Showing posts with label pasta. Show all posts
Showing posts with label pasta. Show all posts

Monday, December 14, 2015

Spinach and Broccoli Pasta

I had the most relaxing weekend. I didn't do anything special, I didn't go anywhere fun but I stayed home warm and cozy and spent some quality time with my sweety and with my pets. I did some cooking, though not that much. I wanted to make a Pandoro but I was out of butter...oops... my Aunt always tells me a good cook should never be without eggs, butter, milk or flour.  Whatever...I forgot it. 

I watched some great movies with my Christmas Trees all lit up sipping on hot tea. 

I watched one of my favorite movies of all time...Moonstruck. 

It's such a cute movie I never get tired of watching it. If you've never seen it and you love romantic comedies...this is a movie to see. Cher and Nicholas Cage are great together in this movie. 

Then on Sunday I made one of my favorite dishes which is usually made with broccoli rapini (which I've talked about before here) but this time I wanted to use regular broccoli and spinach. I love how it turned out. Broccoli rapini tends to have sort of a bitter taste to it whereas spinach on the other hand is milder. We really enjoyed this dish and I hope you will try it out because it is really easy to prepare and packed with vitamins and nutrients.  

Just boil about 2 cups of spinach in salt water along with one cup of broccoli. I used frozen veggies but you can use fresh it you have them. 

Boil the spinach and broccoli for about 10 - 15 minutes then add the pasta. 

I ended up having to change the pot because the other one was too small. For this recipe I used fresh pasta that I bought in the refrigerator section of the grocery store. It's much tastier than dry pasta I think and is perfect for this type of recipe. The cooking time for this pasta was 10 minutes so I let this boil for about 8 minutes. In the mean time I heated about 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil in a pan with 2 anchovies, one garlic clove and a jalapeno pepper. 

After this heats up for a couple minutes remove the jalapeno and garlic. Leave the anchovies which will eventually dissolve in the oil. 

At this point you are ready to add the pasta and greens to the pan. Drain and save about a half a cup of the water. Add everything to the pan mixing well. 

Add the half cup of water and keep mixing until the water thickens up from the starch released by the pasta. 

You probably won't need to add any more salt since the pasta and veggies already cooked in the salt water but taste it and add some more if necessary. 

You can add some grated Parmesan if you like or eat it without cheese. I prefer it without cheese but my sweety likes a tablespoon of Parmesan on top. 

This is a delicious hearty dish that is good for the both the body and soul. 

It's getting pretty chilly here now. This morning someone didn't feel like getting out from under the covers. 

He has this furry blanket that I bought for him and he just loves it. 

And just because I started this post with a Christmas Tree I'll end it with another one. The kitchen tree will get jealous if I don't show her off as well :-)

Have a Blessed week my friends! 

Monday, November 16, 2015

The Perfect Italian Meatball

Happy Monday to you my friends. I hope you are all doing well and in good health! 

Yesterday for lunch I made classic spaghetti and meatballs. If you follow me on Instagram you already saw these pictures but I wanted to share how our family makes their meatballs because to me, they are pure perfection!  

So what better gif than the one below to begin this meatball post :-)

"This is the night, it's a beautiful night 
And we call it Bella Notte
Look at the skies, they have stars in their eyes
On this lovely Bella Notte"

....Oh, how I love this movie....

In Italy the meatballs are usually a little smaller than a ping pong ball. That's the size our family makes them. There are some regions in Italy where they are as small as marbles. I remember when I was in fourth grade and living in the States, I was invited to dinner at a friend's house and my friend's mother had made spaghetti and meatballs. They were huge!! They were the size of a baseball I tell you! I was so used to seeing tiny meatballs that when I saw those suckers I was pretty shocked LOL. 

Here are the ingredients I use for my meatballs: 

- 500 grams of lean ground beef 
 - one egg, 
 - 3 tablespoons of plain bread crumbs, 
 - 2 tablespoons of fresh cut parsley, 
 - 3 tablespoons of grated pecorino romano cheese
 - dash salt and pepper 
 - half a clove of garlic minced

Mix all of the ingredients well and make sure to cut the garlic very small. 

