Stromboli The Extruded Noodle 062aToday we are making Stromboli, a delicious rolled up pizza.  It has a Sloppy Joe style filling, that everyone loved.  Stromboli is a great dish for a brunch or buffet.  Follow the steps and take shortcuts if you like (buy the pizza dough).


  • 1/2 cup 100% hydration starter
  • 1-1/2 cups bread flourStromboli The Extruded Noodle 069a
  • 1-1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp. yeast
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup + 2 tbsp. warm water
  • 8 oz. ground beef
  • 4 oz. sweet Italian sausage
  • Olive oil
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup sweet onion, sliced thinStromboli The Extruded Noodle 090a
  • 4 mushrooms, sliced thin
  • 1/3 cup zucchini, sliced thin
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3/4 cup of your favorite pizza sauce
  • 1 cup shredded Italian cheese blend
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. Italian seasoning



Combine the first 6 ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer with the dough hook attachment.  Knead for 5 minutes, to form a smooth supple dough.

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Place dough into an oiled bowl, turning to coat.  Cover with plastic wrap and a clean kitchen towel.  Allow to rise until doubled, about 1-1/2 hours.

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While the dough rises, make the filling.  Cook the ground beef and sausage in a deep skillet over medium heat, breaking up the meat with a spatula.

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Add salt and pepper, all of the milk and simmer, continuing to break up the meat until browned all over and the milk has evaporated.

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Transfer to a colander to drain.

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Wipe the skillet clean, and add a little more olive oil.  Add the vegetables, salt and pepper to taste and cook for 5 minutes, until the mushrooms have released their liquid.

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Transfer to the colander with the meat and allow to drain while you work on the dough.

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Stretch and fold the dough, then shape it into a ball.  Cover with plastic wrap and rest 20 minutes.

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Roll out the dough into a long rectangle, 22″ x 11″ x 1/2″.  Transfer the dough to a sheet of oiled parchment and place on a baking sheet.  Cover and rest 20 minutes.  Preheat the oven to 400º.

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Cut 1″ strips down the sides of the dough, leaving the center intact.

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Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with Italian seasoning.

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Toss the well drained meat and vegetables with the pizza sauce.

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Spread the filling evenly down the middle of the dough.

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Top with the cheese.

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Now fold the strips over the top, alternating sides.

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Beat the egg and brush over the top.  Bake at 400º for 30 minutes.

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Transfer the Stromboli to a cutting board.  Try to be patient and let it cool for 10 minutes before slicing!

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We polished most of this off for lunch.  It was delicious!

The Extruded Noodle ©


Posted in Bread, Comfort Food, Sourdough, Whole Grains | Leave a comment

Breaded Pork Chops with Sweet Potato and Cauliflower

How about we only dirty one pan tonight?  Our Extruded Dishwasher, a/k/a Hubby is looking forward to this one!  I am using a rectangular stoneware baking dish to prepare this 3 course dinner for two.  You will need 2 bone-in pork chops, one large sweet potato and one small head of cauliflower.  On the table in under an hour – let’s get started!  Preheat your oven to 350º and lightly oil your baking dish.

Step 1 – Sweet Potato

Peel and slice one large sweet potato.  Toss with 1 tbsp. honey, 1 tbsp. canola oil sprinkle with cinnamon and nutmeg.  Spread the potato in a single layer along one side of the baking dish.  Place it in the oven to give it a head start while you prepare the pork chops.

Step 2 – Pork Chops

Dip in 1% milk, then dredge in seasoned whole wheat bread crumbs.  Place in the center of the baking dish and return to the oven while you prepare the cauliflower.

Step 3 – Cauliflower

Chop into small florets, and toss with olive oil salt and pepper.  Arrange the cauliflower in a single layer on the other side of the baking dish.


Bake for 30 minutes, turning the vegetables once.  Check the pork chops with a meat thermometer.  I like them at 150º

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Posted in Comfort Food, Dash Diet Friendly, Dinner for two | Tagged | Leave a comment

Orange Glazed Salmon with Barley and Asparagus

Orange glazed salmon with saffron infused barley and sautéed asparagus.  This healthy and delicious dinner for two is on the table in just under an hour.  Gather your ingredients and let’s get started!

Step 1 – Make the barley

  • 1/4 cup pearl barley
  • pinch of saffron threads
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 3/4 cup fat free, low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tsp. butter

Melt the butter in a heavy sauce pan.  Add the barley and stir for a minute, coating the grains with the melted butter.  Add the chicken broth, salt and saffron threads and bring to a boil.  Cover and reduce heat to low, simmer 55 minutes.

