Archives for category: Italian

Here’s an awesome slow cooker recipe that is Whole30 compliant: Slow Cooker Turkey Meatballs and Marinara. Nestle some browned meatballs in a homemade red sauce in your slow cooker and let it do its thing. Serve over baked spaghetti squash, or spiralized zucchini “noodles” AKA zoodles.

turkey-meatballs-and-homemade-marinara-crock-pot-slow-cooker-recipe

WHAT YOU NEED:

Marinara Sauce

  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1.5 cups finely diced sweet onion
  • 1.5 cups finely diced carrots
  • 4-5 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 (28oz.) cans crushed tomatoes
  • 1-2 cans (6 oz. each) tomato paste
  • 1.5 Tbsp. dried basil
  • 1.5 Tbsp. dried oregano
  • 1.5 Tbsp. sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1.5 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 3 bay leaves

Turkey Meatballs

  • 4 lbs. ground turkey
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 Tbsp. coconut flour
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tsp. sea salt
  • 2 tsp. onion powder
  • 2 tsp. dried basil
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper

WHAT YOU DO:

To make the marinara sauce:

  • Heat a large skillet over med-high heat. Add olive oil, onion, carrots and garlic. Sauté veggies until carrots soften, approx. 5 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a 6-qt slow cooker.
  • Wipe out skillet and set aside to use for browning the meatballs.
  • Add remaining marinara sauce ingredients to slow cooker then whisk to combine.

To make the meatballs:

  • Put all of the ingredients for the turkey meatballs in a large mixing bowl. Using a fork (or hands if you’re into that, ha), combine the ingredients. Divide mixture to form approximately meatballs. (a 2-Tablespoon cookie scoop helps)
  • Reheat the skillet over med-high heat. Add a tablespoon of olive oil. Working in batches, lightly brown all sides of the meatballs in the hot skillet (3-4 minutes per batch). Add more olive oil to the skillet as needed to complete the browning process. Place browned meatballs on a paper towel-lined baking sheet to absorb any excess oil.
  • Place browned meatballs in marinara sauce in slow cooker. Cover and cook on low 6-8 hours.
  • To serve, place cooked meatballs in serving bowl. Discard bay leaves. For more fresh garlic flavor, season sauce with 2-3 more cloves of minced garlic.
  • Optional: Place marinara sauce on spiralized zucchini “noodles” or baked spaghetti squash. Top with meatballs and enjoy.
  • You can freeze or refrigerate leftovers for quick future meals.

MAKE-AHEAD OPTION if you want to partially prep this recipe, cook the veggies as instructed above, transfer them to a freezer-safe container, and freeze. Prepare the meatballs using the recipe above until browned. Place browned meatballs on a parchment-lined baking sheet and put into the freezer to “flash freeze.” Once they’re frozen solid, transfer them to a freezer-safe container and freeze. When you’re ready to prepare this recipe, just add the frozen, prepped ingredients to the slow cooker.

recipe adapted from Whole30.com
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Homemade Slow Cooker Marinara Sauce

slow-cooker-homemade-marinara-sauce-recipe

I’m all about Whole30 recipes lately. They are healthy and delicious, full of clean eating foods, and fresh ingredients. Here’s an easy way to make a big batch of marinara sauce, perfect for spiralized zucchini noodles AKA zoodles, or baked spaghetti squash. The best part is you can freeze the leftovers in individual portions for later. Yay!

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1  1/2 c. chopped onion
  • 1  1/2 c. finely diced carrots
  • 4-5 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 cans (28 oz. each) crushed tomatoes
  • 6 oz. tomato paste
  • 1  1/2 Tbsp. dried basil
  • 1  1/2 Tbsp. dried oregano
  • 1 Tbsp. sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1  1/2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 3 bay leaves

WHAT YOU DO:

  • Heat a large skillet over med-high heat. Add olive oil, onion, carrots and garlic. Sauté veggies until carrots soften, approximately 5 minutes or so.
  • Transfer the mixture to a 6-quart slow cooker. (I use crock pot liners so there’s less mess to clean later)
  • Add remaining marinara sauce ingredients to slow cooker then whisk to combine. Cover and cook on low for 4-6 hours, stirring occasionally.

This makes a thick, somewhat chunky sauce, which I love. If you prefer a thinner sauce however, you can use an immersion blender to thin it out.

