Category Archives: Macaroni Dishes

Pasta with Fresh Tomato Sauce …

 

Photo Jun 28, 9 16 36 PM CAPELLINI WITH FRESH TOMATOES

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Hi Everyone, 

Very busy since my last post and the time is flying by. I can’t believe that we are at the end of June already. Wasn’t it just Easter?

I have received several emails regarding a recipe that I had posted on Instagram and I wanted to share it with all of my DishingwithDiane members. The recipe is for a tomato sauce that takes less than 20 minutes and is made with fresh tomatoes. I use cherry tomatoes.

Sounds to good to be true, but it is.

With all of our gardens that are bountiful this time of year with tomatoes and basil (one of my favorite combinations), this recipe is perfect.

It is a go to recipe of mine for the summer months. 

It is much quicker than ordering take out and much healthier.

I hope you give it a try and let me know what you think.

Fresh Tomato Sauce with Garden Tomatoes

Photo Jun 28, 7 30 40 PM INGREDIENTS

Ingredients

3 pints of cherry tomatoes – washed and sliced in half — ( Roma or vine tomatoes can be used as well- your choice.)

1/3 cup olive oil

3 cloves of sliced garlic (or more)

Red pepper flakes

1 tbsp. of tomato paste

Salt and pepper

1 tsp. dried oregano

Fresh basil leaves

Fresh thyme

1 tbsp. butter

Pasta of your choice

½ to 1 cup of white wine (optional)

1 cup frozen or fresh peas (optional)

Diane’s tips: 

Dry herbs are stronger than fresh herbs so you need to use a smaller amount.

Don’t just sprinkle dried herbs in your pot, instead rub dried herbs between your fingers to crush the herb. This releases the oils that are left in the leaves which adds more flavor.

Directions:

Wash and slice 3 pints of cherry tomatoes in half, set aside

In a large skillet, add 1/3 cup olive oil, 3 cloves (or more) of sliced garlic and red pepper flakes (the desired amount you want).

Once the garlic starts to turn golden, add the tomato paste and saute for a few minutes to toast the tomato paste and blend it well with the garlic.

Next, add all of your tomatoes and season with salt, pepper, dried oregano, some fresh basil leaves and a few sprigs of fresh thyme.  I added 1 cup white wine (optional).

Simmer for approx. 15- 20 minutes on medium heat partially covered. Stir occasionally and crush the tomatoes with the back of a wooden spoon or a potato masher to release their juices.

Add peas now if using (optional)

In the meantime, make your pasta per directions, two minutes shy of al dente.  Reserve 1-2 cups of pasta water and add the drained pasta to the skillet to finish cooking.

If pasta sauce is too thick or too dry, add some pasta water- ( a tbsp. at a time).

Off heat, I finish the sauce with 1 tbsp of butter, grated cheese and a few fresh basil leaves.  Serve and enjoy!

Slideshow of steps starting with ingredients…

 

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Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Stay well,

Diane

Thank you for visiting my blog and please spread the word to your family and friends to join DishingwithDiane. 

Once you become a member, you’ll never miss a post.

Also, continue to send me your comments, I LOVE to hear from you.

 

Saffron Fregola with Clams, Shrimp & Scallops

Photo Dec 11, 8 57 17 PM FREGOLA

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Hi Everyone,

I found another recipe I wanted to share.

If you are Italian, like me, then you know that Christmas Eve is a big culinary feast for all Italian families.

It is the Feast of the Seven Fishes or La Viglia.  Personally my favorite meal of the year.

La Viglia was held until the midnight hour when baby Jesus was born. It is an extensive seafood dinner and there has to be seven varieties of fish.

Every year I basically prepare the same menu……

  • linguine with crab sauce
  • shrimp cocktail
  • fried calamari
  • fried shrimp
  • fried eel
  • coconut shrimp
  • stuffed calamari
  • baked clams
  • crab cakes
  • baccala (cod) with tomatoes and potatoes
  • cold seafood salad (shrimp, squid, scallops, scungilli, celery, olives in a lemon olive oil dressing)
  • stuffed shrimp
  • scungilli in hot sauce
  • cold broccoli salad

This year I wanted to add something different to the menu and I started searching for recipes. I finally found a recipe that looked interesting that was on the Williams Sonoma website and decided to give it a test run. It was made with fregola pasta which I haven’t had in years so I was all excited.

