce, allow it to cool completely and then pour 1 to 2 cup portions into plastic freezer bags. Freeze for up to 6 months. Makes 6 cups

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Beef and Cheese Manicotti

Post  justmecookin on Thu Oct 30, 2008 6:28 pm

Beef and Cheese Manicotti

4 teaspoons olive oil
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
1 pound ground beef
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
14 (8-ounce package) manicotti
1 (15-ounce) container whole-milk ricotta
3 cups shredded mozzarella
1 cup grated Parmesan
2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups marinara sauce
2 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces

Heat a heavy medium skillet over medium heat. Add 1 teaspoon of the olive oil, onion and ground beef. Season with salt and pepper. Saute until the meat browns and the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes.

Remove from the heat, and cool. Brush 1 teaspoon of oil over a large baking sheet. Cook the manicotti in a large pot of boiling salted water until slightly softened, but still very firm to the bite, about 4 to 6 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the manicotti from the pot to the oiled baking sheet and cool.

Meanwhile, combine the ricotta, 1 1/2 to 2 cups mozzarella cheese, 1/2 cup Parmesan, and parsley. Add the garlic, salt, and pepper to taste, and mix. Stir the cooled meat mixture into the cheese mixture.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Brush the remaining 2 teaspoons of oil over a 13 by 9 by 2-inch glass baking dish. Spoon 1 1/2 cups of the marinara sauce over the bottom of the prepared dish. Fill the manicotti with the cheese-meat mixture. Arrange the stuffed pasta in a single layer in the prepared dish and spoon the remaining sauce over.

Sprinkle the remaining 1 1/2 cups of mozzarella cheese, then the remaining 1/2 cup of Parmesan over the stuffed pasta. Dot entire dish with the butter pieces. Bake the manicotti uncovered until heated through and the sauce bubbles on the sides of the dish, about 30 to 35 minutes. Let the manicotti stand 5 minutes and serve. Makes 6 servings

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Fried Ravioli

Post  justmecookin on Thu Oct 30, 2008 6:32 pm

Fried Ravioli

Olive oil, for frying
1 cup buttermilk
2 cups Italian-style bread crumbs
1 box store-bought cheese ravioli (about 24 ravioli)
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1 jar store bought marinara sauce, heated, for dipping

Pour enough olive oil into a large frying pan to reach a depth of 2 inches. Heat the oil over medium heat until a deep-fry thermometer registers 325 degrees.

While the oil is heating, put the buttermilk and the bread crumbs in separate shallow bowls. Working in batches, dip ravioli in buttermilk to coat completely. Allow the excess buttermilk to drip back into the bowl. Dredge ravioli in the bread crumbs. Place the ravioli on a baking sheet, and continue with the remaining ravioli.

When the oil is hot, fry the ravioli in batches, turning occasionally, until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the fried ravioli to paper towels to drain. Sprinkle the fried ravioli with Parmesan and serve with a bowl of warmed marinara sauce for dipping. Makes 4 to 6 servings

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Penne with Sun-dried Tomato Pesto

Post  justmecookin on Thu Oct 30, 2008 6:35 pm

Penne with Sun-dried Tomato Pesto

12 ounces penne pasta
1 (8.5-ounce) jar sun-dried tomatoes packed in olive oil
2 garlic cloves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup (packed) fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan

Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid.

Meanwhile, blend the sun-dried tomatoes and their oil, garlic, salt and pepper, to taste, and basil in a food processor and blend until the tomatoes are finely chopped. Transfer the tomato mixture to a large bowl. Stir in the Parmesan.