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Step 2 – Make the Salmon

  • 2 salmon filets, about 6 oz. each
  • 3 tbsp. whiskey
  • 1 tbsp. real maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp. brown sugar (or use brown sugar Splenda®)
  • zest of 1/2 orange (about 1 tsp.)
  • 1 tsp. blood orange infused olive oil (wonderful if you have it on hand, if not just use plain olive oil)

Brush the bottom of a glass baking dish with the olive oil.  Place the salmon filets in the baking dish, skin side down.  In a small bowl, whisk together the whiskey the syrup, the brown sugar and the orange zest.  Spoon the mixture over the salmon filets.  Bake for 30 minutes at 350º, basting with the glaze half way through.  At the end of the bake time, broil for 2 minutes.

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Step 3 – Make the Asparagus

  • 1 bunch asparagus
  • olive oil
  • salt and black pepper to taste

Wash and trim the asparagus spears, cut away the bottom 2″.  Place asparagus in a stainless steel skillet, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Sautee the asparagus, turning frequently with tongs until well done and lightly charred, about 15 minutes.

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Dinner is served!  This is a delicious meal that you will want to add to your rotation.  It has heart healthy fats from the salmon and the olive oil and fiber from the barley and asparagus.  The orange zest is a wonderful addition to the glaze that really makes the flavor pop.  I hope that I have inspired you to give it a try!

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The Extruded Noodle ©


Posted in #dashdiet, Dash Diet Friendly, Dinner for two, Seafood | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Homemade Cannelloni

Cannelloni!  This labor intensive dish is well worth the time and effort.  A wonderful way to pass the afternoon, and it’s easy when you break the recipe down into its four components: the marinara, the filling, the pasta and the besciamella.  Follow the steps and you are on your way to an amazing meal.  I made this batch as a test run, yielding 15 cannelloni and three of us polished it off for lunch.  I plan on serving it for Easter as a “primo piatto”, and will double the recipe.

Part 1 – Make the marinara

  • 1 28 oz. can San Marzano tomatoes
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 2 tsp. tomato paste

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Combine all of the ingredients in a sauce pot.  Simmer on low 2-1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.  Toward the end of cooking use a stick blender to process into a smooth sauce.

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Part 2 – Make the filling

  • 1/2 lb. ground pork
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/3 of a large sweet onion, diced
  • 1/3 cup white wine (I used pinot grigio)
  • 1 small carrot
  • 1 small celery stalk
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/3 tsp. rosemary
  • 2 tsp. tomato paste
  • 1-1/3 cups low sodium chicken stock
  • 1 tsp. all purpose flour
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • 2/3 cup grated parmesan
  • 1 tsp. orange zest
  • 1 tbsp. fresh Italian parsley

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I found the filling to be the most time consuming part of the process, about 30 minutes total.  Remember to keep the heat on low.  Use an electric chopper to prepare the vegetables.  Chop the carrot, celery, and half of the onion to a fine mince.  Leave the other half of the onion in small dice.  Chop the spinach and drain.  Add the olive oil to a skillet on medium low.  Cook the diced onion and ground pork, breaking up the meat with a wooden spatula.  Add the wine and continue cooking slowly over low heat, stirring occasionally until most of the liquid has evaporated.  Add the rest of the minced onion, along with the carrot and celery.  Stir in the tomato paste, and cook 2 minutes before adding the chicken stock, salt, and rosemary.  Sprinkle the flour evenly over the mixture and stir in.  Pat the spinach with paper towels to absorb excess liquid and add to the skillet.  Simmer a few minutes longer until the spinach is cooked and the filling has thickened.  The filling should be moist, but not watery.  It should look like this.

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Transfer the filling to a bowl and stir in the parsley, orange zest and the grated parmesan.  Set it aside while you make the pasta and the besciamella.

Part 3 – Make the pasta

  • 70 g semolina flour
  • 70 g whole wheat pastry flour
  • 70 g Italian “00″ flour
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1 egg
  • ice water 3-6 tbsp.

Whisk together the flours and salt.  Add the egg to the bowl of a stand mixer.  With the paddle attachment, begin mixing the flour into the egg.  Add just enough water to bring it all together into a dry crumbly dough.  The dough should hold together when you give it a squeeze.

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Divide the dough into 3 sections and flatten each into a disk.  Cover with plastic wrap and set aside to rest 20 minutes.  Using a pasta roller, roll each portion into a smooth sheet.  Begin with the widest setting and continue to setting #5 thickness.  Transfer the sheets to a clean dish towel that has been sprinkled with flour.  Dust the sheets with more flour.

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Step 4 – Make the besciamella

  • 1-1/3 cups 1% milk
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 1 tbsp. flour
  • grated nutmeg
  • ground pepper
  • 1 tbsp. grated parmesan

I was a little apprehensive about the besciamella as I don’t always have good luck making a roux.  I am happy to say it came out great, just follow the steps and do not stop whisking!  Heat the milk in a small saucepot, with the bay leaf.  In a stainless steel skillet, melt the butter.  Add the flour and whisk whisk whisk!  I used a small silicone whisk.  When the roux is just turning golden stream in the milk, whisking the entire time.  Don’t panic if you see clumps, keep whisking!  Be sure to get the entire surface of the pan.  In about 5 minutes you should have a lovely smooth besciamella.  Remove it from the heat and stir in a pinch of nutmeg, ground pepper and tbsp. of parmesan.

