Handmade Cavatelli

Today we are making Cavatelli!  Similar to gnocchi, it is one of the easiest pasta shapes to create at home.  It is a relaxing process, and in my mind I am transported back to a time when Italian ladies gathered around the table shaping pasta by hand for Sunday Pranzo.  Once you get into the rhythm, assembly goes quickly.  4 Servings.

Ingredients:

  • 1 egg
  • 8 oz. part skim ricotta
  • 90 g. semolina flour (about 1/2 cup)
  • 90 g. whole wheat pastry flour (about 1/2 cup)
  • 180 g. “00″ flour (about 1 cup)
  • pinch of salt
  • 2-3 tbsp. ice water

* Note: as an alternative you can use 2 cups of All Purpose Flour

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To mix the dough, whisk together the egg and ricotta with a pinch of salt.  Then, in the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment gradually add the flour mixture.  Add ice water, one tablespoon at a time if needed to bring the dough together.  It will look crumbly, like this.

Handmade Cavatelli The Extruded Noodle 005aKnead the dough by hand for a few minutes and form into a ball.

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Now wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let it rest for 30 minutes.  Don’t skip this step!

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After 30 minutes, look how the dough has changed.  Soft and well hydrated, the dough is ready for rolling.

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Use a bench knife to divide the dough into 4 equal pieces.

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Work with one section at a time, keeping the rest covered in plastic wrap so the dough does not dry out.  Roll each section into 2 ropes, 1/2″ thick and 1 ft. long.

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Use a bench knife to cut the rope into pieces about 1/2″ thick.

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Next, use the palm of your hand to roll each piece into a 2″ cylinder, like this.

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Now they resemble the familiar cavatelli shape, and we are ready for the final step.

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Using a butter knife, make an indentation in the center.

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Now roll from side to side in a “C” motion.  I used a gnocchi board to create ridges, but you can certainly shape them with butter knife alone.

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See that?

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Now that you have learned the process, continue rolling, cutting and shaping the cavatelli.  Place them on a large tray lined with wax paper and sprinkle with just a little flour.

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Look how beautiful!

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Place the cavatelli in the refrigerator for about an hour.  You can store in the refrigerator for several days, or freeze them.   When ready to cook, bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil.  Add the pasta and cook for 4 minutes, don’t overcook!  The cavatelli will float to the top when done.

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Drain well and transfer to a serving platter.  They look fantastic!

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Top with your favorite sauce.  Here I’ve prepared an easy meat sauce with crushed tomatoes, garlic and Italian sausage.

Handmade Cavatelli The Extruded Noodle 067aFinish with parsley and grated cheese.  What a meal!  Three of us polished this off along with homemade bread.  I will be making this again very soon, I think it would be the perfect primo piatto for Easter dinner!  Give it a try at your house.  Your comments are welcomed.

The Extruded Noodle ©

joycebug

 

Posted in Pasta | Leave a comment

Cabbage Soup

It’s still snowing here in New England this morning and soup is on the stove!  We bought a beautiful large head of cabbage this week for our corned beef dinner and it didn’t all fit in the crock-pot.  If you too have some extra cabbage in your fridge, here is an easy recipe to use up the leftovers!

Cabbage Soup The Extruded Noodle 014aIngredients:

  • 1/2 lb. lean ground beef
  • olive oil
  • 2 large carrots
  • 4 celery stalks
  • 1/2 medium sweet onion
  • 28 oz. can whole peeled tomatoes
  • 1 beef bouillon cube
  • 3 cups stock (beef, chicken or vegetable)
  • 8 cups shredded cabbage
  • sage
  • thyme
  • red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper
  • 2-3 cups water
  • 1 cup soup pasta

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Preparation:

Use a heavy stock pot or dutch oven.  Brown the ground beef in a little olive oil.  Season with salt and pepper.

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Dice the carrots, celery and onion and add to the pot with a little more olive oil.  Cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.  Shred the cabbage.

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Crush the tomatoes (use your hands) and add to the pot.

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Now stir in the stock, sage, thyme, pepper flakes, bouillon and 2 cups water, and bring to a low simmer.  Add all of the cabbage, cover and cook on low for 3 hours.

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Stir every half hour and add more water, 1 cup at a time if needed.  Soup is done when the cabbage is tender.

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Cook the pasta according to the package directions and add to the pot.  If needed, add some of the pasta water to the soup.

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This is a hearty and filling soup that can be a great first course or a meal by itself.  We’ll be enjoying this batch for several days as we wait for the sun to return!

 The Extruded Noodle ©

joycebug

 

Posted in Comfort Food, Eat your Vegetables, Soup | Leave a comment

Scallops and Shrimp in Puff Pastry

Welcome Spring!  Today we are making an elegant dish of seared scallops and shrimp with petite peas and rainbow carrots.  All served in a puff pastry shell and drizzled with a white wine butter sauce.  I love that most of the ingredients can be purchased in the freezer section.  This means I can buy ahead and have everything on hand when I’m ready to get cooking.  Our summertime farmer’s markets are still many weeks away, but when in season the beautiful rainbow carrots and baby peas can be purchased fresh.  4 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 sheet of puff pastry dough
  • 2 tbsp. egg whites
  • 1/2 lb. bay scallops
  • 8 medium shrimp
  • 1 tbsp. flour
  • 1 cup rainbow carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 1/2 cup baby peas
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 6 tbsp. butter, divided
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • fresh chives and 4 thyme sprigs for garnish

Preparation:

Lay the puff pastry sheet on a cutting board and cut out 4 circles approximately 4″.  Using a smaller cutter, score a 1″ border inside each circle, don’t cut all the way through.  If you don’t have cookie or biscuit cutters use round plastic containers or lids (I used 2 Rubbermaid containers).

