My Kitchen My Way – Turkey Bolognese

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You cringe when you fall upon a recipe that requires a pot, tool or machine you don’t have.

I had dropped many hints for my husband to buy me a food processor and one Christmas my kitchen dreams became reality. The ironic thing is since he’s bought it for me I’ve only used it a handful of times.

One dish I’ve never made before, funny enough growing up with an Italian father in the kitchen is pasta Bolognese. Now I’m not sure what they did in the past when food processors didn’t exist but as long as I can recall my dad always minced his veggies in some type of machine.

Here was my opportunity to bring out my food processor!

The batch I made uses ground turkey instead of beef and we hold the onions here.

This sauce is flavorful, textural and quintessential Italian.

Turkey Bolognese – Make allot – Eat some and freeze some for a rainy day!

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*Special Equipment*

Food Processor

*Ingredients*

Ground Turkey Meat

1 Can Crushed Tomatoes

1 Can Tomato Paste

(3) Raw Carrots Stems – Chopped

(2) Raw Celery Stems – Chopped

(3) Garlic Cloves – Peeled

A Handful Leaves of Basil – Chopped

2 Dried Bay Leaves

Dried Oregano – Sprinkle

Hot Pepper Flakes – Sprinkle

1 Cup Red Wine

1pd Dry Pasta

Grated Parmesan Cheese

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

In the food processor – finely mince the carrots, celery and garlic. You can also add in a shallot or any type of onion, but again we prefer no onions.

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Once processed set the mixture aside.

Heat one tablespoon of EVOO in a large sauce pan, brown the turkey meat.

Once  the meat is almost cooked add the processed vegetables to the pan and add the bay leaves, continue to cook through while mixing.

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Next add the can of crushed tomatoes, the tomato paste, the cup of wine, the oregano and hot pepper flakes combine all.

Drizzle one tablespoon of EVOO, throw in the basil and stir.

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Cover the pan and simmer the sauce on medium to low heat and let cook for about half a hour.

Once half and hour or so passes – start to boil the water for the pasta.

You can keep the sauce on very low or turn off and cover to keep warm.

Boil your favorite type of dry pasta– once cooked drain the pasta.

Add the cooked pasta to the sauce pan.

Plate the dish, top with grated parmesan and enjoy!

© Cookery for Two – 2015 . Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Cookery for Two with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

Spaghetti Ratatouille

Ratatouille a word synonymous with French Cooking is a combination of nutritious vegetables either sautéed or presented in a layered fashion.  Mostly served as a side dish but when combined with pasta it makes a hearty and colorful dish sure to please. During this Lenten season where there are many days you’re asked to refrain from consuming meat this dish is the perfect meal to serve up. Enjoy with a nice glass of red wine and don’t be shy with the parmesan!

Ingredients:

Salt, Pepper, Garlic Powder, Hot Pepper Flakes

Olive Oil

One Cup of Low Sodium Vegetable Stock

½ Cup of Red Wine

One Yellow Squash – Sliced

One Green Squash – Sliced

Three Tomatoes from the Vine – Chopped Chunky

Garlic – (3) Gloves Minced

Basil Leaves – About 6 – Torn Up

½ a Box of Spaghetti

Parmesan Cheese

Directions:

-On medium heat warm up a tablespoon of olive oil in a sauce pan.

-You will at any point throw in the squash you have sliced up and season with salt, pepper and garlic powder.

-Next add in the stock and the red wine then cover the pan and let simmer on moderately low heat.

– You will notice the squash will begin to soften when you see this you can add in the tomatoes.

– Season the mixture again with salt, pepper and garlic powder and let simmer covered for another two minutes or so.

– Once all is cooked through turn off heat and remove all contents including liquid and place in a bowl off to the side.

– Begin the boil your pasta water in a stock pot.

– Now you will warm up olive oil again in the sauce pan used previous – this time three table spoons.

– You will fry up the garlic, olive oil and hot pepper flakes – then place the previous vegetable mix into the pan and combine.

– You will want this all to simmer on very low heat to keep warm while your spaghetti is boiling.

– Once spaghetti is boiled – drain and then combine directly into the sauce – continue to mix until all is combined.

– Plate, top with Parmesan and enjoy!

~ A.M.A ~

© Cookery for Two – 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Cookery for Two with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Pappardelle Con Salsiccia & Pomodori Fresca

Pasta doesn’t always have to be drenched in sauce to be delicious. Blistering fresh tomatoes with white wine and olive oil make the perfect light sauce for wide Pappardelle pasta and crumbled sausage. Top with salty feta cheese and you have a perfect plate of pasta.

