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Archive for Pasta/Pizza

FOOD FUN: Gnocchi For Breakfast

pan-fried-gnocchi-fried-egg-giovannirana-230

Pasta for breakfast! Photo and recipe
courtesy Giovanni Rana.

 

Here’s a fun idea for breakfast or brunch: “Gnocchi Homefries,” made with potato gnocchi instead of sliced potatoes, in yummy sage brown butter.

Sauté with pancetta, onions and rosemary; or add sausage, and freshly-grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Or add it all, topped with a poached or fried egg.

This recipe is courtesy of Giovanni Rana, which used its delicious Gnocchi di Patate (potato gnocchi) Home Fries with Pancetta and Sage Brown Butter Fried Eggs for a romantic brunch. Find more recipes on the website.

RECIPE: POTATO GNOCCHI HOME FRIES

Ingredients

For The Home Fries

  • ½ – 8.8-ounce package Giovanni Rana Gnocchi di Patate
  • 2 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 ounce pancetta or bacon, cut into ¼” strips (easier to cut when frozen)
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • ½ teaspoon finely chopped rosemary or sage
  • 2 teaspoon vegetable oil, such as canola
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated
  •  
    For The Eggs

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 6 leaves fresh sage
  • 2 eggs
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  •  

    Preparation

    1. SAUTÉ pancetta or bacon over medium/low heat with extra virgin olive oil in a nonstick pan. When crispy, remove to a paper towel to drain. Add onions and chopped rosemary and sauté over medium heat until tender and starting to brown; about 7-9 minutes. Remove to a bowl and wipe pan clean.

    2. HEAT 2 tablespoons vegetable oil in the nonstick pan over high heat until almost smoking. Add the gnocchi and sauté, constantly tossing to prevent burning, until they are golden brown. Turn off heat.

    3. RETURN onions and pancetta to the pan. Add 2 tablespoons unsalted butter and toss until butter is melted. Empty contents of pan into a bowl. Add Parmigiano-Reggiano and toss.

    4. MELT 2 tablespoons unsalted butter in a small nonstick pan over medium heat. Add fresh sage leaves and swirl pan until the butter begins to brown. Turn heat off and allow the pan to cool slightly; about 1 minute. Add the eggs and season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Fry the eggs on medium/low heat to desired doneness, spooning some of the brown butter over top of them a few times; about 2-1/2 minutes for sunny side up.

     

    sauce-pasta-bag-230

    Giovanni Rana’s potato gnocchi are just one of the company’s delicious fresh pastas and sauces. Photo by Elvira Kalviste | THE NIBBLE.

     

    5. PLATE the home fries and top with fried eggs.

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Breakfast Pizza

    Still pondering what to make for Mother’s Day breakfast? Perhaps this is the year to skip the bagels and lox, pancakes, quiche and waffles and opt instead for a glamorous breakfast pizza.

    Just plan ahead and make the dough one day in advance; it needs to be refrigerated overnight (it can be made up to 2 days ahead). Keep it chilled until ready to use.

    This recipe, sent to us by Savor California, is by cookbook writer Jill Silverman Hough.

    You can turn it into bacon-, ham- or sausage-and-eggs pizza by adding your favorite breakfast meat.

    RECIPE: BREAKFAST PIZZA WITH EGGS,
    ROASTED PEPPERS, OLIVES & ARUGULA

    Ingredients For 4 Servings
     
    For The Dough

  • 2 tablespoons warm water (115°F)
  • ½ teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 1-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup whole wheat flour
  • ½ cup cool water (65° to 70°F)
  • 1 teaspoon coarse/kosher salt
  • Olive oil
  •  

    Egg-Olive-Pizza-mishagravenorphotography-savorcalifornia

    A special breakfast for a special day. Photo by Misha Gravenor Photography.