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Transfer the circles to a baking sheet lined with parchment.  Brush with beaten egg white and bake 20 minutes at 350º.

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Cool slightly then use a sharp knife to remove the “tops” of the shells.

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Melt 2 tbsp. butter in a medium skillet. Cook the thawed vegetables until heated through.

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Transfer the veggies to a bowl and keep warm.  Pat the scallops and shrimp dry with a paper towel.

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Dust with flour.  This will help get a good sear and thicken the sauce.

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Add 4 tbsp. butter to the skillet and cook the scallops and shrimp for about 3 minutes, turning once.  Use a slotted spoon to remove the seafood to a bowl, leaving any remaining butter and liquid in the pan.  Add the shallots and wine and cook for several minutes, whisking frequently until the sauce thickens.

To plate, place one puff pastry shell in a serving bowl.  Spoon in 1/4 of the vegetables and top with 1/4 of the scallops and 2 shrimp.  Drizzle with sauce.

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Finish with minced chives and sprig of thyme.  Top with the pastry shell “lid”.

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What a beautiful presentation!  Shown here with a side of Mushroom Risotto this was a surprisingly filling meal.  A stunning romantic dinner for two, or double the recipe for a spring dinner party.

Inspired by Tyler Florence, one of my absolute favorite TV foodie personalities!

The Extruded Noodle ©

joycebug

Posted in Seafood | Leave a comment

Crock-Pot Corned Beef and Cabbage

Make this traditional Crock-Pot Corned Beef and Cabbage for St. Paddy’s Day!  Let your crock-pot do all the heavy lifting and enjoy this dish when you get home from work.  If you bought a corned beef brisket then the spice bundle is completely optional.  Some briskets do come with their own spice packet, but if yours doesn’t just follow the easy instructions and make your own! 4 Servings

Ingredients:

  • 2 lb. corned beef brisket
  • 1 head cabbage
  • 2 medium potatoes
  • 4 large carrots
  • 1 large sweet onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 3 cups water
  • 1.5 tsp. cider vinegar
  • 1.5 tbsp. sugar

For the spices:

  • 1 tbsp. mustard seed
  • 1 tbsp. coriander seed
  • 1 tbsp. peppercorns
  • 2 tsp. fennel seeds
  • 2 bay leaf
  • 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1 whole clove
  • 2 allspice berries

Place all of the spices in a tea ball, or tie them up in cheesecloth. Corned Beef and Cabbage The Extruded Noodle 001a Peel and chop the potatoes, carrots and onion into large chunks.  Cut the cabbage into wedges.  Arrange the potatoes, carrots and onion on the bottom of the crock-pot.

Corned Beef and Cabbage The Extruded Noodle 004a Rinse off the brisket and place on top of the vegetables.  If your brisket is more than 2 lbs. you may want to cut it in half.

Corned Beef and Cabbage The Extruded Noodle 010a Arrange the cabbage wedges around the meat and pour the liquid over everything.  Submerge the tea ball or cheesecloth bundle in the liquid.  Cook on low setting for 9 hours.

Corned Beef and Cabbage The Extruded Noodle 013a It’s that easy.  Remove the spice bundle and transfer the corned beef to a cutting board.  Slice and arrange on a serving platter with the vegetables.

Crockot Corned Beef and Cabbage The Extruded Noodle

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

The Extruded Noodle ©

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Shrimp with Fennel and Farfalle

Farfalle, one of my favorite pasta shapes made from scratch right here in our kitchen!  Tossed with shrimp, diced tomatoes, fennel and garlic.  Mmmmmm, you’re going to want to try this one!

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Ingredients:

For the pasta

  • 75 g. whole wheat pastry flour
  • 65 g. semolina flour
  • 67 g. Italian “00″ flour
  • 1/8″ salt
  • 1 egg
  • 5-6 tbsp. ice water

For the sauce

  • olive oil
  • 1/2 fennel bulb
  • 1/2 sweet onion
  • 3 large garlic cloves
  • salt and pepper
  • red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp. dried basil
  • 28 oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • pinch of basil
  • 1/2 lb. cooked shrimp
  • 1 tbsp. flour
  • 2 tbsp. toasted pignoli
  • fresh basil for finishing

Preparation:

To start the pasta, combine the flours and salt.  You know that I love my whole grains, but you can use all bread flour if you like.  Just be sure that you have 207 g. total flour by weight.  Whisk the egg in the bowl of a stand mixer.  Switch to the paddle attachment and gradually add the flour and just enough water to form a dry crumbly dough.

Divide the dough into 4 pieces and use a pasta roller to roll each section into a thin sheet.  I used my KitchenAid® pasta roller attachment for this step.

