Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Lemon Broccoli Spaghetti with Walnut Pesto

1 lb spaghetti, cooked al dente and drained
2 lbs broccoli florets
1/4 cup olive oil
2 large garlic cloves, chopped
1/3 cup shallots, chopped
1 stick butter
2 TBS parmesan cheese
2 TBS parsley, chopped
2 TBS Basil, chopped
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1 lemon, zested (reserve juice for pesto)
1/4 tsp salt or to taste

Pesto Ingredients:
2 garlic cloves
1/4 cup olive oil
2 TBS parsley
2 TBS basil
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1 lemon, juiced
1/3 cup walnuts
1/8 tsp salt and pepper, or to taste
*Puree all ingredients in food processor


1.  Heat water for pasta in large pot.  Cook pasta, al dente then drain.
2.  While water is heating take large skillet and heat on separate burner.  Add oil (med/high temp)
3.  Add broccoli to skillet, cover and cook for 5 mins.  Remove cover and stir.
4.  Add garlic, shallot and butter.  Sautee for additional 7-10 mins.  Or until soft. Stir
5.  Add cheese, parsley, basil, pepper, lemon zest and salt. Stir. 
6.  Toss pasta with additional olive oil and season with salt and pepper, (not required)
7.  Combine pasta with broccoli.  Serve with walnut pesto.  Top with additional walnuts and fresh parsley and basil.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Open Faced Asian Turkey Cabbage Roll

1 lb ground turkey
2 Tbs sesame oil
1/2 cup scallions (reserve half for garnish)
1/2 tsp fresh ginger
1 Tbs oyster sauce
2 Tbs sweet chili sauce
1 tsp lemon grass
1/2 cup fresh cilantro (reserve half for garnish)
1 bag shredded cabbage
salt and pepper, to taste
1 bag fresh spinach leaves

1.  In large skillet (on medium heat), add oil.
2.  Add ground turkey to skillet.  Cook until done, stirring.
3.  Add 1/2 of the scallions, ginger, oyster sauce,  chili sauce, lemon grass and 1/2 of the cilantro.  Stir
4.  Add shredded cabbage.  Cover and cook for approx. 5 mins.  Stir and season with salt and pepper.
5.  Serve on bed of fresh spinach.  Garnish with additional scallions and cilantro

Monday, February 15, 2016

Limincello Fennel Sauce Shrimp and Spaghetti

4 TBS olive oil, plus extra for pasta and garnish
4 TBS butter
1/2 cup shallots, chopped
2/3 cup fennel stalk, chopped
2/3 cup red bell pepper, chopped (stem and seeds removed)
2 peppercini peppers, chopped fine (stems removed)
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
1/2 tsp coarse black pepper, or to taste
1/3 cup pistachio nuts, chopped fine
1/2 lb colossal shrimp (cleaned, peeled and deveined)
2/3 cup limincello
1/4 cup sambuca
1/2 pint heavy cream
2 TBS fresh basil, chopped
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped (plus extra for garnish)
1/4 cup fennel leaves for garnish
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar, for drizzling
12/16 ozs favorite pasta (I use spaghetti)

1.  In large skillet, on medium/high, heat 4 TBS olive oil and 4 TBS butter until melted.  Stir.
2.  Add shallots, fennel, peppers and garlic.  Saute until soft (approx. 5-8 mins) Season with salt and pepper.  Add pistachio nuts and stir and toast until slighly browned.  (do not burn).
3.  Add Shrimp to skillet leaving space between each piece.  Season with salt and pepper.  Saute for approx 2 mins then flip and slightly brown other side, approx another 1-2 mins or until starts to turn pink and tails curl.  Do not fully cook  (Note: shrimp will be addded back to sauce later which will continue to cook).  Remove shrimp from skillet.
4.  Add limincello and sambuca to deglaze skillet.  Stir to loosen any bits that might be stuck on bottom.  I call this "flavor".  Let alcohol cook out for approx. 3-5 mins.  Add heavy cream.  Stir and let thicken slightly.  Add shrimp back to skillet.   Add basil and parsley and stir.
5.  Add water to large pot for pasta.  Season with salt and bring to boil.  Cook pasta "al dente" then drain.  Add pasta to large bowl.  Drizzle with approx. 4 TBS olive oil.  Season with salt and pepper, toss.  Add pasta to clean presentation plate, or serve in individual plates. 
6.  Arrange shrimp on top of pasta.  Laddle sauce on top of shrimp.  Sprinkle parsley and fennel leaves on top.  Drizzle olive oil and balsamic vinegar around edges of pasta. 

