Archive for May, 2008

pasta shapes

This week’s edition of Presto Pasta Nights Roundup at Once Upon A Feast looks especially delicious and appealing. Take a trip over to Ruth Daniel’s blog and you’ll be in for a treat of pasta recipes.

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Many, many thanks to LisaRene at Little Bits for inspiring me to try making these truly delectable pot stickers. They looked soooo good on her blog, and was just what I was in the mood for eating tonight.

When I got home from work, I started to prepare my workspace, starting with gathering my ingredients. Much to my chagrin, all the carrots that I had bought this week were mysteriously gone! Known to improvise, I did just that, and created my own filling. I used zucchini, scallions, cilantro, peas, and corn, all chopped finely in the food processor. I had some leftover chicken too, and cut it into small pieces, placing one little piece on top to the filling of each pot sticker.

I made her basic dipping sauce, too, and these were truly a stupendous hit. The color of the vegetables glistens through the wonton wrappers after cooking, and looks quite seasonal and attractive.

Thank you, LisaRene. My son has already informed me that this must be made again and again, with new fillings and different dipping sauces. I always love a dish that’s a hit with the family. Enjoy!

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Last night’s weather was the preview of typical summers around here – very warm and sticky. The air was thick. Perfect night for something that’s clean and fresh on the palate, easy on the eyes, and ever so cool going down.

Big salad came to mind immediately. There is really no recipe – I opened two fresh bags of lettuce and filled a large serving piece with them. Then the pile-on began – some of my favorites include: halved grape tomatoes, sliced cucumbers, cubed soy cheese, orange pepper slices, slivered kalamata olives, hard-boiled eggs, flaked white albacore tuna packed in water, sliced boiled potatoes, sun-dried tomatoes pieces, canned artichoke bottoms.

Arranged decoratively, and topped off with a balsamic vinaigrette, recipe to follow. Served with some whole-wheat lavash bread on the side – now what tastes better than that? Let your creative juices flow, and see what you come up with – it will be so good, and good for you. Enjoy!

Balsamic vinaigrette

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/3 cup balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons dijon mustard

2 teaspoons crushed and minced garlic

salt and pepper, to taste

Place everything in a 1 cup plastic container, tightly covered, and shake very well to combine all ingredients. Makes 3/4 cup.

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Here is a different take on the cute little Italian lump of pasta known as gnocchi. I sauteed in a little olive oil a fresh batch that I bought from the market, and then started adding enhancements, beginning with cooked edamame beans. I think you could just follow your imagination and personal tastes on this recipe. Go for color and flavor – it’s a quick preparation and high on flavorful bites. Next time I’ll definitely add a little chopped Italian parsley at the end. Enjoy!

Lightly crisped gnocchi with edamame

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

12 ounces of fresh (or frozen and thawed) gnocchi

salt and pepper, to taste

1 16-ounce package frozen shelled edamame beans (or fresh)

2 tablespoons capers

2 tablespoons sun-dried tomatoes, cut in strips

1/4 cup soy parmesan cheese

1/2 dozen spicy pitted olives, cut into strips

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet, and saute the gnocchi over medium-high heat, until lightly crisp and golden. Season with salt and pepper, and remove from heat.

Bring 4 cups of salted water to a boil, add the edamame beans, and boil for 5 minutes. Drain.

In a large bowl, place the gnocchi. Add the edamame beans, capers, sun-dried tomatoes, soy parmesan, and olives. Toss everything together and serve. Makes 4 servings.



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Enjoy another Presto Pasta Night Roundup at Ruth Daniel’s lovely blog, Once Upon A Feast. Always a never-ending array of pasta-bilities!

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Here’s the latest dish that I made from Gina DePalma’s Dolce Italiano. It tasted as good as it looks.


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So last week, I made this dynamite Sausage & Egg Pizza Tart, and, I confess, I am still on a bit of a pizza jag right now. One of the comments I received on the pizza recipe was from Monica, who runs a fitness website. She recommended a great looking Pizza Fiorentina, which can be made dairy-free. Okay, now you’re talkin’ my language. I tried it tonight, with excellent results. You may recognize a familiar ingredient – the addition of the egg as a topping on the pizza. Doesn’t that look great? You really must to try it – it’s a wonderful pizza topping. This time I used a ready-made pizza dough instead of frozen puff pastry – all I had to do was roll it and then add my toppings. Enjoy! (btw, I think I liked the sausage and egg pizza better!)

Pizza Fiorentina

1 ready-made pizza dough (I used whole-wheat)

6 tablespoons pizza sauce

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 onions, chopped

1 10-ounce package of baby spinach

1 tablespoon chopped cilantro

1 tablespoon chopped parsley

salt and pepper, to taste

several generous handfuls of shredded soy parmesan cheese

2 eggs

several shakes of Italian seasoning

2 tablespoons blanched almond slivers

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.  Sprinkle a little cornmeal on your rolling surface, and then roll out your pizza dough. Carefully lift and place in your pizza pan. Spread the pizza sauce over the dough.

In a large saute pan, heat the olive oil and saute the onions until soft. Add the spinach, cilantro, and parsley, and heat until the spinach is softened and wilted.  Season with salt and pepper, and spread over the pizza.

Sprinkle the soy cheese over the vegetables, and leave two hollows for the eggs. Break in the eggs, sprinkle with a little Italian seasoning, and sprinkle the almonds around the top.

Bake for 12 – 15 minutes, until the eggs are just set but not hardened. The whites should be done but the yolks should be a little runny. Serve immediately.

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