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Chick Pea Soup

Chick Pea Soup

Last night I was on my own for dinner. Usually I try to do something really healthy, but most of the time I end up eating frozen pizza. However, last night I made Chick Pea Soup. I don’t usually eat chick peas, I don’t make hummus or use them in salads, but I have heard they are good for you, and I will be really disappointed if someone tells me otherwise.

This soup was different for me because your first making a vegetable broth. Then you toss the veggies, and I like veggies. I considered putting some of the vegetables back into my soup after it was finished, but the soup is good and creamy so I opted not to add any vegetables back in.

Vegetable Broth

Ingredients

1 cups chopped leeks, white and light green parts only (1 to 2 medium leeks)
1 medium carrot, peeled and sliced
Kosher salt
1 bay leaf, broken in half
1 fresh thyme sprig, or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
One 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes and juices

Put the leeks, carrot, 2 teaspoons salt, bay leaf, thyme sprig or dried thyme, tomatoes, and 4 cups water in a medium, heavy pot over high heat. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Strain stock into large bowl, extract much liquid as possible, and return stock to pot (discard vegetables in strainer).The stock should be about 4 cups. If not, add enough water to equal this amount.

Chick Pea Soup

4 cups stock
One 15 ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 cup, short dried past, such as ditalini
2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
3 cups baby spinach leaves
Parmesan cheese

Puree 1/2 cup chickpeas with 1/4 cup water in food processor or blender. Add the pureed chickpeas and remaining whole chickpeas, pasta, rosemary, and 1 teaspoon salt to the stock. Bring mixture to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until pasta is al dente, for 6-8 minutes. (If the soup starts to cook down too much, add 1 to 1 1/2 cups additional water and return to simmer.) Add the spinach and cook 1 minute more or until wilted. Season with salt or pepper, if needed.

Sprinkle Parmesan cheese over each serving.

Rigatoni with Fresh Basil and Ricotta

I fix a lot of baked pastas, baked ziti, baked spaghetti, baked macaroni; throw a bunch of cheese on some pasta with all the fixings, yummy. I am definetly a pasta person. I didn’t want to bake this though because I was making cookies, which I will get to later. Since I do love pasta so much I should really get one of those snazzy pasta makers, but it seems like those pasta makers only make the flat noodles. I guess I will just have to find somewhere that sells fresh noodles, but see we live in the South. It is very difficult to find thing like fresh noodles, we might have one store in my town. Although, if you want something fried we are your people; well, I’m not your people, because I am liable to burn the house down, but you get where I am going with this. So, on this particular “yuck” Monday I am making Rigatoni with Fresh Basil and Ricotta, Marcus would rather have fried chicken and greens. I don’t think that combo will ever come out of my kitchen. Although, I might eat my words one day.

Rigatoni with Fresh Basil and Ricotta

2 ½ cups basic tomato sauce
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 pound Barilla Rigatoni
1 lb ground beef
¼ cup fresh basil leaves, lightly packed
1 cup Ricotta
1 garlic clove, minced (optional)

Method
1. Bring 6 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot and add 2 tablespoons salt.
2. Meanwhile in a 14 to 16-inch sauté pan, brown ground beef. Cook thoroughly and drain.
3. Add tomato sauce to ground beef heat over medium heat. Once the mixture comes to a boil, and garlic and reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes or until the sauce is thick.
3. Cook the Barilla Rigatoni in the boiling water 1 minute less than the package instructions. Drain the pasta and add to the pan with the sauce. Toss gently for about 10 seconds. Tear the basil leaves into a few pieces and add to the sauce. Add the ricotta and toss together for 1 minute. Pour into a heated bowl and serve immediately.

Souper Soup

I have a few post for today. I have been saving them from this past week. I did not post anything last week. Mainly I was just lazy. Marc started a new job and he is getting up at ridicuously early hour, so by the end of the day he is exhausted. Unfortunately, his first day of work he was sick, really sick. I wanted to make some homemade soup for him, you know like some chicken noodle or veggie soup. I had some tortellinis in the fridge that I bought from the store that were stuffed with chicken and prosciutto. I was planing on making an cream sauce for the tortellinis, but with Marc not feeling well I thought they would be good in a chicken broth with some veggies. I used big chucks on potatoes, celery, onion and carrots, pretty much what ever you like in your soup, and let that cook before putting some herbs and spices in to the mix. I am not always able to use fresh herbs and spices, but I try to use them because food taste so much better. This is the first time I made soup with fresh herbs and spices and oh my it was so good. Such a big difference. After I got my broth and veggies just right I added the tortellinis, which don’t take long to cook, when they start to float and expand they are done.

