Tag Archives: Italian

Italian Wedding Soup

italianweddingsoup

The term “wedding soup” is a mistranslated phrase of the Italian language phrase “minestra maritata (“married soup”),” which is a reference to the fact that green vegetables and meats go well together. The minestra maritata recipe was long popular in Toledo, Spain, before pasta became an affordable commodity to most Spaniards. The modern wedding soup is quite a bit lighter than the old Spanish form, which contained more meats than just the meatballs of modern Italian-American versions. This version uses sausage for the meatballs, but you could use beef or even ground turkey. I used the ever popular kale as the green, but it could be spinach or other hearty greens.

Italian Wedding Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound italian sausage
  • ¼ cup ricotta cheese
  • ¼ cup pesto
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp dried Italian seasoning
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups kale, chopped
  • 4 ounces ditalini pasta
  • Chopped fresh parsley

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the broiler.
  2. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil.
  3. Combine the sausage, ricotta, pesto, parmesan, ½ tsp salt and ½ tsp of pepper in a large bowl.
  4. Mix with your hands until just combined.
  5. Form into 24 small meatballs, about 1 tablespoon each.
  6. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet.
  7. Broil until lightly browned.
  8. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a medium Dutch oven or pot over medium-high heat.
  9. Add the onion, garlic, Italian seasoning and ½ tsp salt.
  10. Cook, stirring, until the onion is softened.
  11. Stir in the chicken broth, 2 cups water, kale, and ditalini.
  12. Cover and bring to a boil, then partially uncover and reduce the heat to simmer.
  13. Cook until the pasta is al dente, about 10 minutes.
  14. Add the meatballs and simmer, uncovered, until warmed through.
  15. Season with salt and pepper.
  16. Drizzle each serving with olive oil and sprinkle with parmesan and parsley.

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Chicken Stew

ChickenStew

I have not added any new recipes in a long time. We have all been very busy. Now stew does not sound all that good in the summer. But here in Colorado, we are having a mild rainy summer. So I thought I would try this quick thick soup, or stew if you want to call it. It is pretty good. I am trying to make smaller portions, because in a month our youngest child goes off to coolege. You will probably be seeing some cooking for two dishes very soon.

Chicken Stew

Ingredients:

  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 stalks celery, medium dice
  • 2 carrots, medium dice
  • 1 small onion, medium dice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 (14 1/2-ounce) can chopped tomatoes
  • 2 cups low salt chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, torn into pieces
  • 2 bay leafs
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • 2 chicken breast with ribs (about 1 1/2 pounds total)
  • 1 (15-ounce) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
    Serving suggestion: crusty bread

Instructions:

  1. Heat the 1 tablespoon oil in a heavy 6 quart saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Brown the chicken on both sides and set aside.
  3. Add two tablespoons oil over medium heat.
  4. Add the celery, carrot, and onion.
  5. Saute the vegetables until the onion is translucent.
  6. Add the garlic, salt, pepper, and thyme.
  7. Cook until fragrant.
  8. Add the tomato paste, and cook until it starts to darken.
  9. Stir in the tomatoes with their juices, chicken broth, basil, and bay leaf.
  10. Add the chicken breasts; press to submerge.
  11. Bring the cooking liquid to a simmer.
  12. Reduce the heat to low and simmer gently uncovered until the chicken is almost cooked through.
  13. Turning the chicken breasts over and stirring the mixture occasionally.
  14. Using tongs, transfer the chicken breasts to a work surface and cool until you can handle.
  15. Discard the bay leafs.
  16. Add the kidney beans to the pot and simmer until the liquid has reduced into a stew consistency.
  17. Discard the skin and bones from the chicken breasts.
  18. Shred or cut the chicken into bite- size pieces.
  19. Return the chicken meat to the stew.
  20. Bring the stew just to a simmer.
  21. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  22. Ladle the stew into serving bowls and serve with the bread.

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Stuffed Meatballs with Marinara

StuffedMeatballs

Stuffed Meatballs with Marinara

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 ounces sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 1 1/4 pounds 85 percent lean ground beef
  • 3 sticks mozzarella string cheese
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes

Instructions:

  1. Combine panko, 1/2 cup Parmesan, eggs, 2 Tbsp basil, half of garlic, 1 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp pepper in large bowl.
  2. Add sausage and knead with your hands until incorporated into panko mixture.
  3. Add beef and knead until just incorporated.
  4. Using greased 1/4-cup dry measuring cup, divide meat mixture into 15 portions and place on plate.
  5. Cut mozzarella sticks crosswise into fifteen 3/4-inch cubes.
  6. Place 1 mozzarella cube in center of each meat portion and pinch meat around cheese to enclose.
  7. Roll meat between wet hands to form completely sealed meatball.
  8. Place stuffed meatballs on plate and refrigerate for 30 minutes or cover and refrigerate overnight.
  9. Heat oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking.
  10. Add meatballs and cook until browned on 1 side.
  11. Flip meatballs and cook until browned on opposite side.
  12. Brown on other sides.
  13. Transfer meatballs to plate.
  14. Discard all but 1 tablespoon fat from skillet and return to medium heat.
  15. Add onion and cook until just softened and beginning to brown.
  16. Add oregano and remaining garlic and cook until fragrant.
  17. Stir in tomatoes, remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.
  18. Nestle meatballs in sauce with 1 browned side up and bring to boil.
  19. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 5 minutes.
  20. Flip meatballs so second browned side is up.
  21. Cover and continue to cook for 5 minutes.
  22. Remove skillet from heat and let rest, covered, for 5 minutes.
  23. Sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons basil. Serve.

 

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Skillet Rotini

SkilletRotini

Just needed something quick, easy, and hearty. Easy dish to make when you don’t know what to cook and are in a hurry. Made this the night we got back from a college visit. You can use whatever short pasta you like.

