Pasta with Cauliflower and White Beans

Pasta with Cauliflower and White Beans
1 large cauliflower, washed and cut into pieces
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 can white beans/cannelini beans
1/2 cup grated Romano cheese
1/4 cup room temp water
a pinch of salt and pepper for taste

1 lb pasta, cooked

 

Instructions

1. Before starting, bring a large pot of water to a boil for your pasta. Add the pasta and cook as the label directs.

2. In a stock pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic, let heat through.

3. Add cauliflower. Stir, coating with the oil and garlic.  

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4. Add a 1/4 cup water, then add beans.

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5. Cook through till cauliflower is soft when poked with a fork, adding salt and pepper to taste.

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6. Toss with cooked pasta and Romano cheese.

DONE!

Pasta with Sausage and Spinach

Pasta with Sausage and Spinach

Ingredients

    • 3 Italian sausage links, removed from casings
    • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
    • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
    • 2/3 cup of fresh baby spinach, torn by hand (or a rustic chop)
    • 1/4 cup room temperature water
    • Salt and pepper to taste
    • Grated Romano Pecorino cheese
    • 1 lb of your favorite pasta

 

Instructions

1. Before starting, bring a large pot of water to a boil for your pasta. Add the pasta and cook as the label directs.

2. Remove casings from sausage, crumble by hand onto a dish.  Set aside.

3. In a stock pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic, let heat through. Add crumbled sausage.  Cook sausage, crumbling it more with a wooden spoon, until it is cooked through. Turn heat down to a simmer. (at this point you should be close to an al dente cook to your pasta)

4. Add water, simmer until you see a yellowish hue to the sauce.

5. Add spinach, salt and pepper to taste.

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6. Add pasta to mixture; mix well and cook for 2-3 minutes, until pasta is tender, and sauce is absorbed.  Toss with cheese, then top for presentation.

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Done!

Bolognese Sauce

Bolognese Sauce

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 stalks organic celery, chopped 
  • 2 organic carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 cup room temperature water
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 2  28oz cans kitchen ready plum tomatoes
  • Salt
  • Black pepper, fresh from mill

 

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Instructions

1 . Heat oil on medium in a large stock pot. Add minced garlic, stir, then add chopped onion, carrot and celery to the pot.  Cook for about 2 minutes, stirring vegetables to coat well.

2. Add ground beef, a large pinch of salt and a few grinds of pepper. Crumble the meat, stir well and cook until the beef is no longer red in appearance.img_4525

3. Stir in nutmeg.

4. Add wine, let simmer until evaporated.

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5. Add tomatoes, stir thoroughly. As it starts to bubble, add water, stir until incorporated into the sauce, turn the heat down to a low simmer. Stir often until the heat comes down to simmer.

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6. Cook, uncovered, for 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Taste to check salt and pepper preference, add if necessary.

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DONE!

Pasta with Swiss Chards

Pasta with Swiss Chards
1 lb swiss chards, stems removed, washed
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium sweet yellow onion, chopped
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp champagne vinegar
1 cup grated Romano cheese
a pinch of salt and pepper for taste

1 lb pasta

Swiss Chards

Swiss chards whole. Remove stems. Wash to remove debris. Then roll a few leaves at a time, and slice into strips

 

In a large stock pot, start boiling water for pasta.

Then proceed with the recipe while working on the pasta –Add in a pinch of salt when the water comes to a boil. Add pasta. Cook till al dente during this recipe process.

In a separate stock pot, heat up olive oil over medium heat.

Add garlic and onion.  Cook till translucent.

Add in the swiss chards.

Sprinkle with the vinegar  Stir.

Wilt Swish Chard

Cook until the chards have wilted and the inner stems of the leaves are tender.

Toss with cooked pasta and cheese…  Voila!!

Pasta with Swiss Chards

Gnocchi with Grape Tomatoes

This pasta dish is one of my favorites for two reasons.. it tastes amazingly rich and it takes MINUTES to cook! Great for those of us who are always on the go! The sauce really only takes as much time as the pasta takes to cook.  Who doesn’t have time for that?  

 

 

Gnocchi with Grape Tomatoes
1 Package Gnocchi
1 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
15-18 Grape Tomatoes, washed and halved
A Few Basil Leaves, whole
1 Large Garlic Clove, sliced
Salt and Pepper to taste

 

For the gnocchi:

Start by bringing a pot of water to a boil. Once the water boils, add salt, then the gnocchi.  Cook till they float to the top, or per the package’s instructions.

