Homemade Ravioli | Dishin & Dishes

Ravioli

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A few months back, I traveled to Michigan to stay with my Mom for a week who had just had surgery and help cook and clean and generally help Dad with whatever we needed to do to keep her planted on the couch all week.

While I was there, Mr. Wonderful made homemade ravioli.



Without me.

Seriously? I cook all week, every week for the man and he chooses the week that I’m away to make homemade ravioli?

Hmph.

Well, ever since he sent me those gloriously wonderful cell phone messages with photos of his homemade ravioli, I’ve wanted to make them again.


Ravioli_with_pesto_and_tomatoes.JPG




You know, as in, make them again since I would be AROUND to taste them?

So yesterday after church we knocked out a TON of them and they were SO good.

I have been wanting to play around with a ratio of semolina flour to regular flour since we first made pasta. I really like more of a “bite” to my pasta than the regular flour recipes offered and I believe I found the perfect ratio yesterday. Since we were making ravioli, we added in some olive oil to help it be pliable for filling and sealing and I played around with the filling recipe as well which turned out fabulous!

This brand of semolina flour is widely available at most stores and it is what I used.


red Mill Semolina flour


I made a double recipe as well, because if you’re going to go to all that trouble, why not freeze some for later? We laid them out on cookie sheets lined with parchment paper and froze them solid then popped them into freezer bags for an easy but delicious meal another night!

I also tried out a new toy I’d ordered, and I can’t tell you how convenient this Ravioli mold turned out to be.

Norpro ravioli mold


It is the perfect width for the noodles that rolled out of our KitchenAid pasta rollers. You can absolutely positively make ravioli without one of these but it’ll be a bit more work.

I just used a large bowl to make my dough in but you can start it on the counter.


Flour eggs pasta dough


I used one cup of semolina flour and two cups of all-purpose flour and whisked them together then cracked in two eggs (I doubled the recipe this time). Using a fork, mix the eggs together in the well they are sitting in, then add in 1/4 cup olive oil, and 1/2 cup of water right into the same well.

Pull the flour into the egg mixture with the fork a little at a time while mixing.

Continue to mix with the fork until it becomes workable for your hands then roll the dough around to get any loosed flour. If you need a tad more water, add it one tablespoon at a time until the dough is soft but not sticky.Turn it out onto a floured cutting board or clean counter top and knead it several times until it becomes smooth. Flatten it into a disk and wrap it in plastic wrap and let it sit for thirty minutes to let the glutens relax.

Follow this post for rolling out the dough.

 

We used our KitchenAid pasta roller attachment, but you could use a countertop roller or even a rolling pin, if you’re feeling ambitious. We first cut our disk into 4 equal sizes pieces and rolled out each one. The width of our pasta roller was absolutely perfect for the ravioli mold, and we only had to cut square corners (work the cut off sections back into the next piece of dough you use.

Ravioli makers

Roll the dough thin but not too thin. On our KitchenAid pasta rollers, we stopped on the #4 setting (On KitchenAid #1 is the thickest and #8 is the smallest).

We laid our ravioli mold (we have this one) next to the dough and leaving about ½ inch extra on the ends, we cut two pieces to fit.

Ravioli molds come in different sizes. The one we have makes the smaller ravioli (1 ½ inches each) but you can also buy them in larger sizes. I prefer the smaller ones for nite-size purposes, but I may have to buy the larger size as well!

Here is how a ravioli mold works. You lay your first layer of dough over top of the metal side.

The metal side has teeth outlining each ravioli square and all the way around the entire thing.

After the first layer of dough is on the metal piece, you gently place the plastic mold (with the round bubbles on the bottom) right on top of the dough and again, gently press down.

 

The plastic bubbles press the dough through the holes in the metal piece to form indentions in your dough for you to uniformly fill your ravioli.

I also put my herbed ricotta and spinach filling into a pastry bag to pipe it into the ravioli dimples I created with the plastic mold to help make the filling uniform in volume on each square. You could use a baggie with the corner cut off or even a spoon though.

To make the filling, dump a 15 ounce container of whole milk ricotta into a mixing bowl. Take about 6 cups of fresh spinach leaves and chop them up. Also, chop up about 8 basil leaves.Add a tablespoon of olive oil to a skillet and bring it up to medium heat. Add the spinach for only about a minute or two until it begins to wilt but is still bright green.

Remove it to the mixing bowl with the ricotta and add in the basil along with one cup of grated parmesan cheese, one beaten egg , a clove of chopped garlic and some salt and pepper.Mix it up really well and then spoon it into your baggie or piping bag.

Pipe it into the indentions on the bottom layer of pasta.

Take a pastry brush (or just use one finger) and brush water in between each line of ravioli, or anyplace that will be sealed for each ravioli.

Lay the top layer of dough over top.

Use a rolling pin to go over the entire thing, pressing down firmly.

This will cause the teeth to cut the ravioli through the dough. Don’t worry about flattening out the filling because the top that you are rolling over is going to be the BOTTOM of the ravioli and it should be flat.

Once you can clearly see the teeth all the way through the dough, Pull off the excess dough from the edges.

And then flip the metal piece upside down and give it a good shake a couple of times to dislodge the ravioli from the mold

A few of ours had to be helped by gently pressing them out but it left a little dent in the top of the ravioli.

Ugly ravioli makes me upset!

Not really. It still tastes fine.

To cook these, bring a large pot of water to boil. They only need about 3-4 minutes tops. I used a spider to gently stir them to make sure they didn’t stick to each other and then to lift them out into a bowl afterward. I also only boiled about a dozen at a time because you don’t want to overcrowd the pot.

We tossed them with homemade pesto I had in the freezer due to the enormous amounts of basil I grew last year. While the ravioli was in process, I added about 20 cherry tomatoes into my small iron skillet with a tablespoon of olive oil and cooked them until they were soft and the skin was blistering in places. It leant just the perfect amount of acidity to the richly filled ravioli and the pesto.


I am so excited to start experimenting with new fillings now like mushrooms, butternut squash, roasted vegetables and seafood.

Homemade pasta is so unbelievably delicious.

 

The Best Homemade Ravioli Ever

 

Author:

  • 1 c. semolina flour
  • 2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ t. salt
  • ¼ c. olive oil
  • ½ c. water
  • FOR THE FILLING:
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 1 (15 oz) container whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 6 c. fresh spinach leaves, chopped
  • 8 basil leaves, chopped
  • 1 c. parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 t. salt
  • ½ t. pepper
  • 1 c. basil pesto
  • 20 cherry tomatoes, blistered or ½ c. chopped sun-dried tomatoes
  1. Using a fork, mix the eggs together in the well they are sitting in, then add in ¼ cup olive oil, and ½ cup of water right into the same well.
  2. Pull the flour into the egg mixture with the fork a little at a time while mixing.
  3. Continue to mix with the fork until it becomes workable for your hands then roll the dough around to get any loosed flour. If you need a tad more water, add it one tablespoon at a time until the dough is soft but not sticky.
  4. Turn it out onto a floured cutting board or clean counter top and knead it several times until it becomes smooth.
  5. Flatten it into a disk and wrap it in plastic wrap and let it sit for thirty minutes to let the glutens relax.
  6. Unwrap your dough and cut it into 4 equal pieces
  7. Cover three of these with a bowl to prevent them from drying out. Then take the fourth one and kind of pull it out into a sort of rectangle. Sprinkle it with flour.
  8. Put your pasta attachment on or use your pasta roller set to the widest setting
  9. Run pasta through
  10. Take it out and fold it in half lengthwise and run it through again. (Fold the two short ends together).
  11. Take it out and fold it in half lengthwise and run it through again. (Fold the two short ends together).
  12. After your fourth time (on that setting), change the pasta roller to the next size smaller (setting 2 on the KitchenAid wheel). Run it through the first time just as it is, then three times more after that folding it in half again long ways after each run. Then change your roller setting one size smaller to 3.
  13. Continue on to number 8 setting.
  14. Cut dough into one foot sections
  15. Place dough over ravioli press and use metal insert to press indentions into bottom sheet of dough.
  16. When filling is done – pipe or spoon into each indention.
  17. Place top sheet of pasta over top and roll a rolling pin over top to cut.
  18. Empty onto cookie sheets lined with cornmeal
  1. Heat olive oil in large skillet and saute spinach until just bright green and wilted
  2. Add all other ingredients to large bowl and mix well.
  3. Use piping bag or teaspoon to fill indentions in ravioli
  1. Bring large pot of generously salted water to boil.
  2. Add ravioli (about 12-18 at a time)
  3. Let cook 3½-4 minutes
  4. Lift out with spider or slotted spoon
  5. Continue cooking until all are cooked
  1. Add one tablespoon of olive oil to hot skillet,
  2. Add about 20 cherry tomatoes and continue to stir until they collapse and begin to burst and brown, about 10 minutes.
  3. Mix pasta with pesto and tomatoes and toss.

3.2.2925

If you like this, check out what other wonderful food bloggers are making for Food Network’s Comfort Food Fest below!

Feed Me Phoebe: Sesame Soba Noodle Salad with Cabbage Slaw
The Mom 100: Creamy Goat Cheese and Spinach Linguine
The Cultural Dish: Homemade Pasta and Top 3 Light and Easy Pasta Recipes
Taste with the Eyes: A Unique Pasta Made of Black Beans – Gluten-Free, Lower-Carb
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Ravioli with Asparagus, Green Pea Sauce & Sauteed Scallops
Red or Green: Pasta Cacio e Pepe (pasta with pecorino & black pepper)
In Jennie’s Kitchen: Spaghetti Limone
Dishin & Dishes: The Best Homemade Ravioli Ever
FN Dish: 5 Back-Pocket Pastas That Always Have Your Back


How to make ravioli


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Crab Rangoon Flatbread Pizza | Dishin & Dishes

Crab Rangoon Pizza Fong

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This is my daughter Kayla and her best friend and roommate Brettley from ORU.









One year, Kayla went home with Brettley to Iowa at Christmas for a week, and they kept telling me about this pizza they had.

Crab Rangoon Pizza.

I was intrigued, and set about figuring out how to make it this week.  I tested it out on them some weeks later and they both agreed it was close.

For those of you who may  not be familiar with the term, Crab Rangoon is a deep fried wonder usually seen on Chinese Buffets.  It is a wonton wrapper filled with a mixture of cream cheese, onions and sometimes horseradish, then sealed shut and deep fried.  You may have seen it.







The experiment was a success and this was ohhhh so good.

This part may be difficult for you, so if you can’t find wonton wrappers, you could still make this without them.  We have an asian market that carries them but many grocery stores now do as well.  They are in the refrigerated section.

Slice the wontons (do several at once) up into strips and then lay them out onto a lined cookie sheet that you’ve brushed with olive oil. Brush the tops of the strips with a little olive oil and then pop into a hot 400º oven for about 10 minutes or until the strips brown up and are crispy.







Find some flatbread at your local grocery store.  I used Toufayan Multigrain Flatbread (if you’re from Oklahoma, I got it at Crest).







The rest of you? I don’t know what to tell you…but look for it!  In a pinch, wheat tortillas may work?

Take a block of cream cheese, chop up one-half an onion super fine, and measure out 2 tablespoons of horseradish.  Don’t worry, the horseradish is almost undetectable but it just gives it something yummy.  I used fat-free cream cheese, and it was really really good.  We’re trying to eat lowfat …

At the moment anyway.







Dump this all into a bowl and mix it up with your mixer.







Take one of your flatbreads and put it on a pizza round or a lined cookie sheet,  and spread an even layer of this mixture over it, going almost to the edge.

 







Now, if you want to be really gourmet, buy some real lump crab meat, but the girls told me they just used the “orange crab stuff” so I just bought the imitation, which is really just white fish.

 







Next, sprinkle some shredded Asiago cheese over top of the crab meat.  You could use any cheese you love, even mozerella.

 







Chop up some green onions and sprinkle those over top of the cheese.







 

Then shake some parmesan on top of that.  I know, I know, fresh would be so much better (and I agree! Use it!) but this was all I had laying around.  Go ahead…chew me out.  I deserve it.







Pop this into your oven for 20-25 minutes at 400º, or until the cheese has melted nicely and the edges of the flatbread are beginning to brown and crisp.

Remove your pizza from the oven and while it’s still piping hot, drizzle some Sweet Chili Sauce over top.  If you’re not sure what that is..click here.  It is available at Wal-Mart and most stores now in the Asian section. It’s like a sweet and sour sauce kicked up with chili’s but not too hot…just delicious!







Pop it back into the oven now for an additional 2-3 minutes, just to warm up the sauce.  Remove it and and cut it into fourths.







This is so marvelous.

Come closer.

A little closer….







If you love crab rangoon, you must make this!

Ya hear? Make it today!

KB Crab Rangoon Flatbread Pizza

 

Author:

  • 4 wonton wrappers, sliced into thin strips
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 4 multi grain flatbreads
  • 1 (8 oz) block of cream cheese
  • ½ c. finely chopped onions
  • 2-3 T. horseradish ( or 4 if you love horseradish!)
  • 1 package flaked imitation crabmeat
  • 1 c. Asiago cheese
  • ¼ c. parmesan cheese
  • 2 green onions
  • 3 T. asian style sweet chili sauce
  1. Preheat oven to 400º. On lined cookie sheet, drizzle olive oil and brush all over foil. Lay out strips of wontons, not touching and brush with additional olive oil.
  2. Bake for 10 minutes or until browned and crispy.
  3. In medium bowl, with mixer, blend together cream cheese, onions, and horseradish. Spread ¼of mixture over one flatbread almost to edges.
  4. Top with ¼ of the crabmeat.
  5. Sprinkle ¼ of the Asiago over top.
  6. Chop up green onions and sprinkle ¼ over cheese, then sprinkle with ¼ cup of the parmesan cheese.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes or until cheese is melted and browning and the flatbread edges are brown and crisping.
  8. Remove from oven and drizzle chili sauce over top.
  9. Return to oven for 2-3 minutes and then top with crumbled wonton strips.
  10. Cut into fourths and serve!

3.2.2925

Today I’m participating in Food Network’s Comfort Food Feast. You MUST check out what some of my favorite food bloggers are making in the way of pizza!

Dishin & Dishes: Crab Rangoon Pizza Flatbread
Daisy at Home: Mini Pizza Bites
The Cultural Dish: Mini Eggplant Pizzas
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Spicy Pizza with Garlic Confit & Pesto
Red or Green: Tostada Pizza
Swing Eats: Mini Deep Dish Polenta Pizzas (Gluten-Free)
Weelicious: Quilt Pizza
Taste with the Eyes: Pretty Little Cast Iron Skillet Pizzas
The Mom 100: Two-Cheese and Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto Naan Pizza
FN Dish: 6 Newfangled Ways to Get Your Pizza Fix

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Iron Skillet Chicken Pesto Pizza

Iron_skillet_pesto_chicken_pizza.JPG

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Folks tend to have some pretty serious preferences for pizza. They tend to argue about thick crust verses thin crust, Chicago-style verses New York-style. Everyone has an opinion and most will tend to pretty doggone vocal about which they prefer.