WE LOVED IT and I want to share it with you today. Easy to prepare too.

It will definitely be on my table Christmas Eve.

Saffron Fregola with Seafood

A bit of culinary exotica, fregola is a type of pasta from the Italian island of Sardinia. The more common Israeli couscous may be substituted. Serve this hearty stew with a refreshing butter lettuce and pear salad and plenty of crusty bread for dipping.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tsp. saffron threads
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1/2 lb. medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/2 lb. medium scallops, tough muscles removed
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup fregola (Sardinian couscous) or Israeli couscous
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 lb. clams, scrubbed
  • 2 Tbs. minced fresh flat-leaf parsley

Directions:

Crush the saffron in a small bowl and add the wine. Set aside.

In a large, heavy pot over high heat, warm 1 Tbs. of the olive oil. When the pan is very hot, add the shrimp and sear for 1 minute per side (do not cook all the way through). Transfer to a bowl. Add the scallops to the pot and sear for 1 minute per side, also without cooking all the way through. Transfer to the bowl with the shrimp.

Add the remaining 1 Tbs. olive oil, the onion and garlic to the pot and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the saffron mixture and cook for 2 minutes. Add the broth and bring to a boil. Add the fregola and stir to combine, then reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 12 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Add the clams, discarding any that do not close to the touch. Cover the pot tightly and steam for 3 minutes. Remove the lid and quickly add the shrimp and scallops. Cover the pot tightly again and continue to cook just until the clams open and the shrimp and scallops are cooked through, about 3 minutes. Discard any clams that failed to open. Ladle the stew into warmed bowls, sprinkle with the parsley and serve immediately. Serves 4.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Soup of the Day, by Kate McMillan (Weldon Owen, 2011).

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I hope you try this dish and enjoy it as much as we did.

 

Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Stay well,

Diane

Thank you for visiting my blog.

If you enjoy the posts, please spread the word and ask your family and friends to subscribe to DishingwithDiane.com 

Once you subscribe, you’ll never miss a post…

Also, continue to send me your comments, I love hearing from you.

 

 

Roses…Sweet and Savory

Photo Dec 03, 2 09 55 AM SWEET AND SAVORY

(Click PHOTO to enlarge and then back arrow to return to original size).

Hi Everyone,

Well, I am back from my mini vacation visiting my son in upstate NY. In between going out and about on my visit, I spent my time cooking my son’s favorite foods along with a Thanksgiving dinner.

His refrigerator and freezer are stocked and now I am a happy mom.

He doesn’t have time to cook for himself with his work schedule and I feel better knowing that he is eating a home cooked meal instead of fast food.

While upstate, I had to visit my favorite grocery store, Wegmans. You all know by now that I just love that store. I am waiting for the day that they build one where I live.

Bob calls it Diane’s Disney for good reason. (I even went during snow flurries. Nothing was going to stop me.)

Anyway, we bought the most delicious (& huge) apples in Wegmans. On the way home, Bob asked if I wouldn’t mind making a dessert with them even though I had been cooking all week. So in the car, (I had eight hours to think driving home) I was trying to think of something to make with the apples. The usual apple pie and apple turnovers came to mind and then I thought about apple roses. They look beautiful and can be served warm with vanilla ice cream.

I always have puff pastry in the house and I had the other ingredients as well, so apple roses it is.

I had this recipe for a long time. I copied it from a post in Pinterest and I really don’t remember the original site I was on to tell you.

In addition, I have the perfect apple shaped dishes to serve them on.

I bought the apple dishes in Sur La Table when I went in to shop for a cast iron pan and found the dishes instead, along with an apple platter.

Here is a pic of my apple roses. They are Huge!