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Now that the hard work is done, it’s time to assemble.  Divide each pasta sheet into 5 pieces.  Spoon the filling evenly onto each section.  If the end pieces are uneven, place the filling near the narrow end.

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Preheat the oven to 400º.  Oil a baking dish, it should be large enough to accommodate all of the cannelloni in a single layer.  Now ladle enough marinara to cover the bottom of the pan, and top with 1/3 of the besciamella.

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Roll each cannelloni into a cylinder and arrange in a single layer, seam side down in the baking dish.

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Spread the remaining sauce over the cannelloni, then top with the besciamella.  There is some debate among cooks as to whether the fresh pasta sheets need to be blanched prior to filling and baking.  They do not, just be sure that all of the pasta is generously covered with sauce, including the edges.  As the pasta bakes, it will absorb some liquid from the sauce, the sauce will thicken and you can be confident that the finished dish will never be too watery.

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Sprinkle with more grated parmesan and cover the dish with foil.  Bake for 15 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for another 15 minutes.  Sprinkle with fresh parsley and serve.

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This dish took 3 hours to prepare, from beginning to end.  It was well worth the trouble.  The fresh pasta baked to al dente, the sauce was beautifully thickened and the filling was delicious and moist.  We couldn’t wait to dig in!

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I hope that you have been inspired to give this recipe a try!

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The Extruded Noodle ©


Posted in Comfort Food, Holiday Favorites, Italian Sunday Dinner | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Meatloaf Night

Meatloaf is a favorite winter comfort food.  Ours is moist, healthy and full of veggies!  This recipe makes one small meatloaf for two.  It’s a great way to incorporate more vegetables into this traditional “meat and potatoes” meal.

014 Meatloaf Night The Extruded Noodle 2014Start with the veggies, mince a little red bell pepper, zucchini, garlic, scallions, mushrooms.  The finer you mince, the more undetectable the veggies will be.  You will need about 1/2 cup total.  Reserve any extra for other uses (omelettes, soups, sauces).


Mincing can be done by hand, or with a small electric chopper.  I used the chopper for the garlic, mushrooms and zucchini.  The bell pepper and scallions were done by hand for a coarser chop.


To keep the recipe healthy, I made our breadcrumbs from one 100% whole wheat english muffin.  Using the same chopper, I processed it into crumbs then lightly toasted them in a skillet.  Substitute store bought whole wheat breadcrumbs if they are available in your area.

20130116_5BLAssemble the rest of the ingredients.  One egg, 8 oz 93% lean ground beef, 1/4 cup salt free Heinz ketchup, 1 tsp. low sodium Worcestershire sauce, 1/8 tsp. ground pepper, 1/4 tsp. each oregano, basil, 2 tbsp. rolled oats.  Whisk together the eggs, veggies, and seasonings.  Add the ketchup and Worcestershire sauce.


Now, use your hands!  Add the ground beef, incorporating it into the mixture.  Then gradually work in the oatmeal and breadcrumbs, adding enough so that the meatloaf comes together.  Heat the oven to 350° and press the meatloaf into a 7″x3″ nonstick loaf pan.  Using a fork, spread a little more ketchup over the top.

016 Meatloaf Night The Extruded Noodle 2014

That’s it!  Bake for about 45 minutes.

026 Meatloaf Night The Extruded Noodle 2014 Guaranteed moist and tasty!

017 Meatloaf Night The Extruded Noodle 2014

The Extruded Noodle © 2012-2014



Posted in Comfort Food, Dash Diet Friendly, Dinner for two, Low Carb | Tagged | 1 Comment

BBQ Chicken Sourdough Pizza

This is my go-to pizza, it’s a crowd pleaser that both kids and adults love.  The sweet toppings compliment the crisp sourdough crust.  This is a recipe that I make from memory, and the ingredients vary a little each time depending on what I have on hand.  I bake bread frequently and use a sourdough starter, and like to mill my own grain.  Please feel free to make flour substitutions based on what you have available, the recipe is very forgiving and will work with all white flour if that’s what you prefer.  If you don’t use a starter you will need to add in a bit more yeast, flour and water to compensate.


For the dough:

  • 1-1/2 cups whole grain flour *see Notes*
  • 1-1/2 cups bread flour
  • 1/2 cup 100% hydration rye starter *see Notes*
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. instant yeast
  • olive oil

For the topping:

  • 2 boneless chicken breasts, fully cooked and sliced into 1/4″ medallions
  • 2 strips of bacon, cooked and drained on paper towel and cut into small pieces
  • 1 medium sweet onion, cut into rings and sautéed in the bacon fat
  • 3 large mushrooms, sliced and sautéed in the bacon fat
  • garlic powder
  • your favorite BBQ Sauce (mine is Bull’s-Eye), about 1/2 cup divided
  • your favorite Italian cheese blend, about 1/3 cup


*Use any sourdough starter in this recipe.  If your starter is less than 100% hydration just add a little more water to the dough.  If you don’t have a starter you can add 1/4 cup rye flour to your mix, again adding just a little more water and an additional 1 tsp. of instant yeast.

