Tag: pasta

Stuffed Shells

A recipe I found on 101 Cookbooks…it is absolutely delicious, and the combo of ricotta and lemon in the filling is AWESOME.

Stuffed Shells

 

Ingredients

zest of one lemon

Sauce:
1/3 cup / 80 ml extra virgin olive oil, plus more for the pan
1 1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
scant 3/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
4 medium cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 28-ounce can crushed red tomatoes
1 14-ounce can crushed red tomatoes

Filling:
1 15-ounce container ricotta cheese
1 egg, beaten
1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1 cup / ~5 oz grated mozzarella
1 bunch of chives, minced

25-30 jumbo dried pasta shells

Directions

Oil a 13 x 9-inch / 33 x 23-cm baking pan, or equivalent, and sprinkle the zest of 1/2 the lemon across it. Set aside. Get a big pot of water boiling, and preheat your oven to 350F / 180C with a rack in the middle.

To make the sauce, combine the olive oil, red pepper flakes, sea salt, and garlic in a cold saucepan. Stir while you heat the saucepan over medium-high heat. Saute just 45 seconds or so until everything is fragrant – you don’t want the garlic to brown. Now stir in the tomatoes and heat to a gentle simmer, just a minute or two. Remove from heat and carefully take a taste (you don’t want to burn your tongue)…If the sauce needs more salt add it now. Let cool.

To make the filling, combine the ricotta, egg, and salt in a medium bowl. Mix until combined, then stir in the mozzarella, remaining lemon zest, and 3/4 of the chives. Set aside.

Cook the shells according to package instructions in well-salted water – until al dente. If you overcook, the shells will tear as you attempt to fill them. Drain and let cool long enough to handle with your hands – see photo.

Spread 1/3 of sauce across the bottom of the prepared pan. Fill each shell with ricotta, and arrange in a single layer in the pan. Ladle the remaining sauce over the shells, cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes, uncover for the final 15 minutes or until the shells are cooked through. Sprinkle with the remaining chives and serve hot.

Serves 4 – 6.

Prep time: 30 min – Cook time: 45 min

Improvised Turkey Tetrazzini

With the leftover Thanksgiving turkey last week, I wanted to make something quick and easy, since it was on a night Jeff had to eat and run.  I didn’t have everything for a traditional turkey tetrazzini, so I made up a recipe with what I had, and I think it turned out pretty good.  Enjoy!

Ingredients

1/2 box of pasta, any kind (I used penne)

1 cup cooked turkey, cut up or shredded  (you may want to reheat in the microwave to make sure turkey is cooked well)

1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup

about 2/3 cup of milk (enough to make the mushroom soup into a sauce)

1 can peas

about 2 tbsp of grated Parmesan cheese

salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Boil water and cook pasta, taking out one minute before the box directions say to.  The pasta will get finished in the sauce.

In a high sided skillet, combine mushroom soup, milk, and Parmesan cheese.  Stir until the mixture is well combined.  Add turkey, peas, salt, and pepper.  Stir until combined again, keep over low heat.

When the pasta is done, add to sauce.  Combine and cook for approximately 2-3 more minutes.  Serve.

It is a simple recipe, but it’s tasty and filling, and perfect for leftover turkey.

Fried Brussel Sprouts, Chicken Tater Bake, and Baked Mac and Cheese

Three completely unrelated, though delicious, recipes I made on three different nights this past week.

The first one I made as a companion to some chicken and mashed potatoes, liberally stolen again from Michael Symon and The Chew.  I left out the capers, because neither Jeff nor I are fond of them, but you can include them if you’d like.
Michael Symon’s Fried Brussels Sprouts with Walnuts and Capers

Ingredients

canola oil for deep frying
1/4 cup walnut pieces
1/2 Serrano chile, seeded and minced
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 lb Brussel sprouts (trimmed and quartered lengthwise)
1 1/2 tsp honey
1 tbsp capers
1 tbsp olive oil

Directions

1.  Pour enough oil into a medium pot so that the oil comes 3 in. deep up the sides.  Heat the oil to 350 degrees, or until you see the snakey lines.

2.  While the oil is heating, whisk together serrano, honey, red wine vinegar and olive oil in a bowl large enough to toss all the Brussel sprouts.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Keep the bowl near the stove top.

3.  Working in batches, deep-fry the Brussel sprouts until the edges begin to curl and brown, about 3 mins.  Add the walnuts and capers to the last batch.  If using capers, stand back because the capers will pop and sputter.  Give the contents of the pot a stir, remove with a skimmer and place directly into the bowl of dressing.  Toss to coat.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

These are delicious and crunchy!
This picture is what was posted on The Chew’s site… mine didn’t look quite so elegant, but were just as tasty.

