Apple Ricotta Waffles

Sunday is waffle day at The Extruded Noodle.  I like to change up my waffles depending on what we have on hand in the fridge, and today I’m using cooked apples.  Banana, pumpkin and blueberry are some of my other favorites.  I always add 1/4 cup low fat ricotta to the waffle batter, it’s my secret ingredient for light fluffy waffles with a tender crumb.

I’m starting with a large apple, peeled and cut into small dice.  Melt one pat of butter in a small sauce pan, and cook the apple for 15 minutes on low heat.  Add a 1/2 tsp. of brown sugar and pinch of cinnamon during the cooking.  Add a little water if needed to keep the apples moist.  Don’t they look good?  It’s like apple pie filling!  Place the cooked apples in a medium bowl and mash slightly with a fork.  Set aside to cool or refrigerate overnight.

Apple Ricotta Waffles The Extruded Noodle 005aI’m all about whole grains, but for waffles and pancakes I use a combination of regular pancake mix and whole wheat pancake mix.  Measure 1 cup of each.  In a large bowl, whisk together the following:

  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/4 cup low fat ricotta
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • 1-1/2 cups 1% milk

Add the pancake mix and blend just until moistened.  Fold in the apple slices.  Heat the waffle iron and cook for 3-4 minutes.  These need to cook just a little more.

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You will get about 6 waffles from this recipe.  I like to make a batch ahead of time and freeze them.  They can be reheated in the microwave, or the toaster if you like them crispy.

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I made this walnut topping one weekend and now it is required eating on Sunday!  Heat 1 pat of  butter in a small skillet and add 4-5 tbsp. chopped walnuts.  Cook on low, stirring constantly until fragrant, about 2 minutes.  Remove from heat and sprinkle 1/2 tsp. brown sugar.  Stir until the sugar melts.

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Apple Ricotta Waffles, topped with walnuts and a side of fresh fruit.  A delicious, healthy and satisfying start to your day.

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Hand Rolled Fusilli

I have been practicing this recipe for the last few weekends.  The process of rolling out 1/4″ ropes of dough, cutting, twisting and shaping sections around a bamboo skewer is both relaxing and labor intensive.  No wonder they invented machines to do this!  The first time I spent several hours creating the pasta entirely by hand, my back and shoulders were sore!

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I told hubby that I would probably not make this shape again because it was too much work…… until I tasted it.  Oh my goodness!  These are SO good.

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So I started thinking, how could I speed up the process?  Then came the aha moment, when I realized that I could use my KitchenAid pasta press attachment to extrude the thin ropes.  See where I’m going with this?

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The bucatini plate is perfect for creating uniform strands of pasta dough, ready to twirl and shape by hand.

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Ingredients:

  • 90 g. finely milled whole grain flour (fresh milled or use whole wheat pastry flour)
  • 90 g. semolina flour
  • 27 g. Italian “00″ flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 5-6 tbsp. ice water

Preparation:

Combine the ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment.  Add just enough of the ice water to form a dry crumbly dough.

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Press the dough into a ball, cover in plastic wrap and let it rest for 30 minutes.

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Divide the dough into small balls.

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Use the KitchenAid pasta press attachment with the bucatini plate to extrude the dough into long slender ropes.

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Now it’s time to get hands on.  Working with a few strands at a time, cut the ropes into 3″ pieces.  Use a bamboo skewer to roll each piece into a spiral.

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Continue rolling to the end.

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Press down firmly with the palm of your hand and roll the fusilli back and forth.

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After rolling you will have a thin ribbon of spiral shaped pasta.

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Line a sheet pan with wax paper or parchment and flour lightly.  As you finish rolling each piece, slide it off the skewer and lay it on the floured sheet.

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As you work, keep the dough strands covered with plastic wrap so they don’t dry out.

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Can you believe that little ball of dough made all this pasta?

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Look closely, it has a beautiful golden color from the semolina and you can see the flecks of whole grain in the dough.

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Always follow food safety guidelines.  Pasta dough made with eggs should be refrigerated within one hour.  Keep the fusilli refrigerated until ready to cook.  

When ready to cook, bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil.  Add the pasta and cover the pot so the water returns to a full boil as quickly as possible.  Cook for no more than 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Fresh pasta floats to the top when done.  Don’t overcook!

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Use a spider skimmer to gently scoop and drain the cooked pasta and place on a serving platter.  Look how the fusilli has held its spiral shape!

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Top with your favorite sauce, and finish with grated cheese and chopped parsley.