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Lay the sheets of pasta on a floured work surface.  To form the farfalle, you will need a pizza cutter and a fluted pastry cutter.  First cut 2″ wide strips with the fluted pastry cutter, then cut across with the straight edge to form squares.

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Crimp the middle to form bows.  I used a plastic tweezer, but you can use your fingers.

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Dust the pasta lightly with flour and refrigerate until ready to cook.

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Now let’s make the sauce.  Chop the onion, fennel and garlic.  Saute in a little olive oil.

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Add salt, pepper and a pinch of red pepper flakes.  Stir in the diced tomatoes, basil and white wine.

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Simmer 20 minutes uncovered, allowing some of the liquid to evaporate.  Bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil.  Just before you cook the pasta, sprinkle the shrimp with flour and add to the skillet with the tomatoes.  You want them to cook about 5 minutes, just until pink.

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Boil the pasta for 3-4 minutes.

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Gently remove the pasta with a spider strainer and add it to the sauce.  Toss to coat evenly and transfer to a serving platter.  Isn’t this beautiful?

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Garnish with toasted pignoli and fresh basil.  Add grated cheese if you like.  What a delicious meal and beautiful presentation!  Please try the recipe and I welcome your comments.

The Extruded Noodle ©

joycebug

Posted in Comfort Food, Healthy Italian Favorites, Italian Sunday Dinner, Pasta, Seafood | Leave a comment

Crab Stuffed Sole

This dish is an old restaurant favorite of mine.  It is elegant enough for company but easy enough to prepare on a weeknight.  Your whole family will love this simplified version of Crab Stuffed Sole.  I’m pretty sure my preparation has much less butter and calories than its restaurant counterpart.

4 Servings.

Crab Stuffed Sole Fillet The Extruded Noodle 045Ingredients:

  • 1.5 lbs. sole fillets (8-9 pieces)
  • 1 can fancy lump crab meat
  • 1 egg
  • 1 sleeve whole wheat Ritz crackers
  • 6 tbsp. butter
  • 1 tsp. worcestershire sauce
  • salt
  • paprika

Preparation:

Arrange the fillets on a clean work surface.  Melt the butter in a small saucepan.

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In a small bowl whisk together the egg, Worcestershire, and crab meat.  Pulse the Ritz crackers in a food processor to coarse crumbs.  Toss half of the cracker crumbs with the crab mixture.

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Brush the fillets with melted butter and spoon the crab stuffing onto the widest end.

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Now roll up each fillet into a bundle, starting with the wide end.  Tuck the ends underneath.

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Coat a glass baking dish with cooking spray.  Carefully dredge each fish bundle in the remaining cracker crumbs and place in the baking dish.  Drizzle the remaining melted butter over the top and sprinkle with paprika.

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Bake for 30 minutes at 350°

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Delicious, simple flavors.  On the table in under an hour!

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Brown rice and steamed carrots round out this meal, checking off my boxes for lean protein, veggies and whole grains.  The butter amounts to less than 2 tbsp. per serving so no feeling guilty!

The Extruded Noodle ©

joycebug

Posted in Dash Diet Friendly, Seafood, Under an hour | Leave a comment

Baked Ziti Casserole with Eggplant and Veal Meatballs

Layers of ziti, tossed with marinara and ricotta nestled between slices of eggplant and tiny veal meatballs.  Do I have your attention?  Pure comfort food for a cold winter night, this casserole comes together in just over an hour.  With healthy whole grains, lean veal and light dairy this is a meal you can enjoy guilt free!

4 servings

Ingredients:

  • 6 oz. whole wheat penne
  • 1/2 lb. ground veal
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup 1% milk
  • 2 tbsp. grated parmesan
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cups whole wheat bread crumb
  • olive oil
  • 1 small eggplant
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 cups marinara
  • 3/4 cup low fat ricotta
  • whole wheat bread crumbs and grated parmesan for topping

Preparation:

Combine the veal, egg, milk, parmesan and bread crumb in a large bowl.  Mix well using your hands, then form 2 dozen small meatballs.  Brush a skillet lightly with olive oil and cook the meatballs over medium heat for about 8 minutes, turning to brown all sides.  Don’t crowd the meatballs in the pan, cook in batches if necessary.

 

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Set aside the cooked meatballs.  You can drain them on paper towel to remove some if the oil.   Next peel and slice the eggplant.  Try to keep the slices about 1/4″ thick.

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Brush the slices with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Quickly cook them in the same skillet.

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Cook the ziti for about 3 minutes less than the package directions.  They will cook the rest of the way in the oven.  Divide the sauce between 2 containers and whisk the ricotta into one half of the sauce.

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Toss the cooked ziti with the ricotta mixture.

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Now we are ready to assemble the casserole.  Preheat your oven to 350º and coat a 9″ glass baking dish with cooking spray.  Spread a layer of sauce on the bottom of the pan and top with half of the eggplant slices.

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Top the eggplant with half the baked ziti and meatballs.

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Repeat with another layer of sauce, eggplant, ziti and meatballs.  Finish with the remaining sauce.

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Top it off with a few shakes of breadcrumb and grated parmesan.

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Bake for 30 minutes and finish under the broiler for 2 minutes, just until the topping is slightly browned.  Watch that it doesn’t burn!

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Mmmmm….  This meal got raves at our house!

