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Posts Tagged ‘wine’


Individual Bread Puddings - Meatballs&Milkshakes

Bread pudding is the perfect way to use up leftovers, whether it’s vegetables from last night’s dinner, bacon from yesterday’s breakfast (who has leftover bacon?!), or bits of cheese after that party. The important thing is to have some flavorings like onions, garlic, and herbs along with cheese and eggs to soak into day old bread and bake up into a lovely custardy breakfast. I like to make them in single servings or in cupcake pans so that I can take them with me on busy mornings. They also freeze well and you can heat straight from the freezer in single servings.

Individual Bread Puddings

5 eggs

1 cup milk

2 cups day old bread, cubed (small if making individual servings, they have to fit in the muffin cups)

1/2 cup grated cheddar

1/2 cup grated asiago

1/2 onion, minced (or leftover)

1 garlic clove, minced

1 cup spinach, chopped (or leftover)

1 cup mushrooms, sliced (or leftover)

1 cup white wine

2 tablespoons sage, minced

Parmesan cheese for grating

Saute the onion, garlic,sage,  and mushrooms in a couple tablespoons olive oil until softened, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add the spinach and allow to wilt. Add the white wine and allow the alcohol to cook off, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a bowl to cool.

Meanwhile, in another bowl, whisk together the eggs and milk. Season with salt and pepper, and add in the cheddar and asiago. Add in the bread along with the vegetable mixture. Make sure the bread soaks up a lot of the liquid before cooking. Pour into lined muffin pans, individual ramekins, or a large baking dish. Top with grated parmesan and bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes if using muffin pans and up to 45 minutes if using a baking dish. Make sure they have started to brown and puff up, to know they are done.

Individual Bread Puddings - 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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The great thing about turkey pot pie is that it uses up so many Thanksgiving leftovers in one dish. But it’s also great if you’re not going to be making a big Thanksgiving meal and you want all the flavors without all the fuss. Serve this with some mashed sweet potatoes and a side of cranberry sauce and you’ll be in a good place.

Turkey Pot Pie

2 cups diced or shredded leftover turkey (or one turkey breast roasted with olive oil, salt, and pepper)

2 celery stalks, diced

1 cup carrots, diced (could be leftover, pre-roasted)

1 onion, minced

1 1/2 cups leftover gravy, loosened up with a 1/4 cup water (or use chicken stock thickened with a roux of 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon flour)

1/2 cup white wine

Juice of 1/2 lemon

1 tablespoon rosemary or thyme, minced

Pie dough for 1 9-inch pie or cut into individual ramekin/soup bowl-sized discs

Saute the onion and celery in a couple tablespoons of olive oil until they soften, about 5 minutes. Add the carrots and herbs and cook for a few minutes if raw, or if leftover, go ahead and add the turkey, gravy, wine, and lemon. Taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary (however, everything has generally been pre-seasoned, so you need to check).

Divide into ramekins, filling 3/4 of the way up. Cover the ramekins with the pie dough pieces and make sure to seal well along the edges. Cut a couple slits in the dough to let steam escape. They will most likely bubble through, but it’s not a problem. To make the dough brown nicely, you can brush the tops with a beaten egg or some olive oil and sprinkle a little sea salt on top.

Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes or until the crust starts to brown if already warm, or 45 minutes from the freezer. Make sure to place a pan beneath in case they bubble over.

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Puttanesca is a classic pantry pasta sauce, using olives and anchovies along with canned tomatoes. It makes sense that that’s the basis of one of the stories about how it got it’s name. Either way, as we are starting to clean out the pantry in preparation for moving and we didn’t have a lot of fresh ingredients in the fridge, it seemed like a perfect sauce for the leftover gnocchi in the freezer. Be careful of the saltiness of the anchovies and olives, no need to add any more salt to the sauce.