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I hope I’ve inspired you to give this a try at home.  If you don’t have a KitchenAid, rolling out the 1/4″ ropes by hand like I did the first time is a true labor of love, no special equipment required.  Your efforts will be rewarded with the most amazing flavor and texture!  Don’t forget the wine!

The Extruded Noodle ©

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Asian Chicken and Broccoli

Mmmmm!  This Asian inspired Chicken and Broccoli is better than any Chinese restaurant!  My version is lower in fat and salt, but big on flavor.  Mirin, ginger and sesame oil are among the key ingredients that should always be in your pantry.  I used boneless chicken breast and fresh broccoli crowns and served it over a bed of long grain brown rice.  You can change things up and serve it over noodles, or substitute shrimp or beef for the chicken.  3-4 servings, ready in an hour!

Ingredients:

  • 18 oz. boneless chicken breast
  • 4 cups broccoli crowns, cut into florets
  • 1 medium sweet onion, diced
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp. sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup Mirin (rice wine)
  • 3 cups fat free low sodium chicken broth, divided
  • 1/4 tsp. powdered ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes, divided
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp. corn starch
  • 1 tsp. sesame seeds
  • 1/2 cup long grain brown rice
  • 2 tsp. butter

Preparation:

Melt 2 tsp. butter in a heavy sauce pan.  Add the rice and stir to coat for 2 minutes.  Add 1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes and a pinch of salt.  Stir in 1-1/2 cups chicken broth, cover and simmer on low for 45-60 minutes.  I find that brown rice or any whole grain needs to be stirred a few times during cooking or it will stick to the bottom of the pan.  If you have this problem a diffuser can help to evenly distribute the heat and eliminate hotspots.

While the rice cooks, cut the chicken into 1-1/2 inch cubes and place in a bowl.  Whisk together the remaining 1-1/2 cups chicken broth, soy sauce, mirin, ginger, 1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes and the corn starch.  Drizzle 1/4 cup over the chicken and marinate for 30 minutes.

When the rice is almost done, heat a large skillet with 1 tbsp. olive oil and 1 tsp. sesame oil.  Add the chicken and brown on all sides.

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Remove the chicken and set aside.  It does not need to be 100% cooked through, as it will finish cooking when you return it to the pan.  Add another tbsp. olive oil and tsp. sesame oil to the pan along with the broccoli, onions, garlic and sesame seeds.  Toss well and season with salt and pepper.  Cover and cook for 10 minutes.

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When the broccoli is tender, add the chicken back to the skillet and pour in all of the remaining soy sauce mixture and final 1 tsp. of sesame oil.  Continue stirring and tossing as the liquid thickens.  To serve, spread the rice on a large platter.

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Now spoon the chicken and broccoli over the rice for a beautiful presentation.

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I hope the pictures are making you hungry.  It tastes as good as it looks.  The next time you’re thinking of ordering Chinese why not try this instead?

The Extruded Noodle ©

joycebug

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Crock-pot Italian Sunday Dinner

Think you don’t have time to prepare a delicious Italian Sunday dinner?  With the help of your crock-pot we are going to create a wonderful meal that virtually cooks itself while you go about your busy day.  Just pick up the wine on your way home!

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 lb. chuck roast
  • olive oil
  • 1/2 large sweet onion
  • 1/4 cup wine (use red or white)
  • 28 oz. can whole peeled tomatoes
  • 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • 2 tsp. basil
  • 2 tbsp. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. ground pepper
  • 1/3 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 3 garlic cloves

Preparation:

Crock-pots are wonderful, but there are a few things they can’t do, like caramelize meat and veggies.  Throwing all of the ingredients into the crock-pot is easy, but you won’t get the depth of flavor created by searing the meat first.  Take a few extra minutes and you won’t be disappointed.

Here is my chuck roast.  All of that nice marbling is going to break down into melt in your mouth tenderness, but first I’m going to sear the meat in a little olive oil.  Use a stainless steel or cast iron skillet, don’t use non-stick.

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There we are.  Season all sides with salt and pepper.

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Place the roast in the crock-pot.  Use the same skillet to saute the onions.

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Deglaze the pan with the wine, scraping up the caramelized bits.  Cook over medium heat until the liquid is reduced by half.  Pour over the roast.

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Can you smell it?  Now that we’ve created the first layer of flavor let’s make the sauce.

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In a large mixing bowl, use an immersion blender to break up the whole peeled tomatoes.  Stir in the remainder of the ingredients.  Pour it over the meat and onions.

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Cover and cook on low for 9-10 hours.  Now off you go!

