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

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Parmesan and Cauliflower “Risotto”

Parmesan and Cauliflower "Risotto"

 

My husband is back on the low carb diet so I am back to being creative with cauliflower. This hand mashed cauliflower has the same texture and flavors of a risotto without the rice and carbs. I don’t even think my kids noticed the difference.

Parmesan and Cauliflower “Risotto”

1 head cauliflower cut into florets

1/2 c ricotta cheese

3 T- 1/4 c cream

1/4 cup shredded parmesan

juice of 1/2 lemon ( about 2 T)

salt and pepper

 

Steam or cook cauliflower until fork tender. Drain excess water, Add to a med sized pot and hand mash with a potato masher. Add ricotta, lemon juice, cream (start with 3 T and add more if needed) stir in Parmesan cheese and add salt and pepper to taste. Heat over low until heated through.

Parmesan and Cauliflower "Risotto"

 

Here is a close up of the texture. If you prefer a puree of cauliflower instead just add to a food processor or blender and pulse until smooth.

Parmesan and Cauliflower "Risotto"

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.

Pappardelle Pasta with Peas, Ricotta, and Mint

This is a quick, easy, and light pasta dish. Delicious as a weeknight dinner, a great addition to a brunch or terrific meatless option. If you want to please your meat eaters, try adding, crispy bacon, ham or prosciutto at the end.

1 package pappardelle pasta ( or your favorite shape)

1/2 to 1 c reserved pasta cooking water

1 1/2 c ricotta cheese

1 c frozen peas

2 T fresh mint

1 T fresh lemon juice

1/4 t black pepper

1/2 t salt

crumbled ricotta salata or shaved parmesan for topping

Cook pasta in salted water according to package directions, reserving 1 c pasta water before draining. Add ricotta, peas, mint and lemon juice to a food processor and pulse until combined, stir in salt and pepper.

Toss ricotta mixture and pasta together, add reserved cooking liquid 1/4 cup at a time until sauce is desired consistency. Serve topped with crumbled ricotta salata or shaved parmesan.

Ricotta Meatballs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

1.75 lbs ground meat, (anything would work here, I used a pork, beef  mix)

1/2 c ricotta cheese

1 egg

1 t minced garlic

1T lemon juice

1T 1/2 and 1/2 or milk

1T Italian Seasoning

1/2 t salt

1/8 t black pepper

1 c panko bread crumbs

Mix ingredients together in a large mixing bowl, I use mine hands, make sure you incorporate the ricotta into the meat mixture well.

Roll meat into balls wetting fingers with water to prevent sticking if needed and place on an ungreased cookie sheet, leave room between them so they cook evenly.

Bake for 1/2 hour, or until no longer pink in the center.

Add to pasta or make subs with your favorite sauce, or try making your own.

I like them on a roll with tomato sauce, arugula and asiago cheese, but the possibilities are endless.