Tag Archives: tomatoes

Raviolis with a cool sauce

I watched Giada De Laurentiis make this recipe this morning on her show on the food network. I made a couple of minor changes to the recipe but for the most part, it is the same. I also wrote a review on the food network for it!! I used Wild Mushroom Angliotti ravioli from Buitoni for my ravioli. I couldn’t find arugula at the market so I used Spinach. Also, I used fresh tomatoes that I had sitting around instead of diced canned. I added 2 cloves of garlic to the recipe as well. It was slightly salty but that could have been from the pancetta I used.. Who knows. I only used half the amount of pancetta the recipe called for though because I only bought one package… I didn’t realize that it was supposed to be 6oz! XD

Ravioli with Arugula, Tomatoes and Pancetta

Recipe courtesy Giada De Laurentiis
Show: Giada at Home Episode: Busy Day Menu
Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Cook: 20 min
Total: 30 min

* 1 pound cheese ravioli
* 6 ounces thinly sliced pancetta, chopped
* 1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
* 3 tablespoons olive oil
* 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus extra for seasoning
* 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus extra for seasoning
* 3 cups arugula
* 1/2 cup thinly sliced fresh basil leaves, divided
* 2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature


Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the ravioli and cook for 7 to 9 minutes until tender. Drain.

In a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, add the pancetta and cook stirring frequently, until crispy, about 8 minutes. Remove to paper towels to drain. Add the tomatoes, olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and cook for 2 minutes until tender. Add the arugula and 1/4 cup basil and cook until wilted, about 30 seconds. Stir in the butter and melt. Add the ravioli and cooked pancetta and toss until coated. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Transfer the ravioli to a large serving bowl. Garnish with the remaining basil and serve.

PICS (since I did it on the webcam, I totally didn’t take pics of the steps but I got final plating ones.)!

Wow, Blurry.

Leave a comment

Posted by on August 1, 2009 in General Food, Meals!


Tags: , , , , , ,

Home again.

Well, we are home again and I decided that after cleaning the house all day, I didn’t want to cook anything. However, the guys in the IRC convinced me that I should make pasta with sauce for dinner. I took a can of diced tomatoes and a tiny can of sauce and added some oregano, 3 cloves of fresh garlic, 2 yellow tomatoes from our garden, 2 green bell peppers from our garden and let it cook for about 20 minutes. It was at that point that I decided that I should try adding some of our new dried Gourmet Mushroom (porcini, oyster, brazilian, ivory portabellas, and shiitake) mix to the sauce. I rehydrated them according to the directions on the canister and added them to the sauce. They cooked in the sauce for a good 5 minutes. I figured the angel hair was done cooking so the sauce should be pretty well done as well. It all tasted fantastic but the mushrooms definitely needed to be soaked longer. Some were perfect and others were still sorta hard and weird tasting. All in all, topped with mozzarella and parmesan, the pasta dish was awesome enough for me to try making it again.
Here are some pics of this easy pasta dish!

Pasta cooking:

Sauce cooking:

The finished product!

Gourmet Mushroom Blend:

I am going to need some mushroom recipes for this baby!

Leave a comment

Posted by on July 17, 2008 in General Food, Meals!


Tags: , , , , ,

Busy Busy!

Alright! It has been a long long time since I have posted here. I have been a busy bee lately! I have been cooking almost every night with my mother in law at her house so I only have a few pictures of our endeavors. They think I am weird when I say “NO! Don’t eat it yet! I need to get a picture!”

So we made Spicy Shrimp Burgers one of the first nights we were home.
Recipe courtesy: Rachael Ray (30 Minute Meals)

1 pound raw peeled and deveined small shrimp
1 celery stalk with green, leafy tops, coarsely chopped
1/2 small to medium yellow skinned onion, coarsely chopped
1/2 green bell pepper, seeded and coarsely chopped
1 clove garlic
A handful parsley leaves
1 tablespoon all-purpose seafood seasoning, found near fish department (recommended: Old Bay)
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper or 1 teaspoon hot sauce (recommended: Tabasco)
1 lemon, zested
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the pan
4 English muffins, sandwich size plain or sour dough flavor
1/4 cup mayonnaise or reduced fat mayonnaise
1/4 cup chili sauce or salsa or taco sauce
Butter or Boston lettuce leaves

Divide the shrimp in half. Put half the shrimp into a food processor and grind it up. Transfer the shrimp to a bowl using a rubber spatula. Add the whole shrimp to the bowl. Add celery, onion, bell pepper, garlic and parsley to the processor and pulse-grind it into a fine chop. Add the vegetable mixture to the shrimp. Add half a palm full of crab boil seasoning, 1/2 teaspoon cayenne, lemon zest, salt and pepper to the bowl, to season. Stir the shrimp mixture to combine.

