Peas and Macaroni – Simple and Delicious

When I was younger every Friday my dad made dinner.  My favorite Friday dinner was when he made Peas and Macaroni.  I enjoyed watching him make it (he always seemed happy). I also enjoyed eating it, lots of it!!  I know this was a meal he had when he was growing up.  This is another “Depression” food but as far as I am concerned it is definitely not depressing!  One thing though, my mom always bought the LeSeur brand canned peas.  I also still buy the same peas.   Sometimes I will use frozen peas and a can of chicken broth.  It just doesn’t seem the same.  When I make this meal all I can  think of is my dad getting home from work on a Friday night, having a beer in the breezeway sitting on the steps, then coming in the kitchen and making the most delicious meal for all of us.  Don’t knock it until you have tried it!

Peas and Macaroni

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Ingredients

1 pound pasta (I use large elbows, you can use whatever you like.  I find the smaller pastas go better with this dish.)
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, sliced
1 large or 2 small green bell peppers
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 – 15 ounce cans of peas, not drained
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Directions

1.  Cook pasta according to directions on box.
2. While pasta is cooking add 2 Tablespoons olive oil to fry pan over medium heat.  Add sliced onions and peppers.  Cook until onion opaque, about 8-10 minutes.
3.  Add garlic, oregano and basil. Stir together.
4.  Add 2 cans of peas. Cook over medium heat until warmed through, about 5 minutes.
5.  In the meantime drain pasta in colander, then put back in sauce pan.
6.  When peas are heated through add to the pasta.  Mix the pasta and peas together.

Enjoy!

Pesto – Simple and Delicious

This is my go to pesto recipe.  LOVE it!!

Pesto

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Ingredients

1-2 cloves garlic – If you like the garlic flavor add another clove! (you can toast if you like.  Sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t.  If you toast, don’t take out of skins.)
1/4 cup toasted almonds (pine nuts are most popular but we don’t like that taste. You can use any nut you like.)
2 cups basil (I usually use 2 small or 1 large package.  The stores around here usually have the smaller packages.)
3/4 cup Olive Oil (Less or more, depends on the consistency you desire.)
1 cup grated parmesan cheese (You can use less if you like.  We like the cheesiness.)
1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper (You may want to try 1/2 teaspoon salt and taste as you go)

Instructions

1.  If you toast – Toast the garlic in a small, dry skillet over medium heat, shaking the pan occasionally, until softened and spotty brown.  It take 5-8 minutes.  When cool, remove and discard skins.
2.  Personally, I would take the time to toast the nuts – Toast the nuts in a medium, dry skillet over medium heat, stirring frequently (Pay attention or you may burn and have to start all over) until golden and fragrant, 4-5 minutes.  Cool the nuts.
3.  In a food processor place all ingredients but the olive oil.  Pulse until mixed together.  Pour in the olive oil slowly.  I use 3/4 cup and let it process for 3-5 minutes.
4.  Transfer the pesto to a small bowl. Done!!

We like to mix with pasta or use as a base for pizza.  What about YOU?

Enjoy!!

Garlic Herb Pizza

This is a family favorite.  I make this pizza at least a couple of times a month.  We don’t usually have any leftovers the next day for this one.  We had a food day at work today.  I made this in the morning (without crushed red pepper addition) and it went over well.  Here is the simple and delicious recipe;

Garlic Herb Pizza

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Ingredients

(PREHEAT oven to 475 degrees.  I leave my stone in the oven and preheat for at least 30 minutes.)

2 Tablespoon olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon oregano
1/4-1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/4-1/2 teaspoon rosemary
1/2-1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
Season with salt and pepper
2 cups mozzarella
1/2 cup parmesan

Directions

1.  Mix the olive oil and minced garlic together.   Spread with brush over pizza dough.
2.  Sprinkle herbs, crushed red pepper, salt and pepper over pizza.
3.  Top with Mozzarella and Parmesan.  (I usually top with a little basil and oregano for some color and more flavor!)
4.  Bake at 475 degrees for 10-12 minutes.

Enjoy!!

Simple Fresh Tomato Sauce

I had Martin and Martin pick up some beautiful fresh tomatoes and garlic at the Appleton Farmer’s Market last weekend.  I had the best intentions of using them that weekend.  A week later they were still on my counter!!  I had to use them up or they would be wasted.  Not my plan for these gorgeous tomatoes.  I could make a tomato salad, salsa, pizza or a pizza sauce. Of course, why not a  tomato sauce?  Anyone who knows me knows I LOVE sauce.  I whipped this up in no time.  Here is my Simple and Delicious Farmer’s Market Fresh Tomato Sauce.

Fresh Tomato Sauce

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2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 medium red onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced (fresh from the Farmer’s Market)|
3# Fresh from Farmer’s Market Tomatoes
½ cup fresh basil (from my container garden!  I was successful this year with basil!!)
2 Tablespoons fresh parsley (sometimes I use ¼ cup)
Salt (I use up to ¾ to 1 teaspoon, that is up to you. Some like salt, some don’t. I do!!)

Directions

1. I take the skin off of the tomatoes. (You don’t have to do this.) The easy way to take the skin off the tomatoes is to boil water, drop tomatoes in the boiling water for 30-60 seconds and take out. Place in ice cold water and skins will peel right off. Easy!

2. I also deseed the tomatoes. (You don’t have to do this either.) I like a chunky sauce with my fresh tomatoes. I chop them into bite size (½ inch) chunks. (You can also put into your food processor for a smoother sauce.)

3. Using a dutch oven or large saute/frying pan. Add 2 Tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add red onion and saute about 5 minutes, Add minced garlic and stir together for about 30 seconds.

4. Add chopped tomatoes to the onion/garlic along with salt. I cook over medium heat for 20-30 minutes. Add basil & parsley. Simmer for 5-10 more minutes before taking off of stove. (Depends on your taste. I simmer about 5 minutes.)

5. Serve over pasta with some fresh Parmesan cheese.August 201 044 ENJOY!