     

    For The Topping

  • Cornmeal for sprinkling
  • Olive oil
  • ¾ cup drained roasted red peppers, cut into 1/3-inch strips
  • 1/3 cup black olives, pitted and quartered*
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese shavings
  • 1½ teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • 4 large red onion rings, each 3-1/2 to 4 inches in diameter and 1/2 inch thick
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 cups arugula, lightly packed
  •  
    *Jill used Olivos del Mar Organic Honey Balsamic Olives that have been flashed brined overnight in a mixture of organic lemongrass rice vinegar, organic balsamic vinegar, and a mixture of Italian herbs. You can similarly brine your olives overnight.

     

    bacon-strip-igourmet-230

    Add some bacon or other breakfast meat to
    your pie. Photo courtesy iGourmet.com.

     

    Preparation

    1. MAKE the dough. Pour 2 tablespoons warm water into large bowl of stand mixer fitted with dough hook; sprinkle yeast over. Let stand until yeast dissolves, about 15 minutes (mixture will not be foamy).

    2. ADD both flours, 1/2 cup cool water and 1 teaspoon coarse salt; mix on medium-low speed 4 minutes. Let rest 5 minutes, then mix on medium speed until dough is smooth, elastic, and slightly sticky, about 3 minutes.

    3. LIGHTLY OIL a medium bowl. Gather dough into ball and transfer to prepared bowl; turn to coat with oil. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let rest at room temperature 30 minutes. Chill dough overnight. When ready to bake…

    4. TRANSFER bowl to warm, draft-free area and let dough rise, covered, until very slightly puffy, at least 2 hours. Place a pizza stone or rimless baking sheet in oven; preheat to 500°F.

     

    5. SPRINKLE pizza paddle or another baking sheet generously with cornmeal. Roll out dough on lightly floured surface to 12-inch round; transfer to paddle.

    6. BRUSH dough with oil; scatter peppers, then olives, over the top. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and rosemary. Arrange onion rings atop pizza, spacing apart. Slide pizza onto stone or baking sheet in oven. Bake until lightly browned but not crisp, about 7 minutes.

    7. REMOVE pizza from oven and gently crack 1 egg into each onion ring. Return pizza to oven and continue to bake until eggs are softly set and crust is golden, about 6 minutes. Sprinkle pizza with salt and pepper. Scatter arugula over top and serve.

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Crabtini, A Simple & Elegant First Course

    A delicious crabtini. Photo courtesy Ruth’s
    Chris Steakhouse.

     

    When you’re cooking a fancy dinner, there are tricks to shave time and effort. We typically do this by making first courses and desserts that are simple yet impressive.

    One of our go-to first courses is a slice of store-bought pâté with a lightly-dressed mesclun salad, cornichons, pickled onions and some halved grape tomatoes for color. Another is a crabtini.

    A crabtini is a crab cocktail served in a Martini glass. Thanks so much to Lynne Olver of FoodTimeline.org, whose research indicates that the originator of the concept appears to be Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, circa 2005.

    The crabtini has inspired chefs to create even more elaborate preparations like this molded crab cocktail. But, seeking the quick and easy, we emulated Ruth’s Chris to make our own crabtini:

    RECIPE: CRABTINI

    Ingredients For 6-8 Servings

  • 1 pound lump or white crabmeat (types of crabmeat)
  • 1/2 cup capers, drained
  • 1/4 cup red onion, minced
  • 2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
  • Optional: 1/2 teaspoon Creole seasoning
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Herb vinaigrette (recipe below)
  • Romaine
  • Garnish: salmon caviar, red tobiko or tiny dice of
    red bell pepper; lemon or lime wedges
  • Preparation

    1. GENTLY toss the crab with capers, onion, parsley, Creole seasoning, salt and pepper and vinaigrette. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired.

    2. PLACE romaine leaves upright in a Martini glass. Place a mound of the crab salad in the glass.

    3. GARNISH with caviar and serve with lemon or lime wedges.
     
    RECIPE: HERB VINAIGRETTE

    Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup mixed leafy fresh herbs: basil, mint, parsley, tarragon
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/4 cup lemon or lime juice
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1-1/4 cups extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • A few shakes Worcestershire sauce
  •  
    Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend. Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary.
     
