Stuffed Tator

This isn’t just any old meat and potatoes recipe. This is an Italian twist on the American version of a chili and cheese topped baked potato. I also love this meal because its a one pot, easy, fast, and filling week night dinner. I was inspired from a food network recipe that this originates from and just cant get enough of it.

  • 1/2 pound hot Italian sausage out of the casing (you can also use sweet Italian sausage if making for kids)
  • 4 baked potatoes
  • Arugula
  • Chopped medium yellow onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • Jar of marinara
  • 1/2 cup of marscapone
  • Grated parmesano reggiano

Sweat the onions and garlic in some olive oil. Once they are translucent add the ground sausage to brown. Cook down the arugula when adding the marinara sauce. Then stir in the marscapone cheese, to make the sauce a pinky blush color. In the mean time bake the potatoes in the oven and split in half when slightly cooled.

 

Happy Eating, XO.

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Rolling with My Homies

So as per usual, I was hung-over & laying on the couch watching the Food Network channel. Much to my dismay though the show on the screen was making something much too difficult for anything I’d want to replicate. So I took the basic premise of the dish they were constructing and watered it down to the point that the home cook can make it (i.e. I tossed out the whole section about making your own fresh pasta dough, I mean please, if I could do all that I wouldn’t need to dine out. I don’t have the time nor the energy to get down like that). Anyway, I liked the concept of the dish and was craving some home cooking, good ole Italian food. Some prefer some southern comfort food, but pasta or anything Italian is the way to get me feeling all cozy & loved. So when I was finally hydrated and rid of the shakes from a super fun weekend with my homies- I got rolling in the kitchen. (ha get it, rolling because its a rollatini recipe!) Hope you guys enjoy & if you have any suggestions or spins of your own, please do comment below!

  • 3 oz. Prosciutto de Parma (thinly sliced, finely chopped)
  • 1 box of Lasagana Sheets (I think you could even use manicotti tubes & stuff those, but I guess that takes away the “rolling”/”rollatini” fun?!)
  • 1/2 cup Whole milk ricotta
  • freshly grated parmesan (I just grabbed a lil chuck of the reggiano from Whole Foods, try to avoid the pre grated stuff if you can)
  • 1 tsp. of crushed garlic
  • a pinch of black pepper and a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
  • 12 oz. frozen spinach (completely thawed & drained of excess water, this is imperative so don’t rush past this step)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp. of butter

Boil the pasta just al dente. You want the lasagna sheet to be ply-able, but not so over cooked it tears when rolling. I’d say about 10-15 minutes in salted water. While the pasta boils: combine the egg, dried/thawed spinach, garlic, seasoning, cheeses, & prosciutto. Lay out the pasta sheets and pat them dry. Layer the mixture of the other ingredients like you would for a lasagna, but then roll the pasta up (don’t make too thick of a layer the stuffing will spill when rolling, also it helps to leave a little margin at both ends so that you have a seal to create when all rolled up). Flip it so its standing upwards in the pan, not laying down (See photos below). Repeat with all sheets. When the pan is filled, brush the tops with the butter and grate some more cheese on top. Stick in the broiler at xxx degrees & cook for xxx minutes while keeping an eye on it so it doesn’t burn. Serve warm with marinara sauce.

photo

Happy Eating, XO.

Stuff yo face, I mean veggies.

Ok so this idea is kind of a culmination of a few things. Not the idea of stuffing your face, the idea of this stuffed veggies recipe. Anyway, get amped guys. This is just a peak into the method behind the madness of this fun lil blog here. I realized that we try to always provide recipes that use and reuse ingredients. We want there to be enough overlap that when you are spending money on something, its being used to its full value. However, I can’t say that’s been true for the mirepoix mix that I reference in my turkey meatloaf recipe. So I got to thinking on what else I use that with. Not that you need a specific recipe because its something so multi faceted that it can be thrown in a frittata, it can be used as a starter to soups and stews (says the label on the packaging. ha so ya I felt like a fraud, saying hey guys just throw it in anywhere). Then, I ate this delicious stuffed zucchini the other day from this Italian deli I frequent (shout out to Tredici’s). They made the marinara fresh and it was stuffed with hot sausage. I was in love. All I had to do now was to find a way to make it easy & healthy (I mean some of us are still sticking to 2014 resolutions). Anyway, let’s get right to it. Oh and don’t be scared of the long list of ingredients, this dish isn’t complex, there are just layers to its yumminess.