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Welcome home!  Your house smells amazing and your family will think you have been cooking all afternoon.  Let it be your little secret.  Set the table while you heat a large pot of salted water for your favorite pasta.  Cook according to the package directions and top generously with meat sauce.  Transfer the roast to a cutting board.  The meat will be falling apart tender, so you can either slice or shred it.

Crockpot Italian Sunday Dinner The Extruded Noodle 013aServe with the pasta, crusty bread and grated cheese.  Garnish with Italian parsley.

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Dinner is on the table.  Now it’s time to pour a glass of wine and relax.  Here’s to eating well after a busy day!

 

The Extruded Noodle ©

joycebug



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Seafood Scampi

My take on Scampi sauce, perfect for busy weeknights!  Seafood Scampi comes together in under 30 minutes and it’s so delicious!  I used shrimp and bay scallops, but you can substitute your favorite seafood or even use chicken.  I buy frozen shrimp and scallops to have on hand for quick meals.  Throw in frozen peas and canned diced tomatoes from your pantry and this one is a no-brainer.  3 Servings.

Ingredients:

  • 6 oz. medium shrimp
  • 6 oz. bay scallops
  • 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 6-8 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 3 tbsp. butter
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup peas
  • 8 oz. 100% whole wheat spaghetti
  • Italian parsley for garnish

Preparation:

Boil water for the pasta.  In a heavy skillet, melt the butter and olive oil over medium low heat.  Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.  Stir in the diced tomatoes, the wine and the seasonings, a big squeeze of lemon juice and 1/4 tsp. lemon zest.  Simmer on low for 15 minutes.

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When the pasta water is boiling add the spaghetti and cook to package directions.  Wait a few minutes then add the seafood and peas to the skillet.  You will want to cook the shrimp and scallops to cook for about 5 minutes.  Don’t overcook!  Drain the spaghetti and add to the skillet, tossing well to combine the flavors.  Transfer to a serving dish and drizzle with the pan juices.

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Garnish with Italian parsley and more lemon zest.  Let me tell you, this meal got great reviews and there were no leftovers!  Busy cooks, this one is a must try!

The Extruded Noodle ©

joycebug

Posted in 30 Minutes or Less, Comfort Food, Pasta, Seafood, Whole Grains | Leave a comment

Pan Seared Mahi Mahi

I love seafood and Mahi Mahi is one of my favorites.  This preparation is one of the easiest and it is so delicious.  The secret is in the marinade!  Citrus pairs beautifully with this fish, and the addition of freshly grated orange zest makes it pop!

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. mahi mahi fillets
  • 1/3 cup white wine
  • 1/3 cup orange juice
  • zest of 1 orange
  • salt
  • white pepper
  • cayenne pepper
  • flour for dusting
  • 3 pats of butter (about 2 tbsp.)

Preparation:

A quick marinade is the secret to moist and tender fillets!  Arrange the mahi mahi in a single layer in a glass baking dish.  Whisk together the white wine and orange juice and pour over the fish.  Top with the orange zest, salt, pepper and cayenne.  Marinate at room temperature for at least 30 minutes and up to an hour, turning every 15 minutes.

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Heat a large skillet and melt the butter.  Use a pastry brush to swirl the butter in the pan, coating it evenly.  Carefully lift the fillets from the marinade and place in the skillet.  Dust the tops lightly with flour.  Cook 5 minutes per side on medium low heat, turning once.  While the fish cooks, pour the marinade into a small sauce pan and simmer, reducing by half.  To serve, transfer the fillets to a serving dish and drizzle with the marinade.

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I’m looking forward to warmer weather, when this recipe can move outside to the grill.  If spring has already arrived in your area, prepare the dish using the same marinade and grill on medium heat 5 minutes per side.  Enjoy!

The Extruded Noodle ©

joycebug

 

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Beef Barley Stew

Our New England winter is hanging on much longer than we would like, but I have lots of comfort food recipes to share and this one is in the crock-pot right now.  It’s a hearty stew that will warm you to your toes!  Even though this is a beef dish, I used chicken stock and white wine.  It may sound counter intuitive but it happened to be what I had on hand.  The end result was delicious!  Go ahead and substitute beef stock, vegetable stock, red wine, whatever you like.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. stew beef
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • olive oil
  • 3 carrots
  • 1 parsnip
  • 1 onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 lb. marble potatoes
  • 1/2 cup barley, rinsed
  • 2 cups stock (chicken, beef, or vegetable)
  • 1 cup wine (red or white, use what you have)
  • salt and pepper

Preparation:

Heat a large skillet with olive oil and cook the onions, carrots and parsnips.  Add to the bottom of the crock-pot.