    WINE PAIRING

    Enjoy your crabtini with a festive glass of sparking wine—another quick and easy way to add glamor to a simple course—or a clean, crisp dry white wine.

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Pillow Pasta

    Butternut-Squash-Ravioli-pom-wonderful-230

    Butternut squash ravioli. Photo courtesy Pom
    Wonderful. Here’s the recipe.

     

    When studying culinary history, you learn lots of fun food facts. For example, in the history of pasta, Marco Polo may have brought pasta back from China—but it wasn’t spaghetti or other “long cut” pasta, and it wasn’t “short cut” pasta like farfalle (bowties) or penne.

    Credit for the spread of boiled pasta in the West is given to Arabs traders who packed dried spaghetti-type pasta on long journeys over the famed “Silk Road” to China. It was easy to reconstitute into a hot meal along desolate trails. They brought it to Sicily during the Arab invasions of the 8th century and planted the seeds of an Italian culinary breakthrough.

    There are records of pasta in Italy before Marco Polo returned from the Far East (he set out in 1271 and returned in 1295). In 1279, in his last will and testament, a Genoan soldier named Ponzio Baestone bequeathed “bariscella peina de macarone,” a small basket of macaroni.

    So what part did Marco Polo play? The record is so scant, we’ll never know; but it is conjectured that he brought back “pillow pasta”—boiled dumplings that evolved into agnolotti and ravioli.

     
    Polo returned from the Far East at the very end of the 13th century. The earliest mention of ravioli appears in the writings of Francesco di Marco, a merchant of Prato in the 14th century, and other 14th century mentions follow. (Source: Wikipedia)

    Here’s a brief history of pasta.

    TYPES OF PILLOW PASTA

    Pillow pasta is stuffed pasta, but not all stuffed pasta is pillow pasta. The other sub-category includes the large tubes that are stuffed and baked, like manicotti. (Other tube pasta, such as penne, rigatoni and ziti, are too small to be stuffed but are covered with heavier sauces, which are meant to catch in the hollows of the tubes.)

    Pillow pasta comprises fresh pasta sheets stuffed with a filling. The filling is placed on the flat sheet of pasta, another sheet is placed on top, the shapes are cut and the edges are sealed.

  • The pasta can be stuffed with almost any kind of filling, either single or combinations of different meats, cheeses, vegetables, seafood and herbs.
  • They can be sauced, tossed with butter or olive oil, or added plain to soups.
  •  
    How many of these pillow pastas have you had?

     

    Agnolotti: Small stuffed pasta in the shape of a half moon, similar to mezzalune and pierogi. The term is Italian for “priests’ caps.” Photo.

    Cannelloni: Rectangular sheets of pasta dough that are filled and rolled into tube shapes. The name is Italian for “large reeds.” They can easily be confused with manicotti, which are pre-formed tubes that are stuffed (the word comes from the Italian word manica, sleeve).

    Mezzalune: Literally “half moons,” a crescent-shaped stuffed pasta.

    Ravioli: The original “pillow pasta” can be oval, rectangular, round, square, sunflower-shaped (called girasole) and triangular (called pansotti). There are also specialty shapes, from fish to hearts. The name is a diminutive of rava, little turnip, which may or may not have been an early stuffing.

    Raviolini: Miniature ravioli. They can be served as a pasta dish, hors d’oeuvres or put into soup, like won tons.

    Ravioloni: Very large ravioli. They can be as large as three-inch circles and four inch squares or rectangles. In this photo, you can see that the piece at the right is almost as long as the fork.

     

    sauce-ravioli-2-230

    Giovanni Rana’s tasty ravioli and sauces. Photo by Elvira Kalviste | THE NIBBLE.

     
    Sacchette: Sacks, or “beggar’s purses.” (More)

    Tortellini: Thin strips of raw filled pasta pinched to form a navel-like shape. A popular dish with sauce, it is also served in soups, as in the classic dish, tortellini in brodo. We serve them as cocktail party appetizers with a dip. More.
     