I told you the apples were big. Normally, I would serve 2, but with this size I chose to serve only one per plate. (Recipe will be at the end of the post.)

Photo Dec 03, 2 00 41 AM APPLE -CLOSE

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Since I was making a sweet “rose”, I decided I should make a savory rose and complete the meal. I had the perfect entree in mind too.

On our last trip to Boston, Bob and I ate in a great restaurant in the North End of Boston on the Freedom Trail called “Restaurante Limoncello” and I highly recommend it. I loved everything about this restaurant.

I had the best mussels and clams Calabrese style (spicy) appetizer I ever had. No other restaurant ever came close to the taste of that dish.

On the menu, their signature dish was “Rosette Limoncello”,  rosette means rose. Pasta roses? I had to order it and a beautiful plate of pasta shaped like roses in a cream sauce filled with ham and fontina cheese came to the table-  just delicious.

One day while browsing the “Chowhound” website, there was an article by “farmersdaughter” about pasta roses using the renowned Italian cookbook author, Marcella Hazan’s recipe. I finally had my recipe.

All in all they didn’t look too difficult. Much easier than I had imagined, but time consuming. Of course I had to make a little tweak. Her recipe calls for ham and Fontina cheese; I made mine with prosciutto and Asiago cheese. A combination that Bob and I like a little better.

The roses make a beautiful presentation for a primo piatto (first course) for a dinner party or the holidays.

Two or three roses with some basil for a garnish and you are done.

Here is the pic of my Rosette di Pasta (Recipe at the end of the post)

Photo Dec 02, 7 14 00 PM CLOSE UP

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I hope you try either of these recipes and add them to your holiday menu.

Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Stay well,

Diane

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RECIPES

Apple Roses

Photo Dec 03, 2 00 06 AM APPLE ROSES

serves 6

Ingredients:

2 apples (pink lady, braeburn, or honeycrisp)
Juice of half a lemon
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 sheet puff pastry, thawed
Flour, for dusting
3 tablespoons apricot or strawberry preserves
Powdered sugar, for dusting

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Grease a standard muffin tin.

Core the apples and slice in half. Using a very sharp knife or mandolin on the second setting, slice paper thin 1/8-inch slices and immediately sprinkle and toss in lemon juice prevent browning.

Toss in the butter, sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

Microwave the slices for 45 seconds, or until soft and pliable enough to mold.

Place the puff pastry on a lightly floured work surface. Roll out into a 9 by 12-inch rectangle. Cut six 2-inch wide strips of dough.

In a small bowl, combine the preserves with 2 tablespoons of water. Microwave for 30 seconds if it was refrigerated. Spread evenly over each strip of dough.

Arrange about 10 apple slices lengthwise in a straight line, overlapping slightly, on a strip of dough.

Fold up the bottom part of the dough and begin tightly rolling the dough to form the rose shape. Press the edge to seal. Repeat for all the pies and place in the muffin tin.

Make ahead: at this point the unbaked assembled roses can be covered and stored in the fridge for up to 1 day before baking as directed.

Bake for 40 minutes, or until golden and cooked through. Sprinkle with powdered sugar, if desired.

Pastries are best served the day they are baked but can be stored in an airtight container and rewarmed in a 300°F oven for 5 to 10 minutes, or until warmed through and flaky again.

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Pasta Roses

Photo Dec 02, 7 14 00 PM ROSES 2

Recipe for Roselline di Pasta alla Romagnola (Pasta Roses with Ham and Fontina) from the Chowhound article…

Serves 6

Ingredients:

about 1 pound fresh pasta sheets, cut about 4″ wide and 10″ long
salt
4 T unsalted butter
1 cup heavy cream
1 T tomato paste
1/8 tsp grated nutmeg
1 1/2 lbs boiled, unsmoked ham, sliced very thin
1 pound fontina, shredded
about 3 T grated parmigiano-reggiano

Cook the pasta strips 2 or 3 at a time in boiling salted water for a few seconds, then remove from the water with a spider and shock in ice water. Rinse each pasta strip well in cold water and rub together to remove as much starch as possible—as Marcella says, “as if you are doing a fine laundry.” Lay the strips out on the counter on a towel and repeat with the remaining strips.

