Spinach and Sausage Lasagna

This recipe is not your typical lasagna, but it’s a delicious twist on the classic.  Since the whole thing only uses 1/2 lb. of pasta, it’s really easy to make this very healthy by using extra lean sausage and low-fat cheeses

Click here for the recipe featured on my own website!

Please visit deliciouslydelcassified.com 

 

Oven Baked “Risotto”

This quick and easy “risotto” recipe from Barefoot Contessa was surprisingly good.  It’s a great side dish to any meal or could be a filling meal on its own.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
  • 5 cups chicken stock, simmering
  • 1 cup powdered Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine (one you would drink)
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter, diced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 cup frozen peas

HOW TO MAKE IT

  • Place the rice and 4 cups of the simmering stock in a medium dutch oven (i.e. Le Creuset)
  • Cover and bake at 350°F for 45 minutes or until most of the liquid is absorbed and the rice is cooked al dente
  • Remove from the oven and add in the last cup of chicken stock, wine, Parmesan cheese, butter, salt and pepper and stir continuously for 2-3 minutes until everything is well combined
  • Lastly, add in the peas and stir until the peas are heated through

Eggplant Parm Calzone

This calzone combines two of my favorite things: eggplant parm and garlic bread.  These are hard to put down…  

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 lb. bakery dough
  • Breaded eggplant slices (approximately 24)
  • Approximately 1 cup robust red sauce
  • Approximately 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Approximately 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • Garlic butter
    • 1-2 tbsp butter, melted
    • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
    • 1/2 tsp dried parsley

HOW TO MAKE IT

  • On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into a 15 in. x 10 in. rectangle (about 1/4″ thick)
  • Place dollops of sauce down the center of the dough, use the back of a spoon to spread it thin
  • Next, place a layer of overlapping breaded eggplant slices down the center of the rolled out dough (about 2-3 slices in each row – depending on size)
  • Top the breaded eggplant with more sauce, make sure the sauce evenly coats the eggplant
  • Sprinkle the cheeses on top of the sauce and repeat until you have three layers of eggplant
  • Pull one side of dough over the cheese and then overlap that by pulling the other side of dough over – fold up the ends and pinch to seal closed
  • Flip the calzone over and place seam side down on a greased baking sheet (I use Pam with Olive Oil) – brush the calzone with the melted garlic butter
  • Bake in the oven at 350°F for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown
  • Let the calzone cool for about 10 minutes (if you can!) and then slice into 1 inch pieces

Fresh Tomato and Pesto Pasta

This pasta dish is simple, yet really delicious.  It’s a great as a side option for Baked Shrimp Scampi or as a quick dinner on its own.  

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 lb. thin linguini or angel hair
  • 3/4 cup pesto sauce
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 1/2 – 1 cup powdered parmesan cheese, and more for topping

HOW TO MAKE IT

  • In a large saute pan, saute the garlic with 1 tbsp olive oil until it’s fragrant
  • Add the pesto sauce to the garlic combine well
  • Pour in the white wine, chicken broth and olive oil and bring to a simmer
  • Add in the chopped tomatoes and stir well over medium-low heat
  • Cook the pasta as directed and then add it into the pesto sauce mixture
  • Keep the heat on medium-low and and cook the pasta in the sauce so it absorbs the flavor
    • If the pasta seems a bit dry, add in more chicken broth or olive oil
  • Once the pasta is well coated in the pesto sauce, turn off the heat and pour in the powdered parmesan (as much or as little as you desire)
  • Top it all off with a little more parmesan and serve immediately!

Pesto Sauce

This sauce is extremely versatile.  You can put it on pasta, pizza, chicken, shrimp… the list goes on!  I use pesto a lot — so, I figured I’d post the recipe I use, which is really simple and quick and easy to make.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups packed basil leaves
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 cup Pecorino Romano cheese (Parmesan works, too)
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

HOW TO MAKE IT

  • Combine all of the ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth
    • Storage: I typically make this in bulk during the summertime and then freeze it in ice cube trays – then I can enjoy fresh pesto sauce anytime

Veal Bolognese

My husband’s favorite Italian dish is, hands down, pasta with a bolognese sauce.  He’s ordered it in every Italian restaurant we’ve ever been to and even has them mentally ranked.  It seemed only natural for me to figure out a way for my bolognese to get to the top of his list.  Mission accomplished.  