*To yield 1-1/2 cups whole grain flour in this recipe I used the following:

  •                  1/3 cup spelt berries, milled
  •                  1/3 cup Kamut® berries, milled
  •                  1/3 cup wheat berries, milled

You can substitute any store bought whole grain flour, such as King Arthur, Bob’s Red Mill or Whole Foods brand.  Or use all white flour if you like, to equal 3 cups total.


Whisk together the flours, salt and yeast.  Place the starter and water in the bowl of a stand mixer with the dough hook attachment.  Gradually add the flour, and knead on low for 5 minutes.  The dough will be soft and supple.  Pour a little olive oil into a large bowl and add the dough, turning to coat.  Cover and let rise until doubled.  My first rise took about 1-1/2 hours.  If you are using more than 1 tsp. instant yeast, your rising time will be closer to 1 hour.

001 BBQ Chick Pizza The Extruded Noodle 2014

Scoop the dough onto an oiled cutting board, and pat it into a rectangle.  Do a stretch and fold.  Starting with the short side of the rectangle, gently pull and fold one side at a time, pressing the seam into the dough with the side of your hand.  Turn the dough over and shape into a ball.  Return the dough to the bowl, cover and allow to rise one more time.  My second rise took 45 minutes.  If you are using more than 1 tsp. instant yeast, your second rise will take 20-30 minutes.

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While the dough rises prepare the toppings.  The chicken should be cooked through, and the veggies sautéed until they have released some of their liquid.  Cool and drain the toppings, to keep the pizza crust from being soggy.  Transfer the cooked and drained chicken into a bowl and toss with 1/4 cup BBQ sauce.

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Roll the dough out into an 11″ x 17″ rectangle, about 1/2″ thick.  Brush lightly with olive oil and remaining 1/4 cup BBQ sauce, then allow to rest 10 minutes.  Preheat the oven to 500°.

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Just before baking, arrange the toppings evenly over the dough.

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Then sprinkle with cheese (you can add more than this if you like).

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Bake for 10 minutes at 500°, then reduce the heat to 450° and bake for an additional 10 minutes.  The initial heat will produce a beautiful crispy crust.  I like to finish it off under the broiler on high for 1-2 minutes.

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There it is!  This pizza will generously feed 3-4 people.  The crust was nice and crisp, even in the middle.


For all the “bread-heads” out there, here is a shot of the crumb.

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The Extruded Noodle © 2012-2014



Posted in Bread, Comfort Food, Sourdough, Whole Grains | Leave a comment

Homemade Ravioli with Sausage Ricotta Filling

I think this may be my new favorite Kitchenaid® attachment.  I got the ravioli press for Christmas, and with a little practice we have made some amazing fresh pasta.  In this post we are making a quarter recipe, which is perfect for the two of us.  We had plenty to eat, with leftovers.  A half recipe easily feeds six.

Dough ingredients:

  • 103 g. whole wheat pastry flour
  • 104 g. bread flour

Total 207 g. flour

  • 1 egg
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 5-6 tbsp. cold water

Filling Ingredients:

  • 4-5 oz. Italian sausage, cooked and finely chopped (I used a food processor)
  • 1/3 cup fat free ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup Italian 5 cheese blend
  • 1 large button mushroom, cooked and finely chopped

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Mix all of the filling ingredients together with a fork, and refrigerate while you make the dough.  Whisk together the flours and salt.  In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the egg and gradually add the flour mixture.  Add the cold water 1 tbsp. at a time, just until you have a dry crumbly dough.  Give it a squeeze and if it holds together it’s ready.

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Divide the dough in half and press each half into a disc.

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Now begin feeding the dough through the pasta sheet attachment.  Start with the widest setting, and work down to the 3rd or 4th.  Here is a great video from KitchenAid® that we watched a few times before our first attempt.


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Lay the sheets of dough on a floured dish towel, and sprinkle lightly with more flour.  Remove the pasta sheet attachment and switch to the ravioli attachment.  Now fold one pasta sheet in half and feed it into the ravioli attachment.  Snap on the hopper and gently press the filling into the hopper while feeding the dough through the press.

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Here are a few tips that I can pass along from our experience.  First, be sure that your pasta sheets are wide enough so that the outer edges seal properly.  Second, try not to have your sheets taper off at the ends (trim them if necessary) or the filling will ooze onto the rollers and you will have a mess to clean up.  Finally, when spooning the filling into the hopper don’t press hard or you may tear the dough.

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This sheet came out perfect.  The ravioli separate easily along the perforations.

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For food safety it is recommended that fresh pasta be refrigerated if not cooked within 1 hour.  That is never a problem at our house, we had a pot of boiling water ready to go.