Preheat the oven to 450. Put butter and cream in a small saucepan and heat to medium and reduce the cream a bit, about 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste and the nutmeg and whisk lightly to dissolve the tomato paste, continuing to cook to thicken the sauce to about buttermilk consistency, about another 5 minutes. Spread a thin layer of the sauce into the bottom of a 9×13 pan.

On each pasta strip, place a single layer of sliced ham and then cover with a layer of cheese. My ham slices were exactly 4″ wide so no trimming was necessary, but the ham should fit the slice without overlapping it on the sides. Roll up the pasta like a jelly roll and place seam-side down on the towel while you do the other rolls. After you have done all the rolls, cut them in half so they are about 2″ thick. Then with a paring knife on one side of each ring, make an “X” about 1/2″ deep. This will help the roses “bloom.” (Mine didn’t bloom as much as I wanted, but they still looked very pretty.)

Put the roses in the baking dish with the cross cuts face up and distribute the remaining sauce over them with a pastry brush. Press down a bit on the roses to help them open slightly. Sprinkle with the parmigiano-reggiano and bake for about 15 minutes, until a light crust forms on top. Let them sit for about 5 minutes before serving. (Everything but the baking can be done in advance, just make sure that if you make it ahead and refrigerate it that it’s at room temperature before you put it in the oven.)

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Give these recipes a try and let me know what you think.

Photo Dec 03, 2 09 55 AM SWEET AND SAVORY

Thank you for visiting my blog.

If you enjoy the posts, please spread the word and ask your family and friends to subscribe to DishingwithDiane.com 

Once you subscribe, you’ll never miss a post…

Also, continue to send me your comments, I love hearing from you.

 

 

Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Brown Butter and Sage

Photo Oct 09, 8 02 56 PM sweet potato gnocchi

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Hi Everyone, 

Here is another recipe that was requested from DishingwithDiane’s Instagram page.

Welcome to Fall!

My husband LOVES gnocchi and he loves anything that is made with sweet potatoes. He will always be the one to order the sweet potato fries or the sweet potato pie.

When I found this recipe on Epicurious for sweet potato gnocchi, I knew it would be a match made in heaven for Bob to have two of his favorites combined together.

The recipe called for a brown butter sage sauce and I just added some toasted walnuts (toasted pecans would be good also). 

The end result was a delicious Autumn meal even though it has been 80 degrees here on the Northeast (which I personally LOVE).

Give the recipe a try and let me know what you think.

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Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Brown Butter and Sage

Epicurious recipe…

Makes 10 to 12 servings

Ingredients:

  • (2) 1-pound red-skinned sweet potatoes (yams), rinsed, patted dry, pierced all over with fork
  • (1) 12-ounce container fresh ricotta cheese, drained in sieve 2 hours
  • 1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese (about 3 ounces)
  • 2 tablespoons (packed) golden brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons plus 2 tablespoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 2- 3/4 cups (about) all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 6 tablespoons chopped fresh sage plus whole leaves for garnish

Cooks note: I added toasted walnuts.

Preparation:

  1. Line large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Place sweet potatoes on plate; microwave on high until tender, about 5 minutes per side. Cut in half and cool. Scrape sweet potato flesh into medium bowl and mash; transfer 3 cups to large bowl. Add ricotta cheese; blend well. Add Parmesan cheese, brown sugar, 2 teaspoons salt, and nutmeg; mash to blend. Mix in flour, about 1/2 cup at a time, until soft dough forms.
  3. Turn dough out onto floured surface; divide into 6 equal pieces. Rolling between palms and floured work surface, form each piece into 20-inch-long rope (about 1 inch in diameter), sprinkling with flour as needed if sticky. Cut each rope into 20 pieces. Roll each piece over tines of fork to indent. Transfer to baking sheet.
  4. Bring large pot of water to boil; add 2 tablespoons salt and return to boil. Working in batches, boil gnocchi until tender, 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer gnocchi to clean rimmed baking sheet. Cool completely. (Can be made 4 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.)
  5. Preheat oven to 300°F. Melt butter in heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook until butter solids are brown and have toasty aroma, swirling pan occasionally, about 5 minutes.  (I added the walnuts at this point and let them cook for the 5 minutes).
  6. Add chopped sage (mixture will bubble up). Turn off heat. Season sage butter generously with salt and pepper.
  7. Transfer half of sage butter to large skillet set over medium-high heat. Add half of gnocchi. Sauté until gnocchi are heated through, about 6 minutes. Empty skillet onto rimmed baking sheet; place in oven to keep warm. Repeat with remaining sage butter and gnocchi.
  8. Divide gnocchi and sauce among shallow bowls. Garnish with sage leaves.

Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Stay well,

Diane

Thank you for visiting my blog.

If you enjoy the posts, please spread the word and ask your family and friends to subscribe to DishingwithDiane.com 

Once you subscribe, you’ll never miss a post…

Also, continue to send me your comments, I love hearing from you.

Spinach Lasagna Roll Ups

 

Photo Sep 11, 1 51 06 PM SPINACH ROLLS

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Hi Everyone, 

Here is another recipe that has been requested from DishingwithDiane’s Instagram page.

Spinach Lasagna Roll Ups

Very easy to prepare. 

In the photo above, I sliced the roll ups in half and paired it with grilled chicken sausage that was made with spinach and garlic and served this for lunch. A side salad can be added.

For lunch or a buffet table,  I slice the roll up in half. I think it makes a nicer presentation to see the filling.

For dinner, I serve the entire roll up which is one lasagna noodle and an additional vegetable or protein.

Give the recipe a try and let me know what you think.

Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Stay well,

Diane

Thank you for visiting my blog.

If you enjoy the posts, please spread the word and ask your family and friends to subscribe to DishingwithDiane.com 

Once you subscribe, you’ll never miss a post…

Also, continue to send me your comments, I love hearing from you.

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Spinach Lasagna Roll-Ups 

(recipe from: taste of home website)

Ingredients:

  • 12 uncooked lasagna noodles
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 package (10 ounces) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 2-1/2 cups whole-milk ricotta cheese
  • 2-1/2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese (I used whole milk mozzarella)
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 jar (24 ounces) meatless pasta sauce OR HOMEMADE SAUCE. (I used my own marinara sauce).

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 375°. Cook and drain noodles according to package directions. Meanwhile, mix eggs, spinach, cheeses and seasonings.
  • Pour 1 cup pasta sauce into an ungreased 13×9-in. baking dish. Spread 1/3 cup cheese mixture over each noodle; roll up and place over sauce, seam side down. Top with remaining sauce. Bake, covered, 20 minutes. Uncover; bake until heated through, 5-10 minutes. Yield: 6 servings.

I topped the roll ups with grated cheese.

 

 

Spicy Linguine with White Clam Sauce

Photo Mar 06, 7 53 35 PM LINGUINE WITH SPICY CLAM SAUCE

(Click PHOTO to enlarge and then back arrow to return to original size)

Hi everyone, 

I hope your Passover and Easter holidays were wonderful. 

I had my son home for an 11 day visit, so life was good for me. Since my son couldn’t be home for Thanksgiving and Christmas last year; in one week I made a full Thanksgiving dinner, Christmas Eve “Feast of the Seven Fishes” dinner and Easter dinner.

In addition to all his other favorite foods.

Let’s just say it was a busy week in the kitchen, but a labor of love.

And would you believe, after all of that and a few nights out to dinner, we still needed a few more dinner ideas to prepare for the rest of the week.

 I immediately thought of one of my “new” favorite recipes that I must tell you about.

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I have mentioned before that I belong to a variety of food groups on Facebook; where we exchange recipes and have conversations about family and food. It is a wonderful experience for people like me who love to cook.

Not only do I get new recipes to try, but I have also met the nicest people. Bob and I have even met some of these people in person and we have become good friends. 

