That’s Amore!

Ms. Foodie turned the kitchen into Little Italy this weekend.

I made two Lasagnas for a going away party. One vegan/gluten-free, the other traditional, loaded with lots of meat and cheese. For the vegan Lasagna, my go-to source was AllRecipes.com; of course, Ms. Foodie added her own magic, but appreciated the help, as I’m a carnivore at heart.

The traditional Lasagna is a recipe that I keep perfecting over time, and it just gets better and better. One day I’ll share it… maybe–heh! heh!

The magic touch for both Lasagnas–Kale–a super food  that is heartier and just as healthy as spinach. It’s highly versatile, and has becomes a regular staple in Ms. Foodie’s kitchen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ms. Foodie also whipped up some Ground Chicken Marinara Sauce, and if I must say so myself, I put my foot in it!

Mr. Foodie agrees, as he forwent a fresh dinner for leftover Linguine with said Meat Sauce–I knew I married him for a reason…

 

Pasta with Florentine-Garlic Sauce

So what started out with a simple Garlic Butter Sauce recipe from AllRecipes.com, turned out to be a delicious Florentine-style addition to Angel Hair Pasta.

Taking their simple recipe, I increased the butter from 1/3 to 1/2 cup, added two cloves of garlic instead of one, and added sun-dried tomatoes, chopped mushrooms, and shredded kale.

Seasoned with dried Basil and Oregano to taste, Celery Salt, and Pepper, it made for a burst of extravagant flavor for the palate.

While that would have been a complete meal in and of itself, I decided to oven-broil some Rock Cod fillets, lightly basted in White Wine, Olive Oil, Curry Powder, Cumin and Minced Garlic.

This little addition was off the chain–and the entire meal took less than 40 minutes… Suhweet!

Meals on Veal: Ground Veal and Spinach Marinara Meat Sauce

Friday is quickie meal day.  After a week of life, the universe and everything, even Ms. Foodie doesn’t feel like slaving in the kitchen.  So if I don’t already have something prepared that I can reheat, I look for one of my One-Skillet or Kitchen Cabinet meals which emphasize using what’s in the house with little prep or cook time.

So Meat Sauce it is, but since I had some Ground Veal in the store, I decided to add this to my Meals on Veal repertoire. With the addition of frozen chopped spinach (also in the store), a new one-skillet meal is born!  I browned the Ground Veal in a non-stick pot with the chopped spinach, and seasoned with some fresh baby bells of assorted color, Basil, Oregano, minced onions, garlic powder, Fennel seed, Thyme,  ground pepper and Sea Salt.

Ms. Foodie tries to keep a pasta sauce in the store, and I pulled from that with the Four Cheese from the Whole Foods 365 Organic line.  Once the meat was browned and spinach melted, I poured in the sauce with an addition of Parmesan/Romano cheese for thickening, and about a cup of brown sugar.  Not only does it add a richer flavor to the meat, but it cuts the acidity of the tomato sauce.  I covered the pan and let these ingredients simmer and meld for about 30 minutes, then turn off heat and let the sauce sit for about 10 minutes more.

Trader Joe’s’ Mushroom-filled tortellini is the pasta of choice, on which I liberally poured the Veal and Spinach Marinara sauce.

And remember that Cheddar Cheese French loaf from the other day?  Well the leftovers warmed up nicely in the toaster oven to make a nice accompaniment to the Tortellini covered meat sauce.

And Veal still surprises me for its amazing lightness; yet still very filling.

Have a great weekend–eat well!

Longaniza Carbonara with Spinach is What’s for Dinner!

Jon’s Market in North Hollywood had their sample hawkers out today, and one meat rep had some delicious Longaniza sausage wrapped in a tortilla.  His selling point: A good Chorizo substitute with half the fat and more meat.  Being the carnivore that I am, more meat is always a good thing, so I was sold American!

Carbonara of any kind is soooo easy, and if you didn’t have to boil the pasta, could be considered a one-skillet meal.  As usual, I took a basic Carbonara recipe and did my own thing: used Parmesan and Cheddar cheeses and tossed in some  spinach.  I also cooked vermicelli-sized angel hair pasta instead of the standard length.  All-in-all, it came out great, especially complemented with a slice of garlic bread!

Hubby and I had a packed day, so it was nice to be able to whip up something and sit down to eat in 30 minutes.  Beats takeout, any day.

Sauce and the Kitchen Cabinet

So, Ms. Foodie Patootie has restocked the kitchen, but Kitchen Cabinet cooking doesn’t just come in handy only when you’re broke and low on stores–it’s a great way to improvise when you don’t have it on hand and don’t feel like getting it.

Which is where I found myself tonight.  On this busy Saturday, I already had it in my head to make some ground pork marinara and took the ground pork from the freezer.  However, I failed to check whether I had restocked on the bottled pasta sauce I often use as a base.  Yeah, I’m creative–but I’m also lazy.

Come to find out there was zero pasta sauce in the store–but, there were four cans of diced tomatoes, which was a beginning…

After sautéing a whole white onion and three chopped garlic cloves, I added it to the cans of diced tomatoes.  Add to that two tablespoons full of extra virgin olive oil,  half a cup of Cabernet Sauvignon, a touch of balsamic vinegar, some of those wild mushrooms I love,  and one cup of Parmesan/Romano grated cheese, and the makings of a sauce were at hand…

After browning that ground pork and adding it to the simmering mix, the proof, of course, is in the spices; and I added those liberally: Marjoram, Thyme, crushed Rosemary, Basil, Oregano, freshly ground pepper and Sea Salt.

I gave it a couple of hours of simmer, then served it over Capellini, with a glass of that lovely Two-Vine Cabernet Sauvignon.  Très Magnifique!

What’s for Dinner? Potato Gnocchi with Peas and Ham Béchamel

Yes, yes… still going through the Kitchen Cabinet cookbook, and ham happens to be the major meat store–good thing I’m a fan.  But I will say it again–you can substitute any protein of your choosing.

For this recipe, I took my lovely chopped ham and added it to my own Béchamel Sauce.  In English, that’s simply melted butter mixed with flour, and hot milk.  

But I decided to throw in some traditionally Carbonara Sauce ingredients: peas, ham and a twist–my wild mushrooms.  I even poured in some of the mushroom broth to extend the sauce.  Sprinkle in some pepper, and ooh la la, yummy for the tummy!

I stock packaged Gnocchi, which is a potato pasta; it soaks up all that good stuff.  Gnocchi is easy, cheap, and if you have the potatoes, something that you can make from scratch.  But that, my friends, is a recipe for another day.

To modify an advertising slogan: Stay hungry, my friends.