    GIOVANNI RANA PASTA

    We recently celebrated March 20th, National Ravioli Day by pigging out on a huge supply of Giovanni Rana pasta, along with another fresh pasta brand.

    Hands down, Giovanni Rana was the winner. The venerable Italian artisan producer—who now makes most of the products for the U.S. market here—uses ingredients that are top-knotch; you can taste the difference. We were sent four of the seven varieties ravioli: Artichoke, Cheese “Delicato,” Cheese “Forte” and Spinaci e Ricotta, plus four sauces.

    The other flavors including Caprese (basil and mozzarella), Chicken Rosemary and Mushroom. We’ll be seeking them out. (The company also makes tortellini, long cut pasta and gnocchi.)

    The ravioli, sold fresh in bags, cook up in two minutes—it takes longer to heat the sauce! The sauces are very dense; a little goes a long way.

    Ravioli Vs. Tortellini: A Revelation

    After tasting the prosciutto tortellini at the same time as the ravioli, we’ll probably never buy tortellini again.

    With all due respect to this popular dish and the quality of Giovanni Rana’s product, we had a revelation: It’s too much pasta and not enough filling. Since one eats pillow pasta for the filling, there’s too little of it in tortellini to deliver on expectations.

    Check out all of the delicious pastas at GiovanniRana.com.

    If you’re in New York City, head to Chelsea Market, where Giovanni Rana has a restaurant (cucina) and fresh pasta shop (pastificio).

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Two Riffs On Lasagna

    One of the fun things about cooking, we think, is that you can develop riffs on favorite dishes that always keep them fresh and interesting. Even if everyone loves your brownies, potato salad or whatever, try variations on it (like adding contrasting flavored baking chips or different nuts to the brownie batter, or minced jalapeño or a fresh herb medley to the potato salad).

    Look at what you’re cooking tonight and see how you can do a variation—divide the recipe in half and serve both. See what everyone thinks.

    Here are two riffs on that family favorite, lasagna. The one at the bottom is actually “faux” lasagna, called pasta al forno.

    RECIPE: SPINACH LASAGNA

    Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon dried basil
  •  

    Print

    How to get your family to eat more spinach: spinach lasagna! You can substitute kale. Photo and recipe courtesy Westside Market | NYC.

  • 2 10-ounce packages frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and squeezed of excess water
  • 2 cups non-fat ricotta or cottage cheese
  • 8 ounces part skim mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup chopped parsley
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 large egg
  • 8 ounces no-boil lasagna noodles (make it “double spinach lasagna” by using spinach noodles)
  •  
    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT oven to 350°F.

    2. HEAT olive oil in skillet. Add onion and garlic; sauté for 2 minutes. Add spinach, oregano and basil. Set aside.

    3. MIX ricotta/cottage cheese, mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses in a large bowl with parsley, salt, pepper and egg.

    4. SPREAD half of the spinach mixture in 8 x 8-inch ovenproof baking dish. Spread half of the cheese mixture on top. Add one layer of lasagna noodles. Repeat. Cover with foil and bake for 35 to 40 minutes.

    5. REMOVE foil and bake another 15 minutes. Let sit 10 minutes before serving.

     

     

    Print

    Pasta al forno: lasagna without the lasagna
    noodles. Recipe and photo courtesy Westside
    Market | NYC.

     

    RECIPE: PASTA AL FORNO

    Pasta al forno, which means “pasta in the oven” or baked pasta (and defines lasagna), is a variation that provides the flavor and relative appearance of lasagna without the effort of cooking and layering lasagna noodles.

    Ingredients

  • 1 pound sweet or hot fresh Italian sausage
  • 8 ounces pasta, such as ziti or penne, cooked and
    drained
  • 1 25-ounce jar or homemade marinara sauce
  • 3 cups shredded mozzarella
  • 1 10-ounce package frozen peas
  • 1 cup ricotta
  • 6 tablespoons grated Pecorino Romano or
    Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 8 tablespoons Pecorino Romano
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  •  

    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT oven to 375°F. COAT a 2-1/2-quart baking dish with vegetable cooking spray.