When I went off to college at 17, I lived a mere 45 minutes or less from Chicago. The deep dish pizza at Gino’s and Giordano’s was a new revelation to me with its incredible cornmeal-dusted crust baked in a deep dish pan that almost seemed “fried”. It was stuffed inside-out with loads of chunky fillings and cheese, and because it requires more baking time that would burn the cheese if on top, the uncooked tomato sauce was ladled on top instead and cooked nicely over top of layers of sliced mozzarella cheese. Some of the Chicago places went beyond deep-dish like Giordano’s and added another layer of crust to become truly “stuffed” pizzas. It was love at first bite for me, all those bubbling layers of goodness.

Living in Oklahoma has left a Chicago pizza- sized hole in me to be satisfied so recently when the iron skillet pizza recipes began to surface, I realized that HEY, the iron skillet could easily double for the deep dish pie pan used in Chicago.



Last night I made my first deep dish pie. It was stuffed full of good things like pesto and large chunks of chicken. Trying to lighten things up for myself, I used feta instead of mozzarella and added veggies like mushrooms and red onions and I skipped the top layer of crust.

The result was delicious. I can’t wait to try some other versions, even that cheese laden one some night when I’m feeling a bit naughty…

Pizza dough isn’t really all that difficult to make. I mixed ¾ cup of lukewarm water with a tablespoon of active dry yeast and a teaspoon of sugar. (I used the pizza quick version shown in the picture below.) Whisk it for about 20 seconds to get rid of the lumps and then set it aside to let the yeast activate. Set a timer for 5 minutes.

While that’s working, take your mixer and using beaters or the paddle attachment, fluff 2 ¼ cups of flour with a teaspoon of salt just to mix it up. If your preference is a wheat crust, use ¾ cup wheat flour and 1 ½ cups white flour.

When your 5 minute timer goes off, you should now have a foamy mixture in your water/yeast bowl.

Pour it into your flour mixture with your mixer on low. Also drizzle in 3 tablespoons of olive oil (extra virgin).

Mix this with your mixer for a minute until you get what is known as“shaggy dough”.


I have a KitchenAid mixer, and changed to my dough hook and mixed the dough for 6 minutes more on medium speed. If you don’t have a dough hook, remove the dough and mash it together to form a ball and knead it until it gets smooth.

Then I drizzled a little olive oil into a large (non-metal) bowl and brushed the olive oil all over the sides of the bowl. I plopped my dough into it and rolled it around to coat it with the olive oil. Next, I covered it with a tea towel (you could also use plastic wrap) and let it rise in a warm place for 45 minutes to an hour.

Next , I drizzled another tablespoon of olive oil or two into my beloved iron skillet and brushed it up the sides of the skillet. I then sprinkle lightly with cornmeal.

I added my dough and “punched it down” with my knuckles and continued to use my knuckles to push the dough outward towards the edges of the pan.


Press pizza dough in skillet


I have no idea if this is the “professional” way to stretch dough but it seemed to work for me. I continued to push it up the sides of the pan.

Skillet pizza dough


If a hole tore in the dough, I just pinched it together to fix it. I then let this rise again for about 20 minutes.

Second rise skillet pizza




Next, I spread the bottom of the crust with ½ cup of prepared basil pesto. Thank goodness I still have lots of homemade pesto in my freezer from last summer’s basil explosion in my herb garden.

If you want to try your hand at making it yourself, click here for my easy recipe.

Since I was using chicken in my pizza, I simply sprinkled two chicken breasts with salt and pepper and sizzled them in another tablespoon of olive oil to brown them on both sides on the stove, about 3-4 minutes per side. Then I transferred my pan to the oven to finish cooking while my dough was rising.

After they were done (about 20 minutes), I cut them in half and sliced them into good size slices.

I also sliced up 2 tomatoes and a couple of slices of red onion.

I generously covered my pesto with the chicken inside my crust.

Then I added sliced red onions.

Then I added sliced cremini mushrooms.

Then I added sliced fresh tomatoes and lightly salted and peppered them.

Then I sprinkled the entire thing with feta cheese crumbles.

Then I brushed the crust still showing with a little olive oil and THEN…

I became immensely excited and impatient because I still had to bake my masterpiece.

I baked my pie at 400º for about 25 minutes. Since ovens vary, you will want your crust to be browned and golden around the edges.

The pizza slid right out of the skillet with a little support from a big spatula right onto my cutting board.

I sliced it up.

It was absolutely delicious. I could only handle one piece of this stuffed and hearty pie.

I am already thinking of new things to try – even with a dessert version soon.

What do you think would be fabulous? Shout it out in the comments below!

Iron Skillet Chicken Pesto Pizza

 

Total time

 

Author:

  • ¾ c. lukewarm water
  • 1 T. active dry yeast
  • 1 t. sugar
  • 2¼ c. flour (For whole wheat dough,
  • use ¾ cup whole wheat flour and 1½ cups all-purpose flour)
  • 1 t. salt
  • 3 T.extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 T. olive oil, divided
  • ½ c. basil pesto
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 1 c. cremini or button mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 red onions sliced
  • 2 medium-sized tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 t. salt
  • 2 t. pepper
  • 1 c. feta cheese, crumbled
  1. In a small bowl, stir together the lukewarm water, yeast and sugar. Let stand until foamy, 3 to 5 minutes.
  2. Using a standing mixer, mix the flour and salt at low speed.
  3. Mix in the yeast mixture and olive oil until a shaggy dough forms. If using a KitchenAid, change to the dough hook attachment and mix at medium speed until smooth, about 6 minutes.
  4. Add one tablespoon of olive oil to a large mixing bowl.
  5. Transfer the dough to the bowl, turning to coat; cover with plastic wrap or tea towel and let rise until doubled in size, 45 minutes.
  6. While dough is rising make chicken.
  7. Preheat oven to 400º
  8. Sprinkle salt and pepper over both sides of chicken breasts.
  9. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to skillet and turn on medium heat on burner
  10. When hot, add chicken breasts and cook on each side for 5 minutes or until browning.
  11. Transfer skillet to oven and bake for 20 25 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 350º.
  12. Remove from oven (but leave oven on for pizza!), and let cool a bit, then slice into ¼ inch strips and then cut strips in half.
  13. After dough has risen for 25 minutes, add remaining olive oil (1 T.) to iron skillet and brush all over bottom and up sides at least 1 inch.
  14. Add dough to center of skillet and begin pressing outward with your knuckles in all directions until dough covers pan bottom and also up all sides at least one inch.
  15. Let dough rise in pan 20 minutes.
  16. (You may need to press dough up sides one more time when done)
  17. Spread pesto over bottom of dough.
  18. Add chicken in single layer.
  19. Add a layer of red onion slices
  20. Add a layer of mushrooms
  21. Add a layer of tomato slices and sprinkle them with salt and pepper
  22. Add feta cheese over all
  23. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until edges are crispy and golden brown. (Oven temps may vary in different ovens).