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Fresh pasta cooks quickly!  The ravioli were cooked to al dente in just 4 minutes.

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A little sauce hides any slightly imperfect results!

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This was a great meal and really fun to make!  I can’t wait to try out some new filling and sauce combinations!  If you have made ravioli with the KitchenAid® attachment I would love to hear your experiences and always welcome your comments!




The Extruded Noodle © 2012-2014


Posted in Comfort Food, Dash Diet Friendly, Italian Sunday Dinner, Pasta | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Turkey Lentil Soup

A great way to use up leftover turkey, and this soup is delicious!


  • 3/4 cup each onion, carrot and celery cut into small dice
  • light olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 48 oz. can fat free, low sodium chicken broth
  • pinch of saffron
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp. ground sage
  • 1/2 tsp. thyme
  • 1 cup uncooked lentils
  • 2 cups cooked turkey, cut into small dice
  • 1/2 cup small egg pasta


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Heat a Dutch oven on medium.  Sautee the carrot, onion and celery in a little olive oil for a few minutes then salt and fresh ground pepper to taste.  Add all of the chicken broth and seasonings.  Cover and simmer 45-60 minutes.

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Add the lentils and the cooked turkey to the pot and continue simmering on low for another 30 minutes.  Add the egg pasta (uncooked) right into the pot and continue simmering another 10-15 minutes.

This was one of the better soups that I have made this winter.  It was thick and hearty, with just enough kick from the pepper flakes.

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The Extruded Noodle© 2012-2014


 The leftovers for this soup came from our Crock Pot Turkey Leg recipe.  Check it out here…


Posted in Dash Diet Friendly | 1 Comment

Crock Pot Turkey Legs

Winter is not going away quietly this year!  Comfort food in the crock pot is just what you need on these cold nights.  Our turkey leg is lightly browned in a skillet then slow cooked for 7 hours.  We got our turkey leg from Baffoni’s, our favorite local poultry farm.  It was huge (4 lbs.), and just about fit in the crockpot!  There was more than enough for 2 people with plenty of leftovers.

Serves 2 (for a few days!)


  • 1-2 turkey legs (or thighs)
  • 1/4 cup flour or cornstarch
  • 1-1/2 cups fat free, low sodium chicken broth
  • sodium free chicken bouillon
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • light olive oil for browning
  • 1/2 sweet onion, cut into wedges
  • 2 large carrots, cut into chunks
  • 2 small potatoes, cut into chunks
  • 1 celery stalk
  • 1/2 tsp. salt free seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp. thyme
  • 1/2 tsp. sage
  • 1/8 tsp. ground black pepper


Rinse the turkey and pat dry.  Season with ground pepper and brown in a skillet coated lightly with olive oil.

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Set up the crock pot.  Chop the onion, celery, potato and carrot, and sauté in the same skillet.   Add the veggies to the crockpot and place the turkey leg on top of the veggies.

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In a measuring cup, combine the chicken broth, wine, bouillon, seasoning and corn starch or flour.  Whisk to combine.  Pour the mixture over the turkey leg, cover and cook on low for 6-7 hours.  After a long simmer in the crockpot, the liquid will thicken and the meat will be tender and falling off the bone.

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Dinner is served!

Strain some of the cooking liquid to serve with the turkey.

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There was so much meat on this leg, we had plenty left over for sandwiches the next day!

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And a pot of soup!

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See the soup recipe here!

 Visit Baffoni’s Poultry Farm


The Extruded Noodle ©

Posted in Comfort Food, Crockpot | Leave a comment

Chicken Thighs over Penne in a Mushroom Wine Sauce

This week I defrosted chicken thighs for dinner with no plan on how I would be preparing them.  It was a work night, so slow cooking was not an option.  After a quick look at what we had in the pantry, here is what I decided to do.  It’s a simple preparation but tastes like you spent all day in the kitchen.  And it was great leftover!

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  • 4 chicken thighs
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1-1/2 cups sliced baby bella mushrooms
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1/2 tsp. thyme
  • 1/4 cup 1% milk
  • 6 oz. whole wheat penne


1. Spread the flour, salt and pepper in a breading tray.  Dredge the chicken in the flour mixture.

2. Heat a deep skillet and add the oil and butter.  Brown the chicken 5 minutes each side and remove to a plate.

3. Add the mushrooms to the skillet and sauté for 2 minutes.  Add the garlic and continue cooking for 30 seconds.

4. Return the chicken to the skillet and sprinkle with thyme.  Add the white wine, cover and simmer 20 minutes.

5. Cook the pasta according to package directions.

6. Transfer the chicken to a clean plate and keep warm.  Reduce the heat to low and add the milk to the skillet, stirring well to incorporate.

7. Drain the pasta and add it to the skillet, tossing well with the mushroom sauce.  Add the chicken back to the skillet and serve.

