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Archive for January, 2010


Vegetable Lasagne

Originally uploaded by lyricalmezzo

It has been a pretty gloomy and cool weekend so I decided to warm the house with a freshly prepared lasagna. You can’t go wrong with lasagna and in general you simply layer the noodles, sauce and cheese and bake and it will be good. I wanted to something a bit beyond that – it took a little more time, but the end result was well worth it.

I preheated the oven to 400 degrees

half and seed a red pepper – sprinkle with olive oil
cut the top off a head of garlic – place in olive oil and wrap in foil

Put both of these in the oven – remove peppers when the skin is blistered – place in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap and set aside until cool – when cool – remove skin and then slice peppers into bite size pieces – you can add to sauce or just add when you layer the cheese and sauce

Remove garlic when it is soft – let cool a bit and then extract the cloves and set aside.

In a cast iron skillet I put about 15 grape tomatoes and about a tablespoon of olive oil…I turned the burner on high – when the tomatoes soften and break – reduce heat. I then added marinara sauce, and random veggies I had left over – some broccoli, a few shredded carrots and I think a few pieces of cauliflower. Add about a cup of red wine and a dash of ground red pepper and let simmer for as long as you want – I think I let mine simmer about 45 minutes. Add roasted garlic cloves to the sauce then start the water to boil for the pasta. (don’t forget to salt and oil the water)

Prepare lasagna dish with some non stick spray. When the noodles are soft – drain and rinse with cold water – put a layer of noodles in the pan – top with some sauce, and fresh spinach, ricotta, feta and a layer of mozzarella cheese…repeat process for three layers – add fourth layer of noodles – top with sauce – cover with cheeses and bake in 375 degree oven for about 35 minutes until bubbling and cheese is slightly browned.

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Pasta Puttanesca


Pasta Puttanesca

Originally uploaded by lyricalmezzo

A nice spicy pasta dish for a cold Sunday evening…
Ingredients:
5 tbs of olive oil
1 yellow onion (diced)
1 tbs. minced garlic (about 2 cloves)
1 tbs. anchovy paste
1/2 tsp of red pepper flakes
1 tbs. tomato paste
2 cans of diced tomatoes (oops I think I only used one)
1 tbs. of capers
1/2 cup pitted olives (I left these out)
Fresh basil
flat leaf parsley
black pepper to taste

Saute’ one onion in olive oil; stirring occasionally, lightly caramelize the onion….add garlic, anchovy paste, red pepper flakes – saute’ for about 1 minute; add tomato paste and saute’ for about 1 minute. Add chopped tomatoes and 1 tbs of capers. Cook until sauce is thickened – put over cooked pasta and enjoy….traditional puttanesca calls for black olives, but I don’t care that much for olives so I left them out. Yum, yum, yum.

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Baked Pumpkin Risotto


Baked Pumpkin Risotto

Originally uploaded by lyricalmezzo

I was watching “Ask Aida” today and she was having a vegetarian show – she made baked pumpkin risotto – despite the fact that she used chicken broth rendering it non-vegetarian – I gave this a try with veggie broth – I put my changes in parenthesis

* 5 cups low-sodium chicken broth (I used vegetable broth)
* 2 cups arborio rice
* 2 cups pumpkin or butternut squash, small dice (I used butternut squash)
* 1 1/2 cups canned pumpkin puree
* 1/2 medium yellow onion, minced
* 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh basil (my basil froze so I left it out)
* 1/4 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
* 2 tablespoons mascarpone cheese (I used yogurt)
* 2 tablespoons olive oil (I forgot to do this part)

Directions

Heat oven to 400 degrees F and arrange a rack in the middle.

Combine broth, rice, squash, puree, and onion in a 3-quart baking dish, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, and stir to evenly combine. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake, stirring occasionally, until most the water has been absorbed and rice granules are puffed, about 35 to 30 minutes.

Remove from oven, stir in remaining ingredients, season to taste and serve.

Mine took about 45 minutes – I don’t know if the oven just wasn’t hot enough or what, but I definitely needed more time than the allotted. It was, however, very tasty and something I will definitely do again. I just served this with some hot bread – no sides, it was plenty…next time I will pick up some basil and try to remember the olive oil, though it didn’t seem to need it.

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