Bruschetta with Chicken Salad & Cheddar Cheese

In the United States, the word Bruschetta is used to refer to a prepared topping, which is typically sold in jars at local markets and are usually tomato-based.

An example of viewing Bruschetta in the U.S as a topping, is – Healthy Canning – a website that aims to direct people towards information on canning that is safe and healthy.

One of their posts is – Bruschetta in a jar: tomatoes in dry white wine with basil and oregano.

The article goes on to say, “Open a jar, drain, and serve on toasted Italian bread with a good Italian cheese and a drizzle of fruity olive oil.”

Here is a photo of Healthy Canning’s Bruschetta in a jar. It’s a delicious looking canned tomatoes with wine, and herbs.

Check Out Healthy Canning For Healthy Recipes and How To Safely Can Them

What Is A Bruschetta

Actually though, a tomato based Bruschetta is unheard of in Italy.

As this image shows, a product of Italy jarred sweet peppers offered as a Bruschetta topping.

In Italy, a Bruschetta is an antipasto dish starter that is prepared with toasting or grilling bread (typically Italian bread) and rubbing it with garlic and topped with olive oil and salt.

In other words, a Bruschetta is a fancy way of saying, “put it on toast”.

Toppings for a Bruschetta can include, Healthy Canning’s canned tomatoes, wine and herbs or vegetables, fruit, beans, cured meats and cheese.

Or try this Sweet Tomato Chutney as a Bruschetta topping. It is made with Roma and heritage orange tomatoes, garlic, sweet onion and spices.

The recipe featured is sliced whole wheat French bread Bruschetta topped with a chicken salad and cheddar cheese.

Bruschetta can be served hot or cold, and is always a quick and easy appetizer to any casual meal.

History of Bruschetta

Bruschetta originated in Italy during 15th century.

The dish though, can be traced back to Ancient Rome when olive growers would bring their olives to a local olive press and taste a sample of their freshly pressed oil using a slice of bread.

Typically, bruschetta is served as a snack or appetizer.

It can also be made for brunch, or prepared and taken to parties, dinner gatherings and potlucks.

Bruschetta with Chicken Salad & Cheddar Cheese

For the Bruschetta

1 loaf whole wheat Italian or French bread, sliced thick, about 1 1/2 inch slice

1/2 – 1 cup olive oil

1 teaspoon Harissa seasoning, optional

Salt and black pepper to taste

Brush olive oil onto bread slices, one side only.

Next sprinkle some Harissa seasoning over olive oil brushed bread slices.

Place bread into a large iron skillet and place skillet under broiler and broil bread until lightly toasted.

Remove skillet from heat and set toasted bread aside.

The Cheese

1 slice mild cheddar cheese per bread slice

The Salad

2 cups cooked shredded chopped chicken breast or shredded chopped rotisserie chicken

1/3 cup mayonnaise

2 tablespoons sweet pickled relish

1/2 cup chopped celery

1/4 cup chopped white onion

salt and pepper to taste

In a large bowl place all prepared salad ingredients and mix until well combined.

Spoon 2 or 3 heaping tablespoons of salad on to bruschetta.

Next top bruschetta and chicken salad with a slice of cheese.

Place and arrange bruschetta slices with toppings into a large cast iron skillet.

Put skillet under high heat broiler until cheese is melted and bubbling a little but not burnt.

Plate bruschetta and eat alone or with a side dish of your choice. Here bruschetta is plated with a broccoli slaw.

Want a fruity chicken salad to top your Bruschetta? Then you love preparing this Mango Guacamole Chicken Salad.


Oven Roasted Gnocchi with Sausage and Peppers

The first known use of gnocchi was in 1891.

Gnocchi is an Italian dumpling. With simple ingredients, like potato flour, water, and eggs.

This dish originates from the Northern part of Italy. Due to the colder Northern Italian climate, potatoes are easier to grow than wheat grain.

Culinary Inventors of the Dumpling

The Chinese are the culinary inventors of the dumpling. Just as long noodles represent longevity, and dumplings represent wealth and prosperity.

