I love to create easy weekday meals that just burst with flavor. Being of Italian heritage I learned at an early age from my mother that you should only consume food that taste delicious. Meticulous preparation was so important to my mother who enjoyed the art of cooking instilling in me that food is love that your share with family and friends. I have continued her tradition preparing meals with the focus on flavor and taste. All you need to add as my mother is fond of saying is a pinch or this, a dash of that, just doctor it up! Still at ninety five she knows how to make food sing with flavor.
Roasted Cauliflower with Italian Tuna over Pasta
1 head cauliflower, chopped
six skin-on garlic cloves
2 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 black pepper
1/4 red pepper flakes
1 cup Parmesan cheese
3 tablespoon butter
two tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
1/4 cup breadcrumbs, toasted
Italian yellow fin tuna in olive oil
1 tablespoon capers
1 pound pasta or spaghetti
On a sheet pan, drizzle a head of chopped cauliflower and six skin-on garlic cloves with some olive oil, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Roast at 425°, tossing occasionally, until the cauliflower is caramelized and crisp, about 30 minutes. Once cool, peel the roasted garlic cloves and chop.
In a large bowl, combine a cup of grated Parmesan, three tablespoons of butter, a pinch of salt, two tablespoons of toasted pine nuts, and a quarter-cup of toasted breadcrumbs. (Toast stale bread until lightly golden, then use a food processor to pulse into crumbs.)
Meanwhile, bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook a pound of short pasta (like cavatelli) or thin spaghetti. Drain the pasta, reserving about a cup of the cooking liquid. Toss the hot pasta with the cauliflower, garlic cloves, Parmesan butter mixture, and enough pasta water to mix it all together. Add flaked tuna and mix. Garnish with capers.
Clams in Wine Sauce
Love easy, tasty meals that are quick then you’ll love my Clams in White Sauce. I make these clams as a light dinner served with salad and bread or a hardier meal tossed with pasta, side salad and bread. Either way these clams are so good.
2 tablespoon olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoon Italian seasoning, I like Pensey’s Tuscan Sunset
pinch crushed red pepper flakes
8 oz. bottled clam juice
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoon butter
1 1/2 lbs. Count Neck Clams
1. Wash clams to remove any dirt or sand.
2. In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add garlic; saute for 1 minute, or until tender. Stir in Italian seasons and red pepper flakes. Pour in clam juice and white wine. Bring to boil then simmer for five minutes. Add clams, cover, and steam till clams start to open.
3. Add butter and clams, cover, and cook till the clams open about ten minutes. Discard any that do not open. Transfer clams to plate. Serve with fresh bread and a crisp white wine.
Springtime cooking for me always includes foods with asparagus and lemons. Add pasta, prosciutto and cream for an easy deliciously simple meal. My passion for good food leads me to create easy meals that are fresh and flavorful with simple ingredients. Eating food for nourishment doesn’t mean that we need to sacrifice on taste. Food is meant to be savored, enjoyed with family and friends not to be rushed eating standing up or walking down the street. Make an easy beautiful meal, invite family and friends to relax while you all create lasting memories to cherish.
1 pound spaghetti or linguine
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup thinly sliced shallots (about 2 large)
4 ounces Prosciutto, cut into thin strips
1 cup asparagus, lightly steamed
1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest (from about 1 large lemon)
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, plus more for serving
Freshly ground black pepper
Freshly grated Parmesan (for serving)
1/2 lemon thinly slice for garnish
Cook spaghetti in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until al dente; drain, reserving 2 Tbsp. pasta cooking liquid.
Meanwhile, heat oil in a medium skillet over medium-high. Add shallots and 1/2 tsp. salt; cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 5 minutes (do not brown). Add Prosciutto , asparagus, and cream. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until sauce is slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in lemon zest, 2 Tbsp. parsley, and 1/2 tsp. pepper.
Return pasta to pot. Toss with sauce and reserved pasta cooking liquid; season with salt and pepper. Place pasta on plate then top with parsley, Parmesan seasoning with more pepper. Garnish with lemon slices.
Beef Bourguignon over Pasta
2 tablespoon olive oil
2.5 lb boneless beef chuck, cut in 1.5 inch cubes
3 tablespoons brandy
1/2 lb. small white onions, peeled (about 12)
12 whole cloves
8 ounces whole or sliced mushrooms
2.5 tablespoons flour
2.5 teaspoons meat-extract paste (not liquid)
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 1/2 cups red wine
3/4 cup dry sherry
3/4 cup ruby port
1 1/2 cup beef stock
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 bay leaf
1 pound of pasta
Slowly heat 4 quart Dutch oven with tight-fitting lid. olive oil; heat, but do not burn.
In hot oil, over high heat, brown beef cubes well, using a fourth at a time, or just enough to cover bottom of Dutch oven.
Remove beef as it browns. Continue until beef is browned, adding more oil as needed. Return beef to Dutch oven.
In a small saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons brandy just until vapor rises. Ignite, pour over beef. As flame dies, remove beef.
Add 2 olive oil to Dutch Oven; heat slightly. Stud each onion with a clove. Add onions; cook over low heat, covered, until onions brown slightly. Add mushrooms; cook, stirring, 3 minutes. Remove from heat.
Stir in flour, meat-extract paste and tomato paste until well blended. Stir in wine, sherry, port and stock.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Bring wine mixture just to boiling, stirring. Remove from heat. Add beef, pepper, and bay leaf; mix well.
Bake, covered, stirring occasionally, 1.5 hours, or until beef is tender, adding remaining brandy, remove bay leaf. Can be served along, over rice or pasta.
Taste better if made day ahead. Store in refrigerator for up to 4 days.
Can be reheated microwave or on stove top.
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves chopped garlic
1 shallot chopped
1 can chopped tomatoes
1 bottle clam juice
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning, I like Penzy’s Tuscan Sunset
pinch sea salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon crushed hot red peppers
1/2 pound clams, cleaned
1 pound mussels, cleaned
1/4 sea scallops
1/2 pound spaghetti
Heat oil in pan adding garlic and shallots cooking until translucent just releasing the flavors. Add tomatoes, clam juice, Italian seasonings, saffron, salt, black pepper and red pepper. Simmer for 20 minutes stirring occasionally. Add clams, cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Then add mussels continuing to simmer for another 10 minutes until clams and mussels are open. Add scallops combining with sauce, simmer for 3 minutes. While the seafood is simmering cook spaghetti according to package instructions. Drain pasta and put in a large bowl. Add seafood lightly toss. Serve with Parmesan cheese.