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Inspiration for wholesome weeknight & weekend cooking.

Posts tagged ‘Parmesan’

Wondering what to do with Swiss chard?  It’s one of the healthiest vegetables out there and bountiful at the grocery store and at farmers markets almost year-round.  I’m always looking for new, simple recipes that use this superfood.  This one is wonderful – it’s basically a Swiss chard pesto that would be great on orecchiette or penne pasta.  If you double the recipe, the pesto would freeze well for future dinners.  Enjoy!


Orecchiette with Swiss Chard and Parm

Recipe from Mario Batali; featured on the Today Show.

Orecchiette with Swiss chard and Parmigiano-Reggiano

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small white onion, halved and sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 3 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
  • 1 pound Swiss chard, trimmed and sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • Maldon or other flaky sea salt
  • Coarsely ground black pepper
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 pound orecchiette
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus extra for serving

Combine the oil, onion, garlic, and chard in a large pot and cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the onion and chard are beginning to soften, about 5 minutes. Season well with Maldon salt, add 1/4 cup water, cover, reduce the heat to low, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the chard is very tender, about 20 minutes. Season with pepper and remove from the heat. Place ingredients into food processor and finely chop. Set aside in large bowl.

Bring 6 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot and add 3 tablespoons kosher salt. Drop in the pasta and cook until just al dente.

Drain the pasta, reserving about 1/2 cup of the pasta water. Add the pasta and 1/4 cup of the reserved pasta water to the chard ragu and stir and toss over medium heat until the pasta is well coated (add a splash or two more of the reserved pasta water if necessary to loosen the sauce). Stir in the cheese.

Transfer the pasta to a serving bowl and serve with additional grated Parmigiano on the side.

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I’m always looking for yummy cauliflower recipes since it’s so good for you (filled with nutrients, antioxidants, fiber, and cancer-preventing potential).  I hated cauliflower growing up (I think it was just steamed with little to no seasoning – blech!)  Now I do love it, roasted or puréed.  This is a tasty recipe, but next time I might lower the cooking temp from 425 to 400 degrees (as you can see, my florets got pretty charred!)

Parm Roasted Cauliflower

Recipe from Bon Appetit.

Parmesan-Roasted Cauliflower

Serves 4.


1 head cauliflower

1 medium onion, sliced

4 thyme sprigs

4 unpeeled garlic cloves

3 tablespoons olive oil

kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese


Pre-heat oven to 425°. Cut 1 head cauliflower into florets; toss on a large rimmed baking sheet with 1 sliced medium onion, 4 thyme sprigs, 4 unpeeled garlic cloves, and 3 tablespoons olive oil; season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Roast, tossing occasionally, until almost tender, 35-40 minutes. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup grated Parmesan, toss to combine, and roast until cauliflower is tender, 10-12 minutes longer.

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I know this dish might sound a little strange, but we LOVE it.  It has the most delicious taste and it’s not hard to make.  I could eat this once every two weeks!  Two quick notes: 1) I add a bit more capers than the recipe calls for below and 2) If I ever have leftover white wine that would go to waste, I freeze it in little baggies for cooking.  This way, if a recipe calls for just 1/2 cup of white wine, I don’t need to open a new bottle just for this (although, that would be a good excuse!)  Hope you like this dish as much as we do!

Orecchiette with Veal, Capers and White Wine

Recipe from Food and Wine (contributed by Grace Parisi).

Orecchiette with Veal, Capers and White Wine

“The sauce fits the pasta,” said judge Marc Vetri in praise of this tender veal ragù flavored with white wine, capers, thyme and rosemary, then tossed with the little ear-shaped orecchiette. “The meat, the capers—they hang on to the pasta when you lift up your fork.”
  1. In a large, deep skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the chopped onion and minced garlic and cook over moderately high heat, stirring frequently, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the veal, season with salt and pepper and raise the heat to high. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the veal is no longer pink and any liquid has evaporated, about 8 minutes.
  2. Add the white wine to the skillet and boil over high heat until nearly evaporated, about 5 minutes. Add the chicken stock, thyme, rosemary and capers and simmer over moderate heat until the liquid is reduced by half, about 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, cook the orecchiette in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente. Drain the pasta well and add it to the skillet along with the Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, chopped parsley and butter. Cook over moderate heat, stirring frequently, until the sauce is thick and creamy, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to bowls and serve right away.
MAKE AHEAD The veal sauce can be covered and refrigerated overnight. Rewarm the veal sauce before serving.
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This is my “go to” hors d’oeuvre to serve with cocktails.  It’s light and fresh tasting and I think it’s nice to serve people something warm out of the oven.  When thawing my puff pastry, I do set a kitchen timer for the thawing time (40 minutes) on the counter (if you let it sit much longer than that, it can get sticky and really hard to handle and mess up your whole recipe).  I’ve heard you can also thaw it in the fridge, but I haven’t tried that yet.

Caramelized Onion Tart

Recipe from blog Annie’s Eats.

Caramelized Onion Ricotta Tart
Serves: 8-12


2 tbsp. butter

1 medium-large yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
1 tsp. sugar
¼ tsp. salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 tbsp. white wine (optional)
½ cup ricotta cheese
1 egg yolk
1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
¼ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
Minced fresh parsley, for garnish


  • Preheat the oven to 350° F.  In a medium saucepan set over medium heat, melt the butter.  Add the sliced onion, thyme, sugar, salt, pepper and white wine to the pan.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions have fully caramelized and are golden brown in color, about 20-25 minutes.  Remove from the heat and set aside.  In a small bowl whisk together the ricotta and egg yolk until smooth.
  • To assemble the tart, lay the puff pastry sheet on a baking sheet and fold in each edge about 1 inch.  Spread the ricotta mixture over the puff pastry (you may not use it all).  Sprinkle about half of the Parmesan cheese over the ricotta mixture.  Layer the caramelized onions evenly over the ricotta mixture.  Top with the remaining Parmesan.  Bake 25-30 minutes, until the puff pastry is golden and baked through.  Garnish with fresh parsley, if desired.  Slice into squares or rectangles and serve warm.
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