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Just look at these fabulous recipes other food bloggers participating in Food Network’s Comfort Fest: Pizza have come up with!
The Heritage Cook: Gluten-Free Pizza Crust and Homemade Pizza Sauce

Jeanette’s Healthy Living: Easy Turkey Taco Pizza

Devour: Top 5 Pizzas Without Sauce

Elephants and the Coconut Trees: Pepperoni Pizza Puffs

Weelicious: Pizza Balls

Napa Farmhouse 1885: Pizza with Sun-Dried Tomato, Red Pepper and Corn

Red or Green: Pizza with Green Chile, Chicken and Cheese (Gluten-Free)

Virtually Homemade: Individual Cheese Quesadilla Pizzas

Domesticate Me: Grilled Pita Pizza with Prosciutto, Chanterelles, Arugula and a Fried Egg

Food for 7 Stages of Life: No Yeast Pizza Dough

In Jennie’s Kitchen: Easy, Homemade Pizza Dough

The Blue Apron Blog: Our Favorite Pizza Toppings

The Sensitive Epicure: Mini Deep Dish Polenta Pizzas (Gluten-Free)

FN Dish: Homemade Pizza Comfort by the Slice

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Ghost & Mummy Pizzas | Dishin & Dishes

Photo Oct 29, 5 22 19 AM

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You know that song about Oklahoma?  The one where the wind comes sweeping down the plain?

Sweeping my eye!!

Halloween always hits Oklahoma simultaneously, it seems, with the bitter cold wind slamming us upside the head when we walk out the door.



This does not lend kindly to little girls dressed like Disney princesses in capped arm gowns or little boys in attired in shorts to be pro basketball players like my kids always were in their younger years.

I mean,  try to tell MY little princess  Tori that she had to cover up that sparkling gown with a parka or to layer it over long underwear and you might as well have KILLED me now!

And this Momma was not fond either of the trick or treating in bitter cold wind.

I’d had enough of that at soccer and baseball games, so early on, I learned that was the Daddy’s job, and that I would stay home and create a warm glowing atmosphere for the little munchkins to come home to afterward with their friends and parents.  Dad’s are tougher about those things …right?

Hot spiced cider, sweet and silky hot chocolate with bowls of whipped cream and mini-marshmallows along with warm gooey caramel awaited them complete with apples on sticks and various brightly colored versions of crushed candy to roll them in.

I encourage you to have an “after trick or treat get together” to warm up hands, toes and hearts and try a few fun and easy treats for them like the following…

Ghost and Mummy Pizzas.


ghost and mummie pizzas


Simply pick up some pre-split English muffins, pizza or marinara sauce, olives, capers and sliced mozzarella cheese. You can make one or both SO easily!


ingredients for ghost and mummie pizzas


For the mummies –.  Place the English muffins with the split side open and up on a baking sheet.

Bake in a 350º for 10 minutes.

Remove from the oven and spread with pizza sauce.


spread pizza sauce


Take your pre-cut mozzerella cheese slices and cut them with a pizza cutter or a sharp knife into 1/2 inch strips.


Photo Oct 29, 4 44 04 AM


Lay random strips across the English muffin leaving room for the eyes. You don’t want to  bake the cheese on these pizzas as you want the cheese to look like bandages and not be a melty mess.


Halloween mummy pizzas


Add two sliced black or green olives for the eyes. Under no circumstances try to describe to  your children what in the world capers are.  Let them try them out and be introduced to a new gourmet taste and tell that ghost eyes are super amazing to eat.


Mummy Pizzas Halloween


I would totally let the kids make these themselves. It would be a kick for them!

On to the Ghost Pizzas!

For the Ghost Pizzas, spread on the sauce.  Take a ghost cookie cutter and cut a ghost out of the cheese slices this time.

I didn’t even go buy a ghost cookie cutter. My gingerbread girl cookie cutter works great!


Photo Oct 29, 4 57 11 AM


For the leftover scraps of cheese dilemna, I came up with this.


Photo Oct 29, 5 13 41 AM



Add on some eyes – I used capers.


Photo Oct 29, 5 02 29 AM


Pop these into a 350º oven for 10 minutes.  The cheese melting on these give them a certain ghostly character.


Photo Oct 29, 5 09 38 AM


And there you have it! Mummy and Ghost Pizzas! Have fun with your kiddos this Halloween and let them partake in the fun of making these creepy treats for Halloween!

Ghost & Mummy Pizzas

 

  • 1 package English muffins, (split ones)
  • 1 small jar pizza sauce
  • 1 can sliced black olives
  • 1 jar capers
  • 1 pack sliced mozzarella cheese (enough that you have one for each pizza round)
  1. Preheat oven to 350º
  2. Spread pizza sauce over each cut side of English muffin
  1. using ghost cookie cutter to cut half of the cheese slices into a ghost cutout – place on half of the English muffins on top of sauce – use 2 capers to make eyes
  1. Cut cheese into strips and lay randomly over the sauce
  2. Place a sliced olive to make two eyes for your mummies

3.5.3251

 





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How to Make Homemade Pasta

How to Make Homemade Pasta

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Homemade Pasta. You know the difference when you dine out and taste it. You crave it at home. Who knew the recipe and technique could be so easy? With three ingredients (salt is optional and would make 4)  and some good old-fashioned patience, you too can make homemade pasta at home.

Let’s talk equipment.  Not necessary, but extremely handy, I recommend using a pasta roller of some sort and if you have a KitchenAid mixer, I’d recommend the pasta roller. It’s going to save you A LOT of time!




KitchenAid pasta roller


 

Shop around, for I found it at around $70 on the net (but I also saw it for way more!). You can also get the deluxe set with cutters for quite a bit more.


KitchenAid pasta set


You can also opt to spend quite a bit less and get a hand crank pasta roller like this one for $20. While it won’t be as handy or as fast as the KitchenAid version, it will still cut down on your rolling time.


Cucina pasta roller


OR, most of you probably just have this lying around the house…but it’s gonna take a lot of muscle, so I’d enlist someone to help you.  If you use this one, well, you’re gonna have some great biceps and triceps. Kudos to you!


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You’ll also need a sharp knife, or even better, a pizza cutter or cutting wheel and a fork. That’s it folks, that’s ALL you need along with flour, eggs and olive oil.

I decided I wanted to make Mario Batelli’s recipe for pasta.  After all, he is the Italian food King and I’ve always liked a man who can rock a pair of red clogs and a skirt with confidence.

It called for:

*5-6 cups of flour
*6 extra-large eggs
*1/4 teaspoon of olive oil

I was a bit confused with the range in flour – but quickly found out that you may or may not use it all. I also decided based on other recipes to add in 1 teaspoon of salt, but it’s up to you if you want to!

Mario said to use a cutting board, but I’ve seen this done on countertops and also large flat bowls.


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I opted to use five cups of flour, because I didn’t have “extra-large” eggs (just large), and I mounded up a pile of flour, then using my fist, gently worked a well in the middle of it. Make sure the sides are 1 1/2 to 2 inches high. You’re going to pour the eggs in here so you don’t want them running all over!


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Crack six eggs into a bowl and beat them up. Then add in a 1/2 teaspoon of olive oil. Mario said 1/4 teaspoon but for some reason, I felt rebellious.


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Pour in your eggs and oil.


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Then carefully take a fork and start pulling a little flour at a time, whisking it all the way. Be careful not to break your “wall” of flour. Just pull from the inside of the wall of flour.


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It will be a bit lumpy and that’s okay. That’s where the rolling will come in later.  Keep pulling in flour about 2 tablespoons at a time and mixing with the fork until you get a more solid dough ball. You probably will have a cup of flour or so left over. You don’t need to use it all!


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Then, sprinkle some flour on your hands.


