Pasta With Roasted Pepper and Manchego Pesto

Pasta With Roasted Pepper and Manchego Pesto

Makes 4 servings

Melissa, my pseudo adopted daughter,  and family sent us a nice cheese package for Xmas and one was manchego cheese. Lyn saw this recipe in the Boston Globe and we tried and will try again and again. Of course, I cut it in half since there were only two of us but here is the complete recipe for 4.

From Milk Street: The idea for this pesto came from Spanish romesco, a heady sauce that counts nuts, olive oil, smoked paprika, and dried ñora peppers among its ingredients. In keeping with the Spanish theme, we use manchego cheese, a semi-hard aged sheep’s-milk cheese with grassy notes, a subtle piquancy, and a salty-savory finish. A generous dose of oregano adds bold herbal flavor and freshness.

2¾ ounces manchego cheese (without rind), chopped into rough 1-inch pieces

1/3 cup whole roasted or raw almonds

2 tablespoons fresh oregano

Note: I used a heaping tablespoon of dried, since my fresh is buried under 15″ of snow

1½ teaspoons smoked paprika                

Kosher salt and ground black pepper

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

¾ cup drained roasted red peppers, patted dry

1 pound Fusilli pasta (you could use whatever pasta you like)

In a food processor, pulse the manchego to the texture of coarse sand; transfer to a bowl. Process the almonds, oregano, paprika, ¾ teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper until finely chopped, scraping the bowl. Add the manchego and half the oil, then process until smooth. Add the peppers and remaining oil; pulse until creamy.

Cook the pasta in a large pot of salted water until al dente. Reserve 1 cup water, then drain. Toss the pasta with the pesto, adding cooking water as needed to help the sauce cling. Season with salt and pepper.

What is Fusilli (foo-SILL-ee) it is a type of Italian pasta shaped like curly spirals or little springs. Fusilli is often served with thicker sauces like meat sauces and heavy cream sauces, since the grooves in the pasta trap sauce. The word fusilli comes from “fuso” meaning spindle—a spindle rod is traditionally used to spin the strips of pasta into a spiral shape.

Easy Italian Purple Cabbage Rolls

Easy Italian Purple Cabbage Rolls

I got a red cabbage with my Misfits Market order thinking it would be a small head that I could add to my salads, but it turned out to be huge. I like stuffed cabbage and figure why not.  If your interested in trying Misfits use my code (COOKWME-FG1DCQ) that way we can both save some $$. This is a quick, easy and pretty good. I have made other recipes like sweet and sour but I kind of like this one.

Ingredients

  • 1 large head purple cabbage
  • 3 cups water or unsalted chicken broth
  • 1 cup brown rice, cooked and cooled
  • 1 ¼ pounds ground sirloin
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 2 teaspoons ground sage
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning (optional)
  • Sea salt and black pepper
  • 2 ½ cups low-sodium marinara sauce (my mother in-law used to use tomato soup)

How

Carefully cut or remove 6 large leaves from a head of cabbage—the bigger, the better; they are your vessels in this recipe. Bring a pot of water to a boil, then drop in the leaves. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until soft and malleable.

Bring the 3 cups water or broth to a boil, then add the rice. Cover and cook until the farro has softened and can be fluffed with a fork, about 30 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Preheat oven to 400˚F.

In a large bowl, mix turkey, egg, garlic powder, onion, bell pepper, sage, Italian seasoning (if using), salt, black pepper, 2 tablespoons marinara sauce, and rice.

In a baking dish, spread 1 cup marinara sauce over the bottom.

Take a scoop of the meat mixture ( I used my medium ice cream scoop) and roll into a cylinder or ball. Place at the bottom of a cabbage leaf; roll up the bottom, fold in the sides, then continue rolling the leaf to seal. Repeat. Depending on the size of the leaf, I had some left over so I just made small meatballs with leftover and placed in pan. I think they are called porcupine balls, I call it chef’s treat.

Place the rolls side by side on top of the sauce in the baking dish. Pour the remaining sauce over the rolls Cover the baking dish with tin foil and bake at 400˚F for 55 minutes. 

You could also use this for stuffed peppers, acorn squash

Info

Other things I’ve been making

Other things I’ve been making

Fusilli and Meatball Puttanesca

Fusilli and Meatball Puttanesca

Lyn and I were looking for something for dinner and we came up with making Ravioli Puttanesca but use some of my meatballs chopped up and some Fusilli instead of raviolis. It’s the same basic recipe but I chopped up two meatballs and added some sundried tomatoes to the sliced cherry tomatoes.

I really like the results and will duplicate in future.

Recipe

Meatballs optional

Breakfast Sausage Ragu cooking from the gut.

Breakfast Sausage Ragu cooking from the gut.