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Cut the stew beef into 1″ cubes.  Place in a plastic bag with the flour and shake to coat.  In the same skillet, brown the beef on all sides in olive oil, and season with salt and pepper.

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Add to the crock-pot along with the barley.

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Remove the skillet from the heat and deglaze the pan with 1/2 cup wine, scraping up all of the caramelized bits.

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Pour it over the vegetables.  Add 2 minced garlic cloves, the potatoes, 2 cups of stock and another 1/2 cup of wine.

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Cover and cook on low for 8-9 hours.  Stir every hour.  As the barley cooks it will absorb and thicken the liquid.

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What a beautiful presentation.  Garnish with Italian parsley and serve with wine and crusty bread to soak up the sauce.

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Crockpot Hawaiian Chicken

Looking for an easy crock-pot meal?  This is so tasty, and you probably have all the ingredients in your pantry.  Use chicken thighs, drumsticks or a combination.  Wings would work well also (think party)!  Everyone will love this sweet/savory dish.

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 lbs. (about 6 pieces) chicken thighs, drumsticks or combination.
  • 1 8oz. can crushed pineapple in juice
  • 2 tbsp. dark brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • garlic powder, onion powder, paprika
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • fresh chives, for garnish

Preparation:

Stir together the crushed pineapple, soy sauce, brown sugar and red pepper flakes.

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Rinse the chicken and pat dry.  I used thighs and removed about half the skin for less fat.  Add to the crock-pot and season with salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder and paprika.

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Pour the pineapple mixture over the chicken.

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Cover and cook for 2 hours on high then 3-4 more hours on low.  Baste chicken with the juices every 30 minutes.

Pineapple Chicken with Butternut Squash and Sorghum 021aMy hubby gave this dinner two thumbs up!  For sides I made butternut squash and sorghum pilaf.  Rice would certainly compliment the meal.  Garnish with fresh chives.

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Posted in Chicken, Chicken Dinner, Comfort Food, Crockpot | 2 Comments

Hot Cross Buns

“Hot cross buns!
Hot cross buns!
one a penny, two a penny,
Hot cross buns!”

The supermarket shelves are all stocked with this seasonal treat, but why not make them at home, minus the artificial ingredients and preservatives?  This recipe is one of my husband’s favorites, and I make a batch every year at Easter, just for him!  The spiced dough is loaded with rum soaked raisins!  Try it, I promise that your kitchen will smell amazing!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup rum

Dry Ingredients:

  • 4 cups all purpose flour plus up to 1/2 cup more for kneading
  • 2 tsp. instant yeast
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tbsp. baking powder

Wet Ingredients:

  • 1-1/4 cup 1% milk
  • 2 eggs + 1 yolk
  • 6 tbsp. softened butter
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar

For Brushing:

  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tbsp. 1% milk

For Piping:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 4 tsp. 1% milk
  • less than 1/8 tsp. salt

Preparation:

Combine the raisins and rum in a small bowl and soak for 2 hours before mixing the dough.  Whisk together all of the dry ingredients.  In the bowl of a stand mixer beat the butter, eggs, yolk and brown sugar with the paddle attachment for 1 minute.  Switch to the dough hook, and gradually add the flour mixture and milk to form a soft dough.  Knead for 4 minutes on speed 3.  Add the raisins and any rum left in the bowl.  Knead for 2 more minutes to incorporate.  Transfer the dough to a floured cutting board and knead for a few minutes by hand to ensure that the raisins are evenly distributed.  Add a little more flour if needed to keep the dough from sticking to your hands.  Place the dough in an oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap.

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Allow to rise for one hour.  The dough may not double, this is fine.  After one hour, cut and shape the dough into 16 balls.  Place in a 9 x 13″ glass baking dish coated with cooking spray.  Cover with plastic wrap for another hour.

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Whisk the egg white and milk and brush over the top.  Bake at 375º for 20 minutes.  Cool in the pan.

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Now comes the hard part.  They smell so good, you will want to frost and eat them right out of the oven.  Try to resist, because if you frost the buns while they are warm the glaze will melt away.  Patience!

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When the buns have cooled completely, whisk together the icing and transfer to a pastry bag.

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If you don’t have a pastry bag (I don’t) use a zip top plastic bag with the tip of one corner snipped off.  Pipe the cross over each roll.

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Mmmmm, they are delicious and well worth the wait!  My husband has pronounced this my best batch ever

Happy Easter  from all of us at The Extruded Noodle!

The Extruded Noodle ©

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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 ©

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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!

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joycebug

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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

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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

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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

 

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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

 

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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.

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joycebug

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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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joycebug

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

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