At family dumpling-making gatherings on the eve of the new year, a coin may be slipped into a dumpling for good luck.

The little dough balls are usually stuffed with various ingredients from chives and shrimp to pork and cabbage.

Gnocchi verses Dumplings

What is the difference between gnocchi and dumplings?

First of all, the word gnocchi in Italian means “little dumpling.”

A gnocchi is a dumpling. The difference though, is that gnocchi is not stuffed or filled with anything as other types of dumplings are.

Instead of putting a filling inside of the dough, the “filling” ingredients are mixed with the dough, and a ball is formed afterward.

Gnocchi like dumplings can either be steamed, boiled, deep-fried, pan-fried, or roasted in the oven.

Oven Roasted Gnocchi Sausage and Peppers

1 pound sweet Italian sausage, casings removed, crumbled

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 small red bell pepper, thinly sliced

1 small yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced

1 small orange bell pepper, thinly sliced

1 small red onion, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons olive oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

8 ounces fresh cherry tomatoes (different colors), sliced in half

One 17.5-ounce package potato gnocchi

1/4 cup grated Parmesan, plus more for serving

1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves, chopped

1 pound sweet Italian sausage, casings removed, crumbled

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 small red bell pepper, thinly sliced

1 small yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced

1 small orange bell pepper, thinly sliced

1 small red onion, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons olive oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

8 ounces fresh cherry tomatoes (different colors), sliced in half

One 17.5-ounce package potato gnocchi

1/4 cup grated Parmesan, plus more for serving

1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves, chopped

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Toss together the oregano, red pepper flakes, garlic, bell peppers, onion, tomatoes, 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of black pepper on a sheet pan.

Top with sausage and gently shake the pan a few times to evenly distribute.

Roast in preheated oven until the sausage is cooked through and the vegetables are soft, 18 to 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, toss the gnocchi with the Parmesan, remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon salt. 

When sausage is cooked, remove sheet pan and turn the oven to broil.

Sprinkle the gnocchi over the sausage and vegetables and place under broiler until dark golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes.

Divide among 4 plates and if you wish, sprinkle with fresh chopped parsley or fresh oregano leaves and Parmesan cheese.

Chicken and Pumpkin Orzotto

Chicken and Pumpkin Orzotto

Orzo pasta takes the place of Arborio rice in this quick and creamy chicken and pumpkin orzotto.

If your looking for a Risotto recipe, try our tasty Pumpkin Pecan Risotto with Dried Cranberries and Goat Cheese or the Bacon and Sweet Pea Risotto.

What Is Orzo

Orzo, also known as risoni, is a short-cut pasta, shaped like a large grain of rice. It is traditionally made from white flour, but it can also be made of whole grain.

Whole Grain Orzo Pasta

In Italy, where orzo originates, is classified as pastina or “little pasta,” which is a category of small, shaped pastas.

Orzo is typically used in many Italian dishes, including soups, pasta salads, grain bowls, and other dishes where a petite pasta is needed.

Orzo can be made like rice with a two-to-one ratio of water to dried pasta and will offer a creamier texture. The best part? Your cooking time will be about half of what it takes to make a pot of white rice.

Chicken and Pumpkin Orzotto

Orzo is a fun, versatile pasta that can not only be served as a side dish in place of rice, but can also be prepared as a risotto dish.

Risotto is a dish that requires a specific type of rice — arborio — as well as plenty of patience and continual stirring to get the texture just right.

However, using orzo can be more forgiving and takes less time. Plus, the starch from the pasta will give a nice creamy texture to your meal.

1 pound chicken thighs, skinless, boneless, diced, seasoned with salt and pepper

2 tbsp olive oil

6 tbsp butter unsalted, divided

1 small onion chopped

4 cloves garlic minced

2 cups orzo dry

4 cups chicken broth

2 cups cream

1 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

2 tbsp fresh parsley chopped

Stir 4 cups of the chicken broth with pumpkin puree in large sauce pot over medium-high heat. Bring to a bowl. Turn heat to low.

In a large skillet over medium heat add 2 tablespoons of butter and melt. Next add diced chicken and cook until chicken is oblique. Remove chicken from pan and set aside in a small bowl.

In the same large skillet, add the olive oil, 4 tablespoons of butter and allow butter to melt, about 30 seconds.

Next, stir in the onion and garlic and sauté until the onion softens and the garlic becomes aromatic, about 2 minutes.

Add the orzo to the skillet and stir until orzo starts to toast lightly, about 2 minutes. This will give it a nutty flavor.

Add one cup of the broth mixture to orzo and stir until liquid is absorbed. Continue adding a half cup of the mixture at a time, stirring often between additions, until liquid is absorbed.

Cook until orzo is tender and mixture is creamy.

If orzotto is too thick, stir in an additional ½ cup broth until loosened but not soupy. 

Next stir in the Parmesan cheese and fresh parsley. Add the chicken and vegetables and mix until combined.

Plate and serve immediately.

Chicken and Pumpkin Orzotto

Bacon and Spring Pea Risotto

Risotto is a dish that is creamy, scrumptious and filling.

The beauty of preparing risotto is that you can add just about anything you’d like.

You can use various types of vegetables, herbs, and meat. You can make with or without meat.

Risotto is a comfort food, as it is filling, and is a wonderful dish for leftovers.

Risotto can be a side dish (without meat) but it is also often consumed as a complete meal (when prepared with meat).


Pumpkin Pecan Risotto with Dried Cranberries and Goat Cheese


Unlike other rice that is left in a pot of water to boil, risotto rice requires constant attention to ensure a perfectly finished dish.

The rice is not to be pre-rinsed, boiled, or drained, as washing would remove much of the starch required for a creamy texture.

When Arborio rice is cooked slowly with stock (usually chicken or vegetable stock) it allows the amylopectin starch to be released.

As a result, the rice takes on a smooth, creamy texture.

A 1/3 cup of uncooked Arborio rice (used in preparing risotto) has about 166 calories.

Bacon and Spring Pea Risotto

4 pieces bacon

1/2 yellow onion, diced

2 cups arborio rice

4 cups chicken stock, hot

1 cup frozen peas and carrots

1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

Zest of 1 lemon

Salt and pepper to taste

Cut bacon into small bite-sized pieces. Add to a large, deep, skillet and cook until crispy. Remove from pan to cool.

Drain most of the bacon grease, leaving about 1 Tbsp. in the pan. Add diced onions and cook on low heat until translucent.

Turn heat to medium and add uncooked rice to the pan. Stir to coat in bacon grease.

Add 1 cup hot chicken stock, reduce heat to low and stir while rice absorbs the liquid. Once it’s absorbed, add another 1 cup and repeat until all the liquid is gone and rice is tender.

This process should take about 20 minutes.

Next, add to tender rice frozen peas and carrots, lemon zest, cilantro and bacon. Mix in well.

Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve warm.

National Meatball Day

raw meatballs on a cutting board with vegetables and herbs on wooden rustic background - National Meatball DayCloudy with a Chance of MeatballsWho remembers the movie – Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs? We personally seen the movie, as we enjoy movies with a twist of culinary action in it (other greats: No Reservations).

A meatball is a small or large ball of ground meat, especially beef, often mixed with other ingredients of choice, like breadcrumbs, eggs, and seasonings

The preparing of meatballs is an individual’s expression of culinary creativity. Everyone who loves cooking has a different meatball recipe. 

There is no rule to cooking meatballs, as they are cooked by frying, baking, steaming, or braising in sauce.

The meatball dates back all the way to between 221 BC to 207 BC in China, with their culinary – Four Joy Meatballs.

Yes, there really is true love for a meatballs. How so? Just look at the different ways of taking ground beef (or meat of choice) and preparing them into little balls.

This list is not complete, but there are many meatball recipes out there.

Do you question the hedgehog meatballs? Well, it really isn’t hedgehog, but as Anglea Day Kitchen says, “This recipe is so called, because when cooked, the rice sticks out, making them look like hedgehogs.”

Hedgehog Meatballsceramic baking dish with Hedgehog Meatballs

2 1/4 pounds ground beef (can also use chicken, turkey, lamb, or pork)

3/4 cup uncooked long-grain white rice

1 onion, finely chopped

1 green pepper, finely chopped

1 cup grated cheddar cheese

1 teaspoon garlic, minced

salt and pepper

Sauce:

1 teaspoon olive oil

1 onion, chopped

1 40 ounce can of chopped tomatoes

3 tablespoons tomato paste

1/2 cup chicken stock

1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme

1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary

1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage

salt and pepper

pinch of sugar

Combine the ingredients for the meatballs and mix well. Shape into balls about the size of a golf ball. Prepare sauce, and place meatballs into an ovenproof baking dish, then pour sauce over the meatballs.

Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes.

Remove the foil for the last 10 minutes of baking.

SAUCE:
Heat the oil in a small saucepan and fry the onion for about 5 minutes.
Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, stock, herbs, seasoning and sugar.
Simmer for 15 minutes.

Remove from the heat and pour into a blender or food processor, and puree to a smooth sauce.
Pour the sauce over the meatballs.

Meatballs Are Not Only For Spaghetti

Spaghetti with meatballs is not an authentic Italian dish. As is bowls of olive oil set out for for dunking bread at Italian restaurants (USA), so is spaghetti served with a red sauce and topped with meatballs, both an American creation. The pasta recipe may have made its appearance in New York or New Jersey (USA) in the late 19th century.

Sue, owner and writer of “The View From Great Island” says, I love meatballs.  They’re like little soldiers, all lined up, just waiting to be of service…” She even like’s these little bite sized Bourbon Meatballs which are drenched in apricot chili bourbon sauce, and she says, “They’re perfect for the cocktail hour.”

Bourbon Meatballs on a small white plate with dipping sauce

Image credit: The View From Great Island

3/4 pound ground beef

3/4 pound ground pork

1/2 cup  Ritz Cracker, finely crushed into crumbs (you can opt for plain bread crumbs)

1/2 cup finely chopped onion

1/2 teaspoon salt

lots of fresh cracked pepper

1 egg

2 tablespoon olive oil

Bourbon Sauce

1 jar apricot preserves

1/4 cup brown sugar

3 tablespoon hot chili sauce

1/2 cup bourbon

1/2 cup barbecue sauce

1/4 cup water

Set oven to 350F

Put the above ingredients, except the olive oil, in a large mixing bowl, breaking up the meat as you put it in. Mix together, using the tips of your fingers to gently combine everything without compacting the meat. Form into small 1 inch balls.

Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet and brown the meatballs, working in batches. Transfer the meatballs to a baking sheet, and bake for about 10 minutes, until cooked through, about 160 degrees.

Place cooked meatballs into the sauce, and let heat through until ready to serve. Serve on a plate with toothpicks, a drizzle of sauce, and lots of napkins. Serve a bowl of sauce on the side for extra dipping.

To make the sauce, combine all the sauce ingredients in a skillet and bring to a simmer. Simmer gently for about 10 minutes until thick.

Sue even makes Herbed Meatballs and says, “You can eat these meatballs on pasta, on a split French roll with sauce and melted mozzarella, or all by themselves in a little bowl.”

Yes, meatballs are not just for topping a plate of spaghetti any more.

Orange Ginger Pork Meatball SoupOrange Ginger Pork Meatball Soup

1 lb. ground pork

2 green onions

3 clove garlic, minced

1 piece (1-inch) peeled fresh ginger, finely chopped

4-5 teaspoons of orange zest

4 cups vegetable broth

8 oz. snow peas, cut into thirds at an angle

1 cup of cooked brown rice

1 cup cooked black beans

Arrange oven rack 6 inches from broiler heat source. Preheat broiler on high. Line large rimmed baking sheet with foil.

In a medium bowl, combine pork, green onions, garlic, ginger, orange zest, and 1/2 teaspoon each of Himalayan salt and fresh ground pepper (both optional). Form pork mixture into bite-size meatballs (about 1 inch each).  Arrange in a single layer on prepared baking sheet. Broil 5 to 7 minutes, or until browned.

Meanwhile, in covered 5-quart sauce pot, heat broth to simmering on high. Once the broth is simmering, add snow peas, rice, beans and cooked meatballs. Reduce heat to medium, and simmer 5 minutes, or until meatballs are cooked through and snow peas are tender.

There’s even a – Meatball Stuffed Baked Potato – recipe found here at Homemade By Elle.

Enjoy some meatballs however you choose, this day – National Meatball Day!!

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Orecchiette with Chorizo and Chickpeas

Orecchiette with Chorizo and ChickpeasThe first time we used pasta Orecchiette was around 2009. We had seen a recipe in a food magazine using the pasta, so to the store we went. We had a hard time finding it, but our local co-op (sell’s all natural – organic foods) had the pasta. When we described the pasta (as we had forgotten the name) the sales lady new right away what we wanted. She referred to the pasta as little pope hats. Ever since Orechiette has become a staple in our pantry.

About.com talks on Italian food and describes Orechiette as a distinctive Puglian type of pasta shaped roughly like small ears, as orecchio in Italian means eat, and Orecchiette means little ears. The pasta is roughly 3/4 of an inch across, slightly domed, and the centers are thinner than the rim of the pasta. The pastas texture is soft in the middle and more chewy along the rim or outside of the pasta.

Barilla (store brand that sells Italian products) says that Orecchiette is the signature pasta of Puglia, describing Puglia as a humble farming land situated along the southeastern coast of Italy.

Here is a video posted to You-Tube of Italian women in Italy making fresh Orechiette pasta.
Now for our featured recipe: Orecchiette with Chorizo and Chickpeas, and here is what you will need.

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 small shallots, chopped

3/4 pound fresh Mexican chorizo, casings removed

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

2 cups chicken broth

1 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed

12 ounces Orecchiette

Garnishes:

Fresh chopped cilantro or parsley

Finely grated Parmesan and lemon zest

cooking Mexican chorizoHeat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add shallots and saute, stirring often, until beginning to brown and smell fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add chorizo to pan and break up with a spoon, and cook meat until browned and cooked through, about 5-7 minutes.

adding chickpeas to meat sauceNext add tomato paste and red pepper flakes to meat mixture and mix in. Next add the broth, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until sauce is thickened a bit, about 15-20 minutes. Next add the can of chickpeas, and mix in, cooking 2 minutes more to heat the chickpeas through.

adding orechiette to meat sauceMeanwhile, cook pasta according to packaged instructions. Drain the pasta, reserving 1 cup of the pasta cooking liquid.

Next add the pasta and 1/2 cup pasta cooking liquid to meat sauce. Continue to cook until sauce thickens and coats pasta, about 3 minutes. Add the pasta liquid as needed. You might use the whole cup, and possibly less.

Orecchiette with Chorizo and Chickpeas in the panServe pasta topped with cilantro or parsley (your choice), Parmesan, and lemon zest.

Orecchiette with Chorizo and ChickpeasWe have had this for left overs a few times, and each time we add cilantro, cheese, and lemon zest. The zest adds great flavor to this dish. Be sure to use it.

For the side salad using candy cane beets, see our recipe here: Shredded Candy Cane and Green Apple Slaw with Pecans.

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Orecchiette with Andouille Sausage and Pesto Chipotle Sauce

Orecchiette with Andouille Sausage and Pesto
Using Italian ingredients makes for a delectable meal, and pasta orecchiette is no exception. Orecchiette according to Recipes Wikia, is a pasta typical of the Apulia (Italian: Puglia) region of Southern Italy.
Orecchiette Pasta - uncooked

The shape of the pasta is what gives it, its name. The pasta resembles a small ear.

In Italian, the word “orecchio” means “ear”, and the suffix ‘etto’ means ‘small’. The pronunciation of Orecchiette is : ohr-ay-KYEHT-ee.

In another article we noted that Andouille Sausage is thanks to French cuisine. The sausage is double smoked pork, that is once the meat is prepared it is smoked, then put into a sausage casing and smoked again.

Our featured recipe is actually a mix of two pasta recipes, which are Pesto Orecchiette with Chicken Sausage and Gluten Free Creamy Pesto Fettuccine (click links to view recipes).

Now for our featured recipe Orecchiette with Andouille Sausage and Pesto Chipotle Sauce, and here is what you will need.

16 ounces of cooked orecchiette

2 Andouille sausage links, about ½ pound, sliced

3/4 cup fresh basil pesto (link here for recipe – History of Pesto Sauce)

2 teaspoons chipotle peppers in adobo sauce

15 symphony cherry tomatoes (about), sliced in half to measure 1 cup

1 pound green beans, trimmed, cut in half

Prepare basil pesto, and add the 2 teaspoons of adobe sauce to one cup of the pesto (get ingredients by following link above). Or if you are using your favorite store bought brand (preferably in a jar) remove one cup and mix in the adobe sauce. Set prepared pesto aside.

If you have any left over basil pesto sauce, store in a glass jar and pour a thin layer of olive oil over top of pesto to keep it from browning, and place a lid on jar and tighten. The pesto should keep in cooler for 7 to 10 days. Pesto sauce makes a great spread for sandwiches as well.

fresh green beans and cherry tomatoesPrepare green beans and symphony of cherry tomatoes and set aside.

adding greens beans to pot of  boiling water with Orecchiette pastaCook pasta according to package instructions. Last three minutes of cooking time for pasta, add prepared green beans.

cooked Orecchiette and green beansDrain, but do not rinse. Set aside.

adding Andouille to pastaSlice sausage into 1/2 inch slices. Heat a large skillet over medium heat, add a tablespoon of olive oil, add meat and move about until heated through, about 5 minutes. Remove from pan.

In the same large skillet, add the pasta green bean mix, the cup of pesto, sausage, and mix until coated with pesto chipotle sauce.

Orecchiette with Andouille Sausage and Pesto

Plate and serve.

 

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The History of Pesto Sauce

Pesto Sauce

Pesto is a sauce originating in Genoa in the Liguria region of northern Italy, and from the time the Italians invented pesto it has always been prepared with crushed garlic, basil, and European pine nuts blended with olive oil, Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, and including Fiore Sardo, a cheese made from sheep’s milk.

It is possible the mineral-rich seaside soil and temperate climate of Liguria is why pesto sauce has  become a beloved sauce in northeren Italy, as they have the perfect conditions for growing basil.

The Meaning of Pesto

Different Materials to make Mortars and Pestles

Click To Enlarge For Better Viewing

The Italian word for pesto: pestare, means to pound, or to crush. Pesto was originally prepared with a marble mortar and wooden pestle.

The ingredients were pounded or crushed with a circular motion of the pestle in the mortar.

The book “Pesto Genovese: an Ageless Benchmark of Great Italian Cuisine,” writes that the ancient Romans ate a paste called moretum, prepared by crushing cheese, garlic and herbs together.

Because the term pesto is a generic word for anything that is made by pounding or crushing, that leaves the original pesto sauce recipe open to flexible and differing ways to prepare the sauce.

Flexible Ways to Prepare Pesto Sauce

In accent Provence, France the pesto was prepared without using pine nuts, as no pine trees grow there to provide the nuts. Sometimes almonds are used instead of pine nuts, and mint leaves are mixed in with the basil leaves. Some have even used spinach or cilantro in place of basil.

grated Asiago cheese

Grated Asiago Cheese

The interchangeable use of the nuts and greens just depends on your taste. In our kitchen at Splendid Recipes and More, we have used pecans in place of pine nuts, and almost always use Asiago cheese in place of the traditional Parmesan cheese.

Here’s the recipe for the traditional pesto sauce, though as we said, at Splendid Recipes and More, we use Asiago cheese. Here is what you will need.

Pesto Sauce - over head shot2 cups packed fresh basil leaves, no stems

¼ cup pine nuts

2 large garlic cloves

½ cup grated Romano/Parmesan or Asiago cheese

½ cup extra virgin olive oil

Place all the ingredients in a food processor, except oil, and pulse. Start to add oil slowly, pulsing until ingredients form a smooth paste.

Note: If you do not use right away, or there are left overs, store in a jar with a layer of olive oil on top to prevent discoloration, and top jar with a tight lid and store in the refrigerator. Will store for 3 to 5 days.

Pesto is no doubt one of the worlds most loved sauces, next to the mayonnaise and the Mexican traditional salsa.

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National Tortellini Day

National Tortellini Day

Tortellini is a pasta that has made centuries of tradition for all the families that live in an Italian province called Modena.

The pasta is made on special occasions, using recipes handed down from one generation to another.

collage-of-places-in-modena-italyViews of the Province of Modena, Italy

It is said the origins of the tortellini dates back to the early 1600’s.

There is doubt and speculation as to who the person or persons are that invented the pasta.

Italian food is romantic

Today, February 13th is National Tortellini Day in the USA, according to The Nibble.

Italian food represents romance, and can bring out the romantic affection in anyone.


Do you know the Delightful Differences between Northern and Southern Italian Cuisine – Follow link to find out.


How is Tortellini Made

Here is a short video to demonstrate how tortellini is made. The video will present the preparation of Tortellini Bolognesi.

 

Nutritional Benefits of Tortellini 

Regular cheese tortellini is pasta made from flour, though it does have some nutritional benefits.

This includes 72 mg of potassium, 20 mg of magnesium, also some small amounts of vitamins A and B-12, and including iron per 3/4 cup serving.

Recent studies have shown that a deficiency in vitamin B-12 can be associated with feelings of fatigue and low energy, including depression, irritability, anxiety, and dementia. So let’s eat some Tortellini.

Here’s three recipes from our kitchen to celebrate National Tortellini Day:

Mushroom Tortellini with Asparagus

Mushroom Tortellini with Asparagus

Plated close up of Tortellini and Summer Sausage with Tomato Basil Vinagrette

Tortellini and Summer Sausage with Tomato Basil Vinaigrette

Sausage and Tortellini Soup

Sausage and Tortellini Soup

 

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Spaghetti Carbonara

Spaghetti CarbonaraAs with many recipes, the origins of the dish Spaghetti Carbonara and its name are uncertain or ambiguous. There are countless speculations as to the origin of the name, which some have concluded the name Spaghetti Carbonara may be more recent than the dish itself.

The name is derived from carbonaro, Italian for charcoal burner. Some believe the dish was first made as a pasta meal for Italian charcoal workers. Another theory is American soldiers who combined bacon and eggs with pasta, after they had occupied Italy in the post-war era.

Yet another theory is Ippolito Cavalcanti a highly influential chef of nineteenth-century and Neapolitan cook book author, “Cucina Teorico-Pratica” (1839) which included a recipe for pasta with eggs and cheese.

The third edition book “On Cooking” (2003) written by  Sarah Labensky, writes about techniques from expert chefs., and included are the variations of Spaghetti Carbonara. She says outside of Italy may chefs include the addition of other ingredients with Spaghetti Carbonara, such as peas, broccoli, mushrooms, or other vegetables.

Here at Splendid Recipes and More we tried to stick to the original recipe, though we did not include any black pepper. Here is what you will need.

1 lb. spaghetti

12 slices thick bacon, cut into 1 inch slices

4 large eggs

¾ cup grated Parmesan cheese

½ cup heavy cream

salt and pepper to taste (optional)

boiling water to cook pastaCook the spaghetti according package instructions. In a large measuring cup or small mixing bowl, combined the eggs, cream, and cheese, then set aside.

cutting bacan for Spaghetti CarbonaraNext, prepare bacon, and in a large skillet, cook cut bacon over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp. Transfer bacon to a paper-towel-lined plate, and set aside.

cooked pastaDrain pasta, leaving some water clinging to it. Do not rinse pasta, but quickly add hot pasta back to a heated skillet and add the egg mixture along with the bacon, and toss to combine. The heat from the hot pasta will cook the eggs, though you don’t want the eggs to have a scrambled look.

Spaghetti Carbonara

Plate Spaghetti Carbonara on to a platter and serve immediately. You can sprinkle with additional Parmesan cheese, if you desire.

 

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