(Ingredients)  

Seasonings: Salt, Pepper, Garlic Powder, Olive Oil

Handful of Basil

1/2 Cup Chicken Broth

1/2 Cup White Wine

1/2 Pound Pappardelle Pasta

Cherry Tomatoes

(8) Sweet Italian Sausage Links

Crumbled Feta Cheese

(Directions)

Let a tablespoon of olive oil heat up in a pan on medium flame.

– Have the pasta water (salted) heating to a boil.

– Wash the cherry tomatoes and a handful of fresh basil then place off to the side.

– Cut a line down each sausage link.

– Remove sausage meat from casings then crumble into the hot oil.

– Brown meat till cooked through then push the meat off to the side so one side of the pan is cleared.

– Throw in the cherry tomatoes and let blister so juices go into pan.

– You can now add in the white wine and the chicken broth along with the fresh basil leaves.

– Combine all and season with salt, pepper and garlic powder.

– Simmer on low till pasta is ready to be combined into pan.

– Once pasta is cooked through, ladle one or two spoonful’s of pasta water into the pan.

– Now drain the pasta and throw direct into the sauce pan.

– Add a drizzle of olive oil season again with salt, pepper and garlic powder and mix.

– Turn off the heat.

– Plate pasta, top with feta and serve.

Enjoy!

*You can always use chicken sausage instead of pork sausage and even add other veggies to the tomatoes like mushrooms or green beans.

~ A.M.A ~

© Cookery for Two – 2012 . Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Cookery for Two with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Almost Virgin Vodka Sauce

Let’s be real most recipes for vodka sauce call for such a minimal amount of vodka that the vodka is really not even a necessary ingredient. In fact you could really call vodka sauce a tomato cream sauce because that’s just what it is. The most important base for this recipe is a great tomato sauce with the addition of a buttered heavy cream. Pour this rich and creamy sauce over hot pasta and sprinkle with grated parmesan. It’s simple, minimal in ingredients and sure to be a crowd pleaser.

Ingredients:

Seasonings: Garlic Powder, Salt, Pepper, Hot Pepper Flakes

2 Tablespoons – Olive Oil

2 Tablespoons – Butter

Grated Parmesan Cheese

1 Pint – Heavy Cream

1/2 Cup – Red Wine

3 Fresh Basil Leaves – Chopped

3 Cloves of Garlic – Chopped

(1) Can Crushed Tomatoes

(1) Can Tomato Paste

(1) Box Penne Pasta

Directions for Tomato Sauce:

 -In a sauce pan brown the garlic in the olive oil.

– Now throw the basil into the oil.

– Then add in the can of crushed tomatoes and the red wine.

– Now put in the tomato paste and sprinkle in salt, pepper, garlic power and hot pepper flakes to taste.

– Spin all together and cover to let simmer on low heat while preparing the heavy cream.

*Mix sauce periodically.

Directions for Heavy Cream:

– In a separate sauce pan melt the butter on medium heat.

– Once melted add in the heavy cream.

– Very often you must whisk the heavy cream as it heats up.

– You will notice the heavy cream will start to foam up and you will have to whisk so it does not overflow.

– After this goes on for about a minute or so you can lower the heat and simmer on low for another minute but continue whisking.

– When completed add the heavy cream to the tomato sauce.

Directions – Final Steps:

– Be sure the heavy cream and tomato sauce is melded together.

– Keep simmering on low while you boil the penne off to the side.

– Once pasta is boiled – drain the pasta and then combine with the sauce.

– Sprinkle in a tablespoon of grated parmesan and mix again in the sauce pan.

Plate, Serve & Enjoy!

*Don’t forget to serve this with some Italian bread to sop up that delicious sauce. 

*A traditional addition to Penne Alla Vodka is usually bits of prosciutto. Chop up small bits of prosciutto and cook them up with the garlic in the directions for the tomato sauce.

*Note you can always add in shrimp or slices of grilled chicken to this recipe too.

~ A.M.A. ~

© Cookery for Two – 2011 . Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Cookery for Two with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Rigatoni with Eggplant & Ricotta Salata

Three of my absolute favorites: Rigatoni, Eggplant and Ricotta Salata. All melded together in a spicy and chunky red sauce. I start off by frying up cubed pieces of eggplant and then incorporating them into the sauce.  Strips of fresh basil and a generous helping of shaved ricotta salata is the final step to plating this colorful and flavorful dish.

Ingredients:

Seasoning: Salt, Pepper, Garlic Powder, Hot Pepper Flakes, Olive Oil

Fresh Basil

(2) Garlic Cloves

(1) Cup Dry Red Wine

(1) Can Peeled Plum Tomatoes

*Prep this by chopping up the whole tomatoes and reserving off to the side with all juices from the can.

(1)Can Tomato Paste

½ Cup Frying Oil (Canola Oil)

(1)Eggplant

(1) Cup Flour

Wedge of Ricotta Salata

½ a Box of Rigatoni

Directions to Cook Eggplant:

*While you are doing this have the frying oil heating up in a pan on medium heat.

