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Posts tagged ‘dinner last week’

DLW: Ditalini Pasta & White Beans with Garlic Rosemary Oil


I have been obsessed with white beans as of late.  No explanation…I just want them, all the time.  Also, tuna.  No idea why.

Luckily, Smitten Kitchen delivered and we whipped up this dish for dinner last week.  She mentioned that it makes enough to feed a couple starving armies…so we halved the recipe and still had plenty of leftovers for lunches during the week!

Ditalini Pasta & White Beans with Garlic Rosemary Oil

½ medium onion, cut into big chunks
½ medium carrot, in big chunks
½ celery stalk, in big chunks
3 garlic cloves, 2 left whole, 1 finely chopped
¼ cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
pinch of crushed red pepper flakes (or to taste)
¼ cup olive oil, divided
Coarse or kosh salt
1 to 2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 15-ounce can small white beans (such as Great Northern or Cannelini), rinsed
½ pound short tube pasta we used Ditalini
½ tablespoon minced fresh rosemary

Pulse onion, carrot, celery, whole garlic cloves, parsley, and red pepper flakes (to taste) in a food processor until finely chopped. Heat 4 tbsp. oil in a large, heavy pot over medium heat and add vegetable mixture to pot. (Quickly rinse, but no need to fully wash, food processor as you’ll use it again shortly.) Season generously with salt. Cook, stirring from time to time, until vegetables take on a bit of color, about 10 minutes. Add tomato paste and cook it into the vegetables for another minute. Add 1 cup water and use it to scrape up any bits stuck to the pot. Let simmer until liquid has almost disappeared, about 5 to 8 minutes.

Add beans and 2 more cups of water to the pot and simmer until the flavors meld, about another 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook pasta until al dente, or still a little firm inside.

Reserve 1 1/2 cups cooking water from your drained pasta.

Transfer one cup of the bean mixture to your rinsed food processor and purée it until smooth, then stir it back into the sauce to thicken it. Add drained pasta and 1/2 cup cooking liquid to bean sauce and cook the mixture together, adding more pasta cooking liquid as needed, until the sauce coats the pasta, about 1 to 2 more minutes.

To serve: Heat remaining 1/4 cup olive oil in a tiny saucepan over medium-low heat with garlic and rosemary, until sizzling stops. Divide pasta between serving bowls and drizzle garlic-rosemary oil over each.

Next time we make this, we will wait until the very end to add in most of the beans as we found that we liked them a bit toothier and less mushy.  And please, don’t underestimate how critical the garlic rosemary oil is at the end.  I would even recommend making more of the oil for leftovers and dredging some crusty bread through it.

This is a great vegetarian hearty and filling dish despite looking a little bland.  Who knows, next time I might go crazy and throw some lightly dressed arugula on top!

DLW :: Whatever-is-in-the-fridge Calzones


Sometimes we’re fancy around here and spend a lot of time and effort planning and cooking a meal…and others…it is just about filling your stomach for the evening.  These are the evenings when having some random ingredients in the fridge and pantry comes in handy!

Although pizza dough is incredibly easy and relatively quick to make…every so often I grab a bag of dough from the refrigerated section of Trader Joe’s – it can be so versatile.  So…we happened to have one just waiting to be used.

Throw in a leftover half an onion, some green olives and some roasted red peppers and whatever remnants of cheese you have along with some herbs and seasoning…and all of a sudden, you’ve got a delicious calzone.  I tend to leave the sauce out of the calzone and serve it warm on the side…otherwise, it can make everything a bit soggy.  We split this one between the two of us and it was a nice light meal.

What are your go-to pantry meals and creations?

DLW :: Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Risotto & Sautéed Kale


Roast a pork tenderloin, make some risotto, sauté some kale and top it all with a little Parmesan…and poof – dinner appears!

Okay, it wasn’t actually that quick, but it was delicious and we had some leftover pork for a meal later in the week!  (stay tuned for details on that…)

What did you eat last week?

 

DLW: Zucchini, Goat Cheese & Pasilla Pepper Tarts


We’ve discussed my love for tarts in the past…and here is yet another example.  Throw it in a crust and I’ll love it.  Put some simply dressed greens next to it…and I just might swoon!

This is a great way to use up small portions of leftovers.  I chopped an onion, diced a zucchini and a pasilla pepper and sautéed them all together with salt and pepper and a little lemon juice.

Pre-baked the tart shells for a few minutes and spooned in the filling, topped with crumbled goat cheese and baked them again for another 5-10 minutes.

Voilá!  Dinner is on the table!

DLW: Fettuccine with Mizithra Cheese and Fresh Dressed Arugula


Very satisfying, very quick and seemingly exquisite.

Fresh fettucine pasta cooked al dente, tossed with butter, sea salt and fresh cracked pepper, piled on a plate and topped with plenty of mizithra cheese.  Mizithra is a greek cheese, almost like an aged and dried version of feta.

In a bowl, squeeze a bit of fresh lemon juice, sprinkle in salt and grind in some pepper, stir a bit and then add some good olive oil…just before serving, toss in fresh arugula and coat with the dressing, pile high on the plate and top with shaved parmesan.

The bite of the arugula balances out the richness of the buttery pasta.

Enjoy!

DLW: Chicken Garlic Sausage & Swiss Chard Flatbread


Dinner Last Week::

I love when a delicious and distinctive meal comes out of whatever is lying around in the fridge.  I think it actually improves the whole meal experience…ya know, low expectations!  Maybe I should lower my expectations all the time and be pleasantly surprised when dinner is quick and delicious and did not require it’s very own trip to the store for exact ingredients!

This is one of those dinners!  Swiss chard that was on its way to being sad, some garlic chicken sausages from Trader Joe’s, just enough mozzarella, a quarter of a red onion and some pizza dough from the fridge.  I quickly sautéed the chard and sliced and browned the sausage a bit.  Seasoned with salt, pepper and herbs and drizzled with some garlic oil!  I also pre-bake the pizza dough as I find it stays a bit crispier.  Oven is preheated to 450º with a pizza stone, roll or stretch out the dough, load it into the oven for 4-6 minutes, just until it is firm enough to pull out in one piece without ripping or tearing.  Toss all the ingredients on top and throw it back in the oven for another 3-6 minutes.

Poof!  Flatbread!

Dinner a few weeks ago…Goat Cheese Mushroom Burgers with Roasted Cauliflower


Burgers with mushroom duxelle and goat cheese crumbles served with roasted cauliflower, wilted spinach and quick roasted cherry tomatoes.

Delicious, filling, and used up a whole bunch of leftovers and veggies we had lying around!

Caulifower Gratin


Dinner Last Week…

This dish is perfectly simple.  It is amazing what a little béchamel, some buttered breadcrumbs and a sprinkle of gruyère can do.  Served alongside a mesclun salad with a lemon vinaigrette, this is a delightful and cozy winter dinner.

Woody’s Weeknight Hamburger Casserole


aka – gourmet homemade hamburger helper!

Dinner Last Week

Woody knows all the details…cause this was all him.  Here’s the cast of characters:

  • free range ground beef
  • onion
  • campanelle pasta
  • mascarpone
  • tomato sauce
  • and a little parmesan and mozzarella

Perfectly delicious, simple and homey! (note the melty stringy cheese – I’m telling you…it’s exactly what you want on a chilly night mid-winter!

 

Dinner last week…Spaetzle!


I. Love. Spaetzle. 

Woody is teaching this quarter on Tuesday and Thursday evenings and so I’m on my own when it comes to dinner.  I threw together some vegetables we had on hand and cooked up some spaetzle and poof…dinner!

 

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