Skillet Rotini

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound Italian Sausage, sweet or hot
  • 1 medium onion, small dice
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 Tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 Tbsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1 15 ounce can petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 15 ounce can tomato sauce
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 pound rotini
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded parmesan
  • small handful fresh basil leaves, chiffonade

Instructions:

  1. In a large deep skillet, brown Italian sausage.
  2. Remove sausage with a slotted spoon to a paper towel.
  3. Leave oil from sausage in skillet.
  4. Saute onions and garlic until soft.
  5. Add seasonings and cook until fragrant.
  6. De-glaze with red wine.
  7. Add tomatoes, sauce, and water.
  8. Stir in rotini and cook until al dente.
  9. Sir in ricotta and parmesan cheese.
  10. Top with fresh basil and serve with additional parmesan cheese.

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Italian Oven Fried Chicken

ItalianOvenFriedChicken

Here is an interesting take on oven fried chicken. Coating the chicken with fresh herbs before applying the breading gives it a nice fresh taste. The addition of panko bread crumbs gives it an extra crunch.

Italian Oven Fried Chicken
Ingredients:

  • 8 chicken drumsticks (bone in, skin on)
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp each fresh rosemary, thyme and sage, chopped
  • 1 cup Italian bread crumbs
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400.
  2. Cover a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Mix olive oil and fresh chopped herbs together in a large bowl.
  4. Add chicken drumsticks and rub olive oil mixture into the meat.
  5. Place both types of breadcrumbs in a large bowl.
  6. One by one, dredge each coated drumstick in the Italian breadcrumbs mixture.
  7. Press the crumbs on to the meat to form a light crust.
  8. Once all drumsticks have been coated, place the chicken in the oven and cook for 25 minutes.
  9. After 25 minutes of baking, remove the drumsticks from the oven and rotate each piece.
  10. Cook for an additional 25 minutes (could be slightly less or more, depending on the size of your pieces).
  11. Serve immediately.

 

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Stromboli

StromboliWhole

Stronboli is why I wanted an easy pizza dough recipe. A stromboli is basically a rectangular pizza folded over itself a couple of times. Below is how I made mine on Sunday, but just like a pizze, use what ever sounds good to you. I used my red sauce, but made it thicker and more herby.

Stromboli

Ingredients:

  • Easy Pizza Dough
  • Red Sauce, divided
  • 8 ounces your favorite pizza cheese, grated
  • 1/2 yellow onion, small dice
  • 1/2 green pepper, small dice
  • 12 thin slices Buon Gusto Salami
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1 Tbsp water
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan Cheese

Instructions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 500 degrees.
  2. Line a rimmed sheet pan with parchment paper.
  3. On a lightly floured surface roll the dough out to a large rectangle.
  4. Spoon on 8 tablespoons of pizza sauce on the dough.
  5. Spread it over 3/4 of the pizza dough.
  6. Leave a 1/2 inch border on three sides and a 2 inch border on the longer side.
  7. Sprinkle with half of the grated mozzarella.
  8. Top with the onion, green pepper, and salami.
  9. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese.
  10. In a small bowl whisk together the egg and water.
  11. Brush the edges with the egg wash.
  12. Fold over the three half inch sides and using the parchment paper, roll the dough 1/3 of the way.
  13. Grab the other side of the parchment, the side with the 2 inch border, and fold it over the rest of the way.
  14. Position the stromboli in the center of the pan, seam-side down.
  15. Brush the entire thing with egg wash and make diagonal slits for venting.
  16. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and bake for 10 minutes.
  17. Reduce the temperature to 375 degrees and continue to bake for 15 minutes more.
  18. Remove and allow the stromboli to cool for 5 minutes.
  19. Slice into one inch strips.
  20. Serve alongside the remaining warm pizza sauce for dunking.

StromboliSlice

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Rosemary Sea Salt Focaccia

RosemarySeaSaltFocaccia

So we were having Chicken Parmigiana tonight and we usually have pasta with it. Except I did not want to have pasta with it tonight. So I thought I would try some focaccia.

Rosemary Sea Salt Focaccia

Ingredients:

  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 2 ⅔ cup flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil + 2 Tbsp olive oil + more for oiling
  • 3 sprigs fresh rosemary, chopped
  • sea salt

Instructions:

  1. In a 2 cup liquid measuring cup add a teaspoon of honey and the cup of warm {120 degrees} water.
  2. Give it a quick stir before sprinkling the packet of yeast over top of the water.
  3. In a mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment add in the flour (2 ⅔ cup) and tsp kosher salt.
  4. Turn it on and give it a quick stir.
  5. Pour in the yeast mixture and continue to blend until it starts to come together.
  6. Lastly measure and add two tablespoons of olive oil.
  7. Keep blending until a ball forms in your mixer.
  8. Lightly oil a large bowl with olive oil.
  9. Place the dough ball into the bowl and toss it around to coat the dough and the insides of the bowl.
  10. Cover the bowl with a tea towel and set it in a warm area to rise for two hours.
  11. Remove the dough and punch it down.
  12. Then press the dough down and stretch it into a well oiled small sheet pan.
  13. Cover again with the tea towel and let it rise for another 30-40 minutes.
  14. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees.
  15. Once the dough has risen for the second time, sprinkle with chopped fresh rosemary.
  16. Use your finger and make dimples every couple of inches.
  17. Drizzle with two tablespoons of olive oil making sure the oil pools up in those dimples.
  18. Sprinkle with flaked sea salt and pop into the preheated oven.
  19. Immediately reduce the temperature to 375 and bake for 18-20 minutes or golden brown.
  20. Remove and let cool for 5 minutes before removing.

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