 

For the sauce, which can be started at the same time you start the pasta:

Over medium heat in a medium-sized pan, heat the olive oil. Add in garlic and saute till translucent.

Add halved tomatoes. Heat through.

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Once the olive oil turns a marigold shade (from the tomatoes’ natural juices), gently smash the tomatoes with the back of your spoon. Keep doing so until the sauce thickens.

Add in the basil. Stir, and heat through. At this point, add in S&P to taste.

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Before draining the pasta, spoon one ladle of the pasta water and add to the sauce. This will thicken the sauce and help coat the gnocchi.

Drain the gnocchi, add directly to the sauce.

Mix thoroughly and done!

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Gnocchi with tomato and basil

 

 

Another reason it’s such a great dish is that you can use any type of tomatoes.  I like using grape or cherry tomatoes as we have them always hanging around for snacking.

Pasta al Forno with Roasted Eggplant

Pasta al Forno with Roasted Eggplant

1lb cooked ziti
My Marinara Sauce  (click link for recipe)
1 eggplant, washed, sliced lengthwise
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
1.5 cup grated Romano Cheese
1/2 lb fresh mozzarella, cut into rough pieces
16 oz skim Ricotta
1 handful fresh parsley, washed and chopped (2 tablespoons dried)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon ground nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste

There are many parts to this dish, so keeping track of when things are done is key. First start by making the sauce. Once the sauce is a third way cooked, start cooking the pasta and work on the eggplant.

For the Eggplant. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Wash the eggplant then cut lengthwise. Place on a cookie sheet covered in parchment paper that is drizzled with 1 tablespoon of oil ( via two sheets= 2 tbsp ). Let roast in the oven for 20 minutes, until fully cooked and browned around the edges.
Set aside one slice of eggplant cut into strips for the top of the pasta. Cut the rest of the eggplant into small pieces then fold into the sauce.
Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl add the ricotta, 3/4 cup of Romano cheese, parsley, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt and pepper. Incorporate fully.
Set aside.
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Set oven to 350 degrees.

In a baking pan, 13×9, ladle a spoonful of sauce on the bottom and tilt till covered. Add in half the pasta, and ladle sauce over top, slightly mixing in the pan. Then top with remaining pasta.

A tablespoon at a time, dollop the ricotta mixture and place onto the pasta, gently spreading and weighing it into the pasta with a spoon till it almost is to the bottom of the pan. Continue till a few tablespoons are used.
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On top of the ricotta, sprinkle about a quarter cup of Romano on top, then cover with more sauce.

When the top is covered with sauce, dollop more ricotta in spots spreading it through,  Then place the mozzarella on top as well, then cover with remaining Romano. Add the eggplant strips.
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Place in top rack of oven then let bake for 35 minutes until the top is crunchy and the sauce is boiling around the edges. Let stand for 10 minutes after removing it from the oven before serving.

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Ricotta Stuffed Shells

Ricotta Stuffed Shells
FILLING INGREDIENTS:
32 oz container of part skim Ricotta Cheese
3/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano Cheese (1/2 for the ricotta filling, and the rest to sprinkle on top)
1 tbsp dried parsley flakes
5 oz Skim Shredded Mozzarella
1/4 tspn grated nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste

3 oz fresh Mozzarella (for top)

1 package of cooked pasta shells, cook to packaging directions (usually are to cook for 9 minutes in boiling salted water)

2.5 cups of Tomato Sauce

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F.

In a large bowl, place all the filling ingredients and mix until incorporated well.

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All the ingredients ready to be mixed.

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All the ingredients mixed.

In a 9×13 baking pan, cover the bottom with 2 ladles of sauce. Set aside and start filling the pasta.

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Cover the bottom of the baking pan (9×13) with two ladles of sauce.

Handle the shell gently, and open it up.  Take a tablespoon of the ricotta mixture and place inside the pasta.  Place the filled shell on top of the sauce in the baking pan, opening of the shell facing up.  Continue lining them up until the pan is filled.

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Line up the stuffed shells along the sauce lined pan.

Once pan is full, place remaining sauce atop the shells.

Add the fresh mozzarella ripped into pieces on top of each shell.

Then add the grated cheese over the whole pan.

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Cover the stuffed pasta with more sauce, the grated cheese and mozzarella.

Cover the pan with tin foil and bake covered for 30 minutes.

Then remove the foil and let cook for another 6-7 minutes.

DONE!

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Done! Cover and cook for 30 minutes, then another 6-7 minutes uncovered.

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Up close and YUMMY!