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This dinner takes a little longer to prepare than most of my weeknight favorites.  You can save time by making the meatballs in advance.  Believe me, if your family knows you are making this they won’t mind waiting a few more minutes!  Leftovers, if you have any are great the next day.  Next time I might make a double batch!

The Extruded Noodle ©

joycebug

Posted in Casserole, Comfort Food, Healthy Italian Favorites, Italian Sunday Dinner, Pasta, Whole Grains | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Pasta Fagioli Soup

There’s a little Italian restaurant we go to that makes the best Pasta Fagioli.  The weather is keeping us at home today, so I’m recreating this wonderful soup right in my own kitchen.  We’re snowed in so that means using what’s in the pantry.  I’ll bet you have all the ingredients too, so why not give this one a try?  It’s on the table in under an hour.

Pasta e Fagioli Soup

  • 1/2 sweet onion, finely diced
  • 1 carrot, finely diced
  • 1 stalk of celery, finely diced
  • 1 slice of bacon, cut into 1/4″ pieces
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 15.5 oz. can Navy beans
  • 1 cup crushed tomatoes
  • 1 49 oz. fat free, low sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp. celery salt
  • 1 tsp. basil
  • 1 chicken bouillon cube
  • 1 cup Ditalini pasta
  • grated parmigiano reggiano for serving

Preparation:

Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven.  Render the bacon and add the onions, carrot and celery.  Stir frequently until the vegetables cook down and release their liquid, about 15 minutes.

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Stir in the beans and the tomatoes.

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Add the bouillon, chicken broth and all of the seasonings.  Simmer 30 minutes.

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Add the Ditalini pasta directly to the soup (uncooked) and simmer 10 minutes more.

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Serve with grated cheese.  Add crusty bread and this soup is a meal in itself.  Make a big batch, it’s even better the next day!

The Extruded Noodle ©

joycebug

 

Posted in Comfort Food, Italian Sunday Dinner, Soup, Under an hour | Leave a comment

Mezzi Rigatoni

Mezzi Rigatoni The Extruded Noodle 033aFor this week’s Italian Sunday Dinner I made Mezzi Rigatoni (half size rigatoni) with my KitchenAid® pasta press attachment.   The rigatoni shape is my favorite, and I’ve found that cutting them to half length helps keep their shape while cooking.  I’m using a combination of whole wheat pastry flour, semolina and Italian “00″ flour.  I try to use at least 50% whole grains in my recipes, but you can certainly use all white flour (bread flour works well).

Ingredients: (2-3 servings)

  • 207 g. flour (I used 107 g. whole wheat pastry flour, 50 g. semolina, 50 g. “00″ flour)
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 4-5 tbsp. ice water

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Preparation:

Measure out the ingredients.  Combine the flours and salt.  Whisk the egg in the bowl of a stand mixer.  With the paddle attachment, mix in the flour and up to 5 tbsp. of ice water to form a dry crumbly dough.  The dough will look like pie dough, but will hold together when you give it a squeeze.  Form the dough into walnut size balls, and slowly feed the dough balls into the hopper.  Don’t overcrowd, and wait for each piece of dough to be pulled into the auger before adding the next.  If the first few rigatoni don’t look nice and smooth like this throw them back into the hopper for another pass.

Mezzi Rigatoni The Extruded Noodle 048aSpread the pasta on a floured dish towel so that it doesn’t stick together.

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Set up a large pot of salted water and bring to a rolling boil.  Use a spoon or spatula to scoop up the pasta, try to leave most of the flour on the dishtowel.  Add the pasta to the boiling water, stir and cover immediately so the temperature quickly returns to boiling. Cook the pasta for 4 minutes.  Fresh pasta cooks quickly!

Food safety:  Refrigerate fresh pasta if you will not be cooking it within the hour.

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Drain and plate the pasta.  They are plumped up beautifully and cooked to al dente!

Mezzi Rigatoni The Extruded Noodle 056aTop it off with your favorite sauce and grated cheese.

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There is nothing like homemade!  Please comment if you liked this post and be sure to check out my meatball and sauce recipes!

The Extruded Noodle ©

joycebug

 
 
 
 
 
Disclosure: I received no compensation from KitchenAid® for this post.  
Posted in Healthy Italian Favorites, Italian Sunday Dinner, Pasta | Leave a comment

Mushroom Risotto

I made this dish a few times over the holidays and everyone loved it!  Mushroom Risotto is a great side for a dinner party or any night of the week.  The prep does require 30 minutes of your undivided attention, so get your stirring arm ready and let’s make risotto!  6-8 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 48 oz. can fat free, low sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 carton of mushrooms, sliced thin
  • 1/2 cup shallots sliced thin
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1.5 cups Arborio rice
  • salt and pepper
  • 4 tbsp. butter, divided
  • 1/4 cup grated cheese, for finishing
  • fresh chives, for finishing

Preparation:

Warm the chicken broth in a saucepan.  Heat 1 tbsp. of butter in a large heavy skillet over medium heat.  Add the mushrooms and cook until they release their liquid.  Remove from the skillet and set aside.  Add 1 tbsp. olive oil in the skillet and stir in the shallots.  Cook for 1 minute then add the rice.  Toss well to coat the rice grains with oil.  Use a ladle to add 1/2 cup of broth to the skillet, stirring continuously until the rice absorbs most of the liquid, then continue adding one ladle of broth at a time, stirring until almost absorbed before adding the next.  Taste for doneness after about 30 minutes.  You will likely need most, but not all of the liquid.

