To celebrate national pasta day last Friday we made a variation of a recipe we found on Pinterest. As you might know, pasta is one of my son’s favorite dishes. So we decided that he was going to help with the cooking this evening to skills to more than ramen noodles and omelettes. It would not be that difficult has he has been working over the summer and on breaks as a prep cook at a local restaurant. He has spent many an hour slicing and dicing various items for the line cooks we knew he could do this at home and actually complete the recipe.
The sauce is very light but has a kick with the crushed red pepper. You can even omit the shrimp and just make the sauce for your next pasta dish.
1 lb pasta
Just by looking a this picture you can almost taste how delicious this is. My son and I were watching an old Ina Garten episode from the summer of 2017 on pasta dishes and saw her making this recipe. My mouth was watering by the end of the episode and I knew that I needed to make this. So off to the store this morning to get the necessary ingredients. My pasta loving son was pleased and so was my hubby. I even think this is foodie friends worthy.
This recipe is a long time coming, but has not been forgotten. I made this earlier in the spring and with all of our family activity it hadn’t been posted. Lydia is a new favorite of ours. I will definitely try this again and make the peas more often.
1 cup milk
3 cups day old bread cubes, from a loaf of country bread
3 pounds ground beef (freshly ground preferred)
3 large eggs, beaten with a pinch of salt
1 pound drained fresh ricotta (about 2 cups) plus more for the sauce if you like
1 bunch scallions, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
1/2 cup grated Grana Padano
1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian Parsley
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 tablespoon Kosher Salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/2 pound fresh mozzarella, cut in 1/2-inch cubes (about 2 cups)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
4 to 5 cups tomato sauce
Pour the milk over the bread cubes in a bowl, and let soak for a few minutes, until the bread is saturated. Squeeze the soft bread a handful at a time, pressing out as much milk as you can (discard the milk). Tear the bread into small shreds and toss back into the empty bowl. Crumble the ground beef into the bowl, and add the eggs, ricotta, scallions, grated cheese, parsley, nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Fold and toss everything together, and squeeze the mixture a few times between your fingers to distribute all the ingredients evenly. Scatter the mozzarella cubes on top, and fold and mush them throughout the loaf mix.
Brush the roasting pan with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Gather the meat mixture in the bowl, turn it into the pan, and shape it into a fat oval loaf. Drizzle with the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Cover the pan with foil—tent it so it doesn’t touch the meat—and bake 45 minutes. Remove the foil, and continue to bake until the meatloaf is browned all over and completely cooked through, another 1 hour and 30 minutes or so. (If you check the loaf with a meat thermometer, it should reach a temperature of 160 degrees.) Remove the roast from the oven, and let it rest for about 10 minutes.
Heat the tomato sauce to a simmer in a saucepan as the meat rests. Turn off the heat, and, if you like, stir 1/2 cup or so fresh ricotta into the sauce. Cut the loaf crosswise in the pan or on a cutting board, in slices as thick as you like.
Serve on warm dinner plates, topped with a spoonful or two of sauce, and pass more sauce at the table (or, for family-style serving, arrange the slices on a warm platter, topped with some of the sauce).
Add the peas. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion and peas are tender and flavored with the pancetta. Stir in pine nuts. Cook and toss for a minute, then serve.
4 to 6 chicken thighs -skin on and bone in
2-3 teaspoons garlic powder
Salt and pepper
For the Sauce:
1 tablespoon minced garlic
14 oz cups sliced Portobello mushrooms (1½ cups)
1 tablespoon dried Italian herbs
2 teaspoons fresh chopped parsley
1½ cups 2% milk – (We used a mixture of skim and heavy cream)
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon cornstarch (cornflour) mixed with 2 tablespoons of extra milk mixture
¾ cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese, divided
¼ cup fresh chopped parsley – to serve
Preheat oven to 400°F. Season chicken with garlic powder, salt and pepper.
Heat cooking oil spray in a large, non stick and oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Sear chicken thighs until golden and crispy on each side (about 3-4 minutes each side). Transfer to a warm plate.
Drain some of the excess fat from the pan, reserving 2 tablespoons for added flavor. Return pan to medium-high heat; sauté the garlic in the pan juices until fragrant (about 1 minute). Add the mushrooms, herbs and 2 teaspoons of parsley; fry until they just begin to soften.
Reduce heat to low-medium heat, add the milk and bring to a gentle boil, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper to your taste.
Add the milk/cornstarch mixture to the center of the pan, and continue to simmer while quickly stirring the mixture through until the sauce thickens.
Add ½ cup of Parmesan cheese; allow sauce to simmer for a further minute until cheese melts through the sauce. Add the chicken back into the pan; transfer to the oven and bake for 30 minutes, or until the chicken is completely cooked through.
Sprinkle with the remaining ¼ cup of parsley and ¼ cup Parmesan cheese.
Serve with steamed rice or pasta.
Boil pasta in salted water, according to packet instructions, until JUST al dente (do not over-boil)! Drain and rinse well with cold water. Set aside.
Preheat oven grill or broiler to 375°F.
To make the topping – Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large, oven proof pan or skillet over medium-high heat. Add in the Panko breadcrumbs; stir to coat and cook until golden browned. Transfer to a bowl; set aside.
To make the sauce:
Melt the ¼ cup of butter in the same pan / skillet. Add the garlic and sauté until just fragrant (about 1 minute). Whisk in the flour; continue to cook while whisking (or stirring) for at least 2 minutes. Reduce heat down to low; gradually whisk in 4 cups of the milk (about ¼ cup at a time), whisking between each addition to combine. Bring to a boil until beginning to thicken.
In a separate jug, combine the cornstarch and remaining ½ cup milk; whisk until lump free and stir through the white sauce to thicken completely. Season with salt and pepper and stir in the bouillon powder.
Remove from heat and add in the cheddar, ¾ cup of parmesan cheese, and the mozzarella slices. Stir through until all of the cheese has melted. Toss the pasta through the sauce until completely coated.
Top with the Panko and the remaining parmesan cheese. Broil (or grill) in oven for about 10-15 minutes, or until bubbling.
Allow to cool down slightly before serving.
I have a couple of binders in my cook book cupboard that I use on occasion. One is the big binder of recipes hubby and I have accumulated and I have written about, and the other is a binder I received as a shower gift 25 years ago that I could sort and save recipes in. This was the go to recipe place back before hubby joined me in the kitchen.