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Grab your dough ball and start kneading.  And PLEASE wear your Tiffany bracelet that your husband bought you in L.A. last year on your anniversary AND your wedding ring to do so…it will take you an hour of scrubbing later with a toothbrush to get them clean.


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Fold your ball in half.  (Note:  See how much flour I have left around the edges?)


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The push down with the heel of your hands (I only am pushing with one due to the fact that I can’t take pictures with NO hands).


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Fold it again, push with the heel of your hand.  If the dough gets sticky, add a little more of your flour to it.  You want it to be “mildly” tacky but not super sticky and not too dry.


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When you’re done you’ll have a nice ball of dough – a little tacky remember! At this point, I removed the leftover flour from my board into a bowl, but save it! You’ll need some more as you go!


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Sprinkle a little of the flour back onto your board, roll your dough in it, and wrap it up tight with some plastic wrap.


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Let it set for 30 minutes, where the magic dough fairies will cause the gluten to do sparkling and wonderful things to it (the gluten needs to relax).

Unwrap your dough and cut it into 4 equal pieces.


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Cover three of these with a bowl to prevent them from drying out. Then take the fourth one and kind of pull it out into a sort of rectangle. Sprinkle it with flour.


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Put your pasta attachment on or use your pasta roller set to the widest setting ( on a KitchenAid that’s 1 not 8). Run it right through. Don’t forget to catch it on the bottom with one hand. Mr. Wonderful fed and I caught. It’s kind of handy to do this with two people.


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Take it out and fold it in half lengthwise and run it through again. (Fold the two short ends together).


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On your first run, it might have holes or tears in it and look weird. That’s okay! Keep going!


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After your first feed at setting 1 you’ll fold your dough each time and run it through a total of 3 times more. If it gets too wide, fold in one edge a bit. The roller will press it right back to normal again.

If it’s too sticky, sprinkle flour on both sides.


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After your fourth time (on that setting), change the pasta roller to the next size smaller (setting 2 on the KitchenAid wheel).  Run it through the first time just as it is, then three times more after that folding it in half again long ways after each run. Then change your roller setting one size smaller to 3.


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Each time the dough will get smoother looking. And by the time you get down to 6 it’s going to be a LOT longer. I left poor Mr. W. alone to handle this while I snapped pictures.


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Incidentally, the man is a  solid rock on remaining calm while his dorky wife was  jumping up and down watching this entire process clapping her hands and hollering how fun and cool her new toy was.


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When we got to number 8 and our last set of 4 runs through the machine, we had a HUGE long piece of pasta. I think next time I will only take the setting down to #6 because I like a little more thickness and bite to my pasta. You decide what YOU like after you make yours!


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We laid the long piece out on the cutting board and using a pizza cutter, we cut it into one foot sections.


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You could use these “as is” for lasagna…I can’t wait to do that!  Remember that we still had three more pieces of dough left? Lightly flour these foot sections and put them on some parchment paper while you make the other three.

When we were finished, it was time to cut the sheets into noodles.  We had decided on Pappardelle, so we stacked up our sections on top of each other  (about 4) and cut them into one inch strips, again with the pizza cutter.


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Mario says that if it’s not cut perfect,  all the better! For people will know it’s homemade! We agree with Mario! (Remember the red clog thing?!!)


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If the pasta is at all sticky, lightly dust it with flour then pile it into “nests” on parchment paper.  I did cut up some into fettuccine, just for fun. I rolled up two sheets and cut them with a knife. It was much quicker that way!  I popped it into a freezer bag for another time.


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And that’s it. We tossed our Pappardelle into a pot of salted boiling water for two minutes (on the printable recipe below I include times for different fresh pastas). Then we sautéed some shrimp and broccoli and mixed it all up with pesto and topped it with some grated Pecorino Romano cheese.


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I want to experiment next with some different flours like 00 wheat flour and semolina. I also want to try adding veggies like spinach and beets.

But tonight, we savored our first bite of loveliness from our first try at homemade pasta.

It was a good night.

**Recently added – If you want more “bite” to your pasta, try using 1/2 semolina flour.  It takes more to work the gluten, therefore it will be a bit chewier.

Homemade Pasta

 

Author:

Recipe type: Main

  • 5 c. flour
  • 6 large eggs
  • ½ t. olive oil
  • 1 t. salt (optional)
  1. On cutting board, countertop or in large flat bowl mound up flour and make a well in center the size of your fist and using your fist.
  2. Crack eggs into separate bowl, add olive oil, and beat up with fork.
  3. Pour into well in middle of flour mound.
  4. Using fork, gently pull out 2 T. of flour and beat into eggs.
  5. Continue doing so until a soft ball of dough forms.
  6. Using your hands knead the ball several times, adding more flour if it’s too sticky. When the right consistency, the ball will be slightly tacky but not sticky.
  7. Cut into four equal parts, cover three with a bowl and shape the fourth into a rough rectangle.
  8. Dust with flour and feed through the widest setting on pasta roller once.
  9. Fold in half lengthwise and run through again, dusting with flour if necessary.
  10. Run through 2 more times folding each time then change setting to the next smallest setting on pasta roller.
  11. Continue down each setting sending the sheet through as is the first time, then folding each time for the next three runs.
  12. When finishes with smallest setting. cut into desired pasta, sprinkle with flour and place on parchment paper while finishing remaining three sections of pasta.
  13. Can be stored in freezer baggies.
  1. Pappardelle: 2 minutes
  2. Vermicelli: 1½ minutes
  3. Ravioli: 12 minutes
  4. Tortellini: 12 minutes
  5. Linguine: 6 minutes
  6. Pescine: 4 minutes
  7. Rigatoni: 6 minutes
  8. Rotini: 5 minutes
  9. Fettuccine: 2 minutes
  10. Allow 4-6 quarts of water per pound.
  11. Bring water and 1 tablespoon salt to a boil. Shake pasta loose (do not cook more than 2 lbs. at a time).
  12. Add pasta to boiling water, stir and begin timing.

3.2.1753

 

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Skillet Gnocchi | Dishin & Dishes

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Recently my daughter Tori and I have been trying out some healthier recipes.  This gnocchi pasta recipe will not leave you feeling wanting, but can be made using healthier and lighter ingredients.  We saw this recipe on Eating Well and adapted it to our own liking.  The creaminess of the beans and the soft pillows of wheat gnocchi give a wonderful comfort food feel and the fire roasted tomatoes and fresh spinach make it delicious.  Leave off the cheese, and you will be completely guiltless! And the great news is, you can make it all in one skillet if you like so as not to have a huge cleanup!

Start out by drizzling a tablespoon or so of olive oil into a pan and heat it up over medium heat.  Remember, that if you use a non-stick one, you won’t have to use near as much oil.  I need a good large non-stick pan, but most of the time, my iron skillet works really great as a well-seasoned iron skillet tends to do.



Cut up 2 mild Italian turkey sausages into bite sized pieces.  I use this kind and it is pretty widely available in the meat aisle near the ground turkey.



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If the skin comes off, that’s perfectly fine!  Just throw it away!



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I know I show three pieces in that picture, but I actually only used two. If you want to go meatless with this recipe, leave it out as the added cannelloni beans can provide the protein.  The men in my house typically demand meat so I try to use leaner options like turkey sausage.

Once one side is browned on the sausage, go ahead and add in one package of prepared gnocchi (found in the dried pasta aisle in most larger grocery stores), preferably wheat.  I can usually find wheat but alas, the store was out of it today so I settled for regular.



