Pasta Bolognese

DF if w/out mascarpone cheese

The only thing that’s not so great about bolognese is how long it typically takes to make.  No one I know has a couple of hours to make it on a weeknight especially during the holiday season. But you want that beefy red sauce over your pasta, you just crave it.  Here’s a perfect recipe for any night of the week…

Pasta Bolognese
1lb penne (I used whole wheat), cooked
olive oil
1 onion, diced
3 celery stalks, diced
2 carrots, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp dried oregano
2 bay leaves
1lb ground beef
1/2 c red wine
3 c good store bought jarred marinara sauce (recommended: Rao’s)
1/2 c basil, chopped
1/2 c mascarpone cheese
salt and pepper

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Heat olive oil over medium high heat in a large pot.  Add onion, celery, carrots, garlic, oregano, bay leaves and, salt and pepper, cook for 5 minutes.  Add beef and cook until browned, 5 minutes  Deglaze the pot with red wine while scrapping up the brown bits from the bottom of the pan and let reduce by half.  Add jarred marinara sauce, bring sauce to a boil then reduce heat to low and let simmer for 30 minutes.  Remove bay leaves and add basil.  Add pasta, stir to combine and portion into bowls.  Then dollop mascarpone cheese on each serving and enjoy.

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Chicken and Leek Pasta with Crispy Prosciutto

You haven’t had the big turkey dinner yet, but since you eat so much of it you’re usually ready for something completely different the next day.  You have to do something with all of those leftovers.  The typical thanksgiving leftover sandwich is great, but why not something different?  Of course you can make this any time, but it would also be great with leftover turkey instead of chicken.  Give it a try this week.

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Chicken and Leek Pasta with Crispy Prosciutto
8 slices of prosciutto
2 leeks, sliced into half moons
2 garlic cloves, minced
10 baby bella   mushrooms, diced
2 chicken breasts, chopped into bit size pieces
1 c white wine
1/2 c mascarpone cheese
1lb orecchiette pasta, cooked

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Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Place the prosciutto in a single layer on a sheet pan and roast in the oven for 5 minutes. Once cooled, crumble then set aside. In a large sautee pan add 2 tbs olive oil over medium high heat.  Add leeks, garlic and mushrooms, stir occasionally.  Once leeks have started to soften add chicken and cook until just cooked through.  Add white wine, let reduce by half then turn off heat.  Add mascarpone cheese and orecchiete pasta, stir to combine, then sprinkle with crumbled prosciutto.

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Roasted Tomato Basil Soup


while it might be getting warmer here in the northeast, it doesn’t mean we’re done with winter yet.  so if you need a cup of soup to warm you up try some roasted tomato basil soup…and maybe a grilled cheese on sourdough.  i had this a couple of weeks ago and although i’ve had other good soups since nothing warms your soul quite the same as a tomato soup.  there’s also nothing like a soup and sandwich night to bring back the comfort of your childhood.

roasted tomato basil soup
3 lbs plum tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise
1/4 c plus 2 tbs olive oil
salt and pepper
2 cups yellow onions, chopped
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbs butter
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1 (28 oz) canned plum tomatoes, with their juice
4 cups basil
1 quart chicken or vegetable stock
2 tbs mascarpone cheese

preheat the oven to 400 degrees. toss together the tomatoes, 1/4 cup olive oil, salt, and pepper on a baking sheet and roast for 45 minutes.  in an 8-quart stockpot over medium heat, saute the onions and garlic with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, the butter, and red pepper flakes for 10 minutes, until the onions start to brown. add the canned tomatoes, basil, and chicken stock. add the oven-roasted tomatoes, including the liquid on the baking sheet. bring to a boil and simmer uncovered for 40 minutes. blend with an immersion blender until smooth, then stir in mascarpone cheese. taste for seasonings and serve hot or cold.