Freezing Instructions: Prepare as instructed above. Cool sauce to room temperature, then ladle into freezer-safe containers or ziplock freezer bags (in 1 or 2 cup portions, depending on how much you will need at a time). Before serving, thaw sauce in refrigerator overnight. Or, empty frozen sauce in a saucepan and heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally until sauce comes to a simmer.

Slow Cooker

recipe adapted from Whole30.com

I am officially obsessed with handmade pasta! You need only a few simple ingredients and the combinations of flavors, herbs, spices, and fillings you can add are endless. The kids love cranking out the pasta into sheets, and noodles, and cutting ravioli shapes. Here’s some ravioli we made with my favorite red sauce:

Cheese Stuffed Ravioli Recipe with Red Wine Marinara Sauce Recipe - pasta dough with just 2 ingredients!
WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 5 large eggs
  • 3 ½ cups (14 oz.) all-purpose flour, plus any additional needed for dusting/kneading
  • 1 container ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • optional: grated cheese for topping
  • Red Wine Marinara Sauce

WHAT YOU DO:

STEP 1. MAKE THE DOUGH

MIX: Mound the flour in the center of your work surface. Using your hands, make a well in the middle that will be wide enough and deep enough to hold 4 eggs. Add 4 eggs (save 1 egg for the filling), and add any optional liquids or flavoring (for example chopped spinach, or ½ cup dry white wine, and/or herbs and spices such as basil or parsley). Using a fork, beat the eggs (and any liquids/flavors). Gradually incorporate small amounts of flour from the sides of the well as you go, until all the flour is mixed in. This will be a lumpy mess, but the next step will take care of that.

KNEAD: Knead for 3 minutes or so. If the dough is really sticky, add a little more flour. The dough should be slightly springy and just a tiny bit sticky. Knead for 10 additional minutes until the dough becomes smooth. Wrap ball-shaped dough in plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature, for an hour or so.

STEP 2. WHILE THE DOUGH RESTS, MAKE THE FILLING
In a bowl, mix together the ricotta cheese, 1 lightly-beaten egg, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, and salt and pepper to taste. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

STEP 3. After dough has rested, roll into sheets. I used a hand-crank pasta machine, but you could use a rolling pin and flour as well.

Place dough sheets on work surface and place dollops of ricotta cheese every few inches. Wet the dough with a few drops of water around each cheese, then place a second dough sheet on top, and seal with your fingers. I used a cutter to cut out square shapes (a roller tool or knife would work well too). If you want to get really gadget-y (ha) I have also seen molds/forms for homemade ravioli.

STEP 4. COOK

Bring 6-8 quarts of salted water to a rapid boil. Add pasta, and boil until firm but not mushy (fresh pasta only takes a few minutes). Drain and serve with red wine marinara sauce.

adapted from The Splendid Table: Recipes from Emilia-Romagna, the Heartland of Northern Italian Food by Lynne Rossetto Kasper

Here’s a delicious risotto recipe I tried. It is creamy and delicious, with three cheeses: fontina, mozzarella, and parmesan; and a touch of white wine.

THREE CHEESE RISOTTO RECIPE:

Three Cheese Risotto Recipe

WHAT YOU NEED:

3 c. chicken broth
2 Tbs. butter
1/2 medium yellow onion, diced
1 c. Arborio rice
1/4 c. dry white wine
1/2 c. freshly shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 c. freshly shredded fontina cheese
1/2 c. freshly shredded parmesan cheese
salt and pepper, to taste

WHAT YOU DO:

In a saucepan, heat broth over medium heat. Lower heat a little while you prepare the rice in a large pan. (I used the back burner for the broth and the front burner for the rice so it was easy to ladle in the broth.)

Melt butter in a large pan over medium heat.

Stir in onions and cook until they are translucent, approximately 5 minutes or so.

Stir in rice just until it is coated in the butter. Do not brown.

Pour in wine and cook until wine absorbs.

Pour in one ladle of hot chicken broth.

Stir consistently until liquid is absorbed. Repeat process, one ladle at a time, until all broth has been absorbed by the rice.

Remove from heat. Stir in cheeses until they melt. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Let stand a few minutes. Serve.

recipe adapted from lifesambrosia.com

 

P.S. Here’s a show and tell of my new ladle, which was perfect for adding in the broth as I went: Nessie!!!

 

Have leftovers? Use them in some cheesy fried risotto goodness!

Arancini di Riso - Cheesy Risotto Balls - Delicious way to use leftover risotto!

