When my brother-in-law Ralph found out that I was having trouble using up all of the summer squash I’ve been getting in my CSA, he told me about a delicious pasta dish he made with browned zucchini, lemon and ricotta cheese. I was intrigued. When his mother-in-law told me it was the best pasta dish she had ever eaten, I knew I had to make it for dinner as soon as my next pickup, filled with two pounds of farm-fresh summer squash, arrived. Continue reading
Here is a meatless yet satisfying dinner for Meatless Monday:
This was the first time we’d ever cooked with fresh peas; we usually use the frozen variety. But since peas (as well as asparagus) are in season, this recipe from the Williams-Sonoma Bride & Groom Cookbook seemed like a perfect recipe to try. We used Alton’s recipe for the pasta.
I really like pasta, and lately I’ve been eating the homemade kind. With homemade pasta, of course I need homemade sauce! The traditional garlic and oil was getting boring, and I don’t really love tomatoes, so unless they’re cooked for a really long time, I don’t like making sauce with them (sometimes I do, anyway). I do, however, like red sauces. And I really like pink sauces, and I used to only have them in restaurants. But now I’ve found a way to replicate the restaurant flavor at home…and it didn’t even take THAT long. True, the sauce had to simmer in the oven for an hour and a half, but if you have laundry to fold, a paper to write, or some TV to watch, then do it when the sauce is in the oven. Oh yeah, and you’ll definitely have to do some dishes, too.
Jessica bought a pasta roller attachment for her KitchenAid! So obviously we both wanted to use it right away. It was great to have two people to feed the dough into the machine and catch it as it came out (and take pictures of the process!) but you can do it alone, too! The machine is doing most of the work.
We used Tyler Florence’s recipe for pasta dough. He uses it to make ravioli, but works just as well for spaghetti and fettuccine. The recipe makes a pound of pasta, so if you want less, half it. Or learn how to dry and preserve it by making a nest. I’m still working on that skill.
If you grew up in the Blanco household and it was a Monday night, you would know what you were having for dinner: spaghetti & meatballs, of course! Now, I don’t actually remember the last time all six of us actually sat down on a Monday night and ate spaghetti & meatballs, but I know we all remember that’s what we’re supposed to eat.
Well, mom’s recipe for meatballs is exactly what a meatball sounds like; ground beef shaped into balls. I wanted to make mine a bit more sophisticated, so I took the advice of my Food Network friends (okay, maybe they don’t know who I am, but I feel like I know them so well!) and used two kinds of meat and some seasonings before cooking them slowly and for a looong time in garlic-y and wine-y tomato sauce.
I used to think I didn’t like mushrooms, but here I am posting yet another mushroom recipe. I’ll admit it, I hate raw mushrooms. But when cooked, they have an amazing flavor that goes really well with pasta.
On my birthday I went for dinner and ordered a pasta with portobello mushroom sauce. It was delicious, but way too creamy and rich. I decided to recreate the intense mushroom flavor in my own pasta dish, without adding loads of cream. Here’s what I came up with.
When it comes to lasagna, we Kosher Foodies always have to make a choice: dairy or meat. Well, I bought some Morningstar Farms Meal Starters to use as meat, and so I could have “meat” and cheese together! Layers of pasta, tomato, meat, cheese, and vegetables made for a very heavy and delicious dinner, the perfect comfort food for a winter night. Whatever you don’t eat can easily be frozen and reheated.
I like to cook with real pumpkin when it’s in season. About once every year I get my hands on a pumpkin, and after roasting the seeds, I cook with the flesh. Usually I make chocolate-chip pumpkin bread. This year, I decided to try a recipe I saw a lot of online: pumpkin ravioli with sage brown butter sauce.
Does anyone serve dairy for Thanksgiving? Instead of (or in addition to) a traditional pumpkin pie, this would be a great seasonal recipe for anyone whose menu wasn’t filled with turkey and meat. Try this for a vegetarian (or your unkosher) Thanksgiving feast!
After pureeing and flavoring the pumpkin for the inside of the ravioli, I made my own dough to wrap it in, and rolled it out by hand. I only got about as far as 20 raviolis before I broke my rolling pin. I suggest using a pasta maker or the pasta Kitchenaid attachment. I have neither, so I went out and bought some wonton wrappers the next day (for less than $3) to form the rest of my raviolis, which I threw into the freezer to save for another day.
The cold weather means it’s winter squash season, as you know. And everyone knows those are the best types of squash. I recently got my hands on an acorn and a butternut variety and didn’t know what to do with them. Soup? Roasted? Boring!
After a long brainstorm, I thought to make macaroni and cheese:
Originally, I wanted to make risotto, but then I realized that I’d have to go shopping, and I really didn’t want to go to the supermarket, so I had to pick something that I could make with whatever I already had in the kitchen. Then pizza came to mind (I always have mini pizza doughs in the fridge), but I wasn’t feeling it. That’s when I thought of mac & cheese; I’ve read about camouflaging cauliflower in it to trick kids into eating more healthily, so why not put squash in it? I wasn’t trying to make it healthier, just different, but I went with it, and my little experiment was a big success!
The Food Network website recommended that I try Ellie Krieger’s portobello lasagna rollups. These were very easy to make kosher – they are vegetarian, anyway. I didn’t use portobellos, just because they were kind of expensive. You can use any mushrooms, but I like the baby bellos, and they weren’t much more expensive than the white button variety. Continue reading