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Posts Tagged ‘parmesan’


Butternut Squash Risotto - Meatballs&Milkshakes

This was an incredibly easy weeknight dinner after a week of long and involved meals. You can also potentially use up holiday leftovers, since I pre-roasted the squash the day before and added the mashed squash right at the end. It still has all the holiday flavors, but it’s great all winter long.

Butternut Squash Risotto

1/2 butternut squash

2 cups arborio rice

zest and juice of 1 orange

3 tablespoons fresh thyme

1/2 cup white wine

2 cups chicken stock, homemade or store-bought, warmed in the microwave or on the stove (you could substitute vegetable stock to make it vegetarian)

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 garlic clove, minced

1 shallot, minced

1 cup grated parmesan

Roast the squash in the oven at 350 degrees for 45 minutes on a baking sheet with some of the olive oil brushed over it. It will become soft and you can scoop out the flesh. Mash up the squash well.

Meanwhile, saute the shallot and garlic in the remaining olive oil. Once they have softened, add the rice and allow to toast for a minute until they start to look a little translucent. Add the white wine and allow to cook down. Add the thyme and a little chicken stock. Continue to add stock slowly as it cooks away. It should have enough liquid to just cover, about the consistency of oatmeal.

When the rice is almost al dente, add the orange juice and zest along with the mashed squash. Stir to combine and allow to cook together for the last few minutes. Off the heat, stir in the parmesan and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and serve.

Butternut Squash Risotto - Meatballs&Milkshakes

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Delicata Squash Tart - Meatballs&Milkshakes

Frequently when I make ravioli or another stuffed pasta, I have leftover filling. This is a great way to use it up, but it’s also an incredibly easy appetizer for parties or when you need a snack in a hurry. I have made this before with mushrooms and there are endless variations. It’s also another reason I always keep puff pastry in the freezer.

Delicata Squash Tart

1 cup delicata squash ravioli filling

1 sheet puff pastry

1 tablespoon thyme leaves

1/4 cup grated mozzarella

Spread the filling across a defrosted sheet of puff pastry that you have laid out on parchment paper. Sprinkle the thyme and mozzarella across the top and bake at 400 degrees for 35-40 minutes until it gets browned on the edges and the mozzarella bubbles and browns. Let cool a few minutes before cutting.

Delicata Squash Tart - Meatballs&Milkshakes

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Squash Ravioli with Crispy Sage - Meatballs&Milkshakes

I love making homemade ravioli because the process is so relaxing. It’s also fun to do with other people, and if you’re just getting into cooking, it’s very gratifying to see the final product that YOU made. It’s a time commitment, but you can make any kind of ravioli you feel like. I once made some with leftover short ribs braised in red wine that were memorable enough to remember years later. These might rival those for my favorite ravioli.

Delicata Squash Filling

1 pound delicata squash, large dice

1 cup grated fontina

1 cup grated pecorino

1 cup grated parmesan

1/2 cup ground hazelnuts

4 tablespoons finely chopped sage

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon honey

1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

3 tablespoons Marsala or white wine (optional)

Roast the squash with a couple tablespoons olive oil and salt and pepper at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes, until it starts to brown. Remove to a food processor  and add the rest of the ingredients. I use the Marsala or wine to thin it out if necessary. The honey gives it a slight sweetness, but you could tweak the filling ingredients to taste.

Make one recipe Basic Pasta Dough. Let it rest for a few minutes in plastic wrap in the fridge and then run it through your pasta roller in batches.

Basic Pasta Dough - Meatballs&Milkshakes

Brush the dough all over with water to help seal them. Spoon the filling into about 1 teaspoon-sized balls onto one side of the pasta sheet so that you will be able to fold them over.

Squash Ravioli - Meatballs&MilkshakesSquash Ravioli - Meatballs&MilkshakesFold the dough over, making sure to seal in the filling and push out air bubbles. Make sure to press the dough down between the filling to make them closer to single-thickness so that the edges will cook at the same rate as the layer covering the filling. (If you do not do this, the edges will be twice as thick as the center, and will be chewy.)

Squash Ravioli - Meatballs&Milkshakes

Cut the ravioli out with you ravioli cutter. You could also use a cookie cutter or knife if you don’t have one. I was finally able to use the new one I picked up in Rome.

Squash Ravioli - Meatballs&MilkshakesSquash Ravioli - Meatballs&MilkshakesThey will keep in the fridge for a couple days, or preferably, in the freezer for a while. Make sure to coat them in flour or they will stick. I also recommend using parchment paper to separate layers, because any that touch will stick. They are best immediately after making them, however.

Squash Ravioli - Meatballs&Milkshakes

Delicata Squash Ravioli with Browned Butter and Crispy Sage

6-8 ravioli (per person)

6 sage leaves

2 tablespoons butter

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

Parmesan cheese

Cook the ravioli in salted, boiling water for about 4 minutes, until they start to float. Meanwhile, melt the butter with the olive oil and add the sage leaves. They will spatter when they hit the oil, so be careful. They will crisp up and the butter solids will start to brown. Add some of the pasta cooking water (about 1/4 cup) and allow to come together, about 1 minute. Add the ravioli and toss in the sauce. Grate some parmesan over the top and serve with the crispy sage on top.

