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Entries in Italian (16)


Meatball Subs with Caramelized Onions

Meatball sub

I've had these subs bookmarked for a while now. Every time I try to run them by Joel, he makes a face and says something about how he isn't really a fan of meatball subs. However, a few weeks ago, I made meatballs to go with the spaghetti that we had for dinner, and he really enjoyed them. So this week, while I was planning our menu, I opened about 10 recipes, including this one, and had Joel pare them down. As soon as he saw these, he said "I definitely want the Smitten Kitchen subs!" For some reason, if he sees that the recipe comes from Smitten Kitchen, he's all over it. I can't say I blame him. Everything Deb makes looks awesome, and anything I've ever tried from her blog is delicious! I can't wait until October when her cookbook comes out! Anyway, about these subs…the meatballs are the best I've ever had! They are soft, but incredibly flavorful. They were delicious in a sub, but would have been perfect on top of a pile of spaghetti, too!

For the Meatballs:
4 Sub Rolls
2 pounds Ground Meat (I used meatloaf mix)
2 tablespoons Parsley, chopped
1/3 cup Parmesan Cheese, grated
3/4 teaspoon Salt
Pinch of Red Pepper Flakes
2 Garlic Cloves, minced
1teaspoon Onion Powder
1 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
1 Egg
Olive Oil
4 cups Prepared Marinara Sauce (I used a jar)

Split the rolls and scoop out some of the insides to create a channel for the meatballs to rest in. Grind the bread you pulled out from the roll in the food processor to get about 1 1/3 cups of fresh breadcrumbs. Place the breadcrumbs in a large bowl with  3/4 cups of warm water and all of the ingredients, except for the olive oil and sauce (and sub rolls). Combine with a fork (or your hands), until all of the ingredients are evenly distributed. Form the mixture into 2-inch meatballs and arrange on a tray. Heat a few tablespoons of oil in a large sauté pan with a lid. Brown the meatballs in batches, making sure not to crowd the pan. Be gentle, as these meatballs are soft. Transfer the meatballs to a paper-towel lined tray and continue with the remaining meatballs until they are all browned. Discard the oil and heat the marinara sauce in the sauté pan. Add the meatballs, cover, and simmer on low for 25-30 minutes, until the meatballs are cooked through. 

For the Onions:
2 Yellow Onions, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon Butter
1 tablespoon Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper, to taste

Heat the olive oil and butter in a large, heavy skillet over medium-low heat. Add the onions and  sprinkle them with salt and pepper. Cook until they are tender, sweet, and a deep golden brown, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes.

For the Sub Assembly:
Arrange meatballs with sauce inside the hollowed-out roll(s). Drape the caramelized onions over the top and sprinkle with shredded cheese (I used Gruyere). Place subs under a broiler to melt the cheese. 


Lemon Parsley Linguine

Lemon parsley linguine

Sometimes, its the simplest recipes that are the best. The theme of this week's recipe swap was pasta. I received this recipe from Colleen at Does Not Cook Well With Others who adapted it from Bon Appetit magazine.  When I read the recipe, it was almost as if it was written just for us. This was exactly the kind of simple, quick, and delicious meal that we love. The dish is so versatile that it would taste just as delicious paired with chicken, sausage (which is what we did), fish, or shrimp as it would if it stood alone. So if you like simple pasta dishes with few ingredients that result in big flavors, then give this one a try.

1/2 pound Linguine Pasta
3 tablespoons Olive Oil
2 Garlic Cloves, minced
1 teaspoon (packed) Grated Lemon Peel
2 tablespoons Parsley, minced
Juice of 1 Lemon
Protein, optional

Cook the linguine to al dente according to package directions. Drain, reserving 1 cup of cooking liquid. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and sauté until golden, about 1 minute. Add lemon peel and sauté for another 20 seconds, then remove the pan from the heat. Add the linguine (and protein if you are using any) to the skillet and return the pan to the heat. Mix in the parsley. Add 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking liquid and the lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Toss until heated through, adding additional cooking liquid if the pasta looks dry.


Homemade Mushroom, Spinach, and Ricotta Ravioli with Rosemary Olive Oil

Ravioli is something that I have been wanting to make for a while now.  I've seen cheater style homemade ravioli that use egg roll shells as the dough, and I just assumed I would do that and call it a day.  But then, I found this recipe on Cheeky Kitchen, and it just seemed way too easy not to make!  I whipped these up on a Wednesday night and it was such a great dinner.  Now that I have seen how easy these were, I plan to make a double or triple batch a weekend sometime soon, and put them in freezer bags for quick weeknight meals!

For the Dough:
3 Eggs
1 1/2 cups Flour
1/4 teaspoon Salt

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs.  Then, stir in the flour and salt.  Add water as needed, until a soft dough is formed.  *Be careful not to add too much water here.  I did at first, and I had to start over! Knead the dough several times, then separate it into two large pieces.  On a lightly floured surface, roll out half of the dough into a very thin rectangle.  Spoon your filling by the teaspoonful at 1 1/2 inch intervals on top of the piece of rolled out dough.  Moisten your fingers with a little bit of water and wet the dough slightly around the circle of filling, to help the dough stick together when you top it.  Take the second piece of dough, roll it out into another very thin rectangle and carefully drape it over the top of the filling.  Slice the dough into individual raviolis, securing the edges with a gentle press.  At this step, the ravioli can be frozen or cooked immediately.  To cook, bring a pot of water to a boil.  Gently slide the ravioli one by one into the boiling water and cook for 6-8 minutes.  Serve immediately with your favorite topping.

