All’Amatriciana – DELISH!

I had this dish at a restaurant recently.  I enjoyed it so much I wanted to try making it at home.  Didn’t take long to find a recipe online.  Simple and Delicious!

Bucatini All’Amatriciana

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Ingredients

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
4 ounces thinly sliced pancetta or chopped unsmoked bacon (I used pancetta)
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 small onion (red or yellow)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 28 ounce can peeled tomatoes with juice, crushed by hand
Kosher salt
12 ounces dried bucatini or spaghetti (I like rotini so that is what I used.  Not a fan of longer noodles.  I blame that on my mom. She did not like spaghetti.)  🙂
1/4 cup finely grated Pecorino (I used Pecorina Romano.  You could use Parmesan.  Please don’t use the green can.  Buy a chunk of the real thing.  It really makes a difference. You will thank me.)

Directions

  1.  Heat oil in large heavy skillet over medium heat.  Add pancetta and saute until crisp and golden, about 4 minutes. (Be sure to constantly move around to avoid burning. Pancetta cooks fast.)
  2. Add pepper flakes and black pepper, stir for 10 seconds.
  3. Add onion and garlic, stirring often, until soft, about 8 minutes.
  4. Add tomatoes (remember to crush with your hands), reduce heat to low, stir occasionally, until sauce thickens.  15-20 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to boil and make pasta per the directions. (Don’t overcook.  Cook to al dente instructions.)  Be sure to add salt. Reserve 1 cup pasta water. Drain in colander.
  6. Add pasta to sauce in skillet and toss. Add 1/2 cup pasta water and mix thoroughly until sauce coats pasta.  Add more pasta water if seems dry.  (1/2 cup was enough for me).
  7. Serve and ENJOY!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lasagna – A Family Favorite

Lasagna has been a family favorite for years.  I have been making this lasagna recipe for 40 years. Yup, since I was 18 years old.  I think I got this one covered.  Guess it is time to share this recipe so my kids can make their own at their home.  For Eric’s birthday this year we had lasagna, meatballs with sauce (these meatballs were delicious.  Been making those a few years, too),  rosemary focaccia bread and Cold Stone Creamery Ice Cream Sandwiches.

Lasagna

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You start with:

Tomato Sauce

Ingredients

1 – 28oz can crushed tomatoes
1 – 15oz can diced tomatoes (or tomato sauce.  Depends on my mood.)
1# sausage, removed from casing
1 small-medium red onion, diced
2-3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 Tablespoon brown sugar
1 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil (if you don’t have fresh, use 1 teaspoon dried)
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt (cheese is salty so taste, taste, taste!)
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 Tablespoons olive oil

Directions

1.  Remove sausage from casing and add to frying pan.  Cook until no longer pink.  Remove from pan and put on paper towel lined plate for grease to drain. Set aside.
2.  Clean out fry pan with paper towels.  Add olive oil to sauce pan on medium heat.
3.  Add diced onions.  Cook onion on low to medium heat until opaque, about 4-5 minutes.  Add cloves of garlic and let cook 30 seconds.
4.  Add cans of tomatoes and let cook about 5 minutes until warm.
5.  Add rest of ingredients, including sausage and let simmer 30-60 minutes.  If you want you can simmer longer but it is not necessary.  Sauce does not have to take a long time.  Taste it, if you like it, then it is done.  I like it to cook down a bit so I usually go 45-60 minutes for a tomato sauce.

Next, prepare lasagna;

Ingredients

Lasagna Noodles (16 noodles work for me)
1 – 15 ounce container ricotta cheese
3 cups shredded mozzarella
2 eggs
1/2 cup parmesan cheese

  1.  Preheat oven 350 degrees.  Lightly spray 13×9 inch baking dish.
  2. Cook lasagna noodles according to directions.  I use 16 noodles.
  3. Combine ricotta, 2 cups mozzarella, eggs, mix well.
  4. Spread 1/2 cup sauce in bottom of baking dish, top with 4 lasagna noodles, spread ricotta cheese mixture, 1 cup sauce, 1/4 cup parmesan.  Repeat layering. Last layer of noodles, top with sauce and 1 cup mozzarella.
  5. Cover, bake 45-50 minutes or until hot and bubbly.  Uncover, and place under broiler for 2-3 minutes to brown mozzarella.  Let stand 15 minutes.  Cut and serve.

Makes awesome leftovers!

Cabbage Salad

This is a very easy and quick salad.

Cabbage Salad

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Ingredients

8 ounces cabbage, sliced thin
1 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon sunflower oil (or whatever oil you like)
1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar

Directions

  1.  Place sliced cabbage in medium bowl.  Add 1 teaspoon salt and mix well.  Let set for 15-20 minutes until cabbage wilts.
  2. Add oil and vinegar.  Mix well.  Enjoy!

Sometimes the basics is all you need.  If you want to add some onion and green pepper that is a nice addition. Enjoy with a buttered roll.  Simple and Delicious!!

Chocolate Peppermint Bundt Cake

Martin requested a Chocolate Peppermint Bundt Cake for tomorrow.   I thought that was a great idea!!

