Sunday, January 3, 2010

Spaghetti al Limone

We went to NYC a couple of years ago and I had one of the most spectacular, yet rustic dish at Supper in the East Village.  It was so good, that ever since I've been trying my hardest to recreate it here.  I think I finally did it.

Seriously, it's simple, luscious and tastes of fresh lemon and parmesan cheese.  What could be better than that? 

1 lb. spaghetti, cooked to al dente (keep pasta water)
1/4 c. fresh squeezed lemon juice
zest of two lemons
4 tbs. unsalted butter
4 tbs. olive oil
1/4 c. fresh italian parsely, plus more for garnish
1/2 c. parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
3 tbs. dry white wine
salt & lots of fresh cracked pepper
4 tbs. heavy cream

In a large pan place the butter and lemon juice and let bubble.  Add zest of one lemon and simmer.  Add a little pepper and some salt.  Crank heat and add the wine, reduce down. 

Next, add the olive oil and continue to stir until thick.  Add the pasta and the cream.

NOTE:  You don't want to add the cream until you add the pasta or sauce will curdle.

If the sauce is too thick, add some of the pasta water (I add usually around 1/4 cup)  stir in the parmesan cheese, italian parsley  and add lots of fresh cracked pepper. 

Place in pasta bowl and top with extra zest, pepper and parsley. 

Banana Pecan Pancakes

I didn't get a picture of these because they were devoured in seconds of me putting the plate down. The addition of ricotta cheese makes the batter light and fluffy.  You can change this up and add fresh blueberries too. These are so easy to make and you will be a superstar! 

1 medium banana, sliced in circles
1 c. flour
1 c. buttermilk
1 egg
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
pinch of salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
3 tbs. ricotta cheese
sprinkle of pecans
warm maple syrup

In a large bowl mix together the flour, baking soda & powder & salt.  Add the wet ingredients and mix until just combined. 

You don't want to over mix otherwise the batter will become tough.

Pour laddle full portions onto a greased griddle or skillet.  Once you flip, add the discs of bananas and pecans.

Serve topped with more fresh bananas and nuts and warm maple syrup. 


Thursday, December 3, 2009

The Italian Egg

This is a fun and unusual breakfast.  I call it the Italian breakfast because it has all the colors of the Italian flag.  It's simple and totally delicious! The best part?  It's on the table in less than 10 minutes!

This recipe will serve one.
1 egg
1 piece of whole wheat sourdough bread
1 c. baby spinach
1/2 roma tomato, diced
1 basil leaf, shredded
1/2 piece thick cut pancetta, diced
parmesan cheese
garlic salt &pepper

Place slice of toast in the toaster.

In a non-stick skillet over medium high heat, heat the pan and spray with non stick cooking so that the egg will not stick.  Add 1tbs. of butter and let melt.

Add the pancetta and let the fat begin to render and the meat to begin to get crispy.  Move the meat over to the side and add the egg to the center of the pan and season with salt & pepper.

The trick here is not to disturb the egg once you've placed it in the pan.  You want the egg to remain in tact.

The bacon pile, add the spinach and tomato and season with a little pepper. 

Cover the pan and let cook for about 2 minutes until the whites are fully cooked and the egg yolk has just a little jiggle.  Remove the egg from the pan and top with shredded basil.  set aside.

Saute the bacon and veggies until the spinach is fully wilted. 

Remove bread from toaster and top with a little butter.  Top the bread with egg and then the veggies.  Complete with just a touch of parmesan cheese. 

Simple ingredients, healthy breakfast and a completely happy way to start the day! 

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Basics: Marinara Sauce

My husband loves my Sunday Gravy.  Unfortunately, sometimes I don't have the time to sit over a stove all day and cook the sauce with all the meats.  This is a simple, basic marinara that can be used over pasta, as a basis to lasagne or chicken or eggplant parmesan.  This basic recipe will make about 2 cups, so double or triple the recipe to keep on hand in your freezer for a quick and easy weeknight meal.  The best part, this sauce is done in about 30-45 minutes!  Brava!

1 32 oz can of crushed san marzano tomatoes
1 large carrot, diced fine
1 medium onion, diced fine
3 cloves garlic, diced
1/2 c. chicken stock
1/2 c. dry wine ( you can use red or white)
1 dried bay leaf
1/2 tsp. red pepper flake
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. italian seasoning
2 tbs. tomato paste
2 fresh basil leaves, left whole
salt & pepper to taste

In a large soup or dutch oven, heat about 4 tbs of olive oil over medium high heat.  Add the carrot and onion and saute for about 3-4 minutes until the onion starts to become translucent.  Add the garlic and saute for about 2 minutes more.  Add the red pepper flake, bay leaf and the tomato paste and stir to combine.

Next, add the wine and let simmer for about 3-5 minutes until the wine has reduced by 1/3.  Next add the chicken stock, crushed tomatos and rest of the herbs and stir until combined.  Season with salt and pepper.  Let the sauce come to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer for about 30 minutes until the sauce has thickened.

Serve over your favorite pasta or meats!

Mangia, Mangia! 

The Basics: Simple Vinegarette

Many of you have been emailing me, asking me for a more basic series of recipes that can be adapted to everyday fare.  This is my basic salad vingarette that can be used to add a homemade and sweet spin to your everyday salads.  It's simple, it's fresh and you know what's in it, because you made it.

2 garlic cloves, chopped fine
1 large shallot, chopped fine
juice of 2 large lemons
3 tbs. honey
1/2 c. olive oil
salt & pepper

in a bowl, whisk together the first four ingredients until the honey is mixed together with the lemon juice.  Then slowly whisk in the olive oil until thick and smooth.  Add salt & pepper to taste. 

The dressing will last about one week in the fridge. 

Friday, November 20, 2009

A Classic: Italian Style Turkey Meatloaf

There are many variations  of meatloaf.  I like this version for my everyday, go to recipe because it's light, healthy and delicious with the spicy ketchup topping.  You can use ground beef or chicken if you don't like turkey.  Serve this with garlic mashed potatoes and roasted veggies for a complete meal.

1 lb. ground turkey
2 eggs
1 tbs. tomato paste
1/4 c. worcestorshire sauce
1 tsp. dried thyme or 1 tbs. fresh
1 tbs. italian seasoning
3/4 c. dried breadcrumbs
1/4 c. chicken stock
1/2 c. ketchup
1.5 tbs. brown sugar
1 tsp. hot sauce
1 small onion, diced
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375

In a saute pan, drizzle about 1 tbs olive oil in the pan and heat.  Add diced onion and saute for about 3-4 minutes until the onion is translucent.  Add thyme, worcestorshire sauce, stock and tomato paste and stir together until thick.  Season with salt and pepper to taste and remove from heat.

In a medium bowl, combine eggs, turkey, breadcrumbs, italian seasoning, salt and pepper and combine.  Add the cooled down onion mixture and mix well.  The mixture should be firm.

In a small bowl, combine ketchup, brown sugar and hot sauce and mix together.

Place mixture on top of the meatloaf.

Place freeform in a cookie sheet or in a bread pan and cook for about 45 minutes.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Buttermilk Waffles

Sunday mornings are perfect for a leisurely breakfast with the family.  While waffles may seem like their really difficult to make, they are extremely easy.  I use buttermilk which makes it light and fluffy.

Like my cornbread mix, I buy the regular old pancake mix and doctor it up.  Again, no one will know the difference!

Preheat waffle iron

In a bowl combine  3 1/2 c. pancake mix, 2 c buttermilk, 2 eggs, 1/2 c vegetable oil and combine until smooth.  Serve with warm maple syrup and fresh fruit.