Category Archives: Pasta

Bolognese Sauce With Spaghetti Squash

20150303_163645Watching those carbs ??   He is a great meal that has all the taste of Italian without the carbs.  It’s very simple to prepare and gives you the taste of a great pasta meal without all of those carbs.

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Prepare The Spaghetti Squash:
 
Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees. Take the spaghetti squash and cut in half.  Remove the seeds and the guts of the squash.  Rub inside and out with olive oil, place on a cookie sheet.   Place in oven and cook for approximately 30 to 45 minutes until soft.  Remove from oven, take 2 forks and scrape the squash out of the inside. 
 
Prepare the  Bolognese Sauce:
 
Ingredients:
 
4 slices of bacon
1 medium onion
2 stalks of celery
2 carrots
5 cloves of garlic minced
4 Tbs of butter
2 Tbs of olive oil
1 lb ground beef
1 lb ground ground pork
1/2 lb ground chicken
1 12 oz can of beef broth
2 28 oz cans of crushed tomatoes
1 8 oz can of tomato paste
2 tsb if salt
2 tsb of oregano
2 tsb of ground sage
1/2 tsb of nutmeg
1 tsb of crushed red pepper flakes
1 cup of white wine
1 cup of milk
 
Directions:
 
In seperate pan cook bacon until crisp, remove and cut into small pieces.  In large pot combine butter and olive oil.  Add onions, carrots, celery, garlic, and bacon pieces.  Cook until vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes.  Remove and drain, add the beef, pork and chicken.  Cook until it appears to be fully cooked.  Remov and strain grease.  Add beef broth and wine.  Simmer until it is primarily evaporated.  Add oregano, sage, red pepper flakes, nutmeg and salt.  Let simmer for approximately 15 minutes.  Add crushed tomatoes and tomato paste.  Bring to a boil and lower to a simmer.  Simmer for approximately 2 hours.  Add milk approximately 15 minutes before serving.  Now take the squash and put in a bowl and cover with sauce.  You now have a great Italian meal without all the carbs.  Cheers !!!!
 
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Egg Plant Lasagna

IMG_1009Looking for the great taste of an Italian meal yet low in carbs, my egg plant lasagna is perfect and easy to make.

Ingredients:
 
2 large egg plants sliced approximately 3/4 inch thick
16 oz marinara sauce of choice, I like homemade or prego traditional if I don’t have time to make my own sauce
6 tbs olive oil
kosher salt/pepper
1 large egg
1 15 oz container ricotta cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
2 tbs oregano
1 small package of sliced pepperoni
 
Directions:
 
In large pot heat the marinara sauce and pre heat your oven to 400 degrees.  Place egg plant slices on 2 seperate baking sheets.  Brush olive oil on both sides of the egg plant and season with salt and pepper.  Place the egg plant in the oven and bake the egg plant until soft and golden brown.  Turn the slices halfway through approximately 20 minutes.  In a large mixing bowl combine the ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese leaving enough left to put on the top of the finished product and oregano.  In a baking dish spread some marinara sauce to cover the bottom.  Place the egg plant slices along the bottom.  Spread some ricotta cheese mixture on top of the egg plant.  Spread a little sauce over the ricotta and place another layer of egg plant down.  Repeat the process with ricotta and sauce.  Take the remaining mozarella cheese and spread on the top and take the pepperoni and place on the top like you would a pizza.  Cover and place in oven and bake for approximately 45 minutes.  Remove the foil and bake an additional 15 minutes.  Remove from oven and let rest approximately 10 minutes.  You now have a great low carb italian meal, CHEERS !!
 
 
 

Seafood And Sausage Marinara

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Here in December with Christmas closing a great family meal to have is seafood and sausage marinara.  It is easy to prepare and combines great shell fish, sausage, and pasta.  Served with a side salad you have a meal that will put a smile on your family’s face.

Ingredients:
 
1 lbs of shrimp peeled and devined
1/2 pound of sea scallops cut into bite size pieces
1 lb a little neck clams
5 links of sweet italian sausage
2 tbs of butter
2 cloves of garlic minced
1 can of parmesan cheese
1 box of pasta of choice, I use regular spaghetti but any kind will do.  Linguini, Angel Hair for example would be wonderful.
The marinara sauce of your choice.  I used Alessio’s sauce because it’s thick, rich and wonderful and has no preservatives
 
Directions:
 
In sauce pan heat up the marinara sauce.  In large pot bring water and olive oil to a boil.  While your sauce and water is heating up get a large pan, melt butter and garlic.  In saute pan cook sausage evenly.  You can cut the sausage into bite size pieces if you want.  Place the clams in a pan, add butter, garlic  and a little water and cover.  The clams will open up after about 5 to 10 minutes.  Once they open remove and keep warm.  Now add the scallops in their juice and cook the scallops, this will take about five minutes.  Remove scallops and keep warm.  Now in the juice left saute the shrimp until cooked, approximately 3 minutes, they don’t take long.  Now it’s time to put this masterpiece together:  Take each plate and spread pasta, place clams around the edge in shell.  Place shrimp scallops and sausage on top of the pasta. Now spread some marinara sauce over the top.  Take your can of parmesan cheese and sprinkle over the top.  You have now accomplished an outstanding meal as well as a great presentation.  Break out a bottle of red wine and you are in pasta heaven, cheers !! 

My Version Of Pasta Figioli

 

 

 

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There are alot of recipes for this wonderful Italian soup recipe on the internet.  After trying different versions I have come up with mine which takes the wonderful mixture of spices and beans yet add a few ingredients that set it over the top.  Pasta Figioli is a signature soup in Italian restaurants.  What I have changed to the standard recipe is sweet italian sausage, parmesan cheese, and hot sauce.  This is a wonderful soup to be used as an appetizer or a main dish.