When the rice is ready, remove from the heat and season with salt and pepper.  Add back the reserved mushrooms and finish with 3 tbsp. butter, 1/4 cup grated cheese.  Sprinkle with fresh chives.

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Comfort food at its best, but nice enough for a holiday meal!  The leftovers reheat well so you can enjoy them the next day.

The Extruded Noodle ©

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Posted in Comfort Food, Holiday Favorites, Side Dish | 1 Comment

Banana Chocolate Chip Tea Loaf

I love making quick breads in a tea loaf pan.  Measuring 12 x 3″, a tea loaf pan produces a long, slender loaf with smaller, diet friendly slices.  This recipe was inspired by my favorite yogurt, banana chocolate chip, and I used a 6 oz. carton in the batter.  You can use plain yogurt, vanilla or even sour cream.  You can also make this recipe in a 9 x 5″ loaf pan, just increase the baking time by 5-10 minutes.  I did not use nuts but they would be a welcome addition.

Ingredients:

  • 2-1/4 cups all purpose flourBanana Chocolate Chip Bread The Extruded Noodle 018a
  • 3/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup (half stick) softened butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 banana
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup 1% milk
  • 6 oz.  lowfat yogurt (I used banana)Banana Chocolate Chip Bread The Extruded Noodle 015a
  • 1/8 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp. cardamom
  • 1/8 tsp. ginger
  • 1/3 cup semi sweet shaved chocolate
  • cooking spray

Preparation:

Whisk together the flour, salt and baking soda.  In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the eggs and banana and beat with the whisk attachment.

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Add the yogurt, butter, sugar and spices.

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Change to the paddle attachment, and gradually add the flour mixture and the milk, mix just until blended.  Stir in the chocolate shavings.

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Coat the loaf pan with cooking spray.  Distribute the batter evenly in the pan.

Banana Chocolate Chip Bread The Extruded Noodle 023aBake for 50-55 minutes at 350º.  Test for doneness with a toothpick.

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Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then use a thin spatula to turn the loaf onto a cooling rack.

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Allow the loaf to cool to room temperature before slicing.

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Put the coffee on!  It’s time to enjoy this delicious dessert.  Nice for entertaining, and enjoy the leftovers for breakfast!

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If you liked this recipe, check out my Cranberry Orange Tea Loaf

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Sunday Waffles

At our house a healthy Sunday breakfast starts with a light fluffy waffle topped with nuts and fruit.  Sneak in whole grains by using a combination of whole grain and white pancake mix.  There are many substitutions for the ricotta in this recipe, including sour cream, yogurt, applesauce, pumpkin, and banana.  Vary the nuts (pecans, almonds) and fruit (pear, banana) to keep things interesting.  This recipe makes 4 waffles.

Ingredients:

  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp. organic canola oil
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup ricotta (use light or fat free)
  • 1 cup 1% milk
  • 1/2 cup pancake mix (such as Heart Smart Bisquick)
  • 1/2 cup whole grain pancake mix (such as 365 Organic 100% Whole Wheat Buttermilk Pancake Mix)
  • 2 tbsp. walnuts
  • 1 tbsp. Brown Sugar Splenda®
  • 1 apple, peeled and diced
  • 1 tsp. butter
  • 1 tsp. Brown Sugar Splenda®
  • cinnamon and nutmeg

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Preparation:

Whisk together the egg, oil, vanilla, ricotta and milk.   Add the pancake mix 1/4 cup at a time, stirring just a few times to incorporate.  Heat the waffle iron.  In a small skillet, toast the walnuts just until fragrant.  Turn the heat off, sprinkle with the Brown Sugar Splenda and stir continuously until it melts and all of the walnuts are coated.

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Add 1 tsp. butter to the skillet, and add the apples.  Sprinkle with 1 tbsp. Brown Sugar Splenda®, cinnamon and nutmeg.

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Stir and toss for a few minutes, just until the apples are coated and warmed through.

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Pour the batter onto the waffle iron and cook for 3-4 minutes.  Serve with the walnuts and fruit.

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Make extra waffles and freeze them.  They keep well and are delicious reheated in the microwave or the toaster.

The Extruded Noodle ©

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Whole Grain Sourdough Dinner Rolls

Today I’m making healthy, whole grain sourdough dinner rolls.  I love baking with whole grains and milling my own flour.  This is my favorite grain combination.  From top to bottom, we have White Wheat, Spelt and Kamut®.

Whole Grain Pull Apart Rolls The Extruded Noodle 007aUsing about 1/3 cup of each, I milled the grain into 1-3/4 cups of fresh flour.  You can substitute a good quality whole wheat flour such as King Arthur.  Be sure to check the expiration date as whole grain flours degrade more quickly than white flour.

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Ingredients:

  • 1-3/4 cups whole grain flour
  • 1/2 cup bread flour
  • 2 tbsp. powdered milk
  • 1-1/2 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. instant yeast
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp. softened butter
  • 3/4 cups water
  • 1/2 cup sourdough starter
  • canola oil, for the proofing bowl
  • 1 egg, for brushing
  • 1 tsp. toasted sesame seeds

Preparation:

Whisk together the flours, powdered milk, instant yeast and salt.  In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together the egg, starter, butter and sugar.