For a meal that started out with no plan, this one was a winner!  Hubby said I can definitely make this again!  ;-)

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The Extruded Noodle © 2012-2014

Posted in Comfort Food, Dinner for two, Pasta | Leave a comment

Golden Crab Cakes

Another great weeknight dinner idea, these crab cakes come together quickly with just a little advance prep!  They cook up golden and delicious.  Fresh lemon is a must for this recipe!

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  • 8 oz. can Fancy Lump Crab
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. Smart Balance spread or unsalted butter
  • 1/8 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp. onion powder
  • pinch of cayenne
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup red bell pepper, minced
  • 1/4 cup leftover mashed potatoes
  • 1/4 cup low fat mayonnaise or sour cream
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 1 tsp. low sodium Worcestershire sauce
  • 2/3 cups 100% whole wheat breadcrumbs, divided


To save time I minced my garlic and bell pepper the night before.  We had just a little leftover mashed potato in the fridge, which was perfect for this dish.

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Whisk together the egg, mayonnaise or sour cream, all of the seasonings, the minced garlic, bell pepper, lemon zest and Worcestershire sauce.  Add the lump crab meat.

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Fold in the crab meat, and 1/3 cup of the breadcrumbs.


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Spread the remaining 1/3 cup of breadcrumb in a plate.  Form 5 patties with the crab mixture and gently pat them in the breadcrumbs.

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Heat the oil and Smart Balance or butter in an ovenproof skillet.  Cook the patties 5 minutes each side on the stove top then finish 5 minutes in the oven at 350º.  Broil on high 2 minutes more.

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Serve with a generous squeeze of fresh lemon, and you won’t even know this recipe is low sodium.  Hubby had his with cocktail sauce.

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We had these leftover for lunch and they were even better the next day!


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The Extruded Noodle © 2012-2014


Posted in #dashdiet, Dash Diet Friendly, Low Sodium, Seafood, Whole Grains | Leave a comment

Roasted Cauliflower

Cauliflower is a staple in low carb menus.  In our kitchen I have used cauliflower as a substitute for just about every carb, including rice, potatoes and pizza dough.  On it’s own, a side of steamed cauliflower can be well, just blah.  So last night I decided to roast it.  Wow!  Let’s just say there were no leftovers!


  • One head of cauliflower
  • Light olive oil
  • Salt and pepper


Cut the cauliflower into evenly sized florets.  Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper.  Spread out on a baking sheet (I used a Pampered Chef stoneware baker) that has been brushed with oil.  Be sure not to crowd the pan.  Bake at 425º for 20-25 minutes or until nicely browned.  Turn the cauliflower a few times during baking.  And there you have it, an easy and delicious side dish that you can prepare while attending to the rest of your meal.

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The Extruded Noodle © 2014


See some of my other cauliflower adventures here!


Posted in #dashdiet, Dash Diet Friendly, Eat your Vegetables | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Shrimp with Fennel and Farfalle

This dish has all the requirements of an easy weeknight meal at our house.  Minimal prep, a few ingredients and only 2 pans to clean!  Fennel is a perfect flavor compliment to the shrimp and tomatoes.


  • 8 oz. raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 14.5 oz. can fire roasted tomatoes
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/3 cup chopped fennel
  • ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. Italian seasoning, divided
  • olive oil
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 2 tbsp. flour
  • 8 oz. farfalle pasta

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Mince the garlic and chop the fennel into 1/2″ dice.  In a deep skillet, sauté the fennel in a little olive oil.  Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.  Stir in the diced tomatoes, pepper and 1/2 tsp. seasoning and simmer for 10 minutes.

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Whisk together the wine, flour and remaining 1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning.  Cook the pasta to al dente, according to the package directions.  To finish, add the wine mixture and peas to the skillet.

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Bring back to a simmer for 5 minutes or until the sauce begins to thicken.  Add the shrimp and cook for a few minutes more, just until the shrimp are pink.

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Toss with the pasta, finish with a little more olive oil and serve right in the skillet!

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Mmmmmm, this was delicious!

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The Extruded Noodle © 2012-2014

Posted in Dinner for two, Pasta, Seafood | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Oatmeal Day

Thursday is “Oatmeal Day” at our house.  Since hubby and I embarked on a healthy eating plan 2 years ago, humble oatmeal has become part of our breakfast rotation.  Jazzed up with fruit and toasted nuts, it’s my favorite breakfast of the week!


  • 2 cups water
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cups Irish steel cut oatmeal (NOT quick cooking!)
  • 2 tbsp. Brown Sugar Splenda® (or use regular)
  • 1 tbsp. pecans
  • 1 tbsp. slivered almonds
  • cinnamon
  • banana
  • blueberries


Bring water and salt to a boil.  Add the oats, reduce heat to medium low and cook for 25 minutes, stirring constantly.  Break up the pecans and almonds and gently toast them in a skillet on low for 3-4 minutes (don’t skip this step, it makes a huge flavor difference!).

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Arrange the fruit in 2 bowls.  Portion the oatmeal over the fruit, and top with the brown sugar and almonds.  Finish with a sprinkle of cinnamon.