Roll into little balls the size of small ping pong balls. 

A little family secret of ours is to dip your fingers in red wine when you are rolling the meatballs out. Just put some red wine in a small bowl and add a small amount on your finger tips when rolling out the meatballs. This adds a little more flavor and makes the outside of the meatball a little crispier. 

Add some high quality frying oil to a large frying pan and begin adding the meatballs once the oil has heated sufficiently. 

You will see that they brown rather quickly. Flip them over with a fork or a spoon after about 2-3 minutes and fry the other side. 

After they have browned all around you can remove them from heat and set them aside in a dish on top of a napkin or paper towel to absorb any excess oil. 

This is the way I prefer them...without the sauce and nice and hot... ahhh so good! 

If you want to add them to your sauce, you can at this point. Just heat them together with the sauce that you have already made and serve atop your pasta. 

If you are wondering what kind of cheese that is, it is shredded cacioriccota cheese which is typical of the Apulia and Basilicata regions. It goes very well with any type of meat sauce. 

Buon appetito  and happy start to the new week :-)

PS - I think I might be starting my Christmas decorating very soon... I can't help it! Seeing decorations everywhere in the stores is bringing on my Christmas Spirit!

Monday, October 12, 2015

Smoked Salmon Tagliatelle

Happy Monday everyone! I woke up in a very good mood for some reason which is strange because I'm usually rather grouchy on Monday mornings and would prefer to not have any type of human contact until around noon.

This is me on Monday mornings...not Oscar, but the cat.
But not this morning. This morning the sun was shining, the smell of autumn was in the air and I was just in an all-around happy mood :-)
This morning I was this cat.
It also rained all weekend here so it was nice to see the sun come out. I guess I just needed the weekend to reenergize myself. I started running again and I think maybe that also helped my mood. I had stopped for a while but I ran for about an hour on the dread mill Saturday and felt really good afterwards. I'll try to keep at it this week and see how it goes. I'm usually good about it during the weekends but then when work starts on Monday I get lazy and stop. I'll try to get at least a half hour in every (other) day and see how it goes...
I also made a lot of delicious food over the weekend so I'm excited to share those recipes with you. On Sunday I made smoked salmon tagliatelle which was outstanding! I even got compliments from my honey which is not easy to do!!
Tagliolini or tagliatelle is a type of egg pasta which is typical of the northern regions in Italy. It is a porous pasta which is great for thick sauces. I used store bought tagliatelle for this recipe but you can use any pasta you like. Even short pasta works well here.
The recipe is very easy to make, here is the shopping list:
 -  tagliatelle pasta serving for 2
 - one packet of smoked salmon
 - 1/2 cup of light cooking cream
 - 2 tablespoons of grated parmesan cheese
 - 1 tablespoon fresh cut parsley
 - 1 tablespoon of butter
 - 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
 - 1 small onion
 - 1 tablespoon of Brandy
 - salt and pepper to taste
The first thing I did was prepare the ingredients so I cut the salmon into small squares and diced up the onion and parsley. I let the onion simmer in a pan with the butter and olive oil until translucent.
I then added the salmon and let that simmer on medium heat until the salmon turned a light pink color (about 5 minutes).
Once the salmon has cooked add the Brandy and let that evaporate.
Lastly add the cream and parmesan and turn off the heat. Salt and pepper to taste and add the parsley. 
Cook the pasta in a separte pot and once it is al dente add it to the sauce and save one cup of water from the pasta. The water from the pasta contains starch so it will thicken the sauce making it even creamier...mmmm. Everyone loves creamy pasta :-) Add a ladle of it to the sauce.

Heat everything on low heat stirring until you've reached the desired consistancy.
And now enjoy the delicasy of Smoked Salmon Tagliatelle. Oooh la la :-)
Have an outstanding week and Happy Thanksgiving to my Canadian friends!