Serves approx. 4-5 people

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Coconut Cream of Celery Soup with Cherry Pepper Creme Fraiche

4 TBS olive oil
4 cups celery ribs, sliced thin (plus 1/2 cup celery leaves for garnish)
1 parsnip, peel and sliced thin
2 cups leeks, sliced thin
1 large bay leaf
2 TBS butter
1 tsp garlic, chopped fine
5 large basil leaves, chopped
1/4 cup parsley leaves
1 can cannellini bean, drained (reserve 1/4 cup for garnish)
16 ozs chicken broth (low sodium)
14 oz coconut cream
1/8-1/4 tsp salt, or to taste
1/8 tsp coarse pepper (plus for garnish)
1 lemon, juiced

Cherry Pepper Sauce:
1/3 cup creme fraiche or sour cream
3 large cherry peppers (pickled) (plus 1 for garnish)
1/3 tsp garlic, chopped fine
1/2 tsp lemon juice
1/8 tsp salt

1.  In large skillet heat oil on med/high heat.
2.  Add celery, parsnip, leeks and bay leaf.  Stir and cover to sweat for approx 10 - 12 mins.  Remove cover and stir making sure ingredients do not stick to bottom of pan.
3.  Add butter, garlic, basil, parsley and beans. Stir.  Saute for 3 mins.
4.  Add 1/2 of the chicken broth and the 14 oz coconut milk.  Stir.  Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 10 - 15 mins.  Make sure veggies are soft.
5.  Puree soup in blender (two separate portions work fine).  Blend 1/2 of the soup well until creamy consistency.  Add to clean bowl.  Blend remaining  soup, well.  Add all soup back to saute pan.
6.  Season with salt and pepper to liking.  Add 2 TBS lemon juice.  Stir.
7.  To make sauce:  Blend or puree all ingredients until smooth
8.  Pour soup into individual bowls.  Top with beans, chopped cherry peppers and celery leaves.  Drizzle cherry pepper sauce around garnish.  Sprinkle with coarse pepper.

Makes 4-5 serves

Monday, February 8, 2016

Mediterranean Sausage Chili

This recipe was created for a contest using Ragu Sauce.  

4 TBS olive oil
4 TBS butter
1 lb Mild sausage
1 medium onion, chopped
4 stalks celery, chopped
4 large cloves garlic, chopped
1 large jalapeno, diced fine
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp coriander 
24 ozs chunky (tomato, garlic and onion) sauce
15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
15 oz can garbanzo beans (chick peas), drained and rinsed
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp coarse black pepper
1 cup cilantro, chopped
12 ozs chicken broth (low sodium)

1.  Add oil and butter to large skillet.  Heat on med/high heat for approx 2-3 mins.  Add sausage links.  Cook until done, rotating to brown on all sides (approx 10 mins).  Remove from skillet. Cut into bite size pieces. Cover and reserve.
2.  In same skillet with oil add onions and celery, stir.  Saute until brown (approx 10 mins).  Add garlic and jalapeno.  Stir and saute for additional 3 mins.
3.  Add all remaining ingredients to skillet.  Stir and reduce temperature to medium/low.  Simmer for approx 20 mins.  Add sausage and simmer for additional 10 mins.  

Makes 4 servings

Cheddar Vegetable Bake

"Ragu Recipe Contest Entry"  Simple and delicious side dish.  This dish spells "comfort" with the cheesy filling and crunchy topping from the breadcrumbs and pine nuts.  It has also a nice subtle kick with the added jalapenos, making this dish a true family favorite.

5 large baked potatoes, sliced into 1/3 inch rings
1 cup cauliflower florets, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 cup broccoli florets, cut into 1 inch pieces
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
2 TBS jalapenos, chopped
1 tsp course pepper
1 cup cilantro leaves, chopped
1 cup chicken broth
16 ozs Ragu Double Cheese Sauce
1 1/2 cups seasoned bread crumbs
1/2 cup pine nuts
1 stick butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In large bowl add cooked potatoes, cauliflower, broccoli, garlic, onion, parmesan, jalapenos, pepper, cilantro, broth and cheese sauce.  Toss to coat.  Place into large baking dish.
Add bread crumbs, sprinkling evenly across top of vegetables.  Sprinkle with pine nuts.  Pour melted butter on top.  Cover and bake for approx. 45 mins.  Uncover and bake for additional 10-15 mins.
Serves 4