Greek Pasta Casserole

Greek Pasta

 

Think of this as a Greek Bolognese Sauce, it is a hearty and comforting dish. I served it with a salad of lettuce, radishes and beets and toasted pita with garlic.

Greek Pasta Casserole

16 oz of cooked pasta ( I used rigatoni)

1 lb ground Turkey (you could use lamb, beef or chicken)

1 can diced tomatoes (Undrained)

2 c chopped fresh spinach

2 T greek seasoning

2 cloves garlic chopped

2 T red wine vinegar

1 c cream

1 c crumbled feta

1 c mozzarella cheese

in a large skillet saute ground turkey until no longer pink, add 1 T greek seasoning, garlic, and spinach, cook over med until spinach is wilted and add tomatoes and vinegar.

Greek Pasta

Mix together with drained pasta and add to a large 9×12 baking dish. Add cream and feta and mozzarella cheese and remaining Greek Seasoning.

Greek Pasta

 

Cover with foil and bake at 350 for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally so pasta on top doesn’t get dry. Sauce will thicken and cheese will melt.

Greek Pasta

Greek Pasta

 

 

 

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Baked Pumpkin and Sage Ziti

Baked Pumpkin and Sage Ziti

 

I love pumpkin ravioli but who has time or energy to make that, get all the flavor with none of the work with this baked ziti dish.

Baked Pumpkin and Sage Ziti

1 16 0z package of ziti or other pasta cooked and drained

2 c pumpkin puree

2 c ricotta cheese

1/4 c  shredded parmesan cheese

1 T honey

1 egg

1/2 t ground nutmeg

1 T chopped fresh sage

1 T butter

1/2 t salt

1/4 t pepper

1/4 c shredded mozzarella cheese

While pasta is cooking, mix pumpkin, ricotta and parmesan cheeses, honey, egg, nutmeg and sage in a bowl. When pasta is done drain and return to pot, add butter and stir over low heat until melted. Add pumpkin/cheese mixture and stir until evenly mixed. Stir in salt and pepper. Add to a large baking pan and sprinkle with shredded mozzarella. Bake for 20 min at 325 or until cheese is melted.

Baked Pumpkin and Sage Ziti

 

Baked Pumpkin and Sage Ziti

 

Baked Pumpkin and Sage Ziti

 

Baked Pumpkin and Sage Ziti

Are You Ready For Some Football?: Buffalo Chicken Meatballs

Buffalo Chicken Meatball Sandwiches

It is football season, time for tailgates and parties. Here is an easy recipe that will please a crowd on the weekend or your family on the weeknight.

Buffalo Chicken Meatballs

2 lbs ground chicken

1/3 c blue cheese crumbles

1/2 c panko bread crumbs

2 T buttermilk ( you can use regular milk and add 1 t vinegar)

3 T hot sauce

1 t minced garlic

1/4 c chopped onion

1 T Italian seasoning

1 t salt

1/4 t pepper

1 c  buffalo wing sauce (We made our own, melt 1/2 stick butter, add 1 t minced garlic, 1 c hot sauce, and 2 t brown sugar, stir)

Preheat oven to 350. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. form into balls and place on a cookie sheet. Bake for about 20-25 minutes or until no longer pink. Toss with wing sauce in a large bowl. Serve on toasted buns with blue cheese and lettuce. Add shredded mozzarella cheese if desired.

Buffalo Chicken Meatballs

Buffalo Chicken Meatballs

Buffalo Chicken Meatballs

Buffalo Chicken Meatball Sandwiches

** Entertaining tip, add meatballs and wing sauce into a crock pot and set on warm. Or make smaller sized meatballs and serve as appetizers with a side of blue cheese dressing.

Food Trend: Burrata Cheese Salad with Basil Honey Vinaigrette

Burrata Cheese Salad with Basil Honey Vinaigrette

 

Burrata cheese is popping up on menus all over town. What is it? Pure indulgence, it is fresh mozzarella cheese filled with shredded mozzarella cheese that has been soaked in cream. Here is my recipe for a delicious salad using the best that summer has to offer. Make sure you use good ripe tomatoes for this recipe.

Burrata Cheese Salad with Basil Honey Vinaigrette

makes 1 dinner or 2 appetizer portions

For the vinaigrette

2 T fresh Basil leaves

1 T honey

2 T balsamic vinegar

1 T olive oil

salt and pepper

Mix the above ingredients in a blender until smooth.

 

Salad

1 vine ripened tomato sliced

1 c spring mix greens

2 T thinly sliced radish

2 t sliced fresh basil

1 T pepitas ( roasted pumpkin seeds)

1 ball Burrata cheese

Layer greens, and tomatoes on a plate, sprinkle sliced radishes, pepitas and chopped basil on top. drizzle with Basil Honey Vinaigrette and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Burrata Cheese Salad with Basil Honey Vinaigrette

Burrata Cheese Salad with Basil Honey Vinaigrette

 

Lasagna Supreme : Just Like the Pizza but Better

Lasagna Supreme: Just Like the Pizza but Better

 

All the flavors of a supreme pizza in a lasagna.

Supreme Lasagna

1 package no cook lasagna noodles

1 lb ricotta cheese

1 T  chopped fresh oregano

1 T chopped fresh basil

2 eggs

1 t salt

1/4 t pepper

4 hot italian sausage links (I used Turkey sausage)

1 green pepper sliced

1 c sliced onion

1 c sliced mushrooms

1 large jar marinara sauce

2 c shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 400. in a large bowl mix ricotta, oregano, basil, eggs, salt and pepper and 1 c shredded mozzarella cheese.  Cut open casing of sausage and squeeze meat into a large saute pan, cook over med high heat until no longer pink. Add onion and green pepper and cook until onion is translucent, add mushroom and cook until slightly soft. Drain any liquid from pan.