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 large onion (or 2 small ones), chopped into 1 inch pieces
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 2 large carrots, chopped into 1 inch pieces
  • 3 large celery stalks, chopped into 1 inch pieces
  • Olive oil to coat the pan
  • 3 lb. lean ground veal (you could also use ground beef or turkey)
  • 2 cups tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 cups good red wine
  • Water
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 bunch fresh thyme, tied in a bundle
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream (room temp)
  • 1/2 – 1 cup powdered Parmesan or Romano cheese
*This recipe makes enough sauce for 2 lb. of pasta – keep in mind that this sauce freezes really well

HOW TO MAKE IT

  • Combine the onion, garlic, carrots and celery in a food processor and process until it forms a course paste
  • Coat the bottom of a large sauce pan with olive oil and then add in the pureed vegetables
  • Season the puree with salt and pepper and cook over medium-high heat for 15-20 minutes or until the water has evaporated
  • Add in the ground veal, season with salt and pepper and cook until the meat is totally browned, about 15-20 minutes
  • Add in the tomato paste, dried herbs, red pepper flakes and nutmeg and mix well – cook for another 5 minutes
  • Add in the red wine and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring frequently
  • Add water to the pot until the meat is covered with an inch of water – add in the bay leaves and bundle of thyme and mix well
  • Bring the contents of the pot to a boil and then reduce the heat so the sauce is simmering
  • Now, is the painful part – allow the sauce to simmer uncovered for AT LEAST 2 hours, ideally you want the sauce to simmer for 3-4 hours, stir it frequently
  • You want the bolognese to be a very meaty consistency – not really “saucy”
    • If you find that your sauce is getting too thick, add some more water and continue to simmer
  • When you think that your sauce looks ready, add in the cream and blend well
  • Add about half of the sauce to 1 lb. of cooked pasta and toss in at least 1/2 cup powdered Parmesan or Romano cheese – stir well and enjoy!
    • You can freeze the other half of the sauce and defrost it when you’re ready to have it again!

Potato Gnocchi

It may sound a little crazy to make your own gnocchi, but it’s really worth it.  It definitely takes a little time, but the good thing is that you can make a bunch and then freeze it into individual meals so that when you want it, it’s already done!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 lb. russet potatoes (approximately 2 large)
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup parmesan cheese, powdered
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg (make sure there are no large clumps)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp white pepper
  • 1 cup flour, plus more for dusting
  • Robust Red Sauce
    • Make it a pink sauce by adding 1/2 cup cream and 1/2 cup powdered parmesan cheese
    • This sauce recipe will make enough for 3 recipes worth of gnocchi

