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Category Archives: Italian

Spinach & Butternut Squash Lasagna

Spinach & Butternut Squash Lasagna
Cooking Light (found on TheKitchenSinkRecipes.com with slight modifications)
Serves 6 to 8

Ingredients

  • 3 cups skim milk
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup vidalia onion, diced
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 cups (3/4-inch) cubed peeled butternut squash (about 2 1/4 pounds)
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh sage
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 18 ounces of fresh spinach
  • 9 cooked lasagna noodles
  • 1 cup grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 1/2 cup part-skim mozerella cheese

Directions

  1. Cook onion in 1 tsp olive oil and a pinch of salt for 2 minutes or until tender. Reduce heat.
  2. Create a white sauce by mixing  1/4 cup of milk with the 1/4 of flour in a glass measuring cup and whisk well with a wire whisk. Add the reamining milk and whisk well. Slowly add the mixture to the pan until the mixture is smooth, stirring constantly with a whisk.  Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and cook until smooth and thickened. Remove from heat. Cover surface of milk mixture with plastic wrap; set aside.
  3. Preheat oven to 425°.
  4. Place squash in a large bowl. Add vinegar; toss to coat. Add 1 tablespoon oil; toss to coat. Arrange squash in a single layer on a jelly-roll pan coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper,  and sage. Bake at 425° for 30 minutes, stirring after 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350°.
  5. While cooking, combine remaining 2 teaspoons of oil, red pepper, and garlic in a Dutch oven over medium heat; cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add spinach, 1 bag at a time; cook until wilted, stirring frequently. Add remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt; cook until liquid evaporates, stirring frequently.
  6. Mix the cheese together in a bowl. Spoon 1/3 cup milk mixture in bottom of a 13 x 9-inch baking pan coated with cooking spray. Arrange 3 noodles over milk mixture; top with spinach mixture, 2/3 cup milk mixture, 1/2 cup cheese. Arrange 3 noodles over cheese; top with squash mixture, 2/3 cup milk mixture, remaining 1/2 cup cheese. Arrange remaining 3 noodles on top of cheese; spread remaining 1/2 cup milk mixture over noodles. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until bubbly. Let stand 15 minutes before serving.
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Posted by on November 28, 2010 in Favorites, Italian, Pasta

 

Sausage, Sweet Potato, and Spinach Soup

Here is another recipes from The Kitchen Sink Recipes blog. I made this back in the dead of a Wisconsin winter when there was a few inches of snow on the ground and the wind was bitter cold. I substituted spinach for the kale in the original recipe because there was no kale at the local grocery store we went to. Jason loves soup in the winter and this is hands-down, Jason’s favorite. The spice from the sausage penetrates the soup and is calmed by the sweetness of the sweet potato.

Sausage, Sweet Potato, and Spinach Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 cups chopped onion (about 2 large)
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 pound bulk spicy turkey Italian sausage (I used Jennie-O hot sausages)
  • 8 cups coarsely chopped peeled sweet potato (about 2 1/4 pounds)
  • 5 cups water
  • 4 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 bunch spinach, chopped
  • 1 (16-ounce) can chickpeas or white beans, drained and rinsed

Directions

  1. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven or pot over medium-high heat. Add onion; sauté 5 minutes. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt, pepper, and garlic; sauté 1 minute.
  2. Remove casings from sausage; add sausage to pan. Cook 5 minutes or until sausage is lightly browned, stirring to crumble.
  3. Add potato, 5 cups water, and broth; bring to a boil.
  4. Reduce heat, and simmer 8 minutes. Gradually add kale; cook 10 minutes or until tender.
  5. Stir in remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt (to taste) and beans; cook 5 minutes or until thoroughly heated.
 
 

Homemade Ravioli

My first shot at Ravioli!

One day I was at the grocery store and decided I wanted to buy some egg roll wrappers to make some spring rolls. I had always wanted to make my own and figured we would give it a try. However, as the week progressed I decided I wasn’t really in the mood for spring rolls or any Chinese for that matter. So, the wrappers sat in the refrigerator, staring me in the face every time I open the door. As the expiration date neared, I knew I had to do something with them. One Sunday afternoon, I decided I would make “homemade” Ravioli. While the wrappers weren’t homemade, the rest would be!

I looked in the pantry, freezer, and refrigerator to see what I could find. I decided to make a vegetarian version and a meat version. I had made some white beans earlier that week and didn’t need all of them at the time, so I figured I would use that as the base of the filling (killing two birds with one stone, because if I didn’t use the beans, they would also have to be thrown in the garbage). I got out my food processor and started working. I am not positive on the recipe or measurements, but the filling consisted of white beans, spinach, multiple Italian seasonings, onion, and fresh garlic. For the meat version, I added some (cooked) turkey sausage links, and for the vegetarian version, I added some broccoli (those of you who know me know that I can’t get enough broccoli!).

As for the wrappers, they were to large to use as is, so I cut them all in half. I then sat down with the ingredients and a bowl of water to assemble. In the center of each sheet I placed some filling in the lower half of the center of the wrapper and topped it with a slice from some mozzarella string cheese. I then dipped my finger in the water and outlined the filling. Next, I folded the wrapper over, making a sandwich with the filling. I wet my finger again and sealed it shut. To let the ravioli dry and seal, I placed it on some wax paper. About 30 raviolis or so later, I was ready to cook them.
I placed a large stock pot full of water on a stove and heated it until boiling. I then dropped 3-4 raviolis in the pot at a time and lowered the heat to about 7 to 8. I let the raviolis boil for about 3-4 minutes, or until the wrappers looked cooked (you can tell just by looking at them). I used a slotted spoon to remove each ravioli and then ran it under cold water to stop the cooking process. I continued this until all the raviolis were cooked.

Serve the raviolis warm with your favorite tomato sauce, Italian side salad, and crust bread with olive oil!
 
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Posted by on August 3, 2008 in Italian