Zucchini Rollatini

Zucchini Rollatini
2 large-sized zucchini, washed and sliced thin lengthwise
16 ounces ricotta cheese
6 Crimini Mushrooms, stems removed and sliced thin (baby bella mushrooms)
1 large egg
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp dried parsley
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
1/4 cup grated Romano/pecorino, and three tbsp for sprinkling on top
Extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Need: 3 cups marinara/tomato sauce, a couple parchment paper covered baking sheets, 1 plate, and a 9×13 baking pan.

Pre-heat oven to 400F.

Slice the zucchini lengthwise into thin slices.  Place on parchment covered baking sheets.

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Drizzle a tablespoon of olive oil over zucchini slices. Sprinkle with salt. Roast till the veggies are pliable/slightly under fork tender, around 15 minutes.

Remove slices and allow to cool.. you may turn off the oven, or set it to 375F for the next cook.

In a large bowl, beat egg then mix the ricotta, parsley, Romano cheese, nutmeg, and salt/pepper .

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In the 9×13 pan-drizzle a tablespoon of oil then add a 1/2 cup of sauce, stir together. Set aside for the next step.

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Add the mushrooms to the remaining sauce, then set aside for next step.

*Preheat oven to 375F if you turned it off.

Grab a plate to start filling the zucchini slices.  Be gentle with the cooked zucchini; they can be fragile and tear easily.

Lay a zucchini slice across the plate, then smear a spoon of the cheese mixture across then roll up firmly.

Place the roll into baking pan, atop sauce, seam side down. Continue with remaining zucchini lining them up tightly in the pan.

Use toothpick if needed to keep rolled (then remove before next step).

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Evenly distribute the mushroom marinara sauce on top of the rollatini.

Cover with grated cheese and mozzarella.

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Bake for 35 minutes, until the cheese is bubbly, slightly browned and the zucchini are absolutely fork tender.

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DONE!   Zucchini Rollatini!
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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!

Horseradish Carrots from Brasserie Jo

One of my favorite appetizer dishes from Brasserie Jo in Boston has to be the carrots they kindly serve as you are seated. They are tangy, spicy and crunchy…the trifecta of yum, and definitely unforgettable for their unconventional taste. Especially, along side their crunchy French bread.
Now I am hungry.  

Since we love these appetizers a whole bunch, we wanted to be able to make them and have them anytime we wanted.  So, here we gave a crack at making the dish after some research online. They came out great, and our kids thought they came out better than at the restaurant! Yes, better! This may be our new app to make for our family get togethers, like our annual Easter egg hunt in a few.

Enjoy!

Horseradish Carrots
1 lb of carrots, washed and peeled
3 tablespoons prepared horseradish
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Prepare a cold water bath in a large bowl.

Cut carrots into sticks lengthwise; now, the sticks don’t have to be identical as that adds to the charm and rustic feel of this app.  Then submerge the cut carrots in the water bath.

Let them soak for roughly an hour.

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Drain the carrots then dry very well with a paper towel.

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In a bowl mix all the ingredients together; coating the carrots well.

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Cover the bowl and set aside to marinate for two hours.

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Done!

 

Polenta Fries

This is a fun dish to make when you have polenta left over.

Polenta Fries
1 serving of instant polenta*
1/4 cup of grated Parmigiano Cheese (then an extra tablespoon or so to sprinkle on cooked fries)
Salt to taste
1 tspn dried rosemary

Prepare the polenta according to instructions on the package. *Usually the instructions are to bring 2 quarts of water to a boil, salt, then add 2 cups of the instant polenta. Stir continously; till you see the polenta thickening and pulling away from the sides of the pot.

At this point, add in the cheese. Mix well.

Spread out 1-1.5 inch(es) thick into a pan. Lightly dust the top with the rosemary. (I like to take the herbs in the palm of my hand, then rub both hands together to crush the herbs, releasing their oils, as they fall from my grasp onto the polenta -or any food. Also, it leaves my hands with an amazing scent.)

You can let set and cool for 3 hours, or, overnight in the fridge.

Cooled polenta in a pan, cut to show thickness.
Cooled polenta in a pan.  Cut to show thickness.

Cut into 1/2 inch strips about 3 inches long, and lay them in a non-stick pan that has been heated on medium heat. Brown on all sides.
There isn’t really a need for oil because the polenta itself has a high water content and browns easily. But if you find that it needs some oil, add a few drizzles of extra virgin olive oil.

In a dry non-stick pan, place cut pieces of polenta to brown.
In a dry non-stick pan, place cut pieces of polenta to brown.

Once the fries are browned on each side, place to cool on a rack and immediately sprinkle with the extra grated cheese.  Some of the cheese will melt quickly, and you can always add more if you see it needs it.

Once browned on all FOUR sides, sprinkle with cheese and let cool on a rack
Once browned on all FOUR sides, sprinkle with cheese and let cool on a rack

Let cool and serve!

DONE! Polenta Fries
DONE! Polenta Fries