Natasha threw this together for a girls’ lunch. Luckily, I got to watch the process. I recreated it for dinner.
2 T olive oil
2 small white onions, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, crushed
3 cans diced tomatoes with basil
⅓ c milk
2 cans albacore tuna in water, drained and flaked
1 can each sliced green and black olives, drained and rinsed
1 small jar capers, rinsed
1 small can tomato paste
Sauté onion and garlic in olive oil over medium heat until onions are translucent and tender. Add the tomatoes and tomato paste and stir until paste is well integrated. Add all the rest of the ingredients. Stir and simmer over low heat for 20-30 minutes. Serve over hot pasta with grated Grana Padano.
We got insprired to try this from a book our pal Natasha lent us. It’s easy to make, and a creamy sauce based on milk, not cream…so the guilt factor is a little lower.
1/2 cup walnut pieces
2 T butter
11/4 cups milk
1 cup fresh breadcrumbs*
2 T freshly grated parmesan cheese (we used lots more than that and it was pecorino romano)
pinch freshly grated nutmeg (OK seriously, who grates their own nutmeg?)
salt and ground black pepper to taste
fresh rosemary sprigs to garnish (we skipped those altogether)
*When they say fresh, they mean fresh. Using dry means you’ll have to tinker with the milk and cheese ratios to keep it saucier than chunkier.
1. Toast walnuts in dry, wide, flat skillet, over medium-high heat, 3-5 minutes or until fragrant, stirring constantly. Coarsely chop if desired. Set aside.
2. In medium saucepan, heat butter and milk until butter is completely melted.
3. Stir in breadcrumbs and nuts and heat gently for two minutes, stirring constantly until thickened. If sauce appears to become too thick, add a splash more milk.
4. Add parmesan cheese, nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste.
5. Toss with cooked pasta. Serves 2-4 people.
Welcome to Lo Mein 2.0! The first incarnation of this was a Rachael Ray recipe (as evidenced by the former, cutesy title, ‘No pain lo mein’). I was kind of desperate for something approximating my Chinese take-out order and the recipe I found was okay, but not RIGHT and certainly nothing special. So I kept tweaking to make it less salty (not so much soy!) and more spicy (mmm, chilies.) and I think I finally got it to where I’ve wanted it all along. Move over, Rachael!
3 T sesame oil
2/3 lb boneless chicken breasts, sliced thin (about 1/3 inch)
1 t salt
1 t ground white pepper
1 1/2 t ground ginger
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 t dark soy sauce
1 T Hoisin sauce
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 head of broccoli, florets only
1 can baby corn, drained
1-2 red Thai chilies, chopped (discard seeds for less heat)
1/2 mushrooms, sliced
4-6 oz bean sprouts
1 lb lo mein noodles, cooked and tossed with a little sesame oil
Heat 1 T oil in a large non-stick skillet over high heat. Toss chicken with 1/2 t each of salt, white pepper and ginger until just coated, then add to skillet with onion and garlic. Stir fry until chicken is well browned. Remove to chicken mixture to a bowl and stir in 1 t soy and 1/2 T Hoisin. Set aside.
Heat another T of oil to medium high in skillet then add pepper, broccoli, baby corn and chilies. Stir well to coat with oil, then add remaining salt, white pepper and ginger to vegetables. Stirring frequently, cook until broccoli is just tender-crisp. Add remaining oil to heat then add mushrooms and sprouts. Cook all vegetables, stirring often, until sprouts become translucent. Add remaining soy and Hoisin, then stir in chicken mixture and heat for 1-2 minutes. Turn off heat and add noodles. Toss until well coated and serve immedately.
This one got overhauled, too. See, Cliff and I are sort of what I like to call ‘sauce pigs.’ When I make something with a sauce that goes over rice or pasta or something, I tend to like A LOT of sauce. And I’m getting better at sauces, too. So it was time to update this one and we were very pleased with the outcome.
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, lightly pounded and cut into strips
4 T flour
1/2 t salt
1/2 t pepper
3 T olive oil
1 t oregano
1/4 c white wine
1/2 c lemon juice
1 c chicken stock
1/2 t tarragon
1 T cornstarch
1 T water
Heat oil in a large deep skillet over medium high heat. Mix flour, salt, pepper and oregano in a shallow bowl, then dredge chicken through flour mixture and brown on both sides. Remove chicken from pan and set aside. Reduce heat to medium, scrape up browned bits on bottom of pan and deglaze with white wine, cooking for 2-3 minutes, then add lemon juice, chicken stock, tarragon and capers to pan. Bring sauce to a boil, then simmer for 5 minutes. Mix cornstarch and water to a slurry, then add to sauce, stirring frequently until sauce thickens. Return chicken to pan to warm until ready. Serve over angel hair pasta.
It’s a lot of work and requires a lot of dishwork afterward, but man is it ever worth it!
6 potatoes, peeled and cubed
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup butter, melted
450g bacon, diced
1 onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 (16 ounce) package lasagna noodles
1 pkg Pasta Käse (=pasta cheese, because cheddar is damn near impossible to find in Germany)
salt and pepper to taste
1 (8 ounce) container sour cream
3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
1. Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C).
2. Place the potatoes in a large pot with water to cover over high heat. Bring to a boil and cook until the potatoes are tender. Remove from heat, drain, then combine with the milk and 6 tablespoons of butter, mash and set aside.
3. Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large skillet over medium high heat. Saute the bacon, onion and garlic in the butter for 5 to 10 minutes, or until the bacon is fully cooked.
4. Cook the lasagna noodles according to package directions and cool under running water.
5. Place 1/2 of the mashed potatoes into the bottom of a 9×13 inch baking dish. Top this with 1/3; of the cheese, followed by a layer of lasagna noodles. Repeat this with the remaining potatoes, another 1/2 of the cheese and a layer of noodles. Then arrange the bacon, onion and garlic over the noodles, then another layer of noodles, and finally top all with the remaining cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
6. Bake, uncovered, at 350°F (175°C) for 30 to 45 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Serve with sour cream and chopped fresh chives.