Pasta Sauce Raphael

New Basics

We like this over tortellini but works with any kind of pasta.

  • 2 jars (6 oz. each) marinated artichoke hearts in oil
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 cups chopped onions
  • 2 T. minced garlic
  • ½ t. dried oregano
  • ½ t. dried basil
  • 1 T. coarsely ground pepper
  • ½ t. salt
  • Pinch of dried pepper flakes
  • 1 can (28 oz.) plum tomatoes, with their juice
  • ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh Italian parsley

Drain the artichoke hearts, reserving the marinade

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan.  Add the onions, garlic, oregano, basil, black pepper, salt, red pepper flakes, and reserved artichoke marinade.  Sauté over medium-low heat until the onions and garlic are soft and translucent, 10 minutes.

Add the tomatoes and simmer for 30 minutes

Add the artichoke hearts, Parmesan, and parsley.  Stir gently, and simmer another 5 minutes

6 portions; enough for 1 lb. pasta

White Bean Soup with Pasta and Rosemary Oil

(we usually skip the rosemary oil… but i’m sure it’s good)

For Rosemary oil:

  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 T. finely chopped rosemary
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced.

Warm simmer these ingredients in small saucepan, approx. 5 minute

For soup:

  • 2 cups cannellini beans/navy beans or mix
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 1 T. fresh rosemary or 2 tsp. dried
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 2 carrots, finely diced
  • 1 celery stalk, finely diced
  • 5 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1/3 cup parsley
  • 1 c. diced tomatoes with juice
  • salt, pepper
  • 1 c. small dried pasta
  • parmesan cheese

1.  Heat oil, 1 T. rosemary in soup pot.  Add onion, carrot, celery.   Saute for 10 minutes.  Add garlic, parsley, simmer.  Add beans, tomatoes., 3 quarts water, boil, then simmer approx. 1 hour.  Add 2 tsp. salt, simmer 30 minutes longer.
2. . Puree the soup
3. Cook pasta, strain rosemary oil.
4. Soup into bowls, add pasta to each, drizzle with rosemary oil, sprinkle with parmesan, serve.

Mushroom Lasagna

http://www.smittenkitchen.com
Serves 6 to 8 (more as a first course)

  • Salt
  • Olive oil
  • 3/4 pound dried lasagna noodles
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 3/4 cup (12 tablespoons or 1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, divided
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg (I used less, because this seemed like a lot)
  • 1 1/2 pounds cremini or portobello mushrooms
  • 1 cup freshly grated parmesan

Preheat your oven to 375°F. Bring a large, wide (if you use a wide one, you can save a dish later and saute your mushrooms in the bottom of it) of water to boil with salt and a splash of oil, that will help keep your noodles from sticking together as they drain. Add the lasagna noodles and cook for 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.
Make béchamel: Bring the milk and garlic to simmer in a saucepan, or heat it in your microwave, and set it aside. Melt 1/2 cup (8 tablespoons or 1 stick) butter in a large saucepan. If your name is Deb, you will probably brown this butter, too. Add the flour and cook for one minute over low heat, stirring constantly with a whisk or wooden spoon. Pour in the hot milk, a little at a time at first and stirring until combined. Once you’ve added half of it, you can add the second half all at once, along with 1 1/2 teaspoons table salt, the pepper, and nutmeg. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring or whisking frequently, for 3 to 5 minutes, or until thick. Set aside.
Prepare mushrooms: Discard portobello mushroom stems and/or trim the ends of the cremini stems. Slice mushrooms 1/4-inch thick. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil and 2 tablespoons butter over medium in the bottom of the large, wide pot you used to cook the noodles earlier, or in a large sauté pan. Cook half the mushrooms with a couple pinches of salt for about 5 minutes, or until they are tender and release some of their juices, tossing to make sure they cook evenly. Repeat with additional oil and butter, and remaining mushrooms.
Assemble lasagna: Spread some of the sauce in the bottom of an 8 x 12 or 9 x 13 baking dish. (Ina recommends the former, I only had the latter; if you’d like to freeze or give this dish as a gift, remember to use a foil pan). Arrange a layer of noodles on top*, then more sauce (about 1/4 of what remains), 1/3 of the mushrooms and 1/4 cup grated parmesan. Repeat two more times then top with a final layer of noodles, your remaning sauce and last 1/4 cup of parmesan.
Bake for 45 minutes, or until top is browned and the sauce is bubbly. Let sit at room temperature for 15 minutes before serving. To freeze for future use, allow it to cool completely and wrap two to three times in plastic wrap before freezing.

Lasagna

This is the lasagna my Mom has always made.  Of course it is the best.  I like it because it is dry… I don’t like soupy lasagna.