I met our friend Richard Roselli, on his website,

Italian Men and Women Who Love to Cook 

This website has terrific members not only sharing great recipes, but also sharing family holiday traditions with one another.

And Richard has also just launched a new business that has become a great success.

Creative Cookies and Confections, Inc. 

Visit his website, here is the link below.

https://m.facebook.com/CreativeCookiesandConfections

If you need cookies for any occasions, he is the one to call.

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One of my other Facebook friends, Len Boccassini also has a website.

Visit his website, here is the link below.

http://www.foodidude.com/

On this website you will find a vast variety of recipes. 

It was Len’s website where I found one of my new favorite recipes and I want to share it with you today… with Len’s blessing.

“Aggie’s Spicy Linguine in White Clam Sauce”

I love clams and linguine and I love spicy so this is the perfect combination for me. I just made a little tweak with adding chorizo sausage instead of a habanero pepper- hope you don’t mind Len.

You have to try this if you LOVE seafood.

This is a winner! Enjoy

Len has so many fantastic recipes on his website, you have to check it out.

I hope you make Spicy Linguine with Clam Sauce and LOVE it as much as I do. 

Ciao!

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Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Stay well,

Diane

This is Len’s photo from his website that I fell in love with and knew I had to make this dish…

The photo at the top of this page is my rendition of this dish.

How delicious does that look?

Who could resist?

linguini-and-clam-sauce_orig.jpg Foodidude clams.jpg for BLOG

So here is the recipe…

Ingredients:

8 oz. linguine

12 to 24 little neck clams, rinsed and scrubbed

1 lb. pre-shelled clam meat

½ cup dry white wine

¼ cup clam juice

¼ cup plus 1 tbsp. fresh flat leaf parsley, divided

½ tsp sea salt divided

1 tbsp. unsalted butter

1 tbsp. minced garlic (about 3 cloves)

½ to 1 tsp red pepper flakes

¾ cup unsalted diced tomatoes

½ onion, chopped

1 habanero pepper, minced – I used chorizo sausage instead*

Oregano to taste

Chopped basil to taste

Grated cheese

Preparation:

Cook pasta according to package directions using ¼ tsp salt. Drain well

Meanwhile, in a pot over medium heat, melt 1 tbsp. unsalted butter.

I lightly sauteed some chorizo in the butter*

Add the clams, clam meat, garlic, onion and red pepper flakes and sauté until garlic is fragrant, about 1 – 2 minutes.  

Add tomatoes, wine, clam juice, ¼ cup parsley, habanero (I used chorizo), oregano, basil and remaining ¼ tsp salt and increase heat to medium-high and bring to a simmer.

Cover and cook just until the clams open about 10 minutes – NOTE- TO AVOID OVERCOOKING, START CHECKING THE CLAMS AFTER 8 MINUTES AND REMOVE THEM AS THEY OPEN, TRANSFERRING TO A BOWL

Discard any unopened clams and stir cooked clams back into the pot

Stir in the pasta and toss well.

Garnish with remaining 1 tbsp. parsley and top with grated cheese

COOKS NOTE: * indicates my changes

Have fun cooking!

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Once you become a member, you’ll never miss a post…

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Spaghetti Pie

  Photo Mar 15, 7 21 36 PM - FULL SPAGHETTI PIE

(Click PHOTO to enlarge and then back arrow to return to original size)

Hi everyone,

Today I wanted to share with you a little tip for leftover spaghetti.

This is a great addition to a Lenten meal if you need a new idea.

When I was a child, my mother followed all the European formal traditions when it came to the structure of our meals.

We always had…

First course (primo) – usually a small portion of soup, macaroni or risotto.

Second course (secondo) – either fish, beef, chicken, veal, or lamb.

Lots of vegetables (contorno)- broccoli rabe, escarole, artichokes, etc.

Salad (insalata) and yes, served AFTER the entree.

Fruit (frutta) to end the meal.

Beverages (bevande) were usually wine or soda for adults and water or juice for the children.