Souper Soup

Marc was feeling a lot better the next morning; although, I ended up eating way more souper soup than he did.

Lasagna Rolls

A few nights ago Marcus mentioned he wanted lasagna. I think I have only made lasagna once before last night, and it was not very good. I had tried a vegetarian lasagna a few years ago, that is when I realized I am not a fan of cooked spinach. I was searching for a good lasagna recipe that did not have a “Sunday Gravy” to go with it, cause I just don’t have the time on a Thursday. I came across a recipe from Giada De Laurentiis, Lasagna Rolls, that had prosciutto and lots of cooked spinach, I omitted both. The rolling idea sounded cool though.

Rolling these noodles is not as messy as stuffing manicotti!

1 lb Italian sausage
2 cups ricotta cheese
1 ½ cup mozzarella, divied
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves
2 – 14oz cans stewed tomatoes
1 cup chopped red onion
2 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh oregano leaves
2 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
2 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh thyme leaves
9 cooked lasagna noodles, depending how many you can squeeze

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Remove the casing from the sausage and discard. Heat a nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Add the sausage; I break up the sausage with my hands as I put it in the pan, cook thoroughly. Drain and discard and grease in the pan and remove sausage from heat. Add ricotta and ½ cup of mozzarella; stir until well blended. Set aside.

Heat olive oil in a small, non-stick sauce pan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, crushed red pepper flakes, and chopped basil, onions and sauté until the onions are soft, about 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and bring to a simmer. Add oregano, parsley, thyme, tomato paste. Bring to a simmer and cover for about 10 minutes occasionally stirring.

Cook 9 lasagna noodles per directions on the box.

To assemble, line the bottom of a 13 by 9 inch lasagna pan with ¼ of marina sauce. Lay out a lasagna noodle on a work surface, and then spread 2 tablespoons of sausage and ricotta mixture evenly over the noodle. Start rolling the noodle at 1 end, then put about a 1 tablespoon more of the sausage and ricotta mixture and continue to roll the noodle.

Repeat this for the remaining noodles and sausage and ricotta mixture.

Spoon remaining sauce over noodles. Sprinkle remaining mozzarella on top cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes covered. uncover and bake for 10 minutes to let the cheese brown. My cheese got a little browner than it should have, but mistakes are made. And it was still really good. Seriously, no leftovers! Compliments even from the man who claims he “just doesn’t prefer Italian sausage.”

Linguine with creamy mushroom sauce…and sweet peas

I have been itching to get my first post and get my new blog rolling. I wanted to make an over the top meal for dinner tonight, with dessert. Marcus, my husband, had other plans, he wanted to go to Lowe’s to a few plants and hangers for the front yard… my fancy meal flew out the window. We really aren’t gardening people, but Marc likes the front of the house to look good; so we pick out a fern, some flowers, and 3 hanging pots. Two hours later the fern was re-potted, hanging pots were hanging, and I was starving!

Marcus had to go to work late tonight so I figured I could get away with a vegetarian meal for myself. My Granny bought me a Vegetarian Cookbook Food Made Fast from William Sonoma when Marc and I got married and I love the recipes, but Marc is a meat and potatoes kind of guy. Although, most of my veggie adventures come out quite good and he really likes them. But tonight the pups and I were home alone so we made;

Linguine with creamy mushroom sauce and sweet peas.

Olive Oil, 2 Tbs

Button mushrooms, 6 oz

Shiitake mushrooms (WS calls for Cremini, our grocery store was out), 6 oz

Unfrozen sweet peas, 1 bag

Garlic minced, 1-2 Cloves

Dried Thyme, 1/2 tsp

Dry vermouth, I used dry white wine, 1/4 cup

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Linguine, 1lb

Sour Cream, 1/2cup

Cayenne pepper, pinch or more

Fresh flat-leaf (Italian) parsley, 2 Tbs chopped

To Make the Sauce:

In a frying pan warm the oil medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and saute until they have released most of their liquid, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and thyme and cook, stirring until the mushrooms are golden, 4-5 minutes more. Add the sweet peas and the white wine or vermouth, and cook stirring until the alcohol has evaporated, about 2 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper and remove from heat.

To Make the Pasta:

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to boil add 2 tablespoons salt and the pasta to the boiling water. Cook and stir occasionally. Once the pasta is ready, drain, saving about 1/2 cup of the cooking water to use if needed in the cream sauce (I did not use any extra water). Add the pasta to the mushroom and sweet pea sauce along with the sour cream and cayenne. Stir to combine. Warm briefly over low heat to combine the flavors. This is when you would add the cooking water if it is needed. Stir in the parsley and serve.