Tag Archives: Pasta

Road Trip ~ Florida Back Home To Arizona ~ Oct-Nov 2019 ~ Part 1

LET’S MOTOR!

We left Key West Florida, heading back to the Mainland on the Overseas Highway,
WOW!
That is really something.

Our destination was back to our Nephew’s home outside of Tampa, FL for a short stay and then back to traveling.

He must have been reading my mind, because :

A) I wanted to eat a home cooked meal

and

B) PASTA!

 

 

YUM!
You know us well Mike …
A huge bowl of Spaghetti with all the trimmings, thank you.

 

 

The next morning, our Niece-In-Law made us breakfast, Uncle’s favorite.

 

 

She and I then went out for a Girls-Only-Day-Out of lunch at Ruby Tuesday, which we don’t have In The Middle Of The Desert; next on the agenda was grocery shopping at my new favorite place, Publix … we needed to re-stock our supplies before we shoved off again.

 

 

The Pup-ster was none too happy that his favorite Auntie and Uncle were leaving, but, we’ll see you again honey (look at those sad eyes).

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 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!

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!!!

Seafood Pasta Supper

We love seafood, well, you know being from Hawaii. Now that we live in the middle of the desert, it’s a little difficult to find anything fresh. While out shopping the other day, I spied frozen Green lip Mussels from New Zealand, my husband’s favorite, and Jumbo Shrimp, mmm…

seafood pasta dinner

I can’t eat Mussels and my husband can’t eat Shrimp, so I made two different dishes for our supper last night.

Mussels Marinara with Rigatoni

My Husband’s plate of Rigatoni and Mussels Marinara

The Mussels Marinara is a super easy dish to make.

Simply wash the mollusks, remove them from the shell and be sure to get any beards. Next, throw the meat of the Mussels into a pot with just a splash of white wine or water, cover and steam gently until barely cooked through, about 3-6 minutes, depending on their size. Drain well; toss in your favorite sauce (I already talked about my Marinara that I canned and have at the ready at all times) and heat. Serve over your choice of pasta, maybe some polenta or straight up.

My bowl, Shrimp Scampi-style with orecchiette and lots of fresh Italian Parsley

My bowl, Shrimp Scampi-style with orecchiette and lots of fresh Italian Parsley

For the Shrimps, I made them Scampi-style, one of my favs.

Again, very simple.

In a medium sized pan, melt equal amounts of butter and olive oil (I used about 2 tablespoons of each, I like a lot of sauce to dip my bread in) on a low heat. Add in as much minced garlic as you like (I put in 4 LARGE cloves). Just before the garlic starts to color, add in the cleaned shrimps; as soon as you see some pink on the crustaceans, turn and add in your el dente pasta (I used orecchiette) and a splash of white wine along with as much chopped flat leaf parsley as you wish. Finish sautéing for about another minute or so, until the Shrimp is just done.

It’s a nice touch just before you place the bowl in front of your guest to sprinkle with more chopped fresh parsley and Parmesan (I shaved the cheese this time for effect).   A slice or two of a good quality bread, a glass of wine and I’m very happy.

MANGIAMO!

*Note: If you can find the New Zealand Green lipped Mussels, do try them.  They are so much larger and very plump and juicy, much better.  You can usually find them in the freezer case on the half shell, par steamed.

 

Another Fabulous Weekend In Prescott Arizona

Oh my gravy all over my two scoops rice, as you all know by now, that’s OMG! in my world.  When we visit Mister and Missus Dear Friend in Prescott Arizona, we eat very well  and this visit was no exception.

For dinner, we all went to a new place, well for us anyways…

Papa’s Uptown in downtown historic Prescott.

WOW WOW WOW!

What a super cute place.  It reminded me of the old-school American Italian restaurants.  Loads of food, fresh, tasty, and no one was trying to bum-rush you out the door.  If you go, be sure to make a resveration and ask to sit in the front portion of the restaurant.

Both of the guys are Calabrese American Italians, so having Sicilian foods was different for us.  I didn’t get a photo of the minestrone that Momma brought around to our table for us to try, so rather than a salad with our meals, we ordered the soup.  We waddled back to the car VERY slowly and made our way home.

 

Sunday Brunch was at the Prescott Station, also in downtown historic Prescott. We have eaten here many, many times and it never disappoints.  I should say that there was one disappointment in this trip, Missus Dear Friend was not feeling well and did not join us for brunch.

As Mister DF said as we parted ways to drive back home, “we do have alot of great places to eat here in Prescott, don’t we?”

You sure do, we’ll be back soon!

Man, That Was Some Trip!

this is going to take all day!

I’d say I had some laundry to do! No really, we did laundry along the way on our month long adventure, this is just what we had when we finally rolled back home.

Mostly, I’m just itchin’ to get in the kitchen and cook something tasty. On the bottom of the deep freeze I found this huge steak and I remembered a dish that my SIL made for us once and it was so good.

steak pizzaiola

Steak Pizzaiola

I don’t have a written recipe for this, it’s a simple steak in a beautiful tomato, garlic and anchovy, yes I said anchovy, sauce. I am not a fan of little fish on my pizza, but in a sauce, YUM!

I used a 28 ounce can of San Marzano whole tomatoes that I crushed by hand in a bowl. Next, in a large skillet, heat olive oil til it smokes; brown the steak and set that aside. Sauté a small onion and as much sliced garlic as you like (we like a lot, I think I used 5 or 6 cloves). Add 4 or 5 anchovy fillets to the pan, adding more oil if needed, and the fish will MELT, really! Add the crushed tomatoes, along with about a teaspoon of dried oregano; give a good stir and add back the steak. Bring to a simmer and cover; cook for about 30 minutes (this was a pretty thick cut of meat), or until the steak is cooked to your tables preference.

