August 24, 2012
The summer is winding down and it’s time to start thinking about cooler nights, college football and hearty meals to feed your family. A good meat sauce is a great recipe to have in your back pocket. It’s easy to make ahead of time and freeze in batches, so you can defrost it on a busy weeknight while boiling pasta. You can also throw together a lasagna, eggplant parm or another of your favorite Italian dishes once the marinara is done and bake that night, or put in the freezer to save for a night when you have less time to cook.
Traditional Meat Sauce
- 2 pounds lean ground beef
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/8 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 (29-ounce) can tomato puree
- 2 (12-ounce) cans tomato paste
- 1 (15-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
- 2 cups low-sodium chicken stock
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon chopped parsley leaves
Brown ground beef with minced garlic and salt and pepper, to taste. Drain ground beef and set aside.
Place oil and onions in a saucepan and saute on high heat until soft. Add all cans of tomato products and chicken stock. Add all other ingredients and heat through. Once hot, add the browned ground beef and simmer on low heat for approximately 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Serve over your favorite pasta, top with freshly grated parmesan and enjoy!
September 14, 2010
Ok, so I know I haven’t blogged in a while, but I have a good excuse(s). In the past month, I have gotten engaged, turned 30, started WeightWatchers (the latter because of the former two) and been out-of-town 11 out of the past 22 days. Oh, and my camera has been in the shop — hence the picture below, which was taken with a BlackBerry (not too bad, I think). Needless to say — it’s been a crazy few weeks!
So, in honor of starting a healthier way of eating, I thought I’d post a WeightWatchers recipe I made last night. I must say, I was a little leery about trying a WW recipe. I thought if it’s only a few “points” it can’t taste good, right? Wrong. This is your perfect Meatless Monday Meal.
Pan-Roasted Mahi-Mahi with Olives, Lemon and Spinach Orzo
(Serves 2, 7 points)
- 1/2 cup uncooked orzo
- 2 TSP olive oil
- 2 skinless Mahi-Mahi fillets (I have the best luck with the frozen fillets)
- 1/2 red onion, sliced vertically
- 1/4 cup sliced pimento stuffed olives
- 6oz bag of fresh spinach leaves
- 1/3 cup white wine
- zest from one lemon
- 1/2 TSP dried dill
- 4 lemon wedges
- salt and pepper to taste
Cook orzo according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. While orzo cooks, heat EVOO in a pan over med/hi heat. Sprinkle fish with salt and pepper, to taste, on each side and add to pan. Cook fish 4 minutes per side, remove from pan and keep warm.
Add onion to pan and saute until clear, about 4 minutes. Add olives, spinach, wine, zest, dill and salt and pepper to taste and stir until spinach begins to wilt. (I like to throw a lid on the pot for about a minute to help wilt the greens.) Stir in the orzo. Divide evenly between two plates, add the fish and serve with lemon wedges. And who said healthy had to taste bad?
May 16, 2010
So…my inspiration for this dish was the May 2010 cover of Bon Appetit. I tweaked the recipe a bit to my liking, so I’m listing the original recipe below, as well as my variations — so you can make it how you like it. Afterall, isn’t cooking really all about what explodes on YOUR tastebuds? Oh, and if you haven’t gotten into the Stieg Larsson series. You should.
Fettuccine with Peas, Roasted Broccoli & Pancetta
- 12 ounces fettuccine or penne (I used whole wheat fettuccine)
- 3 ounces pancetta or bacon, chopped
- 1 1/4 pounds asparagus, trimmed, cut on diagonal into 1-inch pieces (I subbed a head of broccoli, which I roasted with a little EVOO before adding to the dish)
- 2 cups shelled fresh green peas, blanched 1 minute in boiling water, drained, or frozen peas (do not thaw)
- 1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced, white and pale green parts separated from dark green parts (I didn’t have green onions in the house, so I used half a yellow onion)
- 2 garlic cloves, pressed
- 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese plus additional for serving (I used about a cup)
- 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream (I used about a cup here, as well, to make it saucier)
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon peel
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley, divided (I used dried)
- 1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil, divided (I used dried)
Cook pasta in pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup pasta cooking liquid. Return pasta to pot.
Meanwhile, cook pancetta in large nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp. Using slotted spoon, transfer pancetta to paper towels to drain. Pour off all but 1 teaspoon drippings from skillet. Add asparagus to drippings in skillet; sauté 3 minutes. Add peas, white and pale green parts of green onions, and garlic; sauté until vegetables are just tender, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
Add vegetable mixture, 1/4 cup pasta cooking liquid, dark green parts of green onions, 1/2 cup Parmesan, cream, olive oil, lemon juice, lemon peel, half of parsley, and half of basil to pasta. Toss, adding more cooking liquid by tablespoonfuls if needed. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Transfer to large bowl. Sprinkle pancetta, remaining parsley, and basil over. Serve, passing additional Parmesan cheese.