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The Extruded Noodle © 2012-2014


Posted in Breakfast, Dash Diet Friendly, Whole Grains | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Hazelnut Encrusted Chicken with Cavatelli and Green Beans

Boneless chicken breast, dipped in egg and rolled in ground hazelnut and seasoned breadcrumbs.  With a little advance prep work this meal comes together easily!

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  • 1 lb. chicken breast cut into 4 oz. pieces
  • 1/3 cup ground hazelnuts (do this the night before)
  • 1/3 cup whole wheat seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 1/3 cup egg whites
  • salt and pepper
  • olive oil
  • 6 oz. cavatelli or other small pasta
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup beef broth
  • 2 tbsp. flour
  • 1 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • 1 bag green beans


Set up 2 breading trays, one with the egg white and one with the breadcrumb and ground hazelnuts.  Season the egg whites generously with salt and pepper.  Lightly coat each piece of chicken with egg white and roll in the hazelnut and breadcrumb mixture.  Brush a baking dish with olive oil and place the breaded chicken pieces into the baking dish.  Bake at 350º until internal temperature reaches 160º.

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While the chicken bakes, cook the pasta.  Whisk together the chicken broth, beef broth, flour and Italian seasoning.  Bring to a boil and cook the pasta to al dente.  Steam the green beans and season with salt and pepper.

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The Extruded Noodle © 2012-2014


Posted in Comfort Food, Dinner for two | Leave a comment

Italian Sourdough Bread with Whole Wheat

Here is another great bread for your Italian Sunday Dinner.  A hard, crunchy crust with a soft crumb, it’s great for dipping in oil!


  • 1-1/2 cups white bread flour
  • 1-1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1-1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. yeast
  • 3/4 cup fully active sourdough starter
  • 1 cup warm water, plus more as needed
  • olive oil
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tsp. toasted sesame seeds

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Combine all of the dry ingredients (through yeast) and whisk to combine.  Add the sourdough starter to the bowl of a stand mixer with the dough hook attachment, and gradually mix in the flour mixture and water until you have a smooth shiny dough.  A few drops of oil will help the dough to move freely in the bowl.  Add more water, 1 tbsp. at a time only if needed.  Place the kneaded dough in a bowl with about 2 tbsp. olive oil, and turn the dough to coat all sides with the oil.  Cover with plastic wrap and a clean dish towel.

After the dough has doubled in size (about 2 hours), gently deflate while stretching and folding over each side to form a tight ball.  Rest for 10 minutes then shape into a loaf.  Place the loaf on an oiled baking stone, cover and proof an additional 30 minutes.

While the loaf is proofing, preheat the oven to 500º.  Brush the loaf all over with the well beaten egg, and sprinkle with sesame seeds.  Quickly give the dough one slash down the middle.

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Bake at 500º for 10 minutes, then lower the heat to 475º and continue baking for an additional 20 minutes.  The loaf should have a beautifully browned crust that sounds hollow when tapped.  Look how beautifully it has opened up!  Cool in the pan for 20 minutes then transfer to a rack.  Allow the loaf to rest for at least 4 hours before slicing.


This was a great dipping bread, and we enjoyed it with our pasta dinner last weekend.  Crunchy crust and soft crumb, it is also great for toasting and freezes well.  Enjoy!

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The Extruded Noodle © 2012-2014

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

Homemade Mini Rigatoni Pasta with the KitchenAid® Pasta Press

20131129_18bl2014b The Extruded NoodleIt has been almost 6 months since I got my newest kitchen gadget and we have been experimenting with homemade pasta on many a Sunday afternoon!  I have made all of the shapes using different flour combinations, including bread flour, Italian 00 flour, semolina and whole wheat.

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Now that I have a feel for this dough we are really starting to enjoy our homemade pasta.  Every time we make it, we get better results.  Here are some tips that I have if you are following the product manual:

Weigh the flour for consistent results.  Experiment with different flour combinations for different texture and flavor.  Add water 1 tablespoon at a time, and wait at least 15 seconds after each addition to see how it incorporates.  Adding too much water will leave you with a gummy mess, too little and the dough will fall apart.  The manual instructions call for just 2 tbsp. of water, but I needed more to achieve the desired consistency.  I don’t specify an exact amount of water in my ingredient list because it will vary each time depending on type of flour used, and even the size of your eggs.  Practice makes perfect.  The dough is ready when it looks a little crumbly but will hold together when you give it a squeeze.

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1/4 Recipe  (2-3 servings)

  • 207g flour
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • cold water, 1 tbsp. at a time (about 4 tbsp.)