I’ve seen other recipes that add wine, peppers and mushrooms. If that’s something that you think that your family would enjoy, by all means make this dish your own.

steak pizzaiola and pasta

 ENJOY!  We did

I’m Not Going To Try It, You Try It

When I went to the green grocer the other day to replenish our fruit and vegetable supplies, I spied some Rapini or Broccoli Rabe. Normally, I go right past it because it’s so terribly expensive, even by mainland standards. Back home in Hawaii, fresh fruits and veg that came from the continental United States are shipped in. They’re tasteless and I think way over priced. But these bundles looked like they had just been laid out, still warm from the sun, there wasn’t even any pricing on them yet. I made an inquiry as to the cost, not bad at $3.99 per pound. I figured we’d give it a whirl. I had seen an extremely simple dish on some TV program, it couldn’t be that difficult.

Whole Wheat Penne pasta with Chicken Italian sausage and Broccoli Rabe

This was as easy as pie (which I wish I could eat, but alas, not yet). I did a search on the WWW and found that this can be a bitter vegetable and that a quick boil would fix that. So that’s what I did. I washed and drained the entire bunch. I thought that if it was too much for the two of us, I could just save the leftover cooked veg for lunch. I cut the stalks into large pieces, maybe three to four inches long; boiled them in salted water for about 3 minutes, drained and set it to the side.

I took that same Dutch oven and browned and crumbled 2 chicken Italian sausages from Sprouts (love that place); added 3 cloves of minced garlic along with a small pinch of red pepper flakes and set that all aside.

In the meantime, I had another pot of whole wheat penne pasta boiling to just shy of done; reserved a coffee mug of the water before draining that off.

I tossed the cooked broccoli rabe and the pasta in with the sausage, added some the pasta water to deglazed those nice brown bits in the bottom of the pot, gave it all a good mix up and served with a drizzle of EVOO and a flourish of grated cheese (shhhh, don’t tell anyone, it was just a little).

My American-Italian husband has always felt that greens are not to be served with a pasta meal. Well, a pasta meal to him is ONLY rigatoni and red sauce, a meatball or two, some hot sausage and if you want to give him Chicken Parm and/or Braciole he wouldn’t turn it down. He loved the dish, I WAS SHOCKED!!  As well as full and satisfied.  That was very, very delicious.

DH: Why haven’t we had this before?

Me: Well…

DH: We should have this again, it’s really good!

Me: Sigh…

ALOHA!

Chicken Parm, My Way

Yes, I did say that we are back on our diet again and that this past Saturday was our last ‘free meal’. I wanted to share with you one of the dishes that we had as a leftover on our mixed plate that night.

Chicken Parmesan, sounds pretty pedestrian right? But I make mine a little differently. I am not  a fan of breaded foods once they get soggy. The way that most folks do their Parm dishes, with the three stage breading on the protein, be it chicken, veal, pork, what have you. That breadcrumb coating that has been shallow fried to a golden brown crispy deliciousness … I think that should not be destroyed in a sauce.

Chicken Katsu, my quick Cucumber Kim Chee and steamed white rice with Furikake and Soy Sauce

Chicken Katsu, Quick Cucumber Kim Chee and steamed White Rice topped with Furikake and Soy Sauce

That’s why we have Katsu-style chicken at our house. Bread the protein in Panko for a nice, light, crisp exterior. NO SAUCE, just a dipping sauce on the side.

For my Chicken Parm, I take boneless-skinless chicken thighs (of course you can use breasts, but we like dark meat) and pat it dry with paper towels.

Place the meat between plastic wrap or a plastic bag does well too. Take whatever means of flattening tool you wish, a pan, a mallet … me, I use my French rolling pin and pound the meat out to about a half inch thick, evenly. Set them aside on a plate (I use paper plates for chicken-yuckies then just toss them).

On another paper plate, shake out some all purpose flour or Wondra, not much, maybe a couple of tablespoons full for each cutlet; dredge each piece of chicken lightly and set aside on that paper plate.

In a good sized fry pan, (one that will be big enough to fit all of the culets you’re making) heat up some oil, vegetable, canola, safflower, whatever neutral oil you have on hand, over a medium to medium-high flame. You’ll know when the oil is hot enough, when you stick the end of a wooden spoon into the oil and little bubbles come up.

Slide your meat into the oil carefully, and cook until GBD (golden brown and delicious) and the meat registers 165⁰ on an instant-read therometer; set aside one a plate lined with paper towels to drain. In the mean time, pour off your oil (I save my coffee cans for this, never put oil down the drain) and wipe the pan out with more paper towels.

Love this stuff for a quick pasta dish

Love this stuff for a quick pasta dish

Heat whatever marinara you like in the pan.

Put the chicken back into the pan and cover each piece slightly with some sauce. Sprinkle some shredded mozzarella and parmesan cheese over each piece, being careful that it’s ONLY on the meat. Cover the pan and allow the cheese to melt. Now, if you want the cheese to brown, instead of covering the pan put it under the broiler for a few minutes.

Chicken Parm My Way served with Rigatoni

Chicken Parm My Way served with Rigatoni topped with more cheese and torn Italian Parsley

Serve warm with your favorite sides; pasta, bread, salad, or all of the above.

Mangiamo!