Sunday, February 12, 2012

Pasta with Peas, Arugula and Prosciutto

This recipe for Pasta with Peas, Arugula
and Prosciutto is from Fine Cooking.
I cut out the recipe from the magazine
several years ago and set it aside.
It caught my eye because of the arugula and peas
but I hesitated to make it because it
really has no sauce, causing me to fear
that it would be bland.
I finally took a chance on this recipe and
am so glad that I did because it was
very good.

The Peas, Arugula and Proscuitto
add so much flavor to this dish
that it works out perfectly.

I made two very small changes /
substitutions to the reicpe while
making it. Instead of using orecchiette
I went with a small, shell, noodle.
You will notice that the recipe only calls for
lemon juice but I am a huge fan of lemon
so I also added a tsp. or so of grated
lemon zest.

Pasta with Peas, Arugula and Prosciutto
Recipe from Fine Cooking

1 lb. dried pasta, such as orecchiette or penne
1 lb. arugula (I used baby arugula)
6 Tbs. unsalted butter
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb. fresh English peas, shelled, or 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 Tbs. olive oil
10 thin slices prosciutto, diced (6 to 7 oz.)
2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
( I added 1 tsp. grated lemon zest)
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano; plus 3/4 cup shavings for garnish
2 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Put a pot of water on to boil. Salt it well and boil the pasta following the package directions.

Wash and thoroughly dry the arugula. If it large leaf arugula give it a little chop. If you have small leaf arugula there is no need to chop it up.

In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt 4 Tbs. of the butter. Add the garlic and sauté until barely golden, about 2 minutes. Add the peas and sauté until tender-crisp, another 3 to 4 minutes if using fresh or 1 minute if using thawed frozen. Season lightly with salt and pepper. With a slotted spoon, remove the peas and garlic from the pan and set aside. Leave as much liquid in the pan as possible and add the olive oil to the pan. Add the prosciutto and cook until very lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the arugula in batches, stirring and adding handfuls as it wilts. Add the lemon juice ( and zest). Cook briefly, unitl the greens have wilted.

Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water before draining the pasta. In a large bowl or pot, toss the pasta with the peas, prosciutto, arugula, and grated Parmigiano, along with 1/2 cup of the reserved cooking water. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Toss all the ingredients. If the pasta seems dry, toss with more of the reserved cooking water. When serving the pasta, garnish each serving with a little bit of the parsley and the Parmigiano shavings.

I am so glad I finally made this dish
because it turned out very good.
I will definately make this again.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Turkey Meatballs

It is very important to have a good meatball recipe
being Italian. I remember watching my grandma
make home-made pasta and meatballs when I was younger.
I was always surprised how tender the meatballs turned out.
I wish I knew her secret.
Was it the bread soaked in milk? Was it the mixture
of ground beef and ground lamb? I really don't
know but the meatballs were delicious!

I have been trying to find a really good recipe for
turkey meatballs because I don't eat red meat.
I just tried this recipe by Giada De Laurentiis and
the meatballs were very good.

Turkey Meatballs
by Giada De Laurentiis
1 small onion, grated
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 large egg
1/4 cup dried bread crumbs
3 tablespoons ketchup
1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
1/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 pound ground dark turkey meat
3 tablespoons olive oil

Add the onion, garlic, egg, bread crumbs, ketchup, parsley, Parmesan, Pecorino, salt and pepper to a large bowl and blend. Mix in the turkey. Shape the turkey mixture into 1 1/4-inch-diameter meatballs. Place on a large plate or baking sheet.

Heat the oil in a heavy large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the meatballs and saute until browned on all sides, about 5 minutes. Turn off heat. Transfer the meatballs to a plate. Pour off any excess oil.

Add about three cups of your favorite pasta sauce. Return all the meatballs to the pan. Turn the heat to medium-low and simmer until the sauce thickens slightly and the flavors blend, 15 to 20 minutes. Season the sauce, to taste, with salt and pepper.

Check out these beautiful meatballs:

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Lemon Crinkle Cookies

I am a pretty big fan of lemon desserts.
There are times when I prefer the tart lemon
flavor over chocolate. That probably sounds
crazy to some of you but it is true for me.

I found this recipe on Pinterest. Pinterest has become
another favorite place of mine to find recipes and other
good ideas.
It was posted by Mel from

Lemon Crinkle Cookies
*Makes 2 dozen cookies

1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest (** I added more - 1 TBSP or so)
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice, from about 1/2 lemon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line rimmed baking sheets with silpat liners, parchment or lightly coat with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add vanilla, egg, lemon zest and juice and mix well, scraping down the sides as needed. Add the dry ingredients (except the powdered sugar) and mix until just combined. Place the powdered sugar on a large plate or shallow pie dish. Roll tablespoon-size balls of dough in the powdered sugar to coat. Place on the prepared baking sheets, about 2 inches apart.

Bake the cookies for 9-11 minutes. The cookies will not be browned on the edges but they will have lost a bit of their shininess on top. Don’t overbake! Cool the cookies on a cooling rack and store in an airtight container or eat immediately.

** A couple of things : I added way more lemon zest b/c I love the taste of lemon.
I also had to cook the cookies a little longer than she said. I made the fork pattern that you typically make on top of peanut butter cookies. After taking the cookies out of the oven, I gave them another small dusting of powdered sugar. I would have to say that these cookies were pretty good.

Salmon and Vegetables with a Horseradish Sauce

We just got back from a quick trip to the
Dekalb Farmer's Market. I say quick because
now that I know the store I can write out
my grocery list in order. This helps because
the market is crazy on Saturday and if you
don't know where to find things it takes
forever because of all the people. Everyone
is in a hurry and acting crazy. Today
we managed to get in and out in about 45
minutes, which is awesome, considering we
shop for two weeks worth of groceries.

Now we are back at home with plenty of time
to enjoy the afternoon.

I love it when I find a recipe that is low in
calories but still full of flavor.
This particular recipe is a keeper because it
is also easy to make.

Salmon & Vegetables with Horseradish Sauce
adapted from Cuisine at Home

Fish:Salmon Fillets with skin removed
3/4 cup of julienned carrots
3/4 cup of washed and chopped leeks
3/4 cup of peeled and julienned celery
2 TBSP. of dry vermouth
1 TBSP. of dried oregano
1 TBSP of lemon zest
salt and pepper to taste
olive oil

Preheat the oven to 400. Fold two pieces of parchment paper.
Cut paper so it forms a heart shape when opened. Brush inside
of paper with olive oil. ( I did not have parchment paper so I
cooked my fish in glass baking dish).

Combine the carrot, leeks, celery, oregano and vermouth in a bowl.
Toss to coat the vegetables. In the center of the parment paper,
inside the heart, place the salmon at 90 degree angle over the vegetables.
Sprinkle the lemon zest, salt and pepper on top of the fish.
Fold the paper over and crimp the sides making a tight seal.
Transfer onto a baking sheet. Bake the fish for about 15 minutes.
*(you will have to determine how long to cook your fish based on
the size of your fish ~ my salmon did take a little longer than 15 minutes).

For the Horseradish Sauce:
Whisk together 3 TBSP of sour cream or plain yogurt,
2 - 3 tsp. of horseradish
2 tsp. of minced scallions
salt and pepper

This is a really nice dish. It is light but full of flavor,
especially when you add the Horseradish Sauce.