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Dump it right into your skillet with your sausage.



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Give it a stir.  If your pan is too dry, drizzle in a bit more oil or you can even use cooking spray.



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Continue to cook this until the sausage and gnocchi are browned, about 5 minutes.



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I may have browned that a tad too much.  Things happen ya know, when you’re taking photographs whilst cooking.

Now, at this point you can remove these to a plate and continue using the same skillet, but for time’s sake I used another skillet to make my sauce while the five minute cooking time was happening with the sausage and gnocchi.

Add in another tablespoon of olive oil.



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Slice up one medium onion and add it right into the skillet over medium heat. Stir these around for 2 minutes or until they begin to soften a bit.  Then chop up four cloves of garlic (or use a press like me!) Add in one cup of chicken or vegetable stock and allow the onions and garlic to simmer about 5 more minutes with the cover on the pan.  Stir them a few times during this point and watch that the water doesn’t boil or burn out!



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Next, remove the lid and add your spinach into the pot.



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You’ll think it looks like a lot of spinach (6 cups), but it will cook WAY down after a minute or so.

Add in your beans. Mmmmmm…



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Cannelloni beans are white and creamy and wonderfully delicious.

Add in your fire roasted tomatoes, which pack a little heat kick.



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Also at this point, add in your salt, pepper and Italian seasoning.  Stir it and bring it to a simmer.  Then spoon in your gnocchi and your sausage.



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Stir this around.  And if you’re trying to be super duper healthy, stop right here.  You could just sprinkle some freshly shredded basil over the top and eat this and it would be fabulous.

But if you want just a little indulgence….chop up some fresh mozzarella.



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I used about a cup.  Spread out over the entire pan, this isn’t too bad really.  Stir this in for another couple of minutes.



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Look at the pitiful, malnutritioned, sad, little fluffball eyes begging up at you.



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Stop it!  I can’t handle the guilt!



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Stop I say!

Give in because you’re a weak coward and because that little guy has me wrapped around his …paw.  And so does the other one.



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And then just before you serve it, you can add a little grated Parmesan cheese. Or not…if you’re trying again to be super duper healthy.



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Honestly, after tasting this, I could totally do without both cheeses.

The creamy beans provide a false richness that delights without them.



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We ate this with a simple toasted and crusty loaf of hearty bread dipped in olive oil and it was delicious.



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Even he thought so.



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Skillet Gnocchi

 

Author:

Recipe type: Pasta

  • 1-3 T. olive oil
  • 2 mild Italian turkey sausages, cut into ½ inch pieces
  • 1 (16 oz) package gnocchi
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 c. chicken or vegetable stock
  • 6 c. baby spinach
  • 1 (15 oz) can Cannelloni beans
  • 1 (15 oz) can fire roasted tomatoes
  • ½ t. salt
  • ¼ t. black pepper
  • 1 t. Italian spice
  • 1 fresh mozzarella ball (approximately 7 oz)
  • ¼ c. grated Parmesan cheese
  • 8-10 fresh basil leaves
  1. Add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil to skillet and saute sausage and gnocchi over medium heat just until browning (if pan is too dry, add a little more oil)
  2. Remove to plate
  3. Add remaining oil to skillet and add onions and garlic
  4. Saute a minute or so then add in chicken or vegetable stock
  5. Simmer 5 minutes covered
  6. Add spinach and let it wilt down but not too much
  7. Add in beans and tomatoes along with salt, pepper and Italian seasoning
  8. Bring to a simmer then add sausage and gnocchi back in and simmer for 2 minutes
  9. Chop mozzarella into small chunks and stir into pan and allow to melt 1-2 minutes
  10. Just before serving, sprinkle with Parmesan and freshly shredded basil

3.5.3208

See what other wonderful food bloggers are posting about Comfort Food cheesey recipes today!

Skillet Gnocchi

 

Author:

Recipe type: Pasta

  • 1-3 T. olive oil
  • 2 mild Italian turkey sausages, cut into ½ inch pieces
  • 1 (16 oz) package gnocchi
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 c. chicken or vegetable stock
  • 6 c. baby spinach
  • 1 (15 oz) can Cannelloni beans
  • 1 (15 oz) can fire roasted tomatoes
  • ½ t. salt
  • ¼ t. black pepper
  • 1 t. Italian spice
  • 1 fresh mozzarella ball (approximately 7 oz)
  • ¼ c. grated Parmesan cheese
  • 8-10 fresh basil leaves
  1. Add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil to skillet and saute sausage and gnocchi over medium heat just until browning (if pan is too dry, add a little more oil)
  2. Remove to plate
  3. Add remaining oil to skillet and add onions and garlic
  4. Saute a minute or so then add in chicken or vegetable stock
  5. Simmer 5 minutes covered
  6. Add spinach and let it wilt down but not too much
  7. Add in beans and tomatoes along with salt, pepper and Italian seasoning
  8. Bring to a simmer then add sausage and gnocchi back in and simmer for 2 minutes
  9. Chop mozzarella into small chunks and stir into pan and allow to melt 1-2 minutes
  10. Just before serving, sprinkle with Parmesan and freshly shredded basil

3.5.3208

 


Iron Skillet Gnocchi


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Pizza Night! | Dishin & Dishes

Pizza Night! | Dishin & Dishes

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When it comes to family dinners, sometimes they can get repetitive and even a little mundane.

There are times when I feel like I’ve made grilled chicken, potatoes and a vegetable just one too many times.



Dishin & Dishes – Pizza Night from Brettley Ruggles on Vimeo.

I love any type of do-it-yourself type of meal that allows our kids/friends to be part of the cooking process. It just adds some merriment to the night.  We love to make sushi, have pad thai parties and crab boils just to name a few. (Click on any of those to the left to see how we do them!)

Enter pizza night.







Pssssst….Moms, this is also a great way to get your kids to try some new vegetables!  Kids love bright colors and sometimes will add veggies to their pizza and then realize they like them!

To start, decide whether or not you’re going to make your dough homemade or not.  I have a bread machine recipe for Garlic Pizza Dough that is pretty good and easy if you happen to have a bread maker.  CLICK HERE to print it out.

Otherwise, you can buy the pre-made crusts at the market like we did tonight. When my kids were little, we bought English muffins and used those. Those are great for a small children’s party and pretty inexpensive.

Tonight we used the pre-made 7-inch crusts.

Next you’ll need to decide on sauces.







Tonight our options included pizza sauce, homemade pesto (click here for my recipe), and BBQ sauce. Other options include alfredo sauce (click here for my recipe), or even just olive oil.

And you’ll need to think about some toppings.







Toppings we love include pulled chicken (grill a few chicken breasts or purchase a store-bought rotisserie chicken), sliced mushrooms, sliced red onions, chopped poblano peppers, sliced red peppers, and a variety of cheeses. and my favorite thing – slice up a few garlic cloves thinly and tuck them on top of a pizza. They roast and become yummy and sweet as the pizza bakes.







The cheeses we used tonight were fresh mozzarella, feta and a jack blend. You can really go crazy with cheeses and experiment with Asiago, pecorino, Gruyère, Manchego and other fabulous options.

Other gourmet fruit and veggie toppings to try – figs, grapes (roasted grapes are fabulous on pizza!), leeks, sun dried tomatoes,  walnuts, broccoli, shaved Brussel sprouts or zucchini. You are only limited by your imagination!

Most of our family likes chicken, but meats could include crumbled or sliced sweet Italian sausage, bacon crumbles, prosciutto or the ever popular pepperoni.

