Homemade Gnocchi

Being Italian, I thought it was high time to learn how to make pasta from scratch. Although, with it being just after the holidays I can’t afford a pasta attachment. The next best thing? Hands! The second best thing? Pairing it with our homemade red sauce (or gravy, or whatever you want to call it). Pour yourself a nice glass of Chianti, turn up your best Italian Pandora station and get to it!

  • 2 russet potatoes
  • 2 cups of flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp salt

(that’s LITERALLY all you need!)

Peel the two potatoes while bringing a pot of water to boil. Boil the potatoes for about 30-40 minutes or until tender enough to mash. In a bowl, mash the potatoes until completely smooth. (I made the mistake of not mashing them enough the first time and the chunks create air pockets in the dough.) Once you have some smooth potatoes, add in the flour, egg, and salt until a dough begins to form. Kneed it until completely blended, but is still a little sticky. (Add a dab of water if it gets too dried out.) Take a fist size chunk of the dough and roll it into a long thin rope. Cut it into 1/2″ to 1″ pieces.

If you want to get fancy, with fork tines, make small indents in the pieces (another great fancy tip is adding a pinch of dried rosemary or chopped chives, both pair super well with gnocchi or any potato based dish). Boil another pot of water with a dash of salt in it and drop in the gnocchi pieces. You’ll know it’s done when the gnocchi starts to float to the top. In the words of Frankie Sinatra, now that’s amore!

Gnocchi

Happy Eating, XO.

The “I’m too tired to cook” pasta

This is one of those recipes that comes together when you A) need to clean out your fridge and B) are exhausted and can’t stand the idea of making some fancy pants dinner. Especially after you’ve just done the holiday marathon of hosting an ugly sweater party, attending an ugly sweater party, attending your office party, attending your significant others’ office party, and making the rounds to all of your relatives on Christmas day. We know. You need a break.

Change in to your comfiest sweats and start throwing it together.

  • 1/2 box of angel hair pasta
  • 1 small container of cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 3 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 chopped zucchini
  • 2-3 oz of goat cheese
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • Dash of salt and pepper (or Adobo)

Boil a pot of water for the pasta, and while that’s heating up, heat the olive oil in a pan. Once the oil is hot, add in the tomatoes, zucchini, and onion. Cook until soft and the zucchini is slightly browned. While that’s cooking, boil your pasta. Once the pasta is done, drain it and return it to the pot. Add in the pan of vegetables and toss with the goat cheese, salt, and pepper.

Tomato, zucchini, goat cheese pasta

 

Happy Eating, XO.

Lemon Ricotta Pasta with Red peppers & Spinach

I am SO over red sauce. Any idiot can buy a can of marinara (Although I don’t know why you would when we have a recipe from scratch that is healthier & tastier) and throw it on some noodles and say they made “Italian” food for the night. How about the fact that most pasta dishes aren’t even the entrée in Italy and its a small portion in the primi platti course prior to your protein and vegetables which is your actual entrée. Now, as much as I wish that we could all dine on 4 course (Read: 4 hour) dinners I know that is not always possible. So here is an easy, light and yummy pasta dish that served with some grilled chicken (because god forbid I have a vegetarian meal for once) that could count as a whole meal (starch, veggies, protein). So bust out the leftover ingredients from the pancakes and kale dish and get to cooking! (See how we always save you money by reusing stuff, you love us).

  • 12 oz. fettuccine
  • 2/3 cup skim ricotta cheese
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon rind (also known as zest)
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 3 cups fresh baby spinach
  • 1 1/2 cups diced red bell pepper
  • salt and crushed black pepper
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/8 tsp. crushed red pepper (increase to your taste level)

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain, reserving 3/4 cup pasta water. While pasta is cooking, in a separate bowl, thoroughly combine ricotta, lemon juice and rind, 1/4 teaspoon salt, black pepper and crushed red pepper.  (I listed 1/8 tsp. of crushed red pepper, but don’t be shy, this dish is even better with a bit of a kick from the red pepper, so adjust according to your taste level). Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add bell pepper and garlic, sauté for 3 minutes. Add pasta, spinach, ricotta mixture and pasta water to skillet; cook about 1 minute or until spinach wilts.

Happy Eating, XO.

Weeknight Wonder

Ok kids, the holidays are over. Back to reality, back to the grind. We need a quick weeknight dinner because cereal 3x a week just isn’t cutting it. If you want something filling & tasty in a hurry, this is your dish. Bust out that sage you bought for the Winter Warmth recipe and get crackin’ on this delight. Oh and for all you meat lovers…feel free to add a grilled chicken breast to the top when serving, but honestly if time is of the essence, the mushrooms will act as a great faux meat for one night.
  • 1 lb. penne pasta or fusilli (spaghetti just wont cut it since the pasta needs to be the same size as the mushrooms).
  • 1/2 cup of chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup of red wine (don’t act like you HAVE to open a bottle just for the recipe & weren’t pulling a Thirsty Thursday anyway).
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 shallot diced
  • 1 cup of mushrooms, sliced
  • sage, chopped
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese, grated
  • (reserved pasta water)
While the pasta is boiling per packet instructions, reduce the broth & wine down to a sauce (will turn into 1/2 cup of liquid). Sautee the garlic, shallot, sage, & mushrooms (s&p to taste) in pan while stirring in the cooked pasta, wine reduction sauce, butter, and cheese. Thicken sauce with a bit of the reserved pasta water, will depend on desired consistency of sauce.
* The idea for this recipe came from a coworker that is doing http://www.thefresh20.com with her husband. Check it out, it seems like a cool & easy program. Equipped with grocery lists, recipes, and everything you need for healthy & fresh dinners for 5 nights of the week. *
Happy Eating, XO.

It’s Greek to me

So two summers ago, Jess & I went to Splish Splash (this water park in Long Island) with our significant others. Since we were going to be there all day and since amusement park food is always over priced and over fatty (I mean we were going to be in our bathing suits all days guys, no funnel cakes for us!) We decided to pack healthy and affordable lunches for the boys and us to eat mid-day. We did some sandwiches and salads and this salad was by far the biggest hit. Not only was it filling, but it was so easy to pack in little Tupperware containers with spoons.
  • 1/2 a bottle of Trader Joe’s Hummus Salad dressing (I bet the greek goddess one would work too, I don’t see why not)
  • 1 medium red onion diced small
  • 1 bag of orzo (15 oz.)
  • 1 cucumber diced small
  • 1 tomato diced (I just halved cherry tomatoes, about a cup)
  • 1/4 cup of olive tapenade (or just chopped black olives)
  • 2 tbsp. finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup of feta cheese
  • pinch of black pepper & salt to taste (I added a pinch of chili flakes too because I like spicy everything).
Boil the orzo per the packet instructions and drain well. Mix in the remaining ingredients and chill for 15-20 minutes before serving.
Happy Eating, XO.