    2. REMOVE Remove from casing, break up into pieces and sauté in a skillet until sausage loses its color.

    3. COOK pasta. While the pasta is cooking, combine marinara sauce, 1-1/2 cups mozzarella, peas, ricotta, 6 tablespoons Pecorino Romano/Parmesan, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Stir in pasta and sausage, and pour mixture into the baking dish.

    4. STIR together in a small bowl 1-1/2 cups mozzarella, 2 tablespoons Pecorino Romano and oil. Sprinkle over top of pasta. Bake until hot, about 25 to 30 minutes. Let pasta sit for 10 minutes before serving.

      

    Comments

    RECIPE: Acorn Squash Soup & Sauteed Gnocchi

    acorn-squash-soup-gnocchi-garnish-giovannirasta-230close

    Acorn squash soup with gnocchi and a garnish of
    dried cranberries, Brussels sprouts leaves and
    crème fraîche. Photo courtesy Giovanni Rana.

     

    Italians are known for combining pasta and soup: minestrone, pasta e fagiole (pasta and bean soup) and pasta in brodo (chicken broth with pasta) are classics.

    Here’s an even fancier creation from pasta maker Giovanni Rana: acorn squash soup with potato gnocchi. This hearty starter can also serve as a main course—an example of how you can build on a simple bowl of soup to create a meal.

    RECIPE: ROASTED ACORN SQUASH SOUP
    WITH SAUTÉED GNOCCHI

    Ingredients

  • 1 package (17.6 ounces) potato gnocchi
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 acorn squash
  • 2 large shallots (or 3 small), cut in 1/4″ dice
  • 2 bulbs fennel, core and stem removed, cut in 1/4″ dice
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil plus more for drizzling
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2-1/2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons white balsamic or champagne vinegar
  • Kosher salt
  • 3 Brussels sprouts, tough outer leaves removed
  • 1/2 cup crème fraîche or sour cream
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  •  

    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT oven to 425°F. Cut acorn squash in half and scoop out the seeds and pulp. Cut the squash halves into segments, following the natural seams. Toss segments with extra virgin olive oil and season with kosher salt. Lay squash in a single layer on a sheet pan and roast until tender; about 30-35 minutes. In the meantime…

    2. MELT butter with extra virgin olive oil over medium heat. Sauté shallots and fennel until soft, about 8-10 minutes. While shallots and fennel are sautéing, peel leaves from Brussels sprouts. Toast in a dry nonstick pan over medium high heat until starting to char in spots. Remove and set aside.

    3. INCREASE heat to high and add half of the vegetable oil. When oil is shimmering, add half of the gnocchi directly from the bag. Sauté gnocchi, tossing often, until browned. Set aside and repeat.

    4. REMOVE acorn squash from oven when tender; allow to cool enough to handle. Peel skins off and discard. Working in batches, purée squash, sautéed shallots and fennel, vegetable broth, heavy cream and vinegar in a blender or food processor.

    5. RETURN soup to a pan and gently reheat. Adjust consistency with more vegetable broth if necessary and season with kosher salt. Add gnocchi and divide among bowls.

     

    1002200_gnocchi-NecoGarnicia-230

    Boiled potatoes are riced and rolled with flour into ropes of dough. Small pieces are cut off and handmade gnocchi are pressed between the thumb and the tines of a fork to make the characteristic indentations (no dents in factory-made gnocchi). Photo courtesy Neco Garnicia.

     

    6. GARNISH with a dollop of crème fraîche or sour cream, toasted Brussels sprouts leaves and dried cranberries.
     
    WHAT ARE GNOCCHI?

    Gnocchi (NYO-kee) are light and fluffy Italian dumplings. The most commonly known in the U.S. are made from potatoes and flour, although other styles are noted below.

    You can find butternut squash, spinach and sweet potato gnocchi on modern menus, and creative chefs can create a myriad of flavors. Some also substitute semolina for the potato flour—the original recipe (more about that in a minute). Shapes and ingredients vary by region.

