RSS

Category Archives: pasta

Lasagna Roll ups

009

I got another really big bag of spinach in my CSA box this week.  I thought lasagna roll ups would be a great way to utilize the spinach.

Spinach Roll Ups:

  • 6-7 lasagna noodles, cooked according to package directions.
  • 1 26 oz can of spaghetti sauce
  • 1 lb ground Italian sausage
  • 5 basil leaves, chopped
  • 1 15 oz container part skim ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 – 1 c fresh spinach, steamed and chopped (if you don’t have fresh, use frozen.  Make sure it is drained well)
  • 1/4 c asiago or parmesan cheese, grated or shredded
  • 1 c shredded mozzarella, plus extra for topping
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • S & P to taste

Brown your sausage and drain.  Add spaghetti sauce and chopped basil.  Cook until thoroughly heated and set aside.

In a medium bowl combine the ricotta cheese, nutmeg, asiago cheese, mozzarella cheese, spinach and S &P.

Place half of the sauce into a casserole dish and set aside.

Spread cheese mixture over the top of the cooked and cooled lasagna noodles.  Roll up carefully and place seam side down in casserole dish.

Cover lasagna rolls with remaining sauce and sprinkle with mozzarella cheese.

Cover and back at 400 for 30 minutes.

You will get something that looks like this.

006

Yum!

This is what they look like on the inside…

023

Advertisements
 
Leave a comment

Posted by on June 24, 2009 in pasta

 

Tags: , ,

Roasted Tomatoes and Shrimp w/ a Garlic Wine Sauce over Pasta

Roasted tomatoes 018

With the 2009 CSA season about to start, my mind has been racing thinking of what I can do with this season’s share.  HighCross Farm grows the most amazing cherry tomatoes ever.  I won’t see those until later in the summer so I had to suffice with store bought.

I like using the off-season time to experiment and practice.  I can’t wait to take what I’ve played with over the winter months and apply it using the best produce around from HighCross Farm.  I truly am excited for the start of the season.

The Supplies:

  • 1 container grape tomatoes, halved
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • fresh basil, chopped
  • A good handful of precooked or uncooked (peeled and deveined) shrimp
  • 1/2 Cup (or more if you so desire) good white wine (I had a Chenin Blanc on hand)
  • 1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes (optional)
  • S & P to taste
  • cooked pasta of your choice

I took a container of grape tomatoes and sliced them in half.  I kept is simple by using  just a drizzle of olive oil and salt and pepper.

Roasted tomatoes 004

Baked them off in a 400 degree oven for about 30-40 minutes.  They should come out looking like these beauties…

Roasted tomatoes 010

Mmmm!  Tomatoes are naturally sweet; when you roast them you heighten their sweetness ten fold.  It’s like eating candy..really.

Next, I took about 3 cloves of garlic and a small yellow onion and chopped them up finely.  I sweated them out with some olive oil until they were translucent.

To that I added a good white wine and let it simmer until it reduced by half. 

This is a good time to start your pasta.

Once the wine has reduced add in your roasted tomatoes, shrimp and basil.  Let simmer until the shrimp are either heated all the way through or cooked all the way through.  You will have something that looks like this…

Roasted tomatoes 014

Cook your pasta to al dente, drain and mix into the sauce. Plate and enjoy.  This dish is fantastic!!

One more picture…

Roasted tomatoes 021

 
9 Comments

Posted by on May 17, 2009 in basil, pasta, tomatoes, wine

 

Tags: , , , ,

Spinach Fettuccini w/ a Roasted Garlic Alfredo Sauce

My daughter is going to help out at HighCross Farm this season.  This pleases me so.  When I went to pick her up this afternoon, Farmer Steve invited me to grab a bunch of  spinach that had come up on the farm.  Who am I to turn that down?!  Look how gorgeous it is.

012

This has me super excited for the approaching CSA season. 

Spinach is one of those super foods.  It’s incredibly good for you by contributing to healthy bones, eyes and teeth.  Spinach is loaded with iron and Vitamins K and C.  Can’t go wrong with spinach.

I decided to make some spinach fettuccine with a low-fat roasted garlic Alfredo sauce to top it off.  I couldn’t think of a better way to break in my new pasta making attachment for the Kitchenaid Mixer.

This dish is worth the effort of making the pasta.  The pasta is light with a nice spinach flavor that’s not over powering.  The sauce is rich, creamy and full of flavor.  You will enjoy this immensely.

I started off by slicing the top off a large head of garlic and drizzling it with olive oil.