Gnocchi Puttanesca

2 cups gnocchi

1/2 can San Marzano tomatoes

1/2 onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

3 anchovies

1/2 cup Gaeta olives, pitted and chopped

1/2 cup red or white wine

2 teaspoons dried oregano

Cook the gnocchi in salted water for a few minutes, until they float. Meanwhile, saute the onion and garlic with the anchovies in a little olive oil for a minute, until softened. Add the olives and oregano and stir together. Add the tomatoes and wine, and allow to cook together for a few minutes. Add the cooked gnocchi and stir together. Serve with some grated parmesan or pecorino over the top.

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I haven’t made risotto in a while, and I had almost forgotten how wonderful it is. Risotto should be loose and a little runny, not a tight little ball when scooped onto a plate. I finished this one with a handful of grated cheese and a little butter to give it a richness. The term mantecare in Italian means to stir, and it’s usually used to refer to the process of quickly stirring in this finishing butter. By aggressively stirring, it emulsifies the butter and brings it all together.

Squash Blossom Risotto

6 squash blossoms, chopped

1 cup arborio rice

1/2 onion, minced

1 garlic clove, minced

2 cups chicken or vegetable stock (I used a dark homemade chicken stock, but boxed or canned is fine)

1 cup white wine

1 cup grated parmesan

1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

Saute the onion and garlic in a tablespoon or two of olive oil until they have softened. Season with salt and pepper. Add the rice and toss in the oil to coat. Allow the rice to toast for a minute, until the outsides of the grains start to look translucent. Add the wine and stir. Warm the stock in a separate pan.

Slowly add the stock a ladle at a time, keeping enough liquid in the pan to continue the cooking process, but it shouldn’t be higher than the level of the rice. Cook at a medium heat and stir frequently with a spatula to let the rice emit it’s starches. Add the squash blossoms halfway through the stock. Cook until al dente, and you can use additional water if you run out of stock. It should be a little runny when done. Add the butter and stir vigorously to emulsify. Add the parmesan and olive oil and stir through.

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Sometimes I realize the fridge is empty but the store is so far away….those are the times I look to the pantry to figure out what I can piece together. I usually have a can of Italian tuna, which is a great way to get some protein into what would normally just be starch-based. Add some Sicilian staples like pine nuts and currants along with some onion and garlic from fridge scraps, and a meal takes shape. This off-the-cuff meal ended up being a favorite for the week!

Sicilian Pantry Pasta

1/2 box linguine or other long pasta

1 garlic clove, minced

1/2 onion, chopped

2 anchovies

1/4 cup currants soaked in a couple tablespoons of sherry or wine

1/4 cup pine nuts

1/4 cup fresh breadcrumbs

1/4 cup grated parmesan or pecorino

1 can Italian tuna, drained

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 teaspoon parsley, chopped

Cook the pasta in salted, boiling water a minute short of package instructions.

Meanwhile,  saute the onion, red pepper flakes, and anchovies in a couple tablespoons of olive oil, until the onion softens. Add the garlic and stir to combine. Add the tuna, pine nuts, and currants. Add the pasta and a little of the pasta cooking water.

In another pan, toast the breadcrumbs in a tablespoon of olive oil until they start to turn a little brown. Add most of the grated cheese and toss to combine. Pour the toasted breadcrumbs over the pasta and combine. Serve immediately with the rest of the grated cheese and parsley sprinkled on top. Optional, drizzle a little extra olive oil over the top to finish it.

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I’m a big fan of quinoa because it reminds me of pasta but it’s actually a seed so it’s healthier. You can basically treat it as you would any small pasta and it works, although my favorites are either mushroom-based or citrus-based. When I saw these beautiful snap peas at the farmers market, it seemed like a natural fit for a healthy Sunday lunch.

Quinoa with Snap Peas and Mint

1 cup quinoa

2 cups chicken stock (or vegetable stock or water)

1/2 cup white wine

Zest and juice of 1 lemon

1 onion, chopped

1 garlic clove, minced

1.5 cups snap peas

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon honey

1 tablespoon mint, chopped

Saute the onion and garlic in a little extra virgin olive oil until they soften. Season with salt. Add the quinoa and allow to toast for a minute. Add the chicken stock and wine and let cook until the quinoa softens. Add the vinegar, lemon juice and zest, and honey and stir through. Add the snap peas and cook for the final minute. Top with the mint and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil when you serve it.

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