    The word “gnocchi” means “dumplings” in Italian. There are two suggestions for the origin of the word:

  • Nocchio, “gnarl,” referring to a gnarl in wood
  • Nocca, “knuckle,” referring to the knob-like appearance
  •  
    They’re Not Italian!

    Gnocchi are of Middle Eastern origin; the originals were made with semolina dough. As the Roman Empire expanded, favorite recipes were brought home and adapted, based on local ingredients and preferences. Depending on where you are in Italy, you can find:

  • Gnocchi alla romana (Roman-style gnocchi), made with semolina flour and rolled out in a thick, flat dough. Circles are cut from the dough and then baked.
  • Gnocchi di ricotta (ricotta gnocchi), which uses ricotta instead of potatoes with the flour and egg mixture.
  • Gnocchi di patate (potato gnocchi), shown in the photos above; essentially mashed potatoes with egg and flour, cut into small pillows and boiled.
  • Gnocchi Parisienne (Parisian gnocchi), made with boiled pâte à choux (cream puff dough, which can be used in savory recipes). They are often pan-fried in butter and great tossed with fresh herbs.
  •  
    Whether covered in sauce, tossed in butter or pan-fried, gnocchi are crowd-pleasers.

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Sneak Veggies Into The Pasta

    ravioli-brussels-fennel-redonion-giovannirana-230

    Brussels sprouts and fennel accent
    mushroom ravioli. Photo courtesy Giovanni
    Rana Pasta.

     

    Just about everyone likes to eat a big plate of pasta; a smaller percentage of us enjoy a big plate of vegetables. Pasta Primavera, “spring pasta,” with a complement of spring vegetables like asparagus and zucchini, has long been a way of combining both. Often, a fun shape—bowtie or corkscrew pasta is used.

    We’re still some weeks away from spring asparagus, so how about “Pasta Inverno”—a pasta recipe with winter vegetables. Think bell peppers, carrots, mushrooms, onion, winter squash and other seasonal choices.

    The winter-hearty dish below from Giovanni Rana Pasta unites their refrigerated mushroom ravioli with winter veggies that don’t naturally come to mind when you think pasta: Brussels sprouts and fennel. Try—it’s delicious.

    The second time you make it, add an even larger percentage of vegetables, with the goal of achieving a 1:1 ratio of pasta and veggies. And of course, serve with a big side salad. That’s how to get everyone to eat more vegetables!

     
    RECIPE: MUSHROOM RAVIOLI WITH ROASTED WINTER VEGETABLES

    Ingredients For 4 Servings

  • 1 package (12 ounces) refrigerated mushroom ravioli
  • 16 ounces fresh Brussels sprouts, dark green outer leaves removed
  • 1 small bulb fennel, stalks removed and cored
  • 1 small red onion or red bell pepper
  • 6 cloves garlic, slightly crushed
  • 4 whole sprigs fresh thyme
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  •  

    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT oven to 425°F. Cut off the stem end of the Brussels sprouts and cut into quarters lengthwise. Place in a mixing bowl.

    2. SLICE fennel into 1/8” pieces and add to bowl. Cut both ends off the onion, peel and cut in half. Then quarter each onion half, for a total of 8 chunks. Separate the onion layers and add to the bowl, along with the garlic cloves.

    3. ADD enough extra virgin olive oil to lightly coat all pieces (about 3 tablespoons). Lay the vegetables on a sheet pan in one layer and roast without flipping for 15 minutes. Add the whole sprigs of fresh thyme and flip all pieces.

    4. CONTINUE roasting vegetables until they are tender and well browned, flipping every 5-10 minutes; about 35 minutes total. Remove garlic cloves and sprigs of thyme. Season vegetables to taste with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. While the vegetables are roasting…

     

    catskill-brussels-sprouts-230

    Who’d have thought up pairing Brussels sprouts with mushroom ravioli. It’s a yummy recipe. Photo courtesy Burpee.