Preheat a large nonstick skillet over medium to medium high heat. Add extra-virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the pan in a slow stream. Use a large metal scoop to scoop 4 mounds of shrimp burger mixture into the pan. Gently pat down to form patties. Fry patties 3 to 5 minutes on each side, until they firm up and the shrimp turn whitish-pink.

Split and toast the sandwich size English muffins. Mix mayonnaise and chili sauce, salsa or taco sauce. Place burgers on muffin bottoms and top with lettuce. Slather the top of the muffins with sauce and set in place.

Then on another night we decided that we wanted to make pizza. I don’t have the exact recipe we used but the pizzas ended up being awesome. My mother in law wanted to use up a box of Spicy Garlic Chicken mix. It was really good but we added a bit of fun stuff to it. We used Sriracha sauce (cock sauce) to make it spicy… possibly too much! Carter built that one up. I made a regular italian style pizza using some Boboli tomato sauce and peppers, onions, olives and garlic and mozzarella cheese.
Raw Spicy Chicken!

Raw Italian!


Tonight I decided to marinate some portobella mushrooms in balsamic vinegar, EVOO, fresh garlic, and steakhouse seasoning. I grilled them up served them on top of some Salad Macaroni I had in my pantry mixed with some garlic, butter, and parmesan cheese. I also made a zucchini, onion and tomato casserole with cheddar cheese on the top as a side dish.

The recipe for the zucchini casserole thing came from my parents. They grew zucchinis and tomatoes in their yard one year and they ran out of things to do with them. They made a huge batch of this stuff but I cut it down for just my husband and I.

2 zucchinis, cut in half and then sliced
1/2 an onion, cut in half and sliced
2 tomatoes, cut in half and sliced
2 cloves of garlic – diced or pressed
About 2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Enough Sharp Cheddar cheese to cover the top of the veggies

I used a cast iron skillet for the first time tonight for this and it worked better than anything I have ever used before. Put the oil in the pan and heat it up. Add the onions and garlic. Cook them both for about 2-3 minutes. Then add the zucchini. Cook for another few minutes until the zucchini starts to get softish. Then add the tomatoes. (At this point, you can put this in the fridge and come back to it later if you want to… make sure your cast iron skillet is cool before you put it into the fridge tho!)
Cover the veggies with the cheese and stick the skillet into the oven at 350degrees F until the cheese is melted. Hot or room temperature, this veggie dish is awesome either way.

I spent the whole afternoon in the kitchen baking cookies as well today! The recipes for the cookies I made can be found on the back of the chocolate chips bags. I made white chocolate chip and mini regular chocolate chip cookies.

White Chocolate Chip!

Mini Chocolate Chip!




I also made a double batch of the Almost No-Knead Bread dough!

I am sorry this ended up being so long but I saved all the fun stuff for one big post! I am planning to make some shrimp tacos tomorrow so I am going to have another post then! 😀 Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy the recipes I have posted!

Leave a comment

Posted by on June 19, 2008 in Meals!, The Bakery!


Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

BREAD!! and soup!!

We finally have been home long enough for me to cook something! I was so excited because I have had my Caribbean Blue Lodge cast iron dutch oven here at the house waiting for me to bake some bread in for like 3 weeks. It was calling to me so I started on the bread the night before last.

Almost No-Knead Bread – Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated Magazine – January 2008

**Thanks to Bean for giving me the recipe for this!!**

An enamled cast iron dutch oven with a tight fitting lid yields the best results, but the recipe also works in a regular cast iron dutch oven or heavy stock pot. Use a mild flavored lager, such as Budweiser (mild, non-alcoholic lager also works – I used Corona and Heineken – both came out really good) The bread is best eaten the day it is baked but it can be wrapped in aluminum foil and kept in a cool dry place for up to 2 days.