*Have your garlic for the sauce chopped and ready off to the side.

*Be sure off to the side you have a plate with paper towels to place the cooked eggplant – keep this plate a safe distance from the open flame.

– Wash and then cut each end off of the eggplant.

– Now cube the eggplant into pieces and throw into mixing bowl.

– Place three tablespoons of Olive Oil and 1 Cup of Flour along with a couple of sprinkles of Salt, Pepper and Garlic Powder on top the eggplant.

– Mix till all is coated.

– Once completed fry up the eggplant pieces (in batches) till browned & let cool on plate off to the side.

* Once completed with frying do not turn off the heat just lower and throw garlic for sauce in and scrape up the bits at the bottom of the pan while browning the garlic.

* Note you will not be combining the eggplant with the sauce until it’s simmered for an ample enough time and the pasta is ready to put in the sauce.

Directions for Sauce:

– As said above brown the garlic in the oil already in pan from frying eggplant.

– Next add in the prepped chopped tomatoes and red wine.

– Tear up a couple of leaves of fresh basil and throw into the sauce and as well meld the tomato paste into the sauce.

– Sprinkle in pepper, salt and garlic powder to taste.

– Add in a teaspoon of red pepper flakes.

– Let sauce simmer for about 30 minutes, spinning often.

– Get pasta boiled close to end time for the sauce.

Directions for Putting Together:

* While pasta is boiling cut up pieces of fresh basil and use a zester to grate the ricotta salata – put off to the side till plating.

– When pasta almost cooked through add the eggplant pieces to the sauce.

*The sauce may thicken up significantly if so you can thin the sauce by adding a spoon or two of pasta water into the sauce.

– Drain pasta and then add directly to the sauce.

– Mix till all is sufficiently combined.

– Plate two or so ladle’s of pasta into a bowl and top with fresh cuts of basil and a generous helping of grated ricotta salata.

Sit back and enjoy with a nice glass of red!

*No major side notes for alternates on this one – because its prefect the way it is. The only thing I would say is don’t be shy with the ricotta salata.

~ A.M.A. ~

© Cookery for Two – 2011 . Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Cookery for Two with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs

Who doesn’t love meatballs and likewise who doesn’t love cheese? Place pieces of fresh mozzarella inside your meatballs and give your guests a little surprise of cheesy goodness. This meal is perfect for when you have another couple coming over, your parents or even the in-laws. This recipe makes plenty more than for two so if you want cut the recipe in half, savor in leftovers during the week or share with some office friends at lunchtime either option is sure to please!

Chunky Sauce Ingredients: 4 Garlic Cloves Minced, Handful of Chopped Basil, Can Tomato Paste, (2) Can’s Whole Plum Tomatoes in Sauce, 1/2 Cup Red Wine, Salt, Black Pepper, Garlic Powder, Red Pepper Flakes, Olive Oil

Directions for Chunky Sauce:

– Heat olive oil in pan.

– Sauté garlic & basil till cooked through.

– While the above is sautéing remove the whole tomatoes from the sauce and chop up into chunky pieces.

– Place tomatoes and sauce into the pan.

– Add tomato paste & red wine.

– Let simmer for a minute or so while spinning.

– Then add in a sprinkle of salt, black pepper, garlic powder and pepper flakes.

– Cover pot and place on low heat while you prepare the meatballs.

*You must check the sauce and stir occasionally.

Meatball Ingredients:

Salt, Black Pepper, Garlic Powder,

(15) Small Mozzarella Balls 

(1) Package of Lean Ground Beef

*1 to 1.5 Pounds of Beef makes about 25 or so meatballs.

(2) Eggs

(2) Tablespoons for Italian Bread Crumbs

(4) Tablespoons of Fresh Bread Crumbs

*I used the insides off the end of a day old whole wheat Italian bread loaf.

(3) Tablespoons of Low Fat Milk

Directions for Meatballs

– Cut the mozzarella balls in half as prep before mixing the meat together and put on plate off to the side.

– In a dish by hand pull the insides of the fresh bread out and crumble the bread as shown in the photo.

– You will then need to soften the bread crumbs with the milk.

– Mash the crumbs with the milk till all is melded together.

– Place the meat in the dish and top with a couple of sprinkles of all the seasonings.

– Next crack both eggs up top and throw the bread crumbs in too.

– Mix all together and add in again more sprinkles of the seasonings.

– Once mixed together take a golf ball sized portion and place it in your palm.

– Make a dip in the portion by pressing your fingers into the middle.

– Place a piece of one mozzarella half into the dip and then close up with meat around the mozzarella.