For the Filling:
1 tablespoon Olive Oil
4 Garlic Cloves, crushed
1 package (8 ounces) Mushrooms, finely chopped
1 package (6 ounces) Baby Spinach, finely chopped
1 cup Ricotta Cheese
1/4 cup Parmesan, grated
1/2 teaspoon Salt
Ground Pepper, to taste

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil and cook the garlic for about one minute.  Add the mushrooms and spinach, and cook until softened, about 3-5 minutes.  Remove from heat and stir in the ricotta, parmesan, salt, and pepper.  Spoon into the ravioli as a filling.

For the Rosemary Olive Oil:
2-3 sprigs Fresh Rosemary, torn into pieces (I used a few pinches of dried)
3-5 Garlic Cloves, crushed
1 teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
1/2 cup Olive Oil

Place the rosemary, garlic, and pepper flakes in a bowl. Pour the oil over the herbs and spices. Set aside for about 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld. Drizzle over freshly cooked ravioli in place of sauce.


Naked Tomato Sauce

Our garden suddenly produced more tomatoes than we knew what to do with, so in an effort to use as many as possible before they started to go bad, we decided to make marinara sauce.  Embarrassingly enough, I've never made homemade sauce with fresh tomatoes, only with canned, so I had no idea what to do.  I turned to google and opened the first three recipes that showed up.  They were all somewhat similar, but there were a few differences too.  I showed Joel and he immediately chose the one from Smitten Kitchen, saying "this one will probably be the best," since he knows that everything we've made from Deb's site has been delicious.  So, when I looked at the recipe, I noticed on the side of the page that she recently posted this recipe, which is an adaptation of Scott Conant's recipe from Scarpetta.  We decided to go with it, and we are so glad we did!  It required nothing that we didn't already have on hand, and allowed us to use up most of our basket of tomatoes!

3 pounds Tomatoes
3/4 teaspoon Salt
1 Garlic Clove, thinly sliced
Pinch of Red Pepper Flakes
Small handful of Basil Leaves
1 sprig Rosemary (we added)
1/4 cup Olive Oil
12 ounces Pasta (we used penne)
1 tablespoon Butter (we omitted)

Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Cut a small X at the bottom of each tomato.  Blanch the tomatoes in the boiling water for 10-30 seconds, then shock them in an ice bath.  Peel the skins off of the tomatoes.  Cut each tomato in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds with your fingers into a small strainer set over a bowl.  Toss the seeds and reserve the juices.  Add the tomatoes and salt to a large saucepan and turn the heat to medium-high.  Using an immersion blender or potato masher, break down the tomatoes to the desired smoothness.  Once the sauce has begun to boil, turn the heat down to medium-low and gently simmer your tomatoes for 35-45 minutes, mashing them more if necessary.  If they begin to look a little dry, add the strained and reserved tomato juices (I did not end up using any of it).  While the tomato sauce cooks, combine the garlic, a few whole basil leaves, rosemary, a pinch of red pepper flakes, and the olive oil in a small saucepan.  Heat them slowly over the lowest heat so that it takes a long time to come up to a simmer.  Once it does, immediately remove it from the heat and strain the oil into a small dish.  When the tomato sauce has been simmering for about 25 minutes, bring the tomato blanching pot of water back to a boil with a handful of salt.  Once it is boiling rapidly, add the pasta and cook to al dente.  Reserve a half-cup of pasta cooking water and drain the rest.  Once the sauce is cooked to the desired consistency, stir in the olive oil and adjust the seasoning to taste.  Add the drained pasta and half of the reserved pasta cooking water to the simmering sauce and cook them together for another minute or two.  Add the remaining pasta water if needed.  Stir in the butter, if using, and serve immediately.


Spinach and Artichoke Gnocchi

I've only recently become a fan of artichokes.  It was never a food that I ate growing up, and therefore, I never really knew what they tasted like or how to use them.  I still don't think I'm quite ready to tackle a whole artichoke (although I did eat the leaves at a friend's house once), but the canned variety have made their way into our pantry on a somewhat regular basis now.  When I saw this recipe on Stephanie Cooks I added it to my list of things to make, because spinach and artichokes are a great combination.  I adapted her recipe slightly to incorporate the gnocchi that I made.  It was a wonderful, quick, and light dinner.  The whole meal came together in less than 10 minutes, and that included the gnocchi cook time!

1 batch of Homemade Gnocchi (or 1 package of store bought)
1 can (14 ounces) Artichoke Hearts, drained
1 can (14 ounces) Tomato Sauce
2-3 cups Baby Spinach
Handful of Asiago Cheese, shredded
Pinch of Crushed Red Pepper Flakes

Cook the gnocchi 2-3 minutes in boiling water, until they float to the surface, then drain (or alternatively, according to package directions).  In the same saucepan, over medium heat, combine the artichokes, spinach, tomato sauce and gnocchi.  Cook until all ingredients are heated through.  Spoon the mixture onto plates and top with cheese and red pepper.