Yield: 1 large loaf

3 cups unbleached flour (15 ounces) plus some for dusting your work surface
1/4 tsp instant or rapid rise yeast
1 1/2 tsp table salt
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons of room temperature water
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons of the mild flavored lager of your choice
1 tbsp white vinegar

Whisk the flour, salt, and yeast in a large mixing bowl. Add water, lager, and vinegar. Using a rubber spatula, fold the mixture, scraping the dry flour off the bottom of the bowl with each stroke until a shaggy ball forms. Let it rest for 8 to 18 hours. (I let it rest as close to 18 hours as possible) It should look like this:

Lay a 12X18inch piece of parchment paper (I just pulled one off that looked like it fit inside my dutch oven… i didn’t bother to measure it) inside a 10 inch skillet and spray with non stick cooking spray. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead 10-15 times. (I noticed that the dough was really sticky so i added some flour to the top and my hands so that they didn’t stick.) Shape dough ball by pulling the edges into the middle. Transfer the dough to the parchment paper, seam side down. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for another 2 hours or until the dough doubles in size. You will know when it is done because the dough will be twice the size AND will not bounce back when you press on it. It will probably look like this when you are done kneading it:

About 30 minutes before baking, adjust the racks in your oven to the lowest position. Place your dutch oven with the lid into the oven to preheat at 500 degrees. (As a small aside, I placed my lid and pot into the oven to preheat and within 10 minutes there was a HORRID ammonia smell. It turns out that the knob on the top of the dutch oven lid is not safe at this high temperature. We took it out and covered the dutch oven with a piece of foil instead. We bought a replacement knob today at Home Depot – you will need to buy a metal drawer pull at the store for this plus another screw because the screw that came with mine was too long for the pot. This is what the knob looks like after baking it too hot!)

Lightly flour the top of the dough and using a razor blade or sharp knife, slash a 6-inch long and 1/2 inch deep incision along the top of the dough. Carefully remove the dutch oven from the oven and remove the lid. Pick up the dough using the parchment paper and lower it into the heated pot. Cover the pot again and place it into the oven. Lower the heat to 425 degrees and bake with the cover on for 30 minutes. Remove the lid and bake it for another 20-30 minutes until the loaf is a dark golden brown or an instant read thermometer reads 210 degrees at the center of the loaf. Carefully remove the bread from the pot and transfer it to a wire rack. Let it cool to room temperature – at least 2 hours. ( I ate mine warm! Screw waiting 2 hours!) This is what mine looked like when it was done:

I also made some soup from my Rachael Ray cookbook. I changed a few things tho.
My Mom’s Tomato and Bean 15 Minute Stoup

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the pan
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 medium onion, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
2 ribs celery, chopped
1 small zucchini, sliced
2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
1 (15-ounce) can diced tomato
1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
1 (15-ounce) can small white beans or cannellini beans
1 (10 ounces) box, cut frozen green beans (I left these out because I don’t like green beans in my soup)
1/2 pound of Ditalini pasta (I added this)
Salt and pepper
1 cup fresh basil, torn or shredded
Grated Parmigiano or Romano, to pass at table
Crusty bread, to pass at the table

Add extra-virgin olive oil to the pot, 2 turns of the pan. Add garlic and crushed red pepper flakes, stir then stir in the onions, carrots, celery and zucchini. Cook 10 minutes, then add in the stock, tomatoes and beans. Bring soup up to a bubble and season with salt and pepper, to your taste. Simmer 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and wilt the basil into the soup. Ladle up the soup and serve with grated cheese and bread.
(I added the pasta to the soup too soon. If you are making it ahead of time, add the pasta about 10 minutes before you are ready to serve it. It sort of turned into a pasta with vegetables dish because the pasta sucked up all the stock and tomato sauce. I doubled the recipe when I made it so if you are following the recipe exactly, only do 1/4 of a pound of pasta. I also ended up adding black beans to it because I only had one can of white ones.) This is what the soup looked like:

My in-laws loved the bread so much that my mother in law told me to make some more for her today. I mixed up the dough last night and am working on the 2nd rise right now. I recommend doing 2 loaves at a time because the bread is so damn good that it goes really, really fast.

I hope everyone enjoys these two recipes. I had lots of fun making them and I hope to keep trying new breads soon!

1 Comment

Posted by on May 27, 2008 in Meals!, The Bakery!


Tags: , , , ,