We took advantage of a special that Butcher Box was offering bacon and breakfast sausage. My son had recommended the bacon so I figured what the heck. Now with the pandemic you have to make do with what you have. The first thing we had to do is figure out if it had maple syrup in it. Mike never got the sausage so he did not know but suggested smell it. Not a bad idea so I opened the package and smelt away and it did not. Good thing is I still had my sense of smell and taste, if you know what I mean. I cooked a tiny pattie just to make sure and the nose did not fail me. Anyway Lyn made her sauce and I cooked the sausage etc. It was a mild breakfast sausage and I added some Italian seasoning while browning. When browning I like to flatten it and let brown flip then start to crumble, rather than start to crumble as soon as you put in pan. In my opinion it produces a moister browned meat.

I added green pepper, mushroom, spring onion after the meat was browned cooked for a minute then added some of Lyn’s sauce

Cooked the pasta and served.

All in all it came out pretty good for a cook from the gut meal. I think the mildness of the sausage made it possible.

Quick Goulash with what I had

As I mentioned Lyn is fasting this week and I get to make what I want. I decided to make American Goulash and discovered that I did not a can of diced tomatoes and did not feel like opening a large can of ground tomatoes. So I ad libbed. I also used smoked paprika.

What I did was mix ketchup with the chicken broth and diced what little I had of cherry tomatoes left from Misfit Market. I had chopped green peppers and a pinch of red pepper flakes. Was a good supper and lunch today. Lyn was mad she kept complaining it smelts so good.

Right now I’m waiting for Charlie Baker to give an pandemic update and all that is on screen is his sign person who is looking very nervous walking back and forth and I think talking to himself.

Beckon’s Gluten-Free Bread

Beckon’s Gluten-Free Bread

A few weeks ago Lyn innocently asked me, you used to make bread right, she knows I don’t like to bake (to exact) she also knows I have a hard time refusing her wants and needs. So she asked for some gluten free seed bread. This is a wicked heavy bread and I gave it a good try, after a few weeks she finished it and is hinting about another loaf. To keep impulse munching down we cut in slices and froze. You know what it is like with fresh bread.

Ingredients

To Make the Night Before:

  • 1 cup Cup4Cup gluten-free flour
  • 1 cup pumpkin seeds
  • ¾ cup sunflower seeds
  • ¾ cup flaxseeds
  • ⅓ cup white sesame seeds
  • 3 tablespoons fennel seeds
  • 2 tablespoons poppy seeds
  • 2 tablespoons dill seeds
  • 2 tablespoons caraway seeds
  • 5 teaspoons yellow mustard seeds
  • ½ cup cornmeal

To Make the Day of:

  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 cup Cup4Cup gluten-free flour
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • Nonstick cooking spray

How

Step 1

In a large glass bowl, combine the flour with all the seeds and the cornmeal. Stir in 2 1/4 cups water. Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap, and let sit overnight, 8 to 12 hours.

 Step 2

The next day, in another large glass bowl, whisk the yeast and the honey into 2 tablespoons warm water (100° to 110°). Let sit until foamy, about 5 minutes.

 Step 3

Scrape the overnight mixture into the bowl with the yeast mixture, and add the flour and the salt. Using a wooden spoon, stir until well combined, about 1 minute. (The mixture will be thick.) Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap, and let sit until mixture lightens in texture, about 1 hour.

 Step 4

Spray a 9-by-5-inch nonstick loaf pan with cooking spray. Scrape dough into prepared pan. Cover with plastic wrap, and let rest in a warm area just until dough reaches the top of the pan, about 1 hour.

 Step 5

Preheat the oven to 350°. Bake loaf until golden on top and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 1 1/2 hours. Let cool before slicing. (Wrapped airtight, this bread will keep for over a week in the refrigerator or up to 6 months in the freezer.)

Tips

Use the Right Flour: “Cup4Cup is my favorite gluten-free blend,” Tompkins says. “For texture and flavor, mix in cornmeal or another gluten-free flour, like oat or teff.”Rise it Twice: “I go with the same process used in Danish rye breads,” Tompkins says. “I let the dough rise twice — in a bowl and again in the loaf pan — which really lightens up the loaves.”Add Lots of Seeds: Pumpkin, sunflower, fennel, mustard, sesame, and dillseeds add a nice complexity.”Soak the seeds overnight,” Tompkins says. “This keeps them from being too crunchy.”

Tips Recipe by Tamra Tompkins, pastry chef at Beckon in Denver.

Ravioli Puttanesca

Ravioli Puttanesca

Love raviolis, they remind me of Sunday dinners at my mother in laws where seconds consisted of her asking, want some more, then grabbing the edge of your plate so no pull away with her. After piling on more than your first serving. She believed a well-fed person was a happy one and with her cooking everyone was happy.

Lyn found this recipe; it was surprisingly quick and easy with great taste. We cleaned our plates.

I made half this recipe since there was only the two of us.

Ingredients
  • 1 lb. cheese ravioli
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/3 c. pitted Kalamata olives (about 15), chopped
    • Note: I had to substitute a can of black that’s all we had
  • 1 tbsp. capers, rinsed and chopped
  • 1 c. grape or cherry tomatoes, sliced
    • Note: will try with a can of fire roasted tomatoes next time
  • 4 c. baby spinach
  • black pepper
  • 1 c. fresh basil leaves, torn
  • Grated Parmesan or Romano cheese, for serving

How

Cook the ravioli according to package directions.