If we had company, some items were added…

 Before the meal appetizers – (antipasto) Assorted cheeses, cured meats and pickled vegetables. (Another favorite of mine – sharp provolone and sopressata).

Cheese (formaggio) was added to the fruit course along with roasted nuts.

Dessert (dolce) – pastries and cookies.

Caffe (coffee) both “American” and espresso with anisette and lemon peel.

After dinner drink (digestivo) – I remember my parents serving Fernet and Limoncello. 

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This is how I thought everyone ate until the ripe old age of seven, when my mother finally let me eat over someones house that wasn’t a relative who followed the same rules she did. I remember I was quite surprised when my friends mother made meatloaf, no first course or sides, except a salad and she served the salad with the main course. I was disappointed and missed my mother’s courses…

So back home to mom … 

I don’t think I asked to eat over anyone’s house after that for a very long time. My friends came to our house….

The course I loved the best was always the first course. This course consisted of either a bowl of soup (I love soup), some type of risotto, polenta or macaroni.

One of my favorite primo piatto, was spaghetti pie.

My mother could re-purpose leftovers and you thought you were having a gourmet meal. If we had spaghetti for lunch one day, I knew that spaghetti pie was going to be our first course the next night.

Basically, you take your leftover spaghetti, add eggs, half and half or milk, grated cheese, salt and pepper, fresh parsley or basil (optional) and fry it stove top in a skillet until it’s nice and crispy on both sides.

If we had any meatballs or sausage left from a homemade meat sauce, my mom would break a few pieces into the mix as well.

Diced mozzarella and some ricotta could be added too.

There are so many varieties of spaghetti pie.

It was a spaghetti “frittata” and I wanted to share the basic recipe with you.

The spaghetti pie below was made from leftover tri- color spaghetti that I made with ricotta, mozzarella, lots of onions and fresh basil.

Photo Mar 15, 7 30 46 PM PIE WITH SLICE

Here is a basic recipe for…

Spaghetti Pie

Ingredients
2 – 3 large eggs (depends on egg size and amount of spaghetti)
1/4 cup whole milk or half and half
1/2 cup grated cheese (Parmesan or locatelli)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Leftover spaghetti (with tomato sauce or ricotta and onions, or oil and garlic)
2-3 tbsp. olive oil

Optional additions: parsley, basil, ricotta, mozzarella, onions…anything goes.

In a large bowl, beat eggs, milk or half & half, grated cheese, salt and pepper. Any “optional’ additions.

Add leftover spaghetti and combine well.

In a large skillet, (I use a 10 inch ceramic coated frittata frying pan) heat olive oil over medium heat.

Add spaghetti and egg mixture, spreading evenly and pressing down in the pan with a spatula.

Cook until golden brown, about 8 minutes. Lift to check on the color underneath. When completely satisfied, shake the skillet a little to loosen the pie and “Carefully” invert the pie onto a plate.

Add a little more oil to the pan, and slide mixture back into skillet and cook the other side for 6 minutes. Serve warm or room temperature cut into wedges

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COOKS NOTE:  After all these years, I decided to treat myself to a frittata pan to make flipping the pie much easier since I make so many frittatas and spaghetti pies.

I bought this pan from Williams Sonoma in 10 inch. (also comes in 8 inch). The skillets can be used separately but are a blessing when it comes to frittata.

 The two nonstick pans interlock so you do not have to worry about “your skills and the plate” flipping in perfect harmony.

Back in the day, I have had many frittatas and spaghetti pies slip off the plate and onto the stove top when I couldn’t invert the plate correctly.

Don’t be discouraged if you have trouble flipping the pie at first, it takes a little practice.

But spaghetti pies are great!

Go make one for your family.

calphalon-elite-nonstick-frittata-pan-o-frittata-2-with-photocalphalon-elite-nonstick-frittata-pan-o-frittata-pan-i-with-photo

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Well, I hope I gave you a new idea for lunch or dinner.

Give this recipe a try for something different to serve from your leftover spaghetti and surprise your family.

Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Stay well,

Diane

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