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With the dough hook attachment, gradually add the flour mixture and the water on low speed to form a soft dough.  Increase the speed to 3 and knead the dough for 5 more minutes.  Transfer to a large oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and a dishtowel and allow to rise in a warm, draft free area until doubled.

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Depending on the temperature and humidity in your kitchen it will take 60-90 minutes.

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Transfer the risen dough to an oiled cutting board and divide into 12 equal pieces.

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Form each piece into a ball by pressing it firmly into the cutting board in your cupped palm, using a rotating motion.

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Place the dough balls in a 9″ x 11″ baking dish that has been coated with cooking spray.  Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise for another hour.

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The rolls will be touching.

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Preheat the oven to 400º.  Brush the top of the rolls with a well beaten egg.  Sprinkle with sesame seeds.

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Bake for 17 minutes.

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Use a spatula to remove the rolls to a cooling rack, all in one piece.

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Separate the rolls just before serving.  Delicious for soaking up your favorite sauces and gravies!

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For an easy white flour version of this recipe, see my earlier post Pull Apart Dinner Rolls

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joycebug

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Posted in Baking, Bread, Sourdough, Whole Grains | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Cranberry Orange Tea Loaf

Long slender loaves of orange infused cranberry bread yield diet friendly slices and feed a crowd!  I have a pan that makes 3 12×3″ tea loaves, but you can also make 2 9×5″ loaves with this recipe.  It’s definitely a holiday favorite, great for entertaining and for gifting.

Cranberry Orange Tea Loaf The Extruded Noodle 008aIngredients:

  • 4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • zest from one orange
  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1-1/2 cups orange juice
  • 1 bag cranberries (12 oz.)
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts

Preparation:

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Rinse and chop the cranberries using a food processor or electric chopper.  A few pulses should do it.  Add the eggs, shortening, sugar, zest, orange juice and cranberries to the bowl of a stand mixer and blend well using the whisk attachment.  Switch to the paddle attachment and gradually add the flour mixture.  Incorporate all of the flour, just until blended.  Stir in the walnuts.

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Coat the baking pan(s) with cooking spray.  Distribute the batter evenly between the pans.

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Bake tea loaves 40-45 minutes at 350º.  If using 9×5″ loaf pans, bake for 55-60 minutes.

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Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to a rack.  Cool completely before slicing.

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The cranberry makes such a beautiful presentation.  Arrange the slices to show it off!

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Moist and delicious, nice for entertaining, bring to the office, even enjoy it for breakfast!  This recipe is too good to save for the holidays.  I’m making it this weekend!

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joycebug

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Posted in Baking, Holiday Favorites | 1 Comment

Low Carb Shephards Pie

Even at The Extruded Noodle we occasionally take a break from carbs.  Here, versatile rutabaga replaces the traditional potato topping in this Low Carb Shephards Pie.  Rutabaga is a nutritious root vegetable that is lower in calories and carbs than potato.  It originated as a cross between the cabbage and the turnip and may be sold as yellow turnip, waxed turnip or swede (Swedish turnip).  Hubby is always surprised at how good this is.  Follow the easy, step by step instructions and make it tonight!

3-4 Servings

For the Filling:

  • 8 oz. lean ground beef
  • olive oil
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup diced sweet onion
  • 1-1/2 cups frozen mixed vegetables (peas, carrots and corn), thawed
  • 1/2 tsp. thyme
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 2 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp. low sodium Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup light beer (or substitute low sodium beef broth)

For the Topping:

  • 1/2 large rutabaga or yellow turnip
  • 1 cup grated cheese (use your favorite, I used an Italian blend)
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • salt
  • 3 tbsp. butter
  • 1% milk
  • paprika
  • Italian parsley for garnish

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Preparation:

Heat water in a sauce pan with a steamer basket.  Peel and cut the rutabaga into cubes.

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Steam the rutabaga until fork tender, about 30 minutes.  Remove from heat and set aside.

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Heat olive oil in a pan or heavy skillet.  Add the onion, garlic, mixed vegetables and a pinch of salt.  Cook 4 minutes.

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Add the ground beef, thyme, pepper, tomato paste and Worcestershire sauce.  Break up the beef and continue stirring until browned all over.  Add the beer (or beef broth) and reduce heat to low.  Simmer until most of the liquid has evaporated.

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To make the topping I used a stand mixer with the paddle attachment.  You can also use a food processor or potato masher.  Combine the cooked rutabaga, cheese and butter and pinch of salt.  The recipe is very forgiving so substitute any cheese you like, even cream cheese will work.  Drizzle in a little 1% milk, until the mixture resembles mashed potatoes.

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Heat the oven to 400°.  Coat a 9″ round or square baking dish with cooking spray.  You can also use a pie dish, like I did here.  Add all of the filling.

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Spread the rutabaga evenly over the top and sprinkle with parmesan and paprika.  Bake for 25 minutes then broil on low for 4 minutes to brown the top.

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 Garnish with fresh parsley and serve immediately!

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This meal is very good and will satisfy your hunger without being too heavy!