Add the pasta to the pesto and toss to coat, adding enough reserved cooking liquid to moisten. Season the pasta, to taste, with salt and pepper and serve. Makes 4 servings

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Spaghetti with Arugula Pesto and Seared Jumbo Shrimp

Post  justmecookin on Thu Oct 30, 2008 6:38 pm

Spaghetti with Arugula Pesto and Seared Jumbo Shrimp

2 cups fresh arugula
1 garlic clove
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pound jumbo shrimp
1 pound spaghetti
Lemon zest, for garnish
10 parsley leaves, chopped, for garnish

Blend the arugula and garlic in a food processor until finely chopped. With the machine running, gradually add 1/2 cup of oil, processing until well blended. Transfer the pesto to a large bowl. Stir in the Parmesan. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Prepare the grill (high heat). Using a knife, cut the back of the shrimp. Brush the shrimp with oil. Sprinkle with salt. Grill the shrimp until just cooked through, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer the shrimp to a plate.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid.

Toss the pasta with the pesto in the large bowl to coat, adding the reserved cooking liquid 1 tablespoon at a time to moisten. Top with the grilled shrimp. Garnish with the lemon zest and parsley. Makes 6 servings

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Mussels, Clams and Shrimp in Spicy Broth

Post  justmecookin on Fri Oct 31, 2008 10:23 am

Mussels, Clams and Shrimp in Spicy Broth

1/4 cup olive oil
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
1 cup dry white wine
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
24 small Littleneck clams (about 2 1/2 pounds total), scrubbed
24 mussels (about 1 1/2 pounds total), debearded
20 large shrimp (about 1 pound), peeled, deveined, butterflied
1/2 cup torn fresh basil leaves
Warm crusty bread

Heat the oil in a heavy large pot over medium heat. Add the garlic, bay leaf, and crushed red pepper. Saute until the garlic is tender, about 1 minute. Add the wine and bring to a boil. Add the tomatoes. Bring to a simmer. Simmer until the tomatoes begin to break down and the flavors blend, about 5 minutes.

Stir in the clams. Cover and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in the mussels. Cover and cook until the clams and mussels open, about 5 minutes longer.

Using a tongs, transfer the opened shellfish to serving bowls (discard any shellfish that do not open). Add the shrimp and basil to the simmering tomato broth. Simmer until the shrimp are just cooked through, about 1 1/2 minutes. Divide the shrimp and tomato broth among the bowls. Serve with the warm bread. Makes 6 servings

justmecookin

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Jumbo Shrimp with Basil and Mint Pesto

Post  justmecookin on Fri Oct 31, 2008 10:25 am

Jumbo Shrimp with Basil and Mint Pesto

3/4 cups lightly packed fresh mint leaves
1/2 cup lightly packed fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
1 garlic clove
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 pounds uncooked jumbo shrimp, peeled and de-veined
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Blend the mint, basil, pine nuts, and garlic in a food processor until finely chopped. With the machine running, gradually add 1/4 cup of olive oil, processing until well blended. Transfer the pesto to a medium bowl. Stir in the Parmesan. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.

Toss the shrimp with the extra-virgin olive oil in a large bowl to coat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and toss again. Heat a heavy large skillet over high heat. Working in 2 batches, add the shrimp and saute until just cooked through, about 3 minutes. Toss the shrimp with enough pesto to coat. Transfer the shrimp to a platter and serve. Makes 6 servings

justmecookin

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Fusilli with Shrimp and Arugula

Post  justmecookin on Fri Oct 31, 2008 10:26 am

Fusilli with Shrimp and Arugula

1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup finely chopped shallots
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 cup dry white wine
1 pound large shrimp, peeled and de-veined
12 ounces fusilli pasta
3 cups (packed) fresh arugula, torn in 1/2

Heat the oil in a heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add the shallots and garlic and and saute until translucent, about 2 minutes. Add the red pepper flakes and white wine and bring to a simmer. Simmer until the wine reduces by half, about 5 minutes.

Add the shrimp and cook just until they are pink, about 2 minutes. Meanwhile, cook the fusilli in a large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes.