 

Italian Lasagna with Red Sauce Recipe – I took an Italian cooking class and learned how to make red sauce, and different types of lasagna. The instructor gave us recipes and some cooking tips and then we got to make some and bring them home. YUM.

This was my favorite:

Best lasagna recipe ever - includes freezer instructions - Not sure why but they always taste better the next day as leftovers!

I have since made a bunch of these, and froze some for later. Gotta love freezer meals!

If you want, you could use ground turkey instead; or even vegetables for a meatless option (just saute zucchini, broccoli, and carrots, and use them in place of the meat) and add a little pesto to the cheese mixture.

I used two 8×8″ pans, but if you want to make one batch just use a 9×13″ pan with the same recipe.

When I made the two 8×8 lasagnas, I baked one and froze the other for later.

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 2 lbs. ground beef (or Italian sausage; or a mixture of both)
  • Red sauce (see recipe below)
  • 15 oz. whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 2 cups (or more if you’re a cheese lover) shredded mozzarella
  • 1/2 c. grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 package (approximately 12 oz) oven ready “no cook” lasagna noodles
  • Fresh Italian parsley, to taste, chopped

WHAT YOU DO:

Brown meat in a skillet and drain grease. Stir in the red sauce and heat through.

Combine ricotta cheese, grated Pecorino Romano, eggs, and parsley in a mixing bowl and set aside.

Evenly spread the meat sauce in a the bottom of a 9×13″ pan OR two 8×8″ pans. Layer lasagna noodles on top, then spread on some of the cheese mixture and cover with meat sauce. Top with shredded mozzarella, and repeat for one or two more layers.

If preparing lasagna right away: Bake in preheated oven at 375ºF for 30-40 minutes until cheese is golden (cover with foil for the first 20-25 minutes or so then uncover until done).

If freezing for later: Wrap unbaked lasagna in foil/plastic wrap and label. Freeze. To prepare, thaw and bake at 375ºF for 30-40 minutes until cheese is golden (cover with foil for the first 20-25 minutes or so then uncover until done).

Italian Red Sauce - so easy and fresh and homemade - includes an awesome lasagna recipe - I make giant batches and freeze for later

FOR THE RED SAUCE:

  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh Italian parsley
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups tomato puree
  • 1 cup crushed Italian tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon oregano
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • sea salt, to taste
  • pinch of brown sugar (weird I know!)

Heat EVOO in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion and saute until translucent for 8 minutes or so. Add parsley and garlic and cook just enough to release fragrance (don’t let the garlic burn).

Add red wine and cook for approximately 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, basil, oregano, red pepper, salt, and brown sugar.

Simmer briskly until reduced to a sauce-like consistency and stir occasionally to keep the sauce from sticking to the bottom of the pan.

Stuffed Italian Deli Bread

Hello cheesy, baked, stuffed bread goodness! This loaf contains everything you love from an Italian deli: delicious bread, salami, pepperoncinis, mozzarella, and provolone. I can’t wait to make this in the summer on the grill, and even better, with pepperoncinis from our garden. It was a pretty easy recipe too – you just mix up the spread, spread it on, stuff it, and bake it.

Stuffed Italian Deli Bread Recipe - full of salami, provolone, mozzarella, and pepperoncinis.

Stuffed Italian Deli Bread

WHAT YOU NEED:
1 loaf Italian bread (I used poppy seed)
1 c. mayonnaise
1/2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp dried parsley
4-5 basil leaves, chopped
1 tsp oregano
1/4 c. pepperoncini pepper slices
1 Tbs pepperoncini brine from the jar
1 pkg. sliced salami
1 pkg. sliced provolone
1 pkg. sliced mozzarella

WHAT YOU DO:

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Slice the bread into the size of pieces you want, but don’t cut all the way through the bottom.

In a small bowl, combine mayo, onion powder, garlic powder, parsley, basil, oregano, and pepperoncini brine. Mix until combined. Spread the mixture in between the sliced parts of bread.

Alternating provolone and mozzarella cheeses, insert a slice of cheese into each cut. Add salami into the slices, then pepperoncinis.

Wrap the entire loaf tightly with foil. Place on a baking sheet and bake 25-30 mins, or until the outside is crispy and cheese has melted.

recipebookandmore.wordpress.com

recipe adapted from baconbuttercheesegarlic.blogspot.com

Stuffed Italian Deli Bread Recipe - just mix, spread, stuff with salami, provolone, and mozzarella then bake.