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Entries in Italian (16)


Homemade Gnocchi

As soon as I saw this recipe on Closet Cooking, I knew I had to give it a try.  I've always enjoyed gnocchi when out at restaurants.  I never knew how simple it was to make them from scratch!  These gnocchi were on my menu for Friday night, but of course, plans changed.  When I got home from work, my mom picked me up to go to the hospital and visit my grandpa.  We ended up staying longer than we thought (no big deal, we were having a good visit).  I walked in the door about 5 minutes before Joel got home from work.  No sooner than I popped the potatoes in the microwave, Joel walked in and suggested that we go out instead because he was starving.  Too bad the restaurant we chose to go to took FOREVER (seriously, it took about an hour to get our food from the time we ordered)!  Oh well, at least that meant that Saturday night's dinner was already planned.   *The only change I would make when making these the next time is that I would use a potato ricer so that the potatoes get completely mashed.  My gnocchi had chunks of potatoes within them!  

1 pound Russet Potatoes (about 2 large sized)
1 Egg, lightly beaten
1/2-3/4 cups Flour
1/2 teaspoon Salt

Prick the potatoes with a fork.  Bake in a 400 degree oven for about an hour, until tender.  *Alternatively, you can cook them in the microwave on the "baked potato" setting, which took about 5 minutes.  Scoop the insides out of the potatoes and mash them.  Mix in the egg and enough flour to form a soft dough that is not too sticky to work with.  Knead the dough for about 1 minute, then roll it out into 4 long, thin rolls about 1/2 inch thick.  Cut the rolls into 1/2 inch pieces, then roll the pieces in flour and lightly shake off any excess.  Roll the pieces over a gnocchi board or the tines of a fork to give them ridges.  Cook the gnocchi in boiling water in small batches until they float to the surface, about 2-3 minutes.  Remove from the water and drain.


Eggplant Parmesan Sticks

(Sorry the picture is so dark.  We ate dinner late.)

I had bought an eggplant with the intention of making a stuffed eggplant for dinner one of these nights.  That never ended up working out, so in an effort to not waste the eggplant, I found this recipe on Weelicious.  When I saw it, I thought it would be a healthy alternative to a heavy Eggplant Parmesan dish with all the sauce and melted cheese.  I made these with a side of pasta, sauce, and garlic bread made out of a rosemary roll I picked up at the store.  These would be a fun appetizer to serve at a party, as well.

1 Medium Eggplant, peeled
1/3 cup Flour
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/2 cup Bread Crumbs
1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese, grated
2 Eggs, whisked
Cooking Spray

Cut the eggplant into 1 inch wide by 2 inch long sticks (one medium eggplant makes about 40 sticks).  Make an assembly line of 3 bowls.  In the first bowl, place the flour and salt.  In the second bowl, place the beaten egg.  In the third bowl, place the bread crumbs and cheese.  Dip the eggplant sticks in the flour mixture, followed by the egg mixture, and finally the bread crumb mixture.  Place the sticks on a baking sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray.  Bake at 400 degrees for about 25-30 minutes, or until golden on the outside and soft on the inside.


Tomato Sauce with Butter & Onions

We had some frozen chantrelle mushroom raviolli in the freezer that we wanted to have for dinner last night. I found this recipe on Smitten Kitchen and thought it would be the perfect sauce to use. I couldn't believe how easy it was to make! I did add a few things, but even without them, this sauce was great! I have to give credit where credit is due--this picture was taken by my wonderfully talented husband! I think he takes better pictures than I do. I just might have to hire him to be my official food photographer! :)

28 ounce can Whole Peeled Tomatoes (I used San Marzano)
5 tablespoons Unsalted Butter
1 Yellow Onion, peeled and halved
*1 Garlic Clove, peeled and smashed (I added this)
*Dash of Dried Basil (I added this)
*Dash of Red Pepper Flakes (I added this)

Put the tomatoes, onion, garlic, and butter in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Bring the sauce to a simmer and then lower the heat to keep the sauce at a slow, steady simmer for 45 minutes, or until droplets of fat free from the tomatoes. Stir occasionally, crushing the tomatoes against the side of the pot with a wooden spoon. At this point, I added the red pepper flakes and basil. Remove from heat and discard the onion. (I put the onion in the freezer to use in a stock at a later time).



Today was a lazy Sunday. After going to an open house, we came home and started to make spaghetti sauce to have for dinner tonight. I added sliced mushrooms to the sauce this time. We let the sauce cook for about 4 hours. Meanwhile, we wanted to try something a little different. Instead of making noodles to go with the sauce, we decided to try spaghetti squash. I took a spaghetti squash and cut it in half lenghtwise. I scooped out the seeds and placed the halves cut side down in a baking dish filled with about 1/4 inch of water. I put it in the oven at 375 degrees for about 30 minutes. Once it was done cooking, using a fork, I scraped the squash out of the skin. As it was scraped, it resembled spaghetti noodles. We topped it with sauce and ate.


Vegetable Lasagna with Red Sauce

**Please excuse this picture, I didn't take any pictures when I served it and there were only 2 pieces leftover. We didn't have any leftover sauce to put on it so it looks dry and gross, but it is definitely not!!! I promise I'll get a better picture of it next time I make it!

My sister-in-law and her fiance are coming home for Thanksgiving. They came in on Wednesday and my mother-in-law wanted us to all have dinner together to welcome them home. Then we were going to be going there again on Thursday. So that she didn't have to host dinner at her house two days in a row, we offered to have dinner at our house on Wednesday. I had to make a vegetarian friendly dinner so I thought I'd make this lasagna. The recipe origninally came from my friend Kristy. It is such an easy lasagna to make and every time I have made it in the past, it was great! After dinner, I got a request to make this for the New Year's Day party that my in-laws host.

10-12 Lasagna Noodles
Pasta Sauce (I used homemade that I had put in the freezer)
1 Red Bell Pepper
1 Yellow Bell Pepper
1 package Sliced Mushrooms (I used baby bellas)
Baby Spinach
2 cups Shredded Mozzerella Cheese
Handful Shredded Parmesan Cheese

Boil the noodles (unless you use no boil sheets). In a sprayed 9x13 pan, spread a ladleful of pasta sauce. Put a layer of pasta, spinach leaves, mushrooms, and both kinds of peppers. Sprinkle a little cheese and top with another ladleful of pasta sauce, spread to cover the ingredients. Add another layer of pasta and repeat the rest of the ingredients. When all of the pasta and vegetables have been used, top the lasagna with more sauce and some cheese. To the top, add the handful of parmesan. (I made 2 layers of ingredients, 3 layers of noodles). Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Allow lasagna to cool beore cutting into squares and serving.