Posts Tagged ‘basil’

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Fresh Spinach Pasta

May 4, 2017

I love when you are talking to friends and decide it is a lovely day for a spontaneous dinner party. We decided to contribute some fresh spinach pasta to go with a friend’s amazing alfredo sauce.

20170408 Spinach Pasta 04

You will need:

  • 1 t olive oil
  • 12 oz fresh baby spinach
  • 1/2 t garlic powder
  • 3 eggs (whites and yolks)
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 t salt
  • 1 t dried basil
  • 1 t dried oregano
  • 5 c flour
  • 4-7 T ice water

Then you will…

  1. Heat the olive oil in a nonstick skillet.
  2. Cook the spinach with the garlic power just until wilted.
  3. Remove and press between paper towels until the spinach is as dry as you can make it.
  4. Put the spinach in a blender and puree till smooth.
  5. Add the egg yolks and whites plus the salt, basil and oregano. Pulse until mixed well.
  6. Create a mound of flour on the counter with a well in the middle.
  7. Pour the spinach mixture into that well.
  8. Incorporate with your hands.
  9. Add a tablespoon of the ice water and then knead until smooth and elastic, about 8-10 minutes. (Add water as needed until dough comes together).
  10. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 20 minutes.
  11. Divide into portions and either use a pasta machine of your choice or roll it out and shape however you want.
  12. Gently toss the fresh pasta with cornmeal to keep it from sticking.
  13. Allow it to dry for at least an hour before cooking. (If you want to freeze some, form it into small heaps/nests. Place those on a parchment-lined baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap. Place in freezer until hard. Transfer from sheet into freezer ziplock bags and then cook from frozen as desired).
  14. Then add to a pot of boiling salted water and cook for 2-4 minutes, or until al dente.
  15. Toss with your favorite sauce!
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Baked Sausage and Beans

March 28, 2017

This is a play on hot dogs and beans, but we dressed it up with yummy sausage. It comes together very quickly and makes excellent leftovers.

You will need:

  • 16 oz cherry tomatoes
  • 1 large onion, cut in half and thinly sliced
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 4 T sherry vinegar
  • 2 t dried basil
  • 2 t dried parsley
  • ½ t ground pepper
  • ¼ t salt
  • 1 lb hot Italian sausage (or your favorite sausage), each sausage cut into two pieces
  • 2 cans (15 oz each) low sodium great northern beans, drained and rinsed

Then you will…

  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In a large ovenproof Dutch oven, mix together the cherry tomatoes, onion, garlic, olive oil, vinegar, basil, parsley, pepper and salt. (You can also use a 9×13 baking dish).
  3. Mix in the sausage.
  4. Bake 35 minutes, until the sausages are roasted and cooked through. Stir once in the middle of the baking time.
  5. Stir in the beans.
  6. Return to oven and bake for another 5-10 minutes, until the beans are warmed through.
  7. Serve with crusty bread and a fresh salad!

20170314 Sausage Beans 01

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Turkey and Rice Stuffed Peppers

March 22, 2017

My mom made stuffed peppers for dinner when we were growing up. They are nice, since you can prep them in advance and then pop the pan in the oven after work. You could also leave them in a slow cooker while you are away…then dinner will be ready when you get home! Depending on the size of your bell peppers, you may end up with extra filling. Bake it about 15-20 minutes alongside the rest of the dish, and then use it for a quick breakfast or dinner by topping it with some fried eggs.

20170303 Stuffed Pepper 03

You will need:

  • 6 bell peppers
  • 4 T olive oil
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 oz tomato sauce (we used an arrabiata)
  • 1 t ground oregano
  • 1 t ground basil
  • 1/2 t ground pepper
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1/4 t crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 small bunch scallions, trimmed and chopped
  • 1 c cooked long-grain/wild rice
  • 2 c shredded cheese (we used our favorite cheddar)

Then you will…

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cut the tops of the bell peppers.Remove the stem and chop the tops. Set aside.
  3. De-seed the peppers and place the pepper cups in a 9×3 baking dish.
  4. Heat the olive oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat.
  5. Add the turkey and start to brown and crumble, cooking about 5 minutes.
  6. Add the chopped bell pepper, onion and garlic.
  7. Saute until the turkey is cooked through and starting to brown.
  8. Stir in the tomato sauce, oregano, basil, pepper, salt, crushed red pepper flakes, scallion and rice.
  9. Allow to simmer 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat.
  10. Stir in half of the cheese.
  11. Spoon the filling into the bell pepper cups. Top with the extra cheese.
  12. Add enough water to cover the bottom of the baking dish. Cover the dish loosely with foil.
  13. Bake for 30 minutes.
  14. Remove the foil and bake another 20-25 minutes. The pepper shells should be slightly softened and the cheese melted and browned.

20170303 Stuffed Pepper 05

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Parmesan Pasta with Prosciutto and Peas

September 14, 2016

20160903 Parmesan Pasta 03

This quadruple “p” dinner is a luscious comfort dish: the Parmesan adds creaminess, the prosciutto adds a yummy saltiness, the peas add a hint of sunshine and spring, and pasta is a favorite of D’s.