  • 1 lb. Italian sausage
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 T. basil
  • 1 ½ t. salt
  • 1 lb. can tomatoes
  • 2 6 oz. Cans tomato paste
  • 10 oz. Lasagna noodles
  • 3 cups Ricotta
  • ½ cup parmesan
  • 2 T. parsley flakes
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • 2 t. salt
  • ½ t. pepper
  • 1 lb. mozzarella, sliced very thin

Preheat oven to 375.  Brown meat slowly.  Add next 5 ingredients, simmer uncovered for 30 minutes, stirring.  Cook noodles in large amount of water according to package directions.  Drain and rinse noodles.  Combine rest of ingredients, except mozzarella.  Layer lasagna as follows:  Noodles,  ½ of cheese mixture, ½ of mozzarella and then ½ of sauce.  Repeat order for second layer.  Bake at 375 for 30 minutes and/or lasagna is bubbling, or 45 minutes if refrigerated.  Let stand for 10 minutes before serving

Eggplant, Sausage and Ziti Casserole

Emeril Lagasse – 2001 – via Aunt Evie

  • 2 large eggplants, cut crosswise into 1/3 inch thick rounds
  • ½ cup olive oil, plus more as needed
  •  Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 1 pound Italian sausage, removed from casings
  • 2 T. tomato paste
  • 1 28-oz can whole Italian tomatoes, crushed and their juices
  • 1 t. Italian seasoning
  • ½ cup pitted black olives, coarsely chopped
  • ¼ t. crushed red pepper
  • ¼ cup  minced fresh basil leaves
  • 4 T. butter
  • 4 T. flour
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1/8 t. freshly grated nutmeg
  • ½ cup grated parmesan
  • 8 oz. ziti, cooked according to package directions and drained
  • 1 cup grated mozzarella

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Lightly grease a 9 by 13 inch casserole dish (or bigger) and set aside.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat ¼ cup oil.  Add egglplant in batches, seasoning both sides with salt and pepper, and cook until golden, adding more oil as needed.  Transfer to a plate as they cook, and set aside.

Heat 2 T. or remaining oil in large skillet.  When hot, but not smoking, add the onion and sausage, and cook, stirring, until the sausage is browned and the onion is soft, about 6 minutes.  Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring frequently, until it begins to brown, about 1 to 2 minutes.  Add the tomatoes, their juices, the Italian seasoning, black olives, 1 t. of salt, and the crushed red pepper.  Reduce the heat to medium- low and gently simmer, uncovered, until the flavors marry and the sauce slightly thickens, about 20 minutes.  Remove from the heat.  Add basil and adjust seasoning to taste.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat.  Stir in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, until thickened and forms a light roux, about 2 minutes.  Whisk in the milk and, whisking frequently, cook until the sauce is thickened and smooth, about 4 minutes.  Remove from the heat and season with the nutmeg and salt and pepper to taste.

Arrange half of the eggplant slices on the bottom of the casserole, overlapping as necessary.  Top with half of the cooked pasta, then half of the sausage-tomato sauce.  Place another layer of eggplant slices on top of the sauce, then layers of pasta and sausage-tomato sauce.  Pour on the white sauce, then top with the grated mozzarella and parmesan.

Bake for 1 hour, or until puffed and golden brown on top.

French Onion Soup

We have tried different versions throughout the years and this one is good.  The Campbell’s condensed beef broth is good.  If you are feeling flush use gruyere cheese instead of swiss – it makes a big difference.

  • 4 medium onions, sliced
  • 2 T. margarine or butter
  • 2 cans CONDENSED beef broth
  • 1 ½ cup water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/8 t. pepper
  • 1/8 t. thyme
  • 4 slices French bread, ¾ – 1 inch thick
  • 1 cup shredded Swiss cheese
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese

Cover and cook onion in margarine in 3 quart saucepan over low heat, stirring occasionally, until tender, 20 – 30 minutes or longer until brown and cooked way way down.  Add beef broth, water, bay leaf, thyme and pepper.  Heat to boiling.  Reduce heat.  Cover and simmer for 15 minutes.  Set oven to broil.  Place bread slices on cookie sheet and broil until golden brown.  Repeat for other side.  Place bread in oven proof bowls.  Add broth; top with Swiss cheese, sprinkle with parmesan.  Place bowls on cookie sheet.  Broil w/cheese 5 inches from heat until golden brown. 1-2 minutes

Italian Potatoes

  • 4 large (or 6 medium) Russet potatoes
  • ½ cup fine, toasted bread crumbs
  • ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2-3 large tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • 2 large red onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 ½ t. oregano
  • 1-1 ½ t. salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • ½ – ¾ cup olive oil

Preheat oven to 350

Peel and cut potatoes lengthwise into wedges (about 6-8 per potato) and drop into a bowl of cold water

Combine bread crumbs and grated cheese.  Do not dry the wedges before coating them well with the crumb mixture.  Place them in a shallow, 9 x 13-inch baking dish, sprinkling any remaining crumbs on top.

Top potatoes with sliced tomatoes and onion rings.  Sprinkle with oregano, salt, and a generous grinding of pepper.  Drizzle with oil just before baking.

Bake, uncovered, 1 hour and 10 minutes, or until potatoes are brown but still retain some crunchiness

Creamy Garlic Dressing

Moosewood Cooks at Home

This is really quick and tastes great.

  • 3 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
  • ¾ cup vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 T. chopped fresh basil, (or 1 t. dried)
  • 1 t. salt
  • 1 T. grated Parmesan cheese
  • ½ t. coarsely ground black pepper
  • ½ cup milk (whole, 2%, or skim)

Put the garlic, oil, vinegar, basil, salt, Parmesan, and pepper into a blender, and whirl for a couple of seconds.  With the blender still running, slowly add the milk, whirling until the dressing is thick and smooth.  Covered and refrigerated, this dressing will keep for a week.

Variations:

  • add ½ t. of hone or sugar to offset the tartness of the vinegar
  • add 1 t. fresh lemon juice for extra tartness
  • add 1 T. of minced fresh parsley for flecks of color without altering the flavor.