Ingredients
 
1 pound of ground beef
1 pound of sweet italian sausage
1 large carrot
3 stalks of celery
1 medium onion
2 cloves of garlic minced
1 15 oz of kidney beans with liquid
1 15 oz of canolli beans with liquid
1 12 oz can of spicy V 8 juice
1 15 oz can of crushed tomatoes
1 teaspoon of white vinegar
2 teaspoons of salt
2 teaspoons of black pepper
1 tablespoon of oregano
1 teaspoon of basil
1 teaspoon of thyme
1/2 pound or half a box of ditali pasta
6 to 8 shakes of hot sauce
 
Directions
 
Brown ground beef and sausage  in medium pan, drain most of the fat.  Add onion, carrots and celery and saute for approximately 10 minutes.  Add the remaining ingredients except the pasta and simmer about 1 hour.  Don’t forget the hot sauce.  After simmering add pasta and let simmer for about 20 minutes.   You are now ready to serve.  In individual serving sprinkle parmesan cheese over the top of the serving bowl.  Garnish with some fresh basil for the finishing touch.  You now have a bowl of Italian Heaven, CHEERS !!!

 

CINCINNATI STYLE CHILI MAC

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I first learned about this unique way of preparing and serving this style of chili while traveling across the state of Ohio.  There is a chain out there called Steak and Shake.  Their featured entree is called Chili Mac or Skyline Chile, and it is served 5 different ways.

1 way:  just the chili
2 way chili, served over spaghetti
3 way:  chili , spaghetti and shredded cheese
4 way:  chili, spaghetti, shredded cheese and chopped onions
5 way:  chili, shaghetti, shredded cheese, chopped onions, and beans
 
What makes this style of chili so unique is the ingredients.  This style of chili is nothing like my signature chili or any other standard recipe.  It’s unique ingredients and spices make it a different yet awesome combination which is outstanding.  The secret to getting the texture right on this dish is to get the ground beef as fine as possible.  This is done by soaking the ground beef in water before starting the cooking process. 
 
1 package of spaghetti noodles
2 lbs of ground beef
1 clove of garlic minced
1 cup of root beer
1 medium onion diced
1 green pepper diced
1 large can of crushed tomatoes
1 tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa
1/4 cup of chili powder
1 teaspoon of cayenne powder
1 teaspoon of allspice
1 teaspoon of cinnamaon
1 teaspoon of nutmeg
1 teaspoon of cumin
1/2 teaspoon of coriander
1/2 teaspoon of ground cloves
1 teaspoon of redwine vinegar
2 tablespoons of worcestershire sauce
 
For the toppings:
Shredded Cheese
Chopped Onions
1 can of beans
 
In seperate pot or mixing bowl soak the ground beef in water for 10 to 20 minutes.  In large pot or dutch oven, heat some oil and add the chopped onions, green pepper, and garlic until soft, about 5 minutes.  Add the ground beef after you strained it.  The meat should be now very fine in texture.  Add unsweetened cocoa,  chili powder, cayenne pepper, allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg, cumin, coriander, and ground cloves.   Let this combination simmer about 5 minutes.  Add crushed tomatoes, root beer, redwine vinegar and worcestershire sauce and cook until its thickened yet still soupy, about 20 minutes.  In seperate pot, boil the spaghetti noodles, strain and serve on seperate plates.  Top with the chili and add the desired toppings you wish to make it any of the 5 ways you like.  In a salute to the city of Cincinnati …… CHEERS !!!!
 
 
 

 

MY AWESOME LASAGNA

 

 

 

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On a cool day there is nothing like fixing an ole tradition, Lasagna.  I have tried fixing it a few different ways.  There is one seceret ingredient I like to add that I have never seen anywhere esle.  Pepperoni !!   Just like on a pizza, putting some pepperoni in between the layers adds a kick.  You can make it with your typical Prego or Ragu sauces but making the sauce from scratch makes it so much better.

 
Ingredients
 
2 large cans of crushed tomatoes
2 6 oz cans of tomato paste
2 large cans of tomato sauce
6 cloves of crushed garlic
1 medium onion finely chopped
4 table spoons of basil
2 table spoons of oregano
2 table spoons of parsley
4 table spoons of salt
2 packets of splenda or sugar
1 pound of ground beef
1 pound of sweet italian sausage (casings removed)
1 package of sliced pepperoni
16 ounces of ricotta cheese
2 egges
2 packages of shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup of grated parmesan cheese
1 box of lasagna noodles (oven ready)
 
1.  Prepare the sauce in large pot, simmer onions a little oil until soft,  add ground beef and sausage until cooked.  Add Cans of tomato sauce, crushed tomatoes, and tomato paste.  Add basil, oregano, parsley, salt and sugar.  simmer covered for about an hour.
 
2.  In mixing bowl empty ricotta cheese into bowl, beat the eggs mix into the ricotta cheese.  Mix a package (16 oz) of mozzarella cheese into mixture.  You can add some oregano to this mixture if desired.
 
3.  Assemble the lasagna in a baking dish or I prefer the disposable tins you purchase at the grocery store.  Cover bottom of pan with sauce.  Arrange noodles 3 wide over sauce.  Spread a layer of the ricotta mixture, then put some pepperoni on top, add another layer of sauce.  Repeat this process (about 4 layers) until you get to the top.  Spread sauce over the top, spread some pepperoni and cover the top with the other package of shredded mozarella cheese.
 
4.  Spray a piece of foil with pam and cover.  Place in pre heated oven at 375 degrees for 50 minutes.  Remove from oven, uncover and let sit for 10 minutes before cutting into servings.