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 ***************

Hint: Speed up the prep by peeling and steaming an entire rutabaga ahead of time.  You can freeze half for another recipe.  Or, use half of the rutabaga for this recipe and save the other half for oven fries later in the week.

Oven Fried Rutabaga

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Posted in #dashdiet, Comfort Food, Dash Diet Friendly, Low Carb | Leave a comment

Pull Apart Dinner Rolls

Here is a nice easy recipe for yeasted rolls, perfect for family get-togethers and holiday dinners.  Forget those bland tasting supermarket rolls, these are so much better and they can be made ahead for less stress the day of your big event.

Ingredients:

  • 4-3/4 cups bread flour
  • 1-1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 cup powdered milk
  • 3 tsp. sugar
  • 2 tsp. instant yeast
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tbsp. softened butter
  • 1-1/2 to 1-3/4 cups warm water
  • 1 tbsp. canola oil for proofing
  • 1 egg for egg wash
  • 1 tsp. toasted sesame seeds

Preparation:

Whisk the egg in the bowl of a stand mixer.  In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, powdered milk, sugar, and yeast.  On low speed, gradually add the flour mixture and water using enough water to form a soft dough.  Increase the speed to 3 and knead for 5 minutes.

Add the canola oil to a large bowl with the kneaded dough and turn to coat.  Cover with plastic wrap and a clean dish towel and let the dough rise for 1-1/2 to 2 hours.  The dough will double in size.

Gently deflate the risen dough and transfer to a cutting board.  Use a bench knife to divide the dough into 21 pieces.  Cup each piece in the palm of your hand and press against the cutting board in a rotating motion to form a tight ball.

Use a large baking sheet lined with parchment, or butter a 9 x 11″ glass baking dish and a 9 x 9″ glass baking dish.  Arrange the rolls 1″ apart, and mist with cooking spray.  Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for another hour.  The rolls will be touching.

Beat an egg until frothy and brush over the top of the rolls.  I like to sprinkle half the rolls with toasted sesame seeds.  Bake in a 400º oven for 15 minutes.

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Use a spatula to slide the rolls onto a cooling rack (in one piece).

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They can be served warm or at room temperature.  Pull the rolls apart just before serving.

 

Holiday Dinner The Extruded Noodle 008a

 

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Posted in Baking, Bread, Holiday Favorites | 1 Comment

Beef Stir Fry

Stir-fry dinners are a fast and easy weeknight meal.  Try this one with beef!  Prep your veggies ahead and this dish comes together in 15 minutes!  The recipe serves 2 but you can easily double or triple for a large family.

For the sauce, whisk together the following:

  • 3/4 cup broth (chicken, beef or vegetable)
  • 1/4 cup Mirin (rice wine)
  • 1/4 tsp. powdered ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1 heaping tbsp. corn starch

Prep the following:

  • 1/2 lb. stir fry beef
  • 1/2 sweet onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup snow peas, ends removed
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, sliced thin
  • 1/2 cup carrot, cut into match sticks
  • 1/4 cup celery, sliced
  • 1/2 cup mushrooms, sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 oz. Chinese noodles (I like Hang’s noodles)
  • 2 tbsp. organic canola oil
  • 2 tbsp. sesame oil
  • 2-3 tbsp. low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 bunch scallions, sliced
  • 1/2 tsp. sesame seeds

Put it all together!

Whisk together the sauce ingredients and let stand while you prep the veggies.  Toast the sesame seeds in a dry skillet and set aside with the scallions for finishing.  Cook the noodles, drain and set aside.  Now add a little canola and sesame oil to the skillet and brown the beef, 1-2 minutes.  Toss with a little soy sauce and set aside.  Add the vegetables to the skillet with the rest of the oil.  Stir fry until the veggies are crisp tender, 3-4 minutes and toss with more soy sauce.  Now add the meat and noodles back to the skillet and slowly pour in the sauce.  Toss and stir continuously until well combined and the sauce begins to thicken.  Transfer to a large serving platter and garnish with the scallions and sesame seeds.

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Look at the vibrant color in this dish!  This is one of my favorite weeknight meals.  Try it at your house!

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joycebug

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Posted in 30 Minutes or Less, Asian Inspired, Dinner for two | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Braised Lamb Shanks with Farro

For our first Italian Sunday Dinner of 2015, I made a hearty lamb stew with farro.  I had been thinking about this recipe for a while and the lamb shanks were waiting patiently in the freezer!  Farro, a nutty flavored whole grain is a staple in Italian cooking.  You can substitute any whole grain such as spelt, barley or wheat berries.  Although you will see three different pans being used in the photos, the truth is the entire dish can be prepared in one pot.  You will need a pot or deep skillet with a cover that can go from stovetop to oven.  A Dutch oven is perfect.

Ingredients: (serves 2)

  • 1.5 lb. lamb shanks (1 large or 2 small)
  • 1/2 cup flour for dredging
  • salt and pepper
  • olive oil for browning
  • 1 large carrot, sliced
  • 1/2 sweet onion, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 tsp. thyme
  • 1/2 tsp. rosemary
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 2 cups low fat, low sodium beef broth
  • 1/3 cup farro (substitute spelt, barley or wheat berries)
  • 6-7 gold baby potatoes
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. rosemary
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled and halved

Preparation:

Season the lamb shank with salt and pepper then dredge in the flour.  Shake off the excess.  As you can see from the photo, I had visions of cutting the lamb shank in half but even my butcher knife was not up to the task.  So I left it in tact for a 2 hour braise until the meat was falling off the bone tender.

