Category Archives: Pasta

Chicken Cacciatore, Another Sunday Supper

I’m pretty sure that I’ve made mention previously that I really like to make some sort of Italian-Inspired meal on Sundays, hence, Sunday Suppers. 

One of the dishes that I enjoy is Chicken Cacciatore, MMM!  It’s a pretty simple main course and can be multiplied, made ahead, and any leftovers freeze beautifully.  My version is a bit different than what you’ll find in other kitchens.

 

Auntie Doni’s Chicken Cacciatore

2+ servings

2 Tbsp. Olive Oil, divided

2 boneless-skinless Chicken thighs, diced bite-sized

½ C. Onions, chopped

1 C. Mushrooms, diced (I prefer Crimini)

1 C. Sweet Bell Peppers, diced

¼ C. Wine (optional)

1-2 C. prepared Marinara (I buy Trader Joe’s jarred sauce, tastes just like mine homemade)

 

In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat.  Sauté the Mushrooms until they’re golden and next add in the Onions and Peppers; sauté until the veggies are crisp-tender, transfer to a plate and set aside.

Heat the remaining oil and sauté the Chicken until brown and a little crispy around the edges.  Deglaze the pan with the Wine (or a bit of Stock or even water is fine), add back in the veggies-mixture and your preferred amount of Marinara, make it as saucy as your family likes.  Stir well; lower the heat to a bare simmer and cover.

Here’s where you can start your sides, like homemade Fettuccini, or any other pasta, potato, rice, noodle, what have you, to serve with you Cacciatore.

When ready to serve, check your sauce, you may need to add some water if it’s gotten too thick.

As always, a recipe is simply someone else’s idea, you take it and make it your own.

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New And Improved Homemade Cheese Raviolis

Below is a copy of a previous post from my blog, well actually this is the third ‘recycle’ of this blog post.

What I wanted to add to this post is that I finally bought a set of Ravioli Cutters.  One is round and one is square, and they make hefty sized Ravs!

I’d never tried to make Ravioli using this technique before, and I found it much more satisfying then using the Ravioli Maker and Press.  I’m not really sure why, but it wasn’t as stressful.  No, I do know why … I didn’t have to worry about the dough sticking to the maker and falling apart!

I rolled out the Pasta Dough using my Kitchen Aid attachments, laid each sheet on the counter, used my teaspoon disher to load the filling, topped it with a second sheet of pasta and cut.

I also tried a different recipe for the filling with this first go-around of Large-Round cutter, Spinach and Cheese Ravs.  They were delicious!! I don’t remember the recipe I used but you can search the WWW for one that you’re family would like.

 

January 21, 2018

*Edit*

Originally this post was published back a year ago.  I had been looking through my recipe binder to make a batch of ravs and decided just to pull this up instead.

WHAT!?

I messed up on this recipe guys, big time!

Please note that the filling is missing EGGS!  I’ve rectified this and would like to re-post this with the correction added below.  This really is a wonderful dish that is time consuming, but well worth it, ask my husband 😀

 

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

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)

3 large Eggs, beaten

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!

Italian Wedding Soup, How Do You Soup?

It’s raining out and trying really hard to turn to snow.  This calls for a nice pot of Soup!

 

I had Mini-meatballs in the freezer, along with the every present Homemade Chicken broth.

I chopped some fresh Kale (frozen Spinach works here as well) and cooked that in the broth until it was tender, along with the mini Meatballs.

In a separate pot, I cooked some Orzo (you can use the pasta shape of your choice) to al dente, drained it well, tossed it in a touch of Olive Oil and set that aside.

I simmered the pot for a few minutes and then put it on a low flame until lunchtime.

I added the pasta to the soup at the last coupla minutes before plating, just to warm it through.

About 2 minutes before I ladled up the bowls, I beat an Egg, along with some grated Garna Padano (or Parmesan) cheese and swirled that into the pot.

 

 

With a sandwich, that was our lunch!  LET’S EAT!!

 

[turn the volume up, this is a neat video-and oh, check out my YouTube Channel]

Now, I didn’t write down a real recipe for you, mainly because, I just winged it!  And you can to, adjusting the quantities of each ingredient to your family’s size.  As always, recipes are simply someone else’s idea, you take it and make it your own.

 

Homemade Char Siu or Chinese BBQ Pork

Since we’ve moved to Northern Arizona, I no longer have an Asian Market within an hour’s drive of our home.  This means that when I run out of one of my beloved local-style foods or ingredient, too bad!  For the most part, I’ve been able to stockpile most of what I need to create the dishes from back home, but one item that is quickly consumed in our house is Char Siu or what folks here on the mainland call Chinese Barbecued Pork.  Other names you may see are chasu, chashao, cha sio and char siew, barbecued meat, xa xiu.  Whichever name you like, its dang delicious!!!

For the most part, I use Char Siu in Noodles Bowls

This Noodle Bowl was mine

And my Fried Saimin or Fried Noodles

So, as I’ve done in a number of cases of need, I figure out how to make it myself.  I watched a bunch of videos and read articles on how to make Char Siu from scratch,  but let’s be real here, I wasn’t about to find Red Fermented Bean Curd (aka Tofu) nor Chinese Rice Wine here in NoAZ.  I did have in my pantry, for a really long time I gotta say, a packet of Noh’s Char Siu Seasoning Mix!!!

I had a very large Pork Butt or Shoulder if you will, almost NINE POUNDS in size, for the intent of making Kalua Pig, but I mean come man, that’s an awful lot.  The smart girl that I am, I lopped off a 2 pound piece and put it aside for my first attempt at making my own Char Siu.

Let’s try!

I opted for the wet marinade as opposed to the dry rub of Noh’s Seasoning.  I took my sharpest knife and made several punctures into the Pork, going all the way through.  I parked my soon to be Char Siu in a large Zip Top bag and left it in the refrigerator for a little more than 24 hours.  At this point I patted the meat dry and arranged it in my adjustable roasting rack.  Into a moderate oven (350⁰) it went until the internal temperature reached 145⁰.

I let the roast cool completely before I sliced into it, YUM!

The taste was there, but I think I can do better next time around, I think I need to slice the Pork thinner, so that the marinade can do its work better.

Homemade Cheese Raviolis

*Edit*

Originally this post was published back a year ago.  I had been looking through my recipe binder to make a batch of ravs and decided just to pull this up instead.

WHAT!?

I messed up on this recipe guys, big time!

Please note that the filling is missing EGGS!  I’ve rectified this and would like to re-post this with the correction added below.  This really is a wonderful dish that is time consuming, but well worth it, ask my husband 😀

 

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

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)

3 large Eggs, beaten

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!

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!

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!