Meatballs! I followed this recipe, mostly. Quantities in the recipe were for 1 lb. of meat – I went with 1 lb. of ground beef and 1 lb. of Italian sausage and scaled the amounts accordingly. I’ve no idea what locatelli cheese is so these were made with Parmesan.They were browned in the toaster oven before going into the sauce.I like then over spaghetti with more grated Parmesan and ribbons of basil. I may do some meatball subs today with the rolls I baked the other day:I had planned to smoke a pork shoulder but when the big chunk of meat was thawed it turned out to be beef. I resorted to the crockpot and made a batch of Italian beef. My recipe is to slice a bunch of onions, mince a lot of garlic, add beef or chicken broth, red wine, bay leaves, dried basil and oregano, more granulated garlic and onion, and salt and ground black pepper. Open a jar of pepperoncini and dump them all in – with the juice. Some red pepper flakes work well but are optional. Put all of that stuff in with the beef and give it 8 hours or so on high. Proper Chicago style Italian beef is made with thin sliced beef but I don’t do it that way because I don’t keep a deli slicer out on the counter. Mine is more like pulled pork:Here’s a quick lunch we had the other day before I baked the rolls, the little buns are a par-baked item Kroger carries, just pop them into the toaster oven for a few minutes and they made credible slider buns.Here we go with a full sized sammich. I like them dipped but if you dip the whole sammich it becomes a race to finish it before it falls apart. A little bowl of juice on the side overcomes that problem.Lest you think it’s all meat and carbs around here, Mrs J cuts up a sweet yellow watermelon.
I’ve been waiting for this since the first tomato turned ripe – enough to do the sauce thing for a delicious summer treat.Cook them down in a little olive oil over medium high heat, using a potato masher to help them along. Cook the pasta while the sauce is making, reserving some of the pasta water in case the sauce is too dry. Stir in a couple pats of butter and a tablespoon or two of tomato paste to finish the sauce. Add the spaghetti and fresh basil to the pan, toss with tongs, or flip it in the pan chef style if you’ve got the chops – this amount was a little too much for me. I did try and didn’t embarrass myself by spilling any but I will admit to a certain timidity. Garnish with more grated cheese and basil.
I’ve been cooking up some great recipes almost daily, but finding the time to put together recipe posts has been difficult. And forget remembering to take photos. Pictured above is Easter dinner, which I did remember to snap. Mostly because as I went to cook the rib roast, I realized I have never transcribed my go-to recipe for this perfect rib roast. I will remedy that in the coming week.
We had snow today, so yesterday before I even sat down to work, I spent time cutting flowers for vases and covering up plants I didn’t want to lose. So there wasn’t a lot of time to think about dinner. Luckily, I had a few items in the frig that needed to be used, so first up for dinner:
Sautéed Sausages and Pasta
- 1 lb sausage links – I used bratwurst this time, Italian sausages work great, too
- 3 tbsp of olive oil
- 1 red pepper, sliced
- 1 yellow pepper, sliced
- 1 green pepper, sliced
- 1/2 onion, sliced
- 1 to 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tsp dried basil, crushed
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano, crushed
- salt and pepper to taste
- 10 oz dried spaghetti (works best with that, but if you have another style on hand, go for it)
skillet and saucepan
Slice sausages into 2 inch pieces.
Prepare pasta according to package directions, but drain when just Al Dente, you want it a bit under cooked, because it will continue to cook and soak up the sauce in the next step. Reserve the pasta water.
While pasta is cooking, heat oil in skillet, reduce to medium-hi heat, add vegetables and saute until softened. Then add sausage pieces and brown. Reduce heat to medium and cover until cooked through, about 15 minutes. Stir occasionally.
Once sausage is cooked through, add a ladle of pasta water to the pan to deglaze and create a sauce – add more as needed – and stir until well mixed and cook on medium high for a minute or two, reduce heat. Add drained pasta. Toss and let it all cook together on low for about 3-5 minutes to let the pasta soak up the sauce. Add a bit more pasta water if needed.
Serve with Parmesan cheese and salad.
Since it was going to be cold today, I decided soup would be a great idea. I made a traditional Potato Soup (recipe here) but since I had leftover carrots and potatoes from a pot roast earlier in the week, I blended those together with the milk, omitted the flour, and made the tastiest creamy soup base. The flavors were amazing and it was perfect for a cold snowy spring day.
Yesterday’s bounty from my yard and some bonus homemade salsa
Tomato season is in full swing. Every meal has tomatoes in one form or another. This is a nice combination of flavors to shake things up from the usual pasta salads:
- 10 oz dry rotini pasta, cooked, drained, chilled
- ½ cup red wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp Dijon or stone-ground mustard
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp crushed garlic
- 1 tsp dried basil, crushed
- ½ cup olive oil
- 2 oz fresh basil
- 4 oz fresh spinach leaves
- 2 large tomatoes, cut into thin wedges
- 4 oz Kalamata (Greek green) olives
- 4 oz shredded parmesan
- 2 oz crumbled Feta
- 8 oz diced ham (opt)
serving bowl, bowl, saucepan
In small bowl, whisk together vinegar, mustard, pepper, garlic & basil. Slowly whisk in oil. To serving bowl, add pasta, fresh basil, spinach, tomatoes, olives, parmesan, opt. ham and toss with dressing. Garnish with crumbled feta.
I’m going to be gone the rest of the month, so I thought I’d put together recipes for the major events in March. Specifically St. Patrick’s day, Easter, and Spring.
This pretty Coconut Lemon Cake is a showy dessert I like to make for Easter Dinner, click here for the recipe.
What’s going on in your kitchen this weekend? Anyone broken out the grill yet? What recipe makes you feel like spring has finally arrived?
Pictured at the top of the post and above are JeffreyW’s Seafood Primavera, more photos and instructions are here.
Tonight’s featured recipe takes advantage of what you can find fresh in the produce section and makes you long for gardening season. It’s quick and easy. You can change up the vegetables at will and omit the chicken if desired (I’d substitute some nice mushrooms then.)
- 3 boneless chicken breasts, cubed in large pieces
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp pepper
- 1 to 2 tbsp olive oil
- 8 oz sliced carrots
- 8 oz broccoli crowns
- 1 small yellow summer squash, sliced
- 2 tsp basil, crushed or ¼ cup fresh basil leaves
- 1 tsp crushed garlic
- 2 Roma tomatoes, quartered
- ¾ cup chicken broth or equivalent
- ¼ cup white wine
- 2 oz grated parmesan
- 9 oz fresh linguine
skillet, large saucepan
Sprinkle salt & pepper over chicken pieces. Heat oil in skillet, add chicken and saute for 5 minutes over medium-high heat, until golden on all sides. Add carrots, broccoli and squash, and stir for 2 minutes. Add basil, garlic, tomatoes. Stir additional 2 minutes. Remove mixture to bowl. Add chicken broth and wine to skillet, deglaze drippings, bring to a boil, reduce heat, add chicken mixture, toss and cover. Reduce heat to low and let simmer while pasta cooks. Bring water to boil in saucepan and cook pasta according to package directions. Drain very well and toss with chicken mixture. Sprinkle with parmesan and serve.
That’s it for now. Have a great weekend! – TaMara