Drain the fusilli. Add the fusilli and arugula to the skillet. Toss to combine. Season the pasta, to taste, with salt and pepper. Transfer the pasta to a large bowl and serve. Makes 4 to 6 servings

justmecookin

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Linguine with Shrimp and Lemon Oil

Post  justmecookin on Fri Oct 31, 2008 10:28 am

Linguine with Shrimp and Lemon Oil

For the lemon oil:
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 lemon, zested

For the pasta:
1 pound linguine pasta
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 shallots, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
16 ounces frozen shrimp
1/4 cup lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
1 lemon, zested
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 ounces arugula (about 3 packed cups)
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

For the lemon oil: Combine the olive oil and the lemon zest in a small bowl and reserve.

For the pasta: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain pasta, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid.

Meanwhile, in a large, heavy skillet warm the olive oil over medium heat. Add the shallots and garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Add the shrimp and cook until pink, about 5 minutes. Add the cooked linguine, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt, and pepper. Toss to combine.

Turn off the heat and add the arugula. Using a mesh sieve, strain the lemon zest out of the reserved lemon olive oil and add the oil to the pasta. The zest can be discarded. Add the chopped parsley to the pasta and toss to combine. Serve immediately. Makes 4 to 6 servings

justmecookin

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Shrimp Fra Diavolo

Post  justmecookin on Fri Oct 31, 2008 10:30 am

Shrimp Fra Diavolo

1 pound large shrimp, peeled, deveined
1 teaspoon salt, plus additional as needed
1 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper flakes
3 tablespoons olive oil, plus 1 to 2 tablespoons
1 medium onion, sliced
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 cup dry white wine
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
3 tablespoon chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
3 tablespoon chopped fresh basil leaves

Toss the shrimp in a medium bowl with 1 teaspoon of salt and red pepper flakes. Heat the 3 tablespoons oil in a heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp and saute for about a minute, toss, and continue cooking until just cooked through, about 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer the shrimp to a large plate; set aside.

Add the onion to the same skillet, adding 1 to 2 teaspoons of olive oil to the pan, if necessary, and saute until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes with their juices, wine, garlic, and oregano. Simmer until the sauce thickens slightly, about 10 minutes.

Return the shrimp and any accumulated juices to the tomato mixture; toss to coat, and cook for about a minute so the flavors meld together. Stir in the parsley and basil. Season with more salt, to taste, and serve. Makes 4 servings

justmecookin

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Mango Cheesecake with Basil Lemon Syrup

Post  justmecookin on Fri Oct 31, 2008 10:32 am

Mango Cheesecake with Basil Lemon Syrup

Mango Cheesecake:
8 ounces biscotti
3/4 cup butter, melted
2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese, room temperature
2 cups mango puree
4 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar

Basil Lemon Syrup:
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 packed cup fresh basil leaves

For the Mango Cheesecake: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Wrap the outside of a 9-inch springform pan with 2 3/4-inch-high sides with 2 layers of heavy-duty foil. Finely grind the biscotti in a food processor. Add the melted butter and process until the crumbs are moistened.

Press the crumb mixture over the bottom (not the sides) of the prepared pan. Bake until the crust is golden, about 15 minutes. Cool the crust completely on a cooling rack. Blend the cream cheese and ricotta in a food processor. Add the mango puree, eggs, and sugar and pulse until the mixture is smooth.

Pour the mango mixture over the crust in the pan. Place the springform pan in a large roasting pan. Pour enough hot water into the roasting pan to come halfway up the sides of the springform pan.

Bake until the cheesecake is firm and moves slightly when the pan is gently shaken, about 1 hour 30 minutes. Transfer the cake to a cooling rack to cool for 30 minutes. Place in the refrigerator and cool completely, at least 8 hours and up to 2 days.

For the Basil Lemon Syrup: Place the sugar, water, and lemon juice in a small saucepan. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat and cook until the sugar is dissolved. Cool the syrup completely.

In a food processor combine the basil and the cooled syrup. Pulse until the herbs are finely chopped. Strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve. Slice the cheesecake and place on a serving plate. Drizzle with the syrup and serve. Makes 8 servings

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Re: Everyday Italian Recipes

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