     

    5. MELT butter in a sauté pan over medium heat. Prepare ravioli according to package instructions. Drain ravioli, reserving ¼ cup of cooking water. Toss ravioli in the butter along with roasted vegetables. If necessary, add enough cooking water to achieve a sauce-like consistency. Plate ravioli and vegetables together and serve.

      

    Comments

    FOOD FUN: Valentine Pizza

    You can use a giant heart-shape cookie pan, pressing into the dough like a cookie cutter, to cut a heart-shaped crust (which also works for anniversaries, bridal showers, birthdays, Mother’s Day and other festivities).

    Or you can freehand it.

    Use your Valentine’s favorite toppings or stick to a red theme:

    RED VEGETABLES

  • Cherry tomatoes, halved
  • Diced San Marzano tomatoes (canned)
  • Grilled red pepper (pimiento)
  • Mini red jacket potatoes, cooked and halved
  • Pepperoni
  • Pimento-stuffed olives
  • Red bell peppers
  • Red chiles (Anaheim, Fresno or jalapeño, e.g.)
  • Sliced plum tomatoes
  • Sundried tomatoes
  •  

    heart-pizza-dueforni-lasvegas-230

    We [heart] pizza. Photo courtesy Due Forni | Las Vegas.

     

    PINK-RED PROTEINS

  • Pepperoni
  • Prosciutto/Serrano ham
  • Salmon caviar
  • Shrimp
  • Smoked salmon
  •  
    One of our favorite pizzas: sliced boiled potatoes, smoked salmon strips, salmon caviar and fresh dill with white sauce.

    It’s perfect for Valentine’s Day or any day!

      

    Comments

    VALENTINE FOOD: Spaghetti & Meat Balls

    valentine-spaghetti-beansprouts.com-230

    Now, loving pasta has a double meaning.
    Photo courtesy Bean Sprouts.

     

    This fun idea comes from Shannon Payette Seip, author of “Bean Appetit: Hip And Healthy Ways To Have Fun With Food.” She is co-founder of Bean Sprouts Café and Cooking School in Seattle, where families learn to make dishes that are both great tasting and good for you.

    It’s easy to make this heart-shaped pasta dish. For each portion, plan on two cups of cooked pasta, one meatball, 1/2 cup marinara sauce and an optional two strips of red bell pepper.
     
    Preparation

  • Use aluminum foil to create a heart shape, a little smaller than the size of a salad plate (or dinner plate, for a larger portion).
  • Place the outline on a greased cookie sheet. Fill with cooked spaghetti and bake at 400°F for 10-12 minutes.
  • While the spaghetti is baking, cut the cooked meatball and red pepper into arrow shape. You can use the marinara sauce to make the arrow shafts, instead of the bell pepper, if you wish.
  • Use spatula to transfer the spaghetti heart on plate. Outline with marinara sauce.
  •  

    Shannon suggests that, as you dig in with family or friends, you share three things you love about each other.

      

    Comments

    SUPER BOWL: Football Pizza

    football-pizza-due-forni-LV-230ps

    It’s easy to make “football pizza.” Photo
    courtesy Due Forni | Las Vegas.

     

    Turn pepperoni into a pigskin with this clever idea from Due Forni restaurant in Las Vegas (the restaurant’s name means “two ovens”).

    Whether you’re having pizza delivered on game day or making it yourself, it’s easy to add a football to your pizza.

  • Slice a pepperoni sausage thinly.
  • Slice mozzarella into “laces.”
  • Ten minutes before the pizza should come out of the oven, quickly remove and lay the pepperoni atop and mozzarella, as shown in the photo.
  • Return to the oven to heat the pepperoni and melt the cheese. If it’s delivery pizza, have a hot oven ready; lay down the pepperoni and cheese and heat for 10 minutes.
  •  
    Go team!

     

    MORE “FOOTBALL FOOD”

  • Football Cupcakes
  • Football Deviled Eggs: make laces with chives
  • Football Steak
  • Football Strawberries: Pipe white chocolate laces onto chocolate-covered strawberries
  •   

    Comments

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