Category Archives: Pasta

Clam Sauce Made With Canned Clams, Yup!

I love Clam Sauce, but not when it’s served with the Clams still in the shells, that’s just way too much work at the table for me.  So I had this tin of chopped Clams in the pantry for awhile now, I thought I was buying canned Tuna, oops.  What to do, what to do?

Clam Sauce Made With Canned Clams

(Serves One Diner)

1 6.5 oz. can Chopped Clams, drained & reserve the juice (try to leave the grit behind)

1 small (approx. 1 -1 ½ Tbsp.) Shallot, finely minced

1 tsp. Garlic, finely minced

1 Tbsp. Butter

1 Tbsp. Olive Oil

1 Tbsp. Dry White Wine (something you enjoy drinking, NOT Cooking Wine though)

1 Tbsp. Italian Parsley, rough chopped

Heat a pan over medium with the Olive Oil; sauté the Shallots and Garlic for about 1 minute, not long, you don’t want the Garlic to brown too much.  Add the Wine to deglaze the pan; stir in the Clams, Butter and ½ of the reserved Clam juice to start.  Simmer for about a minute or two til it starts to thicken; then add in the remaining Clam juice to a desired consistency (I used all of the juice), as well as the Parsley, combine well.

Serve over Pasta, Rice, Polenta or solo with some nice Bread to sop up all that goodness.  Top with grated Cheese and more chopped Parsley.

** Cook’s note: If you’d like your dish saucier, just increase the Butter, Wine and use some bottled Clam Juice.  I was good with this dish, though more sauce would have been nice for extra bread dipping 😉

I made Thick Spaghetti for DH’s Steamed Mussels and Clams for moi, MMM!

ENJOY!

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La Bruzza’s Italian Ristorante In Prescott Arizona

WOW!

It’s delicious, plentiful, reasonably priced and best of all (IMHO anyways), it’s BYOB!

My husband and I have been to La Bruzza’s many, many, many times and it never disappoints.  That’s saying something coming from my American-Italian husband, if he likes it and we keep going back!

Each table will get a large bowl of House Salad (which is excellent!) to share and Bread with Garlic Butter as soon as you sit down.  There is always a large board with the day’s specials that the gals take around the restaurant.

Wine glasses are provided should bring your own wine; they’ll even open it for you.

We’ve tried just about everything and it’s all good!

They do not except reservations (I think if you have a party of 8 or more they will), so come early to avoid waiting, but you won’t terribly long, they turn their tables quickly.

Mangiamo!

Meatless Monday Baked Ziti, My Way

There’s got to be a gazillion different ways to make Baked Ziti.  What is Baked Ziti you ask?  Well, it’s pretty much any type of tubular pasta, like Penne or Rigatoni, but my personal favorite right now is Cavatappi, combined with Red sauce and Cheese, then baked in a casserole dish.

Let’s get started.

Once the pasta of your choice is cooked to al dente, drained well and returned to the pot, I stir in enough of my homemade Marinara to get it nice and saucy.  Next goes in the cheese.  Now most recipes call for three to even four different ones, but I went with grated Grana Padano and Mozzarella, give it a good toss and then dump it all into a baking vessel.  Add some more cheese to the top and bake, uncovered at 350⁰ for about 20 minutes, until the cheese melts and turns a bit brown.

MMM!

It’s that simple.  This smells like Lasagna!  I made enough for two pans of pasta.  One stays here and the other goes to our next door neighbors for their lunch.  All we need now is some nice bread and a salad.

Manigamo!

A Different Shape Of Pasta For Us

My American-Italian husband is just a FREAK for pasta.  You name it.  Rigatoni (his favorite), Elbow, Cavatappi, Ditalini, Orecchiette, Lasagne, Spaghetti, Fettuccini, you get the idea.

I like to watch those TV chefs make Italian foods and I had never heard of Bucatini until one of favorite gals on PBS, Lidia Bastianich made a simply dressed pasta dish with Bucatini, YUM!

Bucatini

I made my own version.  Bucatini cooked to barely past al dente and tossed (off heat) with LOADS of grated Grana Padano Cheese, Extra Virgin Olive Oil,  sautéed Pancetta & minced Garlic, Pine Nuts and a final flurry of plenty of fresh chopped Flat Leaf Italian Parsley.  Oh, and don’t forget to top the pasta with MORE Cheese, MMM

DELICIOUS!!!

Homemade Cheese Raviolis

One of my long time followers, Krystle, who also blogs at Pictures And Plane Tickets (please check out her blog) requested my recipe for Cheese Raviolis.

