WARNING: Contains Adult Content, Foul Lauguage, and Recipes that are so easy, even a dumbass could make them...

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Kitchen Sink Rigatoni

        You can make this dish substituting just about anything to adjust to your family’s liking.  Don’t be afraid… you really can’t screw this up.

1 lb. Mini Rigatoni
2 Tbsp. butter
1 medium onion, diced
3 cloves garlic (or 1tsp. minced garlic from a jar)
1 med. Yellow (or green, or red) pepper, diced
1 lb. ground chourico (or Italian sausage)
14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes
8 oz can tomato sauce
½ c. Marsala wine or water (I use wine... obviously!)
1 Tbsp. parsley flakes
½ c. Ricotta cheese
Salt & Pepper

Cook pasta while preparing sauce:

Melt butter in large skillet.  Add onion, garlic and pepper.  Cook until onion is translucent.  Add chourico, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, Marsala wine, parsley flakes and salt & pepper  (to taste).  Cook until hot and bubbling, stirring occasionally.  Remove from heat.  Stir in ricotta cheese until blended.  Pour over pasta and toss to coat.

*    If sauce is too thick, just add a little water (or more Marsala) to thin it out.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Slow Cooker Beef Burgundy

This is a perfect, no fuss, winter dish!

1 Lb. Stew meat, or any preferred beef, cut into 1" cubes
1 c. +/- red wine (I use Merlot)
1 can beef gravy (I've also used cream of chicken soup... very yummy!)
1 med. onion, sliced thin
3 garlic cloves, minced (or 1 tsp. minced garlic from a jar)
1 tsp. Allspice
1 tsp. Parsley flakes
1 large Bay Leaf
Salt & Pepper (as always, I use a generous amount)

Mix everything together in a slow cooker.  Cook on low for 8 - 10 hours.
Serve over creamy mashed potatoes with a side of crisp sugarsnap peas.

Many people like their Beef Burgundy with mushrooms.  Unfortunately, my family won't go near them.  If you love mushrooms, like I do, substitute the can of beef gravy with a can of cream of mushroom soup and add a can of sliced mushrooms.  Or better yet, add a cup of your favorite fresh mushroom. 

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Chicken, Broccoli, and Ziti in a Garlic Cream Sauce

1 Lb. Ziti, cooked
2 Boneless, skinless chicken breasts, boiled and cut into 1" pieces
1 10-12 oz bag frozen broccoli flowerettes*
1 Red bell pepper, cut into strips
3 Tbsp Butter
6 garlic cloves, chopped (or 1 Tbsp. jarred, minced garlic)
3 chicken bouillon cubes
1 1/2 c water
1 c half & half**
1/2 c Parmesan cheese
Fresh ground pepper

Steam broccoli and red pepper until cooked, but crisp.
Saute garlic in butter in a large skillet.  Add water and bouillon cubes and fresh ground pepper, to taste (I like a lot!)  Add half & half and Parmesan cheese.  Heat through, but do not boil.  Remove from heat.  Combine all ingredients.  Enjoy!

*   Substitute any frozen vegetable.  Chopped spinach is especially yummy!
** Heavy cream will work, too, making the sauce thicker.  Whole milk is fine in a pinch, but the sauce will be thinner.   

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Yummy snack...

Spinach & Mozzarella Muffins... (aka: mini Quiche)

6 eggs
2/3 c. half & half (or 3/4 c. heavy cream if you have it)
2 cups shredded Mozzarella Cheese
dash or two of cayenne pepper
*10 - 12 oz. frozen, chopped spinach, thawed

Beat eggs.  Add other ingredients.
Pour into well greased mini muffin tins.
Bake at 350' for 25 -30 minutes, or until tops are golden brown.
Cool on wire rack for 10 minutes.  Carefully remove from pan.
Serve warm or at room temperature.
Makes approximately 24 mini muffins.

* other suggestions:
3/4 c. chourico and peppers
10 oz. frozen broccoli, thawed
1/2 lb. crisp, crumbled bacon
3/4 c. diced ham

These are great to make for parties!

Last night's supper...

Sausage & Cheddar Balls w/Fire Roasted Tomatoes

1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes (or puree)
1 14.5 oz. can fire roasted diced tomatoes
1 tsp. brown sugar
1 lb. ground sweet Italian sausage
1/2 c. panko crumbs
1/4 c. Parmesan cheese
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 egg
1 c. shredded cheddar cheese
2 c. Pasta (use a hearty pasta, like Radiatore, Rigatoni or Rotelle)

In a large saucepan, heat the crushed tomatoes, fire roasted tomatoes, brown sugar, salt & pepper (per taste) over medium/low heat.  Let simmer while preparing the sausage balls.

Combine sausage, panko, Parmesan, red pepper flakes, egg, cheddar cheese, salt & pepper.  Mix until just blended.  Roll into balls and add to saucepan.  Cover and simmer 30 - 45 minutes, until sausage is cooked through. 
While sausage balls are cooking, make pasta.  Cook until ALMOST al dente.  The pasta is going to absorb the sauce and soften. (...and you don't want mushy pasta!!)
When sausage is thoroughly cooked, add pasta to pot and carefully stir. 
Viola! Dinner is served.