You will need:

  • 1 lb of your favorite pasta
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 2 T butter
  • 4-6 oz prosciutto, sliced into thin ribbons
  • 1/2 yellow onion, sliced thin
  • 16 oz frozen peas
  • 1/2 c heavy cream
  • 1 T fresh mint, chopped
  • 1 T fresh basil, chopped
  • Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
  • Pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 c Parmesan, grated

Then you will…

  1. Salt a large pot of water. Bring to a boil. Cook the pasta according to the instructions, stopping 1-2 minutes shy of al dente. Save 1 cup of the cooking water when you drain the pasta.
  2. In a large nonstick skillet, heat the olive oil and butter over medium low heat.
  3. Add the prosciutto and onion and saute until starting to turn golden and crispy, about 3-5 minutes.
  4. Stir in the frozen peas and allow to saute another 2 minutes.
  5. Stir in the cream, mint, basil, and red pepper.
  6. Mix in the cooked pasta.
  7. Stir in the lemon zest and season with the pepper.
  8. Mix in the Parmesan, thinning the sauce with some of the reserved pasta cooking water as needed.
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Italian Chicken Tenders with Lemon

May 26, 2016

20160516 Italian Tenders

These chicken tenders come together easily for a quick dinner. Try them on top of a salad or with your favorite side dishes! If you prefer a smoother crust, you can pulse the breadcrumb mixture in your food processor before breading the tenders.

You will need:

  • 1 lb chicken tenders
  • 2 eggs
  • Splash of water
  • 1/2 c breadcrumbs
  • 3/4 c shredded Parmesan
  • 1 t garlic powder
  • 1 T dried basil
  • 1 T dried oregano
  • 1 t paprika
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Olive oil for cooking
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges

Then you will…

  1. Pound each chicken tender under plastic wrap until roughly 1/2-inch thick
  2. In a large plate with a lip, whisk together the eggs with a splash of water until well combined.
  3. Season the egg wash with salt and pepper and whisk to combine.
  4. In a second large plate, mix the breadcrumbs together with the Parmesan, garlic, basil, oregano, paprika, and desired pepper.
  5. Dip each piece of chicken in the egg wash and then dredge them in the Parmesan-breadcrumb mixture.
  6. Heat several tablespoons of olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat.
  7. Cook the chicken about 3 minutes on each side, or until cooked through and golden on the outside. You may need to cook them in batches depending on the size of your skillet.
  8. Serve with fresh lemon wedges.
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Deep Dish Pizza

March 18, 2016

20160311 Deep Dish 01

Not everyone likes deep dish pizza, but if you have a taste for it, try this one out. It’s full of yummy crust, sauce and cheese plus whatever your favorite toppings are.

You will need:

  • 3/4 c warm water
  • 1 1/4 t yeast
  • 1/2 t sugar
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1/4 t red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 t garlic powder
  • 1/4 c olive oil
  • 2 c flour
  • 2 T unsalted butter
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 1/4 t red pepper flakes
  • 1 t dried basil
  • 1 t dried oregano
  • 1 can (28 oz) crushed tomato
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 c mozzarella, shredded
  • 1 c Parmesan, shredded
  • Any desired toppings (we used some sauteed mushrooms, peppers and onions)

Then you will…

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the warm water with the yeast. Allow to proof for 5 minutes.
  2. Mix in the sugar, salt, red pepper flakes, garlic powder and olive oil.
  3. Gradually mix in the flour until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
  4. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead 5 minutes until smooth.
  5. Grease a large mixing bowl. Place the dough in the bowl and turn until oiled on all sides.
  6. Cover with a warm damp cloth or plastic wrap. Allow the dough to rise until doubled, roughly 1 1/2 hours.
  7. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat.
  8. Add the garlic and onion and allow to cook for 5 minutes, until they start to soften.
  9. Stir in red pepper flakes, basil and oregano. Allow to cook for 2 minutes, until fragrant.
  10. Stir in the crushed tomato. Allow to simmer and reduce by a third, roughly 20-25 minutes.
  11. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  12. Preheat your oven to 475.
  13. Press the dough into a well seasoned skillet that is 10 to 12 inches wide. Press the dough 1 1/5 to 2 inches up the side.
  14. Let rest for 5 minutes.
  15. Spread 1 1/2 cups of the mozzarella and 3/4 c of the Parmesan on the dough.
  16. Add any toppings you want.
  17. Spread with sauce and top with remaining cheese.
  18. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the dough is golden and cheese is golden and bubbly.
  19. Allow to cool at least 10 minutes before serving to friends and family.

20160311 Deep Dish 03

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Sundried Tomato and Chicken Pasta

October 2, 2015

Sundried tomatoes are delicious. This pasta dish combines sundried tomatoes, mushrooms and chicken with a mix of cheeses.

You will need:

  • 3 T unsalted butter
  • 8 oz baby bella mushrooms, sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 oz sundried tomatoes in oil, drained with 2 T of the oil reserved and tomatoes chopped
  • 1 lb chicken breast, chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 t salt
  • 1 t paprika
  • 1 T dried basil
  • 1/2 t crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 c light cream
  • 1 c Parmesan cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 c mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 8 oz pasta
  • 1/2 c reserved cooked pasta water

20150731 Sundried Tomato Pasta 02

Then you will…

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta according to the box, removing from the water 1 minute early.
  2. Melt the butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and saute until the juices cook off.
  3. Add the garlic, sundried tomatoes, sundried tomato oil, and the chicken.
  4. Mix in the salt, paprika, basil and red pepper flakes.
  5. Saute until the chicken is cooked through and lightly browned.
  6. Add the cheeses and the cream. Stir to combine thoroughly.
  7. Bring to a gentle boil. Reduce to a simmer. The cheese should melt into the sauce.
  8. Mix in the cooked pasta and reserved pasta water.
  9. Season with salt and pepper to taste, as needed.
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