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!

Orecchiette with Broccoli Rabe and Sausage

Orecchiette with Broccoli Rabe and Sausage
1.5 lbs broccoli rabe, trimmed, then chopped and boiled to remove bitterness
3/4 lbs (4 links) Sweet Italian sausage, removed from casing
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
1 lbs cooked orecchiette pasta
1/4 cup room temperature water
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

The pasta can be made in concert with the following instructions. Start boiling water now, then once it comes to a rolling boil add in the pasta and cook according to package.

In a large stock pot, bring 2 quarts of salted water to a rolling boil and add in the broccoli rabe. Cook until the stems are tender, about 3-5 minutes.

Boil the broccoli rabe to remove the bitterness.

Boil the broccoli rabe to remove the bitterness.

Drain and set aside.

Sausage removed from casing

Sausage removed from casing

Over medium-high heat, in a high walled pan or low walled stock pot, heat up the pan with 1 tbsp of olive oil.  Add in garlic and saute till transparent.

Then quickly add in the sausage.  Cook, and break up the sausage with a wooden spoon.

Break up the sausage with a wooden spoon to make the pieces smaller.

Break up the sausage with a wooden spoon to make the pieces smaller.

Add in the water, and cook sausage through.
Add in the broccoli rabe.
Stir to combine with the sausage.

Add in the broccoli and mix well.

Add in the broccoli and mix well.

Cook until the broccoli rabe is hot throughout.

Season with salt and pepper.

In the same pan/pot, lower heat, then add the pasta to the sausage mixture.

Everything in the pan incorporated.

Everything in the pan incorporated.

Then add in the cheese and toss well over low heat to combine.

Serve with more cheese grated on top.

Done!

Done!

Enjoy!

Gallery

Uncomplicated 3 Cheese Lasagna

3 Cheese Lasagna
1 package of no boil lasagna pasta (if you use the pasta type to boil- follow instruction to boil prior to use)
16 oz ricotta
4 oz shredded mozzarella
1 cup grated Romano cheese
1 large egg
1 tsp salt
1 tsp fresh cracked pepper

4 quarts of Tomato Sauce: Click here for the sauce recipe. This recipe will make the amount of sauce you need.
 

Need a 13x9x3 baking pan.

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Combine ricotta, 1/4 cup grated cheese, salt and pepper and eggs. (The rest of the grated cheese is to be sprinkled between layers evenly.)

Ricotta, 1 egg, romano cheese,  and s&p

Ricotta, 1 egg, romano cheese, and s&p

Mixture combined- Ricotta, 1 egg, romano cheese,  and s&p

Mixture combined- Ricotta, 1 egg, romano cheese, and s&p

Spread sauce over bottom of pan, about three ladles full.

Add sauce to the bottom of the pan

Add sauce to the bottom of the pan

Place lasagna over sauce, overlapping to fit. About 5 pieces will fit for one layer; be careful when splitting to fit the sides.

Add one layer of the pasta over the sauce

Add one layer of the pasta over the sauce

Spread layer of ricotta mixture evenly over noodles.

Sprinkle grated cheese evenly over mixture.

Using a spatula (or back of a spoon) spread the ricotta mixture over the dry pasta, then top with a layer of sauce.

Using a spatula (or back of a spoon) spread the ricotta mixture over the dry pasta, then top with a layer of sauce.

Ladle sauce over mixture, spreading to cover.

Repeat layering pasta, remaining mixture, grated cheese and sauce.

Arrange remaining pasta over sauce. This will be your third and top layer.

Spread remaining sauce over pasta. Sprinkle grated cheese then cover with mozzarella cheese evenly over lasagna.

2nd layer of pasta- repeating with layering the mixture and sauce on top, repeat...

2nd layer of pasta- repeating with layering the mixture and sauce on top, repeat…

Bake for 45 minutes; until pasta is completely soft and cheese is bubbly has created a golden crust.

Before baking

Before baking

Let lasagna stand 15 minutes before serving.

DONE!

DONE!


Eat and repeat.