HOW TO MAKE IT

  • Scrub the potatoes and then rub them with olive oil and kosher salt
  • Prick a bunch of holes in the potatoes and bake them at 425°F for about 45 minutes or until very tender
  • Let the potatoes cool a bit and then cut them in half, scoop out the flesh and press it through a potato ricer – if you don’t have one of those, grate the potatoes on the large holes of a box grater
  • You should now have about 2 cups of mashed potatoes – on your countertop, make a mound of the potatoes with a well in the middle
  • Add 3 of the egg yolks to the middle of the well and the salt, pepper, nutmeg and parmesan cheese
  • Mix the potatoes into the egg yolks with your hands
  • Pour in half of the flour and continue to mix with your hands, using your knuckles to press in the dough
  • Fold the dough over itself and press down with your hands
  • Slowly sprinkle in the rest of the flour while continuing to press with your hands – add the 4th egg yolk if the mixture seems dry
    • The dough should give under pressure but should feel firm and not sticky
  • To check if the consistency is correct, take a piece and roll it with your hands on a well-floured board into a rope 1/2 inch diameter – if the dough holds together, it’s ready (if not, add more flour and fold and press a few more times and test it again)
  • Cut your ball of dough into 4 pieces – roll each piece out into a rope 1/2 inch diameter on a floured surface
  • Cut the rope into 1/2 inch-long pieces – you can either cook these as is or form them into the classic gnocchi shape, here’s how you do that
  • As you shape the gnocchi, lightly dust them with flour and line them up on a baking sheet
  • Set the gnocchi filled cookie sheet in the fridge for a few minutes so they get a little bit firm
  • When you’re ready to cook them, place a small batch of them into salted boiling water (you don’t want to cook too many at ounce because they will stick together if they’re touching while cooking)
  •  About 2 minutes after the gnocchi has floated to the surface, you can remove them from the water with a slotted spoon
    • I just place the cooked gnocchi into a strainer while the rest is cooking
    • While the gnocchi is cooking, I make sure to get my sauce well heated
  • Once all of your gnocchi is cooked, toss it together with the heated sauce and you’re ready to eat!
    • If you’re planning on making a few recipes (which I recommend) just freeze the extra gnocchi in freezer bags – when you want to eat it, just boil the frozen gnocchi in salted water the same way you cooked the fresh ones

Baked Stuffed Shrimp

Rumor has it (i.e. my mother thinks) that this is the Twin Oaks recipe for baked stuffed shrimp.  Whosever recipe this is has done something right, because it’s delicious.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 lb. large shrimp (U8-12), deveined with the tails still on
  • 1/2 cup plain breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup Ritz crackers, crushed
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 1 clove garlic, pressed
  • 1 small onion, very finely chopped
  • 2 tsp white wine
  • Optional: 1/8 cup (2 tbsp) parmesan cheese, powdered
  • Optional: 1 tsp fresh parsley, chopped

HOW TO MAKE IT

  • Melt the butter over medium-high heat in a saute pan – add in the chopped onion and cook until translucent, then add in the garlic and white wine and cook until the garlic is fragrant, but not burned
  • Add in the breadcrumbs and crushed Ritz crackers and combine well
  • If you want to add in the parmesan cheese and/or fresh parsley, do so now and stir well
  • Using a spoon, stuff the split side of the shrimp with as much stuffing as it will hold
  • Line the shrimp up with the tail upright and the un-split side down in a baking dish with high sides and bake at 375°F for approximately 20 minutes or until the shrimp is cooked and the stuffing is browned on top

Caesar Salad

This classic Caesar salad dressing recipe comes from my mother-in-law’s cooking files.  I’ve been to a restaurant where they make the Caesar dressing table-side… but I couldn’t exactly take notes.  I was looking for a recipe to try out and this one seems to match!

INGREDIENTS

  1. 3 large eggs, room temp
  2. 3 tbsp dijon mustard
  3. 5 medium garlic cloves, pressed
  4. 1 tsp Worchester sauce
  5. 3/4 tsp anchovy paste
  6. 1 cup olive oil
  7. 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  8. 1/8 tsp Tabasco sauce
  9. 3 cups freshly grated Romano (or Parmesan) cheese
  10. 3 large heads Romaine lettuce, washed and chopped
  11. 9 pieces of thickly sliced country bread, crust cut off
*Recipe yields approximately 2 cups of dressing

HOW TO MAKE IT

  • Whisk the first 5 ingredients in small bowl
  • Gradually whisk in olive oil, lemon juice and Tabasco sauce (if the dressing is getting too thick, add in a little bit of warm water and then continue to whisk in the olive oil)
    • Alternatively, you could put the first 5 ingredients into a food processor or blender and then slowly add in the olive oil, lemon juice and Tabasco sauce (again, if dressing gets too thick, add in a little bit of warm water and then continue to add in the olive oil)
  • Brush the bread with olive oil, sprinkle with kosher salt and cut into cubes (you could also sprinkle the bread with garlic powder if you desire)
    • Bake at 300°F until crisp and golden brown, approximately 10 minutes
  • Finally, toss together the lettuce, enough dressing to coat the lettuce and the grated cheese – then top it off with the fresh croutons