Ya know, I could have sworn that I’d posted this recipe previously, but I guess not, just mouth watering photographs of the end product… sorry, my bad.  So with no further ado, here we go.

Auntie’s Cheese Raviolis

Dough:

3 1/2-4 C. All Purpose Flour (or Semolina)

1 1/2 tsp. Table Salt

4 large Eggs, beaten

1 Tbsp. Olive Oil

1 Tbsp. Water

Filling:

1 lb. Ricotta Cheese (I get the Whole Milk, go for it I say 😉 )

1 C. Parmesan Cheese, grated (buy the best quality you can find)

1/4 C. Flat Leaf Italian Parsley, chopped

Salt & Pepper to taste

Now, let’s get to it.

For the dough:

In a food processor combine the dry ingredients; with the machine running add the Eggs and Oil. Pulse in enough Water for the dough to JUST come together, you don’t want it too wet or sticky but firm and smooth to the touch.  Turn the dough out to a large piece of plastic wrap, bringing all bits together into a ball; cover well and let it rest in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour, but no longer than 24 hours, it turns a funny looking grey, unappetizing color.

For the filling:

Combine all ingredients in a medium sized bowl.  Take a zip-top baggie, fill about half way (not too full as it makes it unyielding when it comes time to fill the raviolis).  Snip a smallish hole in one corner, this makes the filling process much easier; close up the bag and place in a small bowl to keep everything contained for now.

To assemble:

Divide the dough into about 12 pieces, being sure to keep the dough covered in the plastic so that it doesn’t dry out.  Dust your counter top with a small amount of flour, then with a rolling pin, flatten out 1 piece of dough into a rectangular shape, thin enough to go through a Pasta Sheet Roller on the first setting. Dust the dough lightly and run it through as many settings as you like, I go from #1 to #4 on my KitchenAid attachment.  Set aside and repeat a second sheet.  Using a Ravioli Mold makes life easy.  Place one sheet over the flour dusted mold, make the rounded indentations and fill by squeezing that baggie of goodness in to that spot, not too much though; very lightly moisten all edges of the form with your finger dipped in some water.  Place the second sheet over the top, starting from on end and gently pressing out any air.  With the rolling pin provided (or your own) seal and cut all edges well (you’ll see the metal edges come through), peel away the excess dough (save that under the plastic wrap) and turn the Raviolis out on to a floured sheet pan.

Repeat

I get anywhere from 6 to 7 dozen Raviolis with this recipe.  Allow the Raviolis to rest for at least 3 hours on the kitchen counter, uncovered.

To Cook:

Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil, add the appropriate amount of salt and stir.  Gently drop your desired amount of Raviolis into the pot and cook for 5-7 minutes or to your preferred doneness.

Now that’s just one technique of assembly Raviolis, you could go without the mold and simply roll out the sheet of pasta, squirt on some filling, fold over the dough and cut as desired.  I have a hard time with that, they wind up exploding in the boiling process, not good eats.

I like to make a large batch of Raviolis and once dried, I pop the entire sheet pan into the freezer overnight, dust off the flour and place in a zip-top bag for later consumption… I mean 84 Raviolis are ALOT!!! 

*Added bonus – if you like, this dough makes wonderful fresh Fettuccine or Spaghetti or really any shape you like.  I do this with the leftover scrapes of from the Raviolis.  I gather them all up into a ball, sheet it out and cut as desired.  I roll the sheets up into a “cigar shape” and use my parring knife, unfurl each strand into that sheet pan of flour, toss to coat in the flour and allow to dry a bit.  You can freeze the fresh pasta for next Sunday’s Supper.

homemade pasta

ENJOY!

Food As A Gift

When I was a kid, our family would exchange gift certificates with one another.  I have carried on this tradition with my husband.  For Christmas one year, I made up the cutest coupon book with all of DH’s favorite dishes.

Gift Coupon Booklet

I’m sure that I’ve mentioned this in a previous post… The other day, my favorite guy came up to me with his hands behind his back.  “What do you have there?” I asked; he whipped out his Ravioli coupon.  I could have sworn that he had cashed that in long ago, but I must honor my gift.

Ravioli ready for the deep freeze

Homemade Cheese Raviolis in mass

I can’t recall if I’ve posted my recipe for Cheese Raviolis, Hmmm.  I’ll need to look for that, `cuz these are tasty indeed!!

ENJOY!

What I’ve Been Up To

SO, I’ll tell you, the reason that I’ve not been around is that DH and I have been so very busy moving into our new home.  We sold our home and purchased a new-build home, very exciting. While our home was being built, we rented an apartment, fully furnished, but I didn’t have all of my kitchen toys, though we got by 😉  So here is a small portion of meals.

ENJOY!