1/2 Recipe (4-6 servings)

  • 413g flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • cold water, 1 tbsp. at a time

3/4 Recipe (6-9 servings)

  • 620g flour
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/8 tsp. salt
  • cold water, 1 tbsp. at a time

Full Recipe (8-12 servings)

  • 825g flour
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • cold water, 1 tbsp. at a time


The first time we used the pasta press we made a full recipe.  Hubby and I ate pasta all week!  We have since found that a quarter recipe is just right for the two of us.  For our mini rigatoni, I made a quarter recipe using 104g bread flour and 104g whole wheat pastry flour.  Combine all of the ingredients except the water in the bowl of a stand mixer using the paddle attachment.  Add 1 tbsp. of water at a time,  just enough to bring the dough together.  When you think the dough is still just a little too dry, stop.

Pinch off the dough into walnut sized pieces.  This is the optimal size for feeding through the press.  Have a floured cutting board or dish towel ready for the cut pasta.

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For food safety it is recommended that fresh pasta be refrigerated within 1 hour.  At our house, that’s never a problem as we have a large pot of boiling water waiting!

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Fresh pasta cooks quickly, no more than 5 minutes.  Don’t overcook!

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Here are our mini rigatoni, cooked to al dente and served with my Italian meatballs, perfect every time!


The Extruded Noodle © 2012-2014




Your comments are always welcome!!!  Do you use any of the KitchenAid® pasta making attachments?  I would love to hear about your experiences!

Posted in Dash Diet Friendly, Italian Sunday Dinner, Whole Grains | Leave a comment

Bruschetta Flounder

Flounder filets, lightly breaded and baked on a bed of chopped tomatoes. So moist and flavorful!  I love this simple dinner, on the table in under a half hour!  A favorite restaurant of mine makes a similar dish, using cod.  The recipe will work with any flaky white fish.


  • 2 tbsp. butter, divided
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • black pepper
  • salt free Italian seasoning
  • 1 lb. flounder fillets
  • 1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
  • grated parmesan, and a few shavings for garnish


Rub the bottom of a 9 x 13 glass baking dish with 1 tbsp. butter.  Spread the chopped tomatoes in the bottom of the baking dish.  Sprinkle with pepper and Italian seasoning.


Press the breadcrumbs into the flounder filets and lay them on top of the chopped tomatoes.  Sprinkle with grated parmesan.  Cut the remaining tbsp. of butter into small pieces and scatter them over the top of the fish.


Bake for 15 minutes at 400º, then finish under the broiler for 4 minutes on low.


Serve with fresh lemon wedges and a little shaved parmesan (optional).  Steamed green beans are a nice side with this meal.



The Extruded Noodle © 2012-2014

Posted in Dash Diet Friendly, Low Sodium, Seafood | Leave a comment

Easy Chicken Noodle Soup

Sometimes you just want soup in a hurry.  Here’s a quicker version (3 hours instead of 3 days) of our holiday soup that will warm you up on a winter afternoon.  It’s low fat and low sodium.  So go ahead and have a second bowl, guilt free.



  • 1 large chicken leg quarter (or use thighs or drumsticks)
  • olive oil, for browning
  • 1 large (50 oz.) can fat free, less sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 sweet onion, chopped
  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 3 celery stalks, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tbsp. flour
  • sodium free chicken bouillon
  • black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. sage
  • 1/2 tsp. thyme
  • 1/4 tsp. ground ginger
  • pinch of saffron
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • 6 oz. cholesterol free egg noodles


Brown the chicken in a Dutch oven.  Cover with water and simmer 2 hours.  Transfer the chicken to a plate, remove the meat and set aside.  Strain the cooking liquid into a clean pot.  Add the canned chicken broth.

Chop the onion, celery and carrot.  Sautee in olive oil for a few minutes then stir in the flour.  Add to the broth along with all of the remaining ingredients except the egg noodles and the spinach.  Simmer for 1 hour.

Roughly chop the spinach and cook the noodles until al dente.  Add the chopped spinach, the cooked noodles and the reserved chicken meat to the pot.  Serve with grated parmesan and crusty bread.




The Extruded Noodle © 2012-2014



Posted in Low Sodium, Pasta, Soup | Tagged | Leave a comment

Pork Chops with Basmati Rice, Peppers and Onions

Here is another delicious dinner for two, on the table in under an hour.  Have your ingredients ready and let’s get started!


  • 2 boneless pork sirloin chops
  • 1/2 red bell pepper
  • 6 white button mushrooms
  • 1/4 large sweet onion
  • 1/3 cup brown basmati rice
  • 1 cup fat free, low sodium chicken broth
  • olive oil for browning
  • fresh ground pepper


In a heavy saucepan bring the chicken broth to a boil.  Stir in the brown basmati rice.  Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer 45-50 minutes.  While the rice cooks, slice up the onion, pepper and mushrooms.  Season the pork with ground pepper.  Heat a heavy skillet with a little olive oil, add the veggies and lightly sauté.  Push the veggies to one side of the skillet and add a little more oil.  Place the pork chops in the center of the skillet, cover and cook 5 minutes.  Turn, and cook an additional 5 minutes with the cover off.

Serve immediately!



The Extruded Noodle © 2012-2014

Posted in Dash Diet Friendly, Dinner for two, Low Sodium | Leave a comment