Meanwhile, heat the oil and garlic in a large skillet over medium heat until the garlic starts to sizzle, about 3 minutes. Add the olives and capers and cook for 2 minutes more.

Add the tomatoes and toss to combine.

Add the ravioli, spinach, and 1 teaspoon black pepper; toss until the spinach begins to wilt, 2 minutes.

Fold in the basil and serve with grated cheese, if desired.

add ravs, tomatoes and spinach and toss to coat until spnage starts to wilt.

Fold in the basil and serve with grated cheese, if desired.

serve
Plate
It was very good as you can see
Chicken Cutlets on Spaghettini with Toasted Pine Nuts and Raisins

Chicken Cutlets on Spaghettini with Toasted Pine Nuts and Raisins

Lyn found this in the Boston Globe the only change we would make is add sundried tomatoes and add when the raisins are added.

The key to a romantic dinner at home is to keep it simple. Something quick can be just as impressive and elegant as a restaurant meal. For this dish, take thinly sliced chicken breasts and serve them with a white wine sauce made with pine nuts and raisins. If you can’t find ready-sliced skinless, boneless chicken cutlets, ring the butcher’s bell and ask the butcher to slice some or slice your own at home; one pound of chicken yields about four cutlets. Coat the chicken cutlets lightly with seasoned flour and pan-fry them. Take them out of the pan and start the sauce. Toast pine nuts first with a touch of garlic (hey, if you’re both eating it at the same time, nothing to worry about). Add raisins, rosemary, and white wine, simmer the sauce, reheat the chicken in it, and swirl in butter off the heat. Serve the cutlets on spaghettini; you can boil it while you cook the chicken. You’ve got the rest of the bottle of wine that didn’t go into the pot, a nice dish, and a quiet table away from the craze of a crowded restaurant.

Ingredients

  • ½ cup flour
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1-pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons raisins
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 2 tablespoons butter, cut up
  • ¼ pound spaghettini (This is #3 spaghetti)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

How

1. In a shallow bowl, mix the flour with salt and pepper. Dredge each cutlet in the flour and shake lightly to remove the excess.

2. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil. Add the chicken and cook for 3 to 5 minutes on each side, or until golden. Transfer the chicken to a plate.

3. Add the pine nuts to the pan, and toast for 3 minutes, or until they are aromatic and just beginning to brown. Add the garlic and cook, stirring often, for 2 minutes.

4. Add the raisins, rosemary, and wine. Bring to a simmer and return the chicken to the pan. Simmer for 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, and stir in the butter. Swirl the pan gently until the butter is incorporated.

5. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the spaghettini and cook, stirring occasionally, for 9 to 10 minutes, or until it is tender but still has some bite. Drain without rinsing and divide between two plates. Spoon chicken cutlets and sauce on each and sprinkle with parsley.

Pan fry 3-5 minutes until golden and remove to plate
Toast pine nuts then add wine, raisins, rosemary bring to boil and then bring to simmer
Swirl in butter add chicken back in and simmer for 5-9 minutes
place chicken on top of bed of spaghettini and top with sauce
Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve. we served with a slow rise olive bread from Nashoba Brook Bakery

What the heck is slow rise and what are some Benefits of Slow Rise Breads?

From The Garden Goulash

From The Garden Goulash

I had a bowl full of cherry tomatoes, a yellow pepper and a pound of 90% burger from wholefoods and even though Lyn is not crazy about this dish I had a craving. So in this case the heck with her its all about me this time. I grew up calling a similar dish American Chop Suey so I based it a lot on my recipe but i’ve seen it been called Goulash so since this was different I ‘ll call it such.

 

Ingredients

  • 1 lbs of hamburger
  • Maybe 30 quartered cherry tomatoes
  • One yellow bell pepper cored and chops
  • 2 stalks of celery thinly sliced cross wise.
  • 1/2 cup of Lyn’s pasta sauce which included a splash of water maybe 1/4 cup worth
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon basil
  • A pinch or so of red pepper flakes, depending how spicy you like it

I tired something I read on browning the burger and I have to say I think it worked. I flatten the burger out and place on the preheated pan on high with a little oil and browned on that side for a few minutes over medium, turning down the heat to medium as soon as it hit the hot pan.

Flipped it and then started to break up into smaller chunks. this did as I read kept the meat moister. I used to immediately start to chop up the meat. I had already added the pepper and celery and by the time the meat had browned they were limp but still had a little bite to them. Mine was 90% lean so there was very little fat render if you used 80% or lower then drain the fat out.

I then added the spices , tomatoes and sauce  mixing well and brought to simmer then stirred occasionally. 

In the meantime I had a plan I was going to freeze a lot of the meat mixture for a quick easy future bachelor meal so instead of cooking the one pound of elbow pasta I only cooked up 1 cup.  and I only cook for 5 minutes.

When the pasta was done and bowled I scooped the meat mixture on top, mix to coat well it up and then being raised by my dad squirted some ketchup on it.  I know I know I know.

It was quick and easy but did create a bunch of pots and pans but well with. Lyn shook her head and had a salad for lunch.