Vegetables:

  • 3 large zucchini, trimmed, halved lengthwise
  • 3 bell peppers (any color works)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Filling:

  • 3-4 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
  • 1 1/2 cups of the mirepoix mix
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon of red chili flakes
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1/3 cup white wine, such as pinot grigio
  • 3/4 pound ground turkey (use dark meat if possible)
  • 1 large egg, beaten, at room temperature
  • 1 cup of seasoned Italian breadcrumbs
  • 1 1/2 cups grated Parmesan

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Spray 2 heavy baking sheets with vegetable oil cooking spray. For the vegetables: Using a melon baller (or spoon since I have no such melon baller in my kitchen) remove the flesh from the zucchini, leaving a 1/2-inch border around the edges. Reserve the flesh. Place the  zucchini and peppers, hollowed-out sides up, on the prepared baking sheets. Season with the salt and pepper. For the filling: Place the zucchini flesh in a food processor. Add the garlic, mirepoix, chili flakes, oregano, salt and pepper. Blend until all the vegetables are finely chopped/mixed. In a medium nonstick skillet, heat the oil over high heat. Add the blended vegetable mixture and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Add the wine and cook until all the liquid has evaporated, about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool. (make sure to taste the mixture before blending in the meat, make sure there is enough flavor & its seasoned enough). In a medium bowl, combine the cooked vegetables, turkey, egg, 1 cup Parmesan and the breadcrumbs. Mix the ingredients until well combined. Spoon the filling into the hollowed-out vegetables. Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan on top of the filling. (I also did some shredded cheddar because more cheese is never a bad thing). Drizzle with olive oil and bake until the vegetables are tender and the tops are golden brown, 45 minutes. Transfer the vegetables to a platter and serve. You can accompany with marinara from the call it what you will recipe.

photo (1)

*I was out of zucchini & did it with squash, stick with zucchini though because you will get more “flesh” from the center to mix with the meat. I would also chop up the tops of the peppers and blend with the other veggie mixture. It makes the stuffing less meaty and more flavorful*

Happy Eating, XO.

Call it what you will

May you call it marinara sauce, red sauce, or gravy (shout out to South Philly Italians). Guaranteed that you will call out Damn that was Delish!

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 chopped yellow onions
  • 3 teaspoons minced garlic (check out the tip for minced garlic on our Instagram, like that shameless plug?) 
  • 1 cup good red wine (I hate when food snobs say “good” like you would use something crappy, but I will say cheaper wine has a different alcohol content/flavor than more expensive or better quality wine so ya, hate to say it but “good” wine it is).
  • 2 (28-ounce) can plum tomatoes in puree, chopped (san marzano tomatoes dude, go real Gambino on this. Cento if you are looking for a brand name, its a yellow can, become friends with it).
  • 2 tablespoon chopped fresh basil (I know Paisanos will say fresh only but for the rest of us non Italians, dried will be fine, just lessen it to 1 tbsp.)
  • 3 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper & 1tsp of red chili flakes

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Add the onion and saute over medium heat until clear, that’s about 5 to 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add the wine and cook on high heat, scraping up all the brown bits in the pan, until almost all the liquid evaporates, about 3 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, basil, salt, and pepper. Cover, and simmer on the lowest heat for 15 minutes.

You can always add anchovy, black olives, and capers to give it a puttanesca feel. Bottom line, this simple sauce has been the “gravy” for meatballs, the starter for many sauces, the binder for lasagnas, basically it is used for any and all things Italian. This is a staple.
Homemade-Marinara-Sauce-1
Happy Eating, XO.