You could even theme your pizza nights.  One week you could do Mexican…offer ground cooked chorizo sausage, black beans, cooked corn, chopped jalapenos or poblanos and onions. Serve it with salsa and chopped lettuce and tomato after it comes out of the oven.

Play with a Thai night and offer grilled shrimp, red or green curry sauce, sliced onions and peppers and napa cabbage.

You can really switch it up and get some new flavors on your kids’ (or hubby’s) palate.

Want a new breakfast idea? Make pizza with scrambled eggs, fresh veggies and your favorite breakfast meat. Top it with cheese and bake it up! Or be more creative and add pesto, meat, veggies and crack some eggs around the top and let them bake until the yolks are soft.

Tonight we enjoyed our pizzas.







The kids, even the grown ones had fun.  Make sure you brush the crust with a mixture of olive oil and a sprinkle of garlic powder mixed together.







We all made them the same, heaped with pesto, chicken, veggies and cheese.







Except the picky boy, who had BBQ sauce, chicken and cheese on his.







Try a pizza night soon with your family! It’s so fun!







Do you have special nights that you do a “group cooking” project with your family? I’d love to hear about it! Tell me in the comments below!

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Pasta Carbonara | Dishin & Dishes

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So a few weeks back at Whole Foods in Tulsa, I got this really cute pasta. I know, pasta is generally not thought of as “cute”, but I am a sucker for unique pasta in all shapes, sizes and colors.  Casarecce pasta, sometimes called “scroll pasta’ is one of those pastas designed brilliantly to hold sauce.  That’s what I was looking for. Making it Pasta Carbonara style, this pasta was going to be incredible.









If you can’t find Caseracce pasta, don’t worry, just find something wonderful that has an ability to hold sauce, like shells or any pasta you love. Follow the package directions for your pasta, and enjoy.

Really, cooking is about enjoyment, not fuss, so be free and find what makes you happy.

I’d been wanting to try Pasta Carbonara for awhile now, so this seemed to be the time.

Pasta Carbonara is an old Italian dish that tosses a hot pasta (typically spaghetti) with a sauce made of bacon, beaten eggs, cheese and herbs.  I liked the idea of adding just a splash of cream, and I had a brand new herb garden waiting to be plucked for cooking, so I headed on into the unchartered waters and began.

The first ingredient in Pasta Carbonara is bacon.







.

You can substitute Pancetta, but I went for good ol’ American bacon. I prefer the thicker sliced bacon, but any kind will do ya.  Slice it into one-half inch pieces.







And toss it into a skillet over medium heat.  I added about one tablespoon of olive oil, just to keep the bacon from sticking to the hot pan.







Stir this up and let it cook for 8-10 minutes until it turns nice and brown.  I said brown, not black, so watch it carefully.

While that’s cooking, bring a large pot of water with 2 tablespoons of kosher salt to boil over high heat for your pasta.  Any good Italian will tell  you the only way to season pasta is to add plenty of salt (to taste like seawater) to your water and I keep a bowl of it on my stovetop for just such an occasion. You can use any pasta you like for this recipe but pick one that will hold sauce well. I used Casarecce, but penne or bowtie pasta would be fun as well. The old fashioned version of this recipe would probably just use plain ol’ spaghetti.  Cook whatever pasta you choose (about one pound) according to the package directions and make sure you don’t overcook it!







Once your bacon is nicely browned, remove it to a bowl or plate lined with paper towels to absorb any excess grease.







Drain all the bacon grease out of your pan, then chop up one medium onion and cook it for a couple of minutes  in the yumminess that is grease and  browned bacon bits stuck to the bottom of the pan.  Cook these until they turn nice and brown and transluscent.  Then add five garlic cloves (YES I said five!)  into the onions and cook for one minute.







Transfer your onion-garlic mixture into a bowl also.

Now, for the sauce.

Crack 4 whole eggs into a serving bowl.  I love my raspberry shallow- but- large pasta bowl.  Truly love it.  Add in one-half cup of cream. Don’t worry, it’s not much, and once dispersed throughout the sauce, it won’t kill you.  Add in a cup of freshly grated Pecorino-Romano cheese and 1/2 teaspoon of cracked pepper.







You can use Parmesan, but I had a huge block of this stuff and it’s truly one of my favorite cheeses in the world.







Let’s talk about herbs.  I am an admitted herb-freak.  You could add a few tablespoons of chopped parsley to this, if you want traditional fare, but since I have an abundance of herbs growing right outside my back door, I added parsley, basil and chives.  I used approximately 10 basil leaves, 1/2 cup of chopped parsley and 6 chives and chopped them all up together and added them right in.







Whisk all of this together to make a yellow and creamy, herb-flecked sauce.







By now, you should have cooked your pasta to al-dente (cooked, but with a bite) according to the package directions. Drain that gorgous stuff.







And dump it right on top of your sauce in the pasta bowl.







Add on the bacon and onions.







And mix it all up so that the hot pasta “cooks” the egg sauce and makes for a heavenly coating inside the little parchment scrolls.







If you’re feeling particularly naughty, grate on some more Percorino-Romano cheese and sprinkle on some chopped herbs for garnish.







Then spoon it all up into bowls and enjoy it with a hearty and crusty loaf of good bread and a salad.







Surprisingly, not since I made the Mussel dish, Mr. Wonderful gushed to me afterward, “That is by far, the best thing you’ve made lately!”.

And that, my dears, gave me the best stamp of approval I could want.

Cuz he, being the Wonderful that he is, is the guy I like to make happy.

Pasta Carbonara

 

Author:

Recipe type: Main

  • 1 box Casarecce pasta (or your favorite pasta)
  • 2 T.kosher salt (for the pasta water)
  • 1 pound package thick-sliced bacon, chopped in ½ in. pieces
  • 1 t. olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 eggs
  • ½ c. heavy cream
  • 1 c. Perorino Roman cheese, grated
  • ½ t. pepper
  • 10 fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • ½ c. fresh parsley, chopped
  • 6 fresh chives, chopped
  1. Put on a large pot of water to boil.
  2. Add in 2 T. salt and bring to a boil.
  3. Add in pasta and cook to package directions.
  4. While pasta is cooking, saute bacon over medium heat in olive oil until nicely browned, then remove to plate line with paper towels.
  5. Drain all bacon fat except about a tablepoon and add onions.
  6. Cook over medium heat until browning but transluscent about 5 minutes.
  7. Add in garlic and cook one minute more.
  8. Remove to platter or bowl. In large serving bowl, add eggs, cream, cheese, herbs and pepper. Mix with whisk.
  9. When pasta is done, drain and dump on top of sauce.
  10. Add in bacon and onions.
  11. Toss to coat everything with sauce.
  12. Additional garnish with more grated cheese and herbs, if desired.

3.2.1682

 

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Pesto Chicken Packets with Wheat Penne

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When I was little, in the summers, Mom would make these little packets of food in foil and called them “Hobo Stew”. It was hamburger meat, layered with potatoes, onions and carrots and Dad would throw them on the grill where the vegetables would cook in the grease of the meat and the onions would carmelize and it was sooooo good.

Little did I know then, my folks were onto something of greatness.

I just knew I loved Hobo Stew.



No, we’re not making Hobo Stew today but, as promised yesterday on my Pesto 101 recipe post, here is the recipe for the Pesto Chicken Packets with Wheat Penne.

I started by making my packet. You may remember if you saw my En Papillote piece that this is a super-easy, fast, healthy way to cook a meal in a sealed up packet of parchment paper. In that recipe, I used fish, lemon, and a variety of vegetables.