Lasagna Supreme: Just Like the Pizza but Better

 

Using a large spoon, put approx 1/4 c of marinara sauce on the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish. Add one layer of noodles, then 1/3 ricotta mixture, a layer of sauce about 1 c and then 1/2 of the sausage mixture. Add another layer of noodles, 1/3 ricotta mixture, 1 c sauce, then noodles. The 1/3 ricotta mixture,  1 c sauce , 1/2 sausage mixture, and then noodles. Cover noodles with sauce and remaining mozzarella cheese and cover with foil. (The middle layer will be just cheese)

Lasagna Supreme: Just Like the Pizza but Better

Lasagna Supreme: Just Like the Pizza but Better

 

Bake for 30 minutes with foil on, then remove and cook 15 minutes more or until cheese is melted and golden. Let sit at room temperature at least 15 minutes before cutting.

Lasagna Supreme: Just Like the Pizza but Better

 

Lasagna Supreme: Just Like the Pizza but Better

Pepperoni and Cheese Stuffed Shells

 

Add a little zip to your stuffed shells recipe with pepperoni and arugula.

Pepperoni and Cheese Stuffed Shells

12 oz box of large shell shaped pasta

2 lb container of ricotta cheese

2 eggs

2 cups chopped pepperoni

3 c grated mozzarella cheese

1/4 c chopped arugula

1 T lemon juice

1 t lemon zest

2 T chopped basil

1 t crushed red pepper

1 t salt

1/2 t ground black pepper

1 1/2 c grated parmesan cheese

1 jar of your favorite tomato sauce

In a large pot boil shells until done, drain and rinse with cold water. Meanwhile prepare filling in a large mixing bowl. Add ricotta cheese, eggs, 1 cup pepperoni, arugula, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt, pepper, 1 cup parmesan cheese and 1 1/2 c mozzarella cheese, stir until combined.

Pre heat oven to 350. Pour about 1/2 c of tomato sauce onto the bottom of a large glass casserole pan to prevent shells from sticking. Use a heaping tablespoon to stuff each past shell with cheese mixture. Line them up in your casserole pan.

Top with tomato sauce and remaining pepperoni, mozzarella and parmesan cheese.

 

Bake for about 30 minutes or until sauce is bubbling and cheese is melted. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes and serve. Top with chopped basil and arugula if desired.

Make Your Own Pizza Night: Pear, Blue Cheese, and Caramelized Onion Flatbreads

We have “make your own pizza night” every couple of weeks at our house. It’s an easy weeknight meal that gets the whole family involved, uses up some leftovers and gives us a chance to be creative. We use all different kinds of things for crust from pre made doughs, pitas, tortillas, Naan, and pre made bread crusts. Whatever happens to be on sale or leftover from the week’s dinners can become a canvas. This weeks winner was a flat bread topped with thinly sliced pears, blue cheese, caramelized onions and fresh arugula.

Pear, Blue Cheese and Caramelized Onion Flatbread

4 flatbreads (we used round ones found in the deli section of our supermarket)

1 sweet yellow onion sliced

2 T butter

2 c mozzarella or Monterey jack cheese

3 T blue cheese crumbled (use the good stuff here)

1 large ripe pear sliced thin

2 cups arugula

1 t lemon juice

olive oil

salt and pepper

Add 2 T butter to a med sized pan, melt over med high heat, add sliced onions and cook over med low for about 30 minutes or until onions are caramelized. This is a slow and tedious process but you will be rewarded with flavor. Pre heat oven to 400 degrees. spread about 1 tsp of olive oil on each flat bread, I used a pastry brush, but a paper towel will also work. Cover the inner circle with about 1/3 c mozzarella or monterey jack cheese. Top the flatbreads with caramelized onion, pears and blue cheese. Bake in oven for about 5  minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbling. Toss arugula with 1/2 T olive oil, lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste.

Cut and serve.

I’m a Little Bit Country: Classic Tomato Pie

As much as I like big bold flavors and exotic dishes, sometimes I just have to get back to my roots. Born and raised in the South, comfort cooking will always have a place in my heart and kitchen. One of my favorite recipes is old-fashioned tomato pie. I love this easy, take anywhere, dish. The tomatoes have been good here the last couple of weeks so I decided to whip one up. These are great for a vegetarian dinner, bring along to a potluck, picnic or party or as a side to some classic southern fried chicken.

1 9″ pie crust cooked ( I used the frozen variety)

2 large ripe tomatoes sliced

2 T chopped fresh basil

1 c mayonnaise

1/2 c cheddar cheese

1/2 c mozzarella cheese

1 T chopped chives

Salt

Cut tomatoes in slices, place in colander and sprinkle with salt. Let sit for about 20 min, so juices run out. Preheat over to 350.

Place a layer tomatoes in bottom of cooked pie crust

Sprinkle with chopped basil, then repeat with another layer of tomatoes and basil.

Mix mayo, chives and cheeses in a medium sized bowl

Spoon mounds of the mixture on top of the pie

Then smooth out evenly over pie and bake for 30 minutes or until top is browned.

Let cool before slicing, serve warm or at room temperature.