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Heat a heavy skillet or Dutch oven and add 2 tbsp. olive oil.  Brown the lamb on all sides.

Braised Lamb Shanks with Farro The Extruded Noodle 009a

Sauté the carrots and onion in the same pan.

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Rinse the farro and add to the lamb and vegetables.

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Whisk together the wine, beef broth, garlic, rosemary and thyme.  Pour over the lamb and vegetables and add the bay leaf.  Cover and bake for 2 hours.

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While the stew is cooking, prepare the finishing touches.  Melt 1 tbsp. butter in a heavy pan and add 1 tbsp. olive oil, 6 garlic cloves and 1/4 tsp. rosemary.  Turn the heat down to the lowest setting and gently cook until the garlic is soft.  Cut the baby potatoes in half.

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Two hours later and the lamb smells amazing.  By now the bone has served its purpose, creating a rich and flavorful sauce.  This pan has been working hard!

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Removing the meat from the bone was easy and for a nice presentation I decided to transfer everything to a clean casserole.

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Arrange the potato halves over the top and brush with the garlic butter.

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Cover and bake for another 45  minutes, brushing with the garlic butter half way through.  Remove the cover for the last 20 minutes.  Garnish with parsley and it’s ready to serve!

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Isn’t this beautiful!  The look, the smell, the taste!

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Please do try it!  Serve with red wine and crusty bread to soak up the sauce.

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 The Extruded Noodle ©

joycebug

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Posted in Comfort Food, Dinner for two, Italian Sunday Dinner, Stew, Whole Grains | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

BBQ Chicken Bites

Soft enriched dough surrounds cheesy bites of chicken!  Finger food at it’s best, this is an appetizer that everyone will love!  The recipe makes 4 dozen or more bites and you can prepare most of it ahead of time.

Ingredients:

For the dough:

  • 3 cups bread flour or all purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 cups warm milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1-1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. instant yeast
  • 2 tsp. brown sugar

For the filling:

  • 2 cups (about 10 oz.) cooked chicken breast, cut into small dice
  • 1 cup prosciutto, chopped fine
  • 3/4 cup cheddar cheese, chopped fine
  • 5 tbsp. softened butter, divided
  • 1/4 cup BBQ sauce plus more for brushing and dipping

Preparation:

Combine all of the dough ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer and knead for 5 minutes to form a soft supple ball.  Place the kneaded dough into an oiled bowl, and turn to coat.  Cover with plastic wrap and a clean dishtowel and allow to rise until doubled, about 1-1/2 hours.  While the dough rises, prepare the filling.  Combine the cooked chicken, prosciutto, cheddar, 4 tbsp. melted butter and BBQ sauce.

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Gently deflate the dough and divide it into 4 equal pieces.  Roll each piece into a 12″ rope.

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Use a rolling pin to flatten each section into a 4″ wide rectangle.

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Rub 1 tbsp. softened butter over the dough, and distribute the filling evenly down the middle of each section.

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Carefully roll the dough up around the filling and pinch the seams to seal.  Roll into a cylinder shape and place seam side down.  Cover and allow to rise for 30 minutes more.

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Use a serrated knife to cut 1″ rounds.

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Arrange the rounds on 2 baking sheets lined with parchment.  You can optionally cover and refrigerate at this point, and take them out 20-30 minutes before you are ready to bake.

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Preheat the oven to 400º and bake for 8-9 minutes.  The tops will be lightly browned and the centers will be bubbly.

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As soon as the bites are done, brush them with more of your favorite BBQ sauce.

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Transfer to a serving bowl and serve with more BBQ sauce for dipping.

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Now watch them disappear!  This appetizer is sure to be a hit!

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joycebug

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Posted in Appetizers, Chicken, Comfort Food, Holiday Favorites | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Candied Pecans

Candied Pecans are the perfect addition to your appetizer buffet.  Serve with fresh fruit or alongside the cheese and crackers.  They are an addictive snack so you may want to make a double batch!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups pecans
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 4 tbsp. brown sugar

Preparation:

Toast the pecans in a dry skillet on medium low heat (for best results don’t use a nonstick skillet).  Stir frequently, and don’t leave the pan unattended.  Nuts will be toasted and fragrant in about 3-5 minutes.  Don’t let them burn!  Next push the nuts to the side of the skillet and add the butter in the center.  As the butter melts stir in the nuts and turn to coat.

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When the butter is completely melted and bubbling, sprinkle the brown sugar evenly over the nuts.  Continue stirring constantly until the butter and sugar form a syrup.

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Remove the pan from the heat.  You can put the Candied Pecans right into a serving bowl (if using a plastic bowl then let them cool a bit first).   They were delicious right out of the pan, but I thought they were at their best when they had cooled to room temperature.

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I plan to make these again and will double the recipe next time!  The leftovers would be great on a salad, or as a topping for your oatmeal.

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joycebug

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Posted in Appetizers, Holiday Favorites | Tagged , | Leave a comment