Thursday, January 29
Just a quick post today to share my new favorite cheese. It’s called ricotta salata and it’s mighty fine.
The kind I buy is from Bel Gioioso. They label the cheese as “The Italian Feta,” which I think is a good description. Salata means “salted,” and that’s basically what this cheese is – ricotta cheese that has been pressed, salted and dried. The texture is very similar to feta, but the flavor is much more mild. Think ricotta with, you guessed it, salt added!
I pretty much put it on every salad I eat now. I can’t get enough. And, unlike feta, my kids are much more likely to eat it sprinkled on their salad, so they can eat the same salad I make for the adults. I’m thinking ricotta salata would be good in other dishes, too, like scrambled eggs or tossed into roasted veggies. Maybe it’s time I start experimenting, but, honestly, I go through enough of the stuff with just salads!
Tuesday, April 8
For our very first date, Nate and I went to the Davis Square Bertucci’s in Somerville, MA. Once we were married, if we ever went out to a restaurant (which was rare), it was usual to Bertucci’s or John Harvard’s. I think one of the reasons I love Bertucci’s so much is because of our personal history associated with it, but I still love going to that restaurant whenever we can because they do make some good food. Those dinner rolls and that margherita pizza…YUMMMMM.
One of those times early in our marriage when we went to Bertucci’s I ordered a tortellini dish that was served with sausage, mushrooms in a light cream tomato sauce. This was one of the very first restaurant copycat recipes I created at home and definitely one of the first things I cooked that gave me some confidence in the kitchen.
It’s been years since I’ve made what we call Bertucci’s Tortellini, but I threw it on the menu a few weeks ago and IT WAS SO GOOD. I made sure to write down measurements for you since the recipe I had posted on the site was pretty lame and directionless.
This is a nice and easy dinner to prepare that tastes wonderful. (I think I had thirds the other night.) The only thing missing from this recipe is Bertucci’s dinner rolls!
Tuesday, March 29
Our girls love spaghetti and meatballs. In fact, if there is ground beef in a dish and we tell them it’s meatballs, they’ll eat it. So, instead of doing a meat sauce for our spaghetti last night, I decided to spend a few extra minutes and make some actual meatballs for my cuties. And they were delighted. They barely ate the spaghetti, which normally disappears within minutes!
When Nate came home and started eating, I of course immediately pestered him with, “How are the meatballs?” He told me, “They’re really good! What kind of meat did you use?” I told him just ground beef and he was shocked! Nate was certain I must have used more than one kind of meat because the flavor was so good. Meatball success!
So, here’s what I did. It’s simple. It’s easy. It’s tasty.On Top of SpaghettiAuthor: Jane MaynardIngredients
- 1 lb ground beef (I used 85/15 this time around)
- ½ cup bread crumbs
- 1 egg, beaten
- ½ teaspoon basil
- ½ teaspoon oregano
- ½ teaspoon parsley
- ½ teaspoon dried diced onions
- 1 fresh garlic clove, minced or pushed through a garlic press
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4-5 cups prepared tomato sauce (homemade or jarred)
- 1 package spaghetti
- Mix all ingredients (except tomato sauce and spaghetti) together by hand. Form into 1″ – 1-1/2″ balls (I think mine were closer to 1-1/2″ and I ended up with 38 meatballs).
- Heat 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium to medium-high heat. Brown meatballs in oil, constantly rotating, until all sides are browned. Reduce heat to medium-low and add tomato sauce. Simmer for 15-20 minutes (make sure heat is high enough so sauce is simmering). While meatballs are simmering, prepare spaghetti according to package instructions. Serve sauce and meatballs over spaghetti. And be sure not to sneeze…those meatballs have been known to roll off the table and onto the floor.
Wednesday, January 31Real Simple LasagnaPrep timeCook timeTotal timeThe original recipe is from Real Simple magazine, but it really is ‘real simple’!Author: Jane MaynardRecipe type: Main Dish, PastaIngredients
- 1 26-ounce jar pasta sauce
- 1 18-ounce bag frozen large cheese ravioli, unthawed
- 1 10-ounce box frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry OR 1 small package fresh spinach, chopped and sauteed until wilted
- Optional: Pancetta and/or roasted veggies
- 1 8-ounce bag shredded mozzarella
- ½ cup (about 2 ounces) grated Parmesan
- Heat oven to 350° F.
- Spread ⅓ of the sauce into a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Layer 12 ravioli on top of the sauce.
- Lay the spinach (and pancetta and/or roasted veggies if using) and half the mozzarella on top of the ravioli.
- Add another layer of ravioli then top with the remaining sauce, the rest of the mozzarella, and the Parmesan cheese.
- Cover with foil and bake for 25 minutes. Uncover 5-10 more minutes, until bubbly.