006

I wrapped it up in tin foil and popped it into a 450 oven for about 35-40 minutes.  When you can start to smell the garlic in your kitchen…it’s done.

009

Your garlic cloves should be nice and soft and caramelized on top.

Squeeze your head of garlic (once it has cooled off) into a bowl releasing all the yummy roasted garlic cloves.

Set aside for later.

Now for the pasta.  The supplies are as follows:

Spinach Fettuccini

  • 3-1/2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup spinach puree (approximately 8 ounces of fresh spinach steamed and pureed
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • *water used to steam the spinach

Fill a sauce pan up with about an inch of water.  Make sure the water doesn’t come up through your steaming device (either a vegetable steamer insert or a colander).  Place spinach into steaming device, cover and let cook for 2-3 minutes.  You will note the spinach cooks down considerably.  I prefer to steam my spinach rather than boil because you want as little moisture in the spinach when it is all said in done.

Spinach after it has been steamed.

018

When spinach has cooled, wrap it in a paper towel and squeeze as much of the water out as you can.  You will not there is a good amount of moisture in the spinach even when it is steamed.  You want your spinach to look like this…

022

Put wrung out spinach into a food processor or blender and puree. 

Place the flour and salt in the Kitchenaid mixing bowl. Insert the flat mixing paddle. Mix dry ingredients together on speed 1.  Add eggs one at a time and then the spinach. If the dough looks too dry add the water that you used to steam the spinach in by the spoonful until you get the conistency that you want.  (if you can stick your thumb in the dough and it comes out clean you are good) Continue to mix on speed 1 for about 1 to 2 minutes. Replace the flat mixing paddle with the dough hook and knead the dough on speed 4 for 3 minutes.

Remove dough and wrap in plastic. Allow to rest for at least 15 minutes.

028

 Assemble pasta attachment to the stand mixer. Turn machine to speed 1. Run the dough through the machine. 

I like to put my pasta into nests.  It makes for easier storage.

036

Either let your pasta dry or cook immediately.  

Note:   It is very important to remove as much moisture from the spinach as possible before adding to the dough. If after kneading the dough feels slightly sticky, knead one tablespoon of flour into the dough until the stickiness disappears.  ** I personally found the dough to be a tad dry, thats when adding the water from steaming the spinach really helped.  But if you find your dough too sticky then go ahead and add more flour.  I found myself adding a little more flour after it had rested since it was still a tad too sticky for me.

Also:  You do not need a Kitchenaid to make this pasta.  You can make it by hand or in a food processor.  You do not need a pasta roller as well.  Just roll out your dough until it is thin enough to your liking and use a pizza cutter and cut it into strips.

Now on to the sauce…

I love Alfredo sauce, but I do not love Alfredo sauce calories.  I decided to try and make it low fat and when it was all said and done, I wound up cutting the calories by almost half.  I used way less butter and half and half instead of cream.

Roasted Garlic Alfredo Sauce

  • I head of garlic, roasted…cloves removed
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 1/4 C half and half
  • 3/4 shredded paremsan cheese
  • S&P to taste

Melt the butter on low. (But don’t let it brown) Then stir in the other ingredients until the cheese is melted.  How easy is that???

Spoon the sauce over your pasta and you have heaven on a plate.

046

 f0511

I can’t put into words how much I love HighCross Farm!

 
1 Comment

Posted by on May 3, 2009 in pasta

 

Tags: , , ,

Macaroni and cheese done light

Every now and then I get sick of boxed mac and cheese and get a craving for the real deal. I try to be health conscious and recognize that homemade mac and cheese is fat-a-ning! Well, it doesn’t have to be. I tooled around with it for a while until I came up with simple, yet low fat way to make mac and cheese without losing any of that good homemade flavor. I think I did it. You won’t believe how easy it is to make.

Low-fat Macaroni and Cheese

1 box of elbow macaroni (16oz)

2 tablespoons of butter

2 tablespoons of flour

2 Cups skim milk

2 Cups low fat cheddar cheese

S&P to taste

Boil macaroni, drain and set aside.

Melt butter into a dutch oven or large soup pot, when butter is melted add flour and wisk for a bout 1.5 mins (I like to cook the flour a bit to get out the starchy-flour taste). When butter and flour is incorporated, add milk and whisk/stir until thick.

When thick add cheese and stir until melted.

Add cooked macaroni stir until well mixed.

Pour into greased casserole dish and bake at 350 for 30-40 mins.

Enjoy!

 

Tags: