Category Archives: Italian

Turkey Manicotti

Turkey Manicotti

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Turkey Manicotti
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Jill likes pasta. When I am not traveling I like to work in a few comfort dishes so that she doesn’t feel like my taste kitchen. I wasn’t ready to commit to lasagna but wanted something beyond spaghetti so settled on Manicotti. I added a little ground turkey to make it more substantial.

I used up some sauce I made for my pizza last week and ran a little short for this one. It’s not lost on me how sad this pic is but I was in a hurry. It tasted great and while I would have had more sauce I would have put some on the bottom before laying in the Manicotti it really was nicely balanced with creaminess, al dente pasta and “tomato-y” zest.

Ingredients
Manicotti noodles
Mozzarella Cheese

Filling
Ricotta Cheese
1/2 lb of ground turkey
¼ cup Parmesan cheese
1 egg
1 tbs chopped Italian parsley
Kosher Salt and Pepper

Sauce
1 28 oz of Cento tomatoes
4 cloves of garlic
1 tbs of sugar
½ yellow onion
Handful of basil
Kosher Salt and Pepper to taste
Olive oil

Directions:
1. Make the marinara by putting the onions in a pan and cook until soft. Add garlic and cook for 1mins. Then add everything else and cook for 30mins stirring occasionally. Turn off heat cool and put into a blender and make a smooth sauce. If you like it chunky skip this step.

2. Make the stuffing. Brown the turkey in a medium heated skillet with a little minced onion and garlic. Let it cool to room temperature. In a separate bowl mix the meat, egg, ricotta, parm together.

3. Cook your noodles per the directions on the box. Let them cool.

4. Assembly: Ideally ladle tomato sauce in the bottom of a 9×11 glass pan (I didn’t have enough but you will if you follow the sauce recipe. I used half on my pizza last week). Then fill each manicotti noodle with the filling and place them into the pan. Once completed top with sauce and mozzarella and cook in a 350 degree oven until cheese is melted and bubbly.

Sourdough Salami Pizza #2

Sourdough Salami Pizza

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Sourdough Pizza
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Second attempt at a Sourdough pizza. Pretty much the same recipe I used on my first post titled “Sourdough Salami Pizza” Instead of dividing it we simple oiled a sheet pan and put all the dough on it and spread it out to the edges. Cooked the dough at 500 for about 9 mins. Then pulled it out and topped it with marinara, grated mozzarella, Parmesan and sliced salami. Cooked it for about 15mins.

Dough
1 ½ cup of sourdough starter
1 ½ cup of 00 flour
2 tbs of olive oil
1 tps Kosher salt

Sauce
1 can of Cento tomatoes
1 tbs of chopped basil
2 cloves of minced garlic
½ small yellow onion

Toppings
Fresh Mozzarella
Parmesan
Goat cheese
Salami
Basil
Mushrooms

Directions:
1. For the Dough take your dry ingredients and mix in a bowl. Then add your sourdough starter and mix by hand until incorporated. Work your dough by forming a ball and pulling in the bottom and rotate 90 degrees and do the same. Do this for about 10mins. Split into two portions and in an olive oil lined bowl wet the dough ball and cover for about 2 hrs or until it doubles in size.
2. For the sauce I caramelized a shallot, then added garlic and quickly added tomatoes and everything else in the sauce. Simmer for 30mins and then put it in a blender until smooth.
3. Roll your dough and place it in a preheated 500/550 oven for about 3-4 mins. Pull it out and add your sauce and toppings and put it back in the oven for 10-15 mins until it’s done.

Bloody Mary Meatball Penne

Bloody Mary Meatball Penne

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Bloody Mary Meatball Penne

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This really tastes like a Bloody Mary cocktail. I can’t drink them. I want to like them because they look so darn good and the people who like them really like them. Every time I order one I just cant get through it. It’s a mental block of drinking a soup or sauce. The plate with a fork is where these ingredients belong (imho). Tomatoes mixed with the briny capers and those celery notes backed up with the heat of Tabasco, horseradish sauce and red pepper flakes and then harmonized with a few roasted meatballs.

If you are thinking spaghetti sauce this isn’t really a sister or a brother but rather a step kid. Same tomato mother but entirely different fathers and genes. Random but want to make sure you know what you are getting into.

Ingredients

Meatballs
1lb ground Veal or Pork
1lb ground beef
Pinch of Red pepper flakes
4 dashes of Worcestershire sauce
1 tbs ground horseradish
Pinch of garlic powder, onion power,
1 tbs fresh basil (finely diced)
2 tbs Kosher Salt
Black pepper to taste

Sauce
3 stalks of celery
3 cloves of garlic (minced)
1 medium red onion
6 cups of diced tomatoes
1 can of tomato sauce (15oz)
3 Tbs of capers
1 Tbs of fresh basil
2 Tbs of Horseradish
1 Tbs of Worcestershire
2 Tbs of Vodka
Penne pasta (amt depends upon your preference)
Fresh grated Parmesan cheese (to taste)

Directions:

1. Meatballs – I am not using a binder here other than 1 egg. Combine and form into about a 2 tbs ball or use a cookie scoop. On medium-high heated skillet with a little olive oil, add your meatballs and sear them to get a nice crust on them. After browned to your liking, remove and put them on a foil lined cooking sheet and finishing them in a 350 oven. (15mins). Turn off the oven and leave them in there to stay warm while you finish your sauce.
2. In the same large skillet or pot that you seared your meatballs in, add your celery and onion with a pinch of salt and pepper and cook for about 4 mins on medium heat. Then add your minced garlic for another minute or two. Be careful not to burn your garlic.
3. Add your vodka and carefully burn off the alcohol by tilting towards the fire. (or if using a pot use a stick lighter) Stir in your tomatoes (diced or ground in food mill for smoother sauce) , capers , horseradish, Worcestershire, spices, and ½ cup of chicken broth. Cook for as long as you can but no less than 30mins.
4. While your sauce is simmering, cook your penne pasta according to the package in heavily salted water. Keep a cup of pasta water and drain the rest. Set aside.

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Before serving add your pasta and meatballs back into the sauce and let them all hang out on low / medium low. Add fresh torn basil and top with Parmesan cheese

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Thin Crust Homemade Pizza #7

  • Difficulty: medium
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Thin Crust Homemade Pizza #7
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I have mentioned earlier that I was working on my pizza making process. I have had several “at bats” and pop flied, fouled or even struck out several times. As I mentioned early on, I would only post a recipe that you can make with some level of success. I have tried dough recipes from Bobby Flay, Jamie Oliver, several online but I had decent success with Tyler Florence’s recipe.

If any readers want to share your secrets I am open to them. As I mentioned on my Sourdough pizza recipe I posted a few months ago, my oven and grill tap out at 500 degrees. Pizza temps prefer 700-1000 degrees. At least the ones I like. So I bought a little Pronto Pizza oven that is an outdoor gas oven that can get me to 900 degrees. Works great.

My favorite crusts are thin but not cracker crunch but instead have a little chew or “tooth” to them. In the Dallas area Campisis and il Fratellis are the ones I strive to replicate. I think somehow they are getting more fat into their dough.

My areas of improvement are getting my dough to stretch evenly without holes and then getting the damn dough off the pizza peel. I have tried corn meal and flour but seems like there is always a sticky area that clings onto my metal peel. So last night I decided I am going to go with a non-stick pizza pan covered in olive oil to impart more fat.

It was chilly outside which created an cooler spot at the mouth of my oven. I turned it about 1min late and burned an area but I like mine well done anyways.

Ingredients:
Dough (adapted from Tyler Florence)
1 package of active dry yeast
3 cups of 00 flour
1 cup of warm water
1 tsp of Sugar
1 tbs of Kosher Salt
2 tsp of Dough flavoring
Olive oil

Amazon link to 00 Flour http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=00+flour
Amazon link to King Arthur’ Dough flavoring http://www.amazon.com/King-Arthur-Flour-Pizza-Flavor/dp/B00GCDPLC6/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1419874435&sr=8-2&keywords=dough+flavoring

Sauce:
I 15oz can of Tomato sauce
1 tbs of minced garlic
1 tbs of Penzey’s Pizza Herbs
2 tsp of sugar
1 tbs of red wine
3 tbs of tomato paste

Toppings:
low moisture Mozzarella cheese (shredded from block)
Fresh grated Parmesan cheese and or Goat cheese
Fresh uncured salami cut thinly
torn basil
Tomato (sliced, salted and moisture removed)

Before putting it in the oven
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Directions:
1. Make the Dough by getting your yeast started. Warm 1 cup of water to about 100 degrees and stir in the sugar and yeast and pour it into the mixer bowl. Let it sit for about 10mins. The yeast will activate and get frothy.

Turn your oven on to 150 and after a minute shut it off. Creating a warm sealed place for the dough to proof. Put your proofing bowl in the oven to warm it as well.

Add your flour and salt and a glug of olive oil and mix for about 10mins. It should be tacky but not sticky. Make into a ball, cover with olive oil and then plastic wrap and a towel. Put into the oven and let it proof for 50 mins.

Punch it down and divide into two balls. Turn the balls for a few minutes with olive oil on you hands. Cover both with plastic and a towel and let it rest and relax for 10mins before making your pie. We froze one ball for later use and split the 14-15inch pizza made tonight.

2. Sauce: Olive oil and minced garlic in a small sauce pot on medium low heat. Cook for a minute or two and then add the rest of the ingredients. Simmer and stir while the dough is proofing.

3. Tonight I oiled a non stick 15inch pizza pan and tried to spread my dough out. then sauced it, topped it and stuck it into my pizza oven for 6mins. and turn another 6mins or until you get it to the “doneness” of your liking.

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