In this one, I got a little more creative. I’d been wanting to try a pesto packet, and what is better with pesto than pasta? In this version, I layered my pesto, pasta and veggies and spooned the pesto right over top, and bottom of the packet.

Start by prepping your parchment paper. I won’t go into details here as you can read my past post on how to do this. No parchment paper? You can use regular ol’ tin foil. However, I did experiment with both, and found the parchment paper almost steamed and roasted the ingredients, while the foil packet just plain steamed. I actually preferred the parchment paper.

Here is how I layered it.

First, a layer of my homemade pesto.

I spooned about a tablespoon on the bottom of the packet. Then I kind of spread it around in an oval about 3 inches long.

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You can use any kind of pasta that makes your heart sing, but tonight we used wheat penne and it was really incredibly good! We used probably about a cup of pasta.

Now I placed a boneless skinless chicken breast on top of the pasta.

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Next I sliced some of my beautiful fresh shallots that I got this weekend at the Farmer’s Market.

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Shallots are like a cross between a sweet onion and garlic. You could use any onion you love here though.

Now spoon about 3 more tablespoons of pesto over top of all of this.

Now I chopped a zucchini in half longways, then slice off the ends, and cut half-moon slices. You don’t want to make them too thin, as they will cook with the chicken, and you don’t want them to become too mushy.

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Now layer them right over your chicken and shallots.

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You can get as artistic as you like here. The last ones I made really artful and pretty. If you’re having guests over, that would really wow them when they unwrap their beautiful individual dinners.

Mr. Wonderful and I were eating alone and starving to death so we didn’t care how it looked.

Begin to wrap up your packet. See my directions here.

Make sure you get the edges sealed tightly. The idea here is for the food to steam and meld together and make beautiful music.

Here is my parchment packet.

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And here are both together. I threw in one more just in case a kid wandered in. They almost always do.

2packets

Wow that foil one was WAY easier! I think that was why I threw another one together.

packetspan

Put them in a 400 degree oven for 30 minutes. Now, interestingly, I stuck a meat thermometer in both when I removed them after 30 minutes. The parchment paper one was done and almost had a roasted look to the veggies, pasta and chicken. The foil one just kind of looked steamed. I thought it needed 10 more minutes so I stuck it back in the oven.

Here is what It looked like after I placed it on my plate. I was literally drooling at this point.

packetdone

And this is what it looked like after I dumped it out on my plate. I topped with a few chopped tomatoes and some fresh basil. Yummmm!

final3The veggies and pasta were coated in pesto as was the chicken. It was so good, I almost forgot to pull Mr. Wonderful’s out of the oven.

I plan on trying several variations of these over the summer months on the grill with foil. Mushrooms would have been fantastic in this.

It may not be Hobo Stew, but wow, is it good!

Pesto Chicken Packets with Wheat Penne

 

Author:

Recipe type: Pasta

  • 1 cup pesto
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • ¼ c. sliced shallots
  • 4 c. cooked wheat penne pasta
  • 1 small zucchini, sliced into ¼ inch rounds
  1. Preheat oven to 400º.
  2. Spread ¼ cup of the pesto on bottom of parchment sheet or tinfoil.
  3. Layer on chicken breast, pasta, zucchini and another ¼ cup pesto.
  4. Wrap packet up tightly.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes.

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Pesto Chicken Lasagna | Dishin & Dishes

Pesto Chicken Lasagna | Dishin & Dishes

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If you’ve read my blog and recipes before, you know I’m a huge pesto fan.

As in, I put it in and on everything.  Usually, I prefer pesto and olive oil based sauces to tomato sauces.  And I love tomatoes..so I’m not sure what’s up with that…

So this weekend, I decided to try a Pesto Chicken Lasagna.  I put mushrooms in mine, but you could leave them out if you’re not a mushroom fan.  If you’re not a mushroom fan, I don’t understand you.  I can eat them straight out of the pan, as can my daughter Kayla.  When she’s home from college, we fight over the mushrooms.



Start out by cooking your lasagna noodles according to package directions, but cook them a couple of minutes less than the recommended time, because you’re going to bake them in lovely pesto/cream sauce and they’ll finish with a more al dente texture that way.

While those are cooking, take one for your favorite rotisserie chickens and pull all the meat off of it.







I guess you could bake your own, and if you want to, feel free, but I like the shortcut!

Drizzle 2 tablespoons of olive oil into a large skillet and also add in 2 tablespoons of butter.  Dump in a large package of sliced mushrooms.

Saute these around for about 6 or 7 minutes, or until they get brown and juicey and soft.







Then dump them right into the bowl of chicken you just pulled off the bones.







Mix it all up evenly.

Then, in a separate bowl, dump in two cups of prepared pesto.







If you want to make your own pesto, click here for my pesto recipe.  Otherwise, most places carry some brand of pesto now.

Add in one cup of heavy cream or half-and-half to your pesto.







Take a whisk or spoon and mix this all together until it’s smooth and creamy.







Now, let’s build our lasagna.

Spoon a little of the sauce over the bottom of 9 x 13 baking dish.  This will keep the noodles from sticking to the bottom.  You really don’t need to spray it due to the olive oil in the pesto, but you can if you wish.







Then layer on your noodles.  My pan is just a tad too large for them to fit perfectly, so I just tear some pieces to make it fit.







Over top of that, spread some ricotta cheese.  I used about half of a large container.







Next, spoon over about half of your chicken/mushroom mixture.







Spoon over half of the remaining pesto mixture.







And then, repeat all of these layers again.

Noodles.







Cheese.







Chicken and mushrooms.







Pesto and another layer of noodles







Then over top of the top layer of noodles, spread some more pesto over top of the noodles.







Sprinkle one cup cup of parmesan cheese over top.







And pop this into a 400º for about 45 minutes.





Remove it.







Slice a piece and put it on a plate.







Smile and enjoy.

I think next time that some chopped sun-dried tomatoes mixed in with the chicken and mushrooms would be fabulous.

If you’re a pesto lover like I am, you’ll love this version of lasagna.

Pesto Chicken Lasagna

 

Total time

 

Author:

Recipe type: Main

  • 1 T. salt (for noodle water)
  • 1 pound box lasagna noodles
  • 1 large container button mushroom,sliced
  • 1 rotisserie chicken, picked off bones
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 2 T. butter
  • 2 c. pesto
  • 1 c. heavy cream or half-and-half
  • 1 large container ricotta cheese
  • 1 c. parmesan cheese
  1. Preheat oven to 400º. Bring large pot of water to boil with 1 T. of salt added. Add lasagna noodles and cook for 2 minutes less than package directions. Meanwhile, add olive oil and butter to skillet and saute mushrooms until browned and soft, about 6-7 minutes. Tear chicken off bones and place in large bowl. When mushrooms finish cooking, add to chicken and toss well. Mix pesto and cream together in another bowl. Spread noodles on bottom of 9 x 13 pan (no need to grease or spray). Add one layer of lasagna noodles. Spread ½ of ricotta over noodles. Add one-half of mushroom/chicken evenly over top. Spoon a little less than half the pesto over that. Add 2nd layer of lasagna noodles. Add remaining ricotta. Add remaining mushroom/chicken mixture. Spoon the rest of pesto reserving about ½ to ¾ cup. Layer last layer of lasagna noodles. Spread remaining pesto over top. Sprinkle evenly with parmesan cheese. Bake for 45 minutes.

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