Squash Ravioli with Crispy Sage - Meatballs&Milkshakes

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Eggplant Pasta Al Forno - Meatballs&Milkshakes

Baked pastas are so great because the flavors really get into the pasta and everything comes together. And it’s even better reheated the next day. This is a great vegetarian dinner too, because the eggplant is meaty and combined with a salad, it’s a perfect meal.

Eggplant Pasta Al Forno

1 pound of short pasta, such as penne, fusilli, etc

1 medium sized eggplant, cut into 3/4″ rounds

2 cups basic tomato sauce, homemade or your favorite simple bottled brand

1 cup breadcrumbs (preferably homemade)

1 tablespoon chopped thyme

1 cup grated mozzarella

1 cup grated fontina

1/2 cup grated parmesan

Saute the eggplant slices in a couple tablespoons of olive oil a few minutes on each side, until they start to brown. You may need to add more olive oil for each batch, but be careful not to add too much because eggplant acts like a sponge and will soak the oil up and release it as it bakes, making the final dish greasy.

Meanwhile, heat your tomato sauce if you have not just made it. Cook the pasta in salted water for half the cooking time on the package. It will still be chewy, but it will continue to cook in the oven. Combine the cheeses together in a small bowl.

Spoon a light layer of sauce on the bottom of a baking dish, so that it won’t stick. Toss the rest of the sauce with the pasta. Cover the bottom with a layer of eggplant and then a layer of pasta. Sprinkle some thyme and some of the cheeses over the top. continue with these layers until you reach the top of the dish. The last layer should be eggplant with the remaining cheese sprinkled over the top along with the breadcrumbs.

Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes, or until the top starts to brown and bubble. Let cool a little before serving.

Eggplant Pasta Al Forno - Meatballs&Milkshakes

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I love fall for so many reasons- apple picking, sweater weather, and of course, butternut squash. With the ongoing apartment craziness, I’ve been turning to quick recipes more than usual. This one combines the classic butternut squash with sage and butter in a way that makes it possible to have dinner on the table in 15 minutes. Including the chopping. It’s amazing. The key is a healthy bit of parmesan and to put a fine dice on that squash so it cooks quickly.

Angel Hair with Butternut Squash and Sage

1/2 box angel hair pasta

1/4 of a butternut squash, diced into 1/4″ pieces

1 garlic clove, minced

12 sage leaves, chopped

3 tablespoons butter

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

pinch of red pepper flakes

1/2 cup parmesan cheese, freshly grated

1 amaretti cookie per person, crumbled

Cook the angel hair in salted boiling water for half the time on the package instructions.

Meanwhile, saute the squash in half the butter and olive oil. Allow to caramelize and develop some color before moving them at all. Once you have browned one side well, give it a stir and add the garlic, sage, and red pepper flakes. Continue cooking for 5 minutes or until some of the squash starts to break down. Add some pasta cooking water along with the pasta. Turn in the sauce and cook for a final minute together. While stirring off the heat, add the parmesan cheese and the remaining butter and olive oil. Plate and garnish each with a crumbled amaretti cookie.

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While we are in the midst of trying to sell the apartment, I’ve been falling back on old favorites. Last night, I made a version of this Puglian specialty, orecchiette with broccoli rabe and sausage and every time I make it, it brings me back to a night in southern Puglia. The meatiness of the sausage is comforting and warm on a cold fall night.

Fall always means lasagna time for me…I love making it for company too, because I can put it in the oven when they come over and spend time with people, rather than in the kitchen. My favorites for fall are mushroom and roasted carrot and butternut squash.

My favorite fall fruits are definitely pears, and I love to make crostatas with pears and gorgonzola this time of year. I make big batches of dough and freeze them for later, so I can just defrost and put together the filling when I’m running low on time.

Cold weather makes me really crave a good Sunday breakfast, and there’s no better breakfast than egg and pancetta sandwiches on homemade sage biscuits. I still have a couple of these tucked away in the freezer, and I can’t wait to have one this Sunday.

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I love a good bolognese, but sometimes I just don’t have time on a weeknight to invest in making it. That’s where this kind of pasta sauce comes in. It cooks in the time it takes to boil a big pot of water, and it uses enough veal to flavor the sauce but not enough to make it really heavy. The cherry tomatoes have a natural sweetness and don’t need to cook down too much. It’s the perfect indulgence for a weeknight treat.

Weeknight Veal Ragu

1/2 pound ground veal

1/2 onion, chopped

2 tablespoons oregano, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 can San Marzano cherry tomatoes (or other San Marzanos if you can’t find the cherry tomatoes)

1/2 cup white wine

1/4  cup grated parmesan

1/2 box or pound of long pasta (spaghetti, linguine, fettuccine, etc)

Cook your pasta in salted boiling water a minute less than the package instructions. Meanwhile, brown the veal in a wide saute pan. (Using a wide pan will help the sauce cook quickly because it maximizes the amount of sauce in contact with the pan).

Add the onion once it has developed a nice browned color. Let the onion sweat down with a little salt to season. Add the oregano and garlic and stir through. Add the tomato paste and allow it to rust for a few minutes. Add the wine and tomatoes and cook down for 5 minutes. Once the sauce has reduced a little and thickened, add the cooked pasta with a splash of the pasta cooking water. Stir to cook together for the last minute and add the cheese.

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