– Gently in circular motions round out the meatball in between your hands.

– The meatballs should be the size of golf balls – place them on a plate as you continue making them.

Directions Cooking the Meatballs: 

*Have your pasta water heating up to a boil before you put meatballs in the sauce.

– Place the meatballs in the sauce as shown.

– Put on medium heat.

– Sprinkle one more dash of seasonings and a splash of olive oil on top of the meatballs in the sauce.

– Then cover and let simmer for about 10 minutes.

– Bottoms should now be cooked and you should be able to turn the meatballs over in the sauce.

– Again let the meatballs simmer for another 10 minutes and turn.

*Don’t be discouraged if you see the cheese melting out of some of the meatballs.

*Your pasta water should be boiling at this point – Butta La Pasta! (Or throw the pasta!) 

– Keep the meatballs simmering in sauce until pasta is cooked through then turn off the sauce.

Putting the Dish Together: 

– Place some of the meatballs and sauce at the bottom of your serving bowl.

– Drain the pasta and throw into the serving bowl.

– Place the sauce and meatballs over the pasta and toss till everything is coated.

Serve & Enjoy! 

*Note you can always swap out the ground beef for ground turkey and change up the cheese for Parmesan or Asiago.

*If you don’t feel like pasta – throw the meatballs onto some toasted Italian bread for a meatball sub – sprinkle some grated parmesan on top before serving. 

~ A.M.A. ~

© Cookery for Two – 2011 . Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Cookery for Two with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Veggie Lasagna

Lasagna is such a comfort food for cheese lovers (which I so am) All that mozzarella and ricotta imbeded in some amazing red sauce. Sometimes though you just don’t want the meat, so here is a great swap out recipe option where you can use Spinach!

Makes – 8 to 10 Servings – *Depending on cut of Pieces

Sauce Ingredients: 2 Garlic Cloves Chopped – Handful of Chopped Basil – 1 Large Can Crushed Tomatoes – 1 Can Tomato Paste – 1 Cup Red Wine – Salt – Black Pepper – Garlic Powder – Red Pepper Flakes – 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil

Sauce Directions:

– Heat Olive Oil in Pan.

– Sauté Garlic & Basil Till Cooked Through.

– Add Crushed Tomatoes, Tomato Paste & Red Wine. 

– Sprinkle Salt, Black Pepper & Garlic Powder along with Red Pepper Flakes to Taste.

– Cover Pot – Put on Low Heat – Simmer for a good 30 Minutes or Even Longer.

*You must check the sauce and stir so it won’t burn at the bottom of the pot.

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Filling – 2 Part Process

Ingredients: 1/2 Bag of Fresh Spinach Leaves – NOT Salad Spinach Leaves! – 1 Container of Pre Washed & Cut Mushrooms – 2 Garlic Gloves – 1 Shallot – 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil – 1 Cup Red Wine 1 Large Container of Part Skim Ricotta – 2 Cups of Skim Shredded Mozzarella. – 2 Eggs – Salt – Black Pepper

Part One Directions: (Spinach & Mushrooms)

Chop Spinach & Mushrooms / Do not use stems on spinach leaves!

Chop Garlic & Shallot.

Heat Olive Oil in Pan.

Sauté Garlic & Shallot Till Cooked Through.

Add Chopped Mushrooms Sauté till Cooked Through.

Add Red Wine.

Add Chopped Spinach Leaves.

Simmer covered on low.

*Cook till wilted and most of the liquid is gone.

*Reserve about 2 tablespoons of the liquid with Spinach and Mushrooms for garnish.

Part Two Directions: (Ricotta, Eggs and Cheese)

Combine Ricotta, Eggs & Cheese in a bowl and mix.

Add in a couple of dashes of Salt and Pepper mix again. 

*Once both parts are completed combine them to make your filling for the lasagna.

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Directions to Build the Lasagna:

Ingredients: The Filling – 1 Box Barilla No Bake Lasagna Sheets – 2 Cups Whole Milk Mozzarella – Reserved Spinach & Mushroom Drizzle

In a 9″ x 13″ pan layer a base of sauce. 

Then place four sheets of lasagna as seen below in the pan:

Add filling to this 1st layer – then sauce.

Again four more sheets – filling – then sauce.

And so on till you get to the top layer – put ONLY sauce then sprinkle the bag of Cheese on top.

On top of the cheese drizzle the liquid, Spinach and Mushrooms you previously put aside.

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Directions for Baking:

Preheat oven to 375 Degrees.

Cover tray with tin foil.

Bake lasagna for one hour covered then another five minutes uncovered.

Let rest in oven turned off for about ten minutes.

 Serve & Enjoy

Don’t forget that glass of Vino! 

~A.M.A.~

© Cookery for Two – 2011 . Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Cookery for Two with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.