Chicken Tater Bake

This is a recipe from Jeff’s Aunt Carol.  It’s extremely easy, but extremely awesome.

Ingredients

1 3-4 lb chicken or 3 boneless chicken breasts
1 32-oz package of tater tots
2 cups Cheddar cheese, shredded
6 tbsp margarine
6 tbsp flour
3 cups milk
1/2 to 1 onion, chopped
1 can cream of chicken soup
Topping
2 cups corn flake crumbs
1/2 cup margarine (or enough to coat crumbs)

Directions

Cook chicken until done.  Remove from bones if using a whole chicken, and cut into bite size pieces.  Grease a 9 x13 pan and place tater tots in bottom of pan.  Cover with chopped chicken.  Sprinkle with cheddar cheese.

In a saucepan over medium heat, melt margarine.  Stir in flour and make a paste.  Add milk, onion and soup.  Stir until thick and pour over cheese layer.  Melt 1/2 cup of margarine, add corn flakes and stir to coat.  Pour over casserole and bake at 350 degrees for one hour or until bubbly.

This last recipe was a variation of baked mac and cheese that I took from Alton Brown, because I needed a quick Sunday lunch before some work.

Baked Macaroni and Cheese

Ingredients

1/2 lb elbow macaroni
3 tbsp butter
3 tbsp flour
1 tbsp powdered mustard
3 cups milk
1/2 cup yellow onion, finely diced
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp paprika
1 large egg
12 ounces sharp cheddar, shredded
1 tsp salt
pepper
Topping
3 tbsp butter
1 cup panko bread crumbs

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the pasta to al dente.

While the pasta is cooking, in a separate pot, melt the butter.  Whisk in the flour and mustard and keep it moving for about five mins.  Make sure it’s free of lumps.  Stir in the milk, onion, bay leaf, and paprika.  Simmer for ten mins and remove the bay leaf.

Temper in the egg.  Stir in 3/4 of the cheese.  Season with salt and pepper.  Fold the macaroni into the mix and pour into a 2 quart casserole dish.  Top with remaining cheese.

Melt butter in a saute pan and toss the bread crumbs to coat.  Top the macaroni with the bread crumbs.  Bake for 30 mins.  Remove from oven and rest for five minutes before serving.

Please enjoy these recipes!   …Though not necessarily all together.  🙂

Michael Symon’s American Ghoul-ash

This was a recipe that Michael Symon did on The Chew…it’s extremely tasty and makes lots of leftovers!

Time: about 20 minutes
Servings: at least 4

Ingredients:

1/2 lb elbow pasta
1 lb ground beef
salt to taste
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp red pepper flakes
olive oil
1 onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
3 tbsp Parmesan cheese

Instructions:

1.  In a large pot cook elbow pasta according to directions

2.  Heat a large saute pan over medium-high heat.  Add a drizzle of olive oil to pan.

3.  Add ground beef to pan and cook until brown.  Move meat to one side of pan and add onions in on the open side.  Season with salt.  Smash the garlic cloves and add them to the pan.  Mix the beef, onion and garlic together, and add tomato paste and canned tomatoes.  Stir to combine.  Add chili flakes to taste.

4.  Drain pasta, and put back in pot.  Add meat and tomato sauce to pasta, stir to combine.  Add freshly grated parmesan (or the parmesan from a container), remove from heat, and serve.

And just for your edification, here’s my one of my favorite pictures of Michael Symon:

That’s right, the man has a tattoo that says “Got Pork”.  🙂

Quick “Box” Mac and Cheese

Stolen liberally from the good people at Naturally Ella, because I was lazy last night and didn’t want to make an indepth dinner.  And yes, Jon, more cheezygooeycarb goodness.  We’re fans around my house.  🙂

Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 10 mins
Serves: 2

Ingredients

6 oz pasta
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp flour
1/2 cup milk
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
pinch of salt and pepper
1/2 tsp of garlic powder (I used garlic salt because we didn’t have garlic powder, and omitted the salt.)

 

Instructions

1. Prepare pasta according to box, drain and set aside.

2.  In a small pan, heat butter over medium-low heat until melted.  Whisk in flour and let cook for 1-2 minutes.  Whisk in milk, salt, pepper, and garlic.  Continue to whisk until mixture begins to thicken (1-2 more mins).  Once thickened, remove from heat and mix in cheese, continuing to whisk until melted.  If cheese sauce seems too thick, add a little more milk.  Stir into pasta and serve.

You can add any favorite type of vegetable to this, like broccoli, squash, onions, or anything else you can think of.

 

Anne made, Jeff approved.  That’s really all you need to know, because that man likes his cheese.  🙂