Chocolate Peppermint Bundt Cake

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Ingredients

Cake Release (This is awesome.  Cake comes out perfect!)
1 Tablespoon butter, melted
1 Tablespoon cocoa

Cake
3/4 cup natural cocoa (2 1/4 ounces)
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder (optional – of course I add)
3/4 cup boiling water
1 cup sour cream, room temperature
1 3/4 cups unbleached all purpose flour (8 3/4 ounces)
1 teaspoon table salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
12 Tablespoons unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), room temperature
2 cups packed light brown sugar (14 ounces)
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon peppermint extract
5 large eggs, room temperature

Directions
1. FOR PREPARING THE BUNDT PAN: Stir together butter and cocoa in small bowl until paste forms; using a pastry brush, coat all interior surfaces of standard 12-cup Bundt pan, see illustration below. (If mixture becomes too thick to brush on, microwave it for 10 to 20 seconds, or until warm and softened.) Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position; heat oven to 350 degrees.
2. FOR THE CAKE: Combine cocoa, chocolate, and espresso powder (if using) in medium heatproof bowl; pour boiling water over and whisk until smooth. Cool to room temperature; then whisk in sour cream. Set aside. Whisk flour, salt, and baking soda in second bowl and set aside.
3. In standing mixer fitted with flat beater, beat butter, sugar, and vanilla/peppermint extracts on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to medium and add eggs one at a time, mixing about 30 seconds after each addition and scraping down bowl with rubber spatula after first 2 additions.
4. Reduce to medium-low speed (batter may appear separated); add about one third of flour mixture and half of chocolate/sour cream mixture and mix until just incorporated, about 20 seconds. Scrape bowl and repeat using half of remaining flour mixture and all of remaining chocolate mixture; add remaining flour mixture and beat until just incorporated, about 10 seconds. Scrape bowl and mix on medium-low until batter is thoroughly combined, about 30 seconds. Pour batter into prepared Bundt pan, being careful not to pour batter on sides of pan.
5. Bake until wooden skewer inserted into center comes out with few crumbs attached, 45 to 50 minutes. Cool in pan 10 minutes, then invert cake onto parchment-lined wire rack; cool to room temperature, about 3 hours.
6. Top with peppermint flavored chocolate ganache and crushed peppermint candies.

Chocolate Peppermint Ganache

5 ounces semisweet chocolate (You can use chocolate chips. I like using bittersweet or milk chocolate too.)
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract

1.  Put chopped chocolate in small mixing bowl.
2.  Heat the cream in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Bring just to a boil and remove from heat. (Or you can put in microwave for 30 second intervals.  It takes 60 to 90 seconds to get hot enough)
3.  Pour cream over chocolate, add extract and whisk until smooth.

Simple and Delicious. Enjoy!

 

Taco Meatloaf (or burgers)

I got my new Meatloaf cookbook this week.  I was going to make burgers tonight.  Then I thought about the Taco Meatloaf recipe I saw in my cookbook yesterday.  When I got home from work I checked to see if I had the ingredients to make it and I sure enough I did!  I decided to make both burgers and a meatloaf.  I made the recipe, took one pound for the burgers and formed a one pound meatloaf.  Two dinners in one.  Gotta love those leftovers!

Taco Meatloaf
(Compliments from “A Meatloaf in Every Oven”)

I have to get a little more creative with my meatloaf pics.  It tastes tons better that it looks.  🙂

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Ingredients

1 1/2 cups crushed tortilla chips
2 pounds ground chuck (not too lean, you fat for flavor)
1/2 cup shredded cheddar/Monterey Jack or combo of both (I used cheddar)
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup hot salsa (I used mild, that’s all I had.  You can also make fresh.  Not happening during the week in this kitchen!)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 Tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons cumin (I always add a little extra of cumin)
2 teaspoons salt (I used kosher.  If using table salt I would use 1 teaspoon.)
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon hot paprika, not smoked (All I had was Hungarian sweet paprika, worked for us)
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
3-4 slices cheddar cheese (I ended up not using the slices of cheese)

Directions

  1.  Preheat oven 350 degrees.  I used a sheet pan lined with parchment paper.  I put the hamburgers and meatloaf on a wire rack.  The recipe recommended using a glass or metal baking pan lines with foil or an iron skillet.  I have all of those but when I bake meatloaf I like elevating it with a wire rack.
  2. Place the meat in a bowl, add all ingredients except the slices of cheese, mix with your hands.  Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking pan of your choice.  Shape into a loaf, taking care to keep the width consistent except for tapering at the ends.
  3. Bake for 45 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 145 degrees for medium rare.  Slide the pan out of the oven just long enough to drape the cheese over the top of the loaf so that they cover its length and overlap slightly.  Bake another 5-10 minutes, until cheese is melted but isn’t sliding off the loaf. (Next time I will do the cheese slices.)
  4. Remove the loaf from the oven and let it sit for 10 minutes, uncovered, before slicing.
  5. Have any sour cream and salsa left over?  Use as condiments for your meatloaf (or hamburgers).  Add a wedge of avocado or go one step further and make some guacamole.

This really was simple and delicious.  I can’t wait to try the Cheesy Chorizo Loaf. Guess what’s for dinner this Sunday?!

Enjoy!