Crusty Baked Shells & Cauliflower from Ina

    • Kosher salt
    • Freshly ground black pepper
    • 3/4 pound medium shells, such as Barilla
    • Good olive oil
    • 2 1/2 pounds cauliflower, cut into small florets (1 large head)
    • 3 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh sage leaves
    • 2 tablespoons capers, drained
    • 1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves)
    • 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
    • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
    • 2 cups freshly grated Italian Fontina Val d’Aosta cheese, lightly packed (10 ounces with rind)
    • 1 cup (8 ounces) fresh ricotta
    • 1/2 cup panko (Japanese bread flakes)
    • 6 tablespoons freshly grated Italian Pecorino cheese
    • 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves minced
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°.
  2. Fill a large pot with water, add 2 tablespoons of salt and bring to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, according to the instructions on the package. Since it will be baked later, don’t overcook it! Drain and pour into a very large bowl.
  3. Meanwhile, heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large (12-inch) sauté pan over medium-high heat, add half of the cauliflower in one layer and sauté for 5 to 6 minutes, tossing occasionally, until the florets are lightly browned and tender. Pour the cauliflower, including the small bits, into the bowl with the pasta. Add 3 more tablespoons of olive oil to the sauté pan, add the remaining cauliflower, cook until browned and tender and add to the bowl.
  4. Add the sage, capers, garlic, lemon zest, red pepper flakes, 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon black pepper to the bowl and stir carefully. Stir in the Fontina. Transfer half of the mixture to a 10 x 13 x 2–inch rectangular baking dish. Spoon rounded tablespoons of ricotta on the pasta and spoon the remaining pasta mixture on top. Combine the panko, Pecorino, parsley and 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a small bowl and sprinkle it evenly on top. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until browned and crusty on top. Serve hot.

Creamy Penne Florentine With Mushrooms And Spinach from

download8-10 oz. penne pasta
3 cups medium mushrooms (shitake or porcini), stems removed, sliced
3 cups spinach
1 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Bring a large pot of generously salted water to boil.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large pan or skillet over medium heat and saute mushrooms, seasoned with salt and covered, for 15-20 minutes, or until softened.
Stir occasionally and reduce heat if mushrooms start to burn.

Add spinach to mushrooms and pour in lemon juice. Cook until wilted, then add walnuts.
Cook pasta according to packaging directions, or until al dente. Drain (reserving 1/2 cup pasta water) and set aside.

Add heavy cream to the spinach and mushrooms, stirring well, and mix in Parmesan cheese. If sauce is too thick, add pasta water one tablespoon at a time.
Taste and season with salt and pepper, if necessary.

Pour drained pasta into the sauce and toss well to coat thoroughly. Cook on low heat for 5 minutes, or until sauce thickens and sticks to pasta.

Transfer to serving plates, garnish with more Parmesan and serve hot. Serves 4-6


Squash-Rice Casserole


8 cups sliced zucchini (about 2 1/2 pounds)
1 cup chopped onion
garlic minced
1-2 tbsp olve oil
2 cups cooked rice
1 cup  sour cream
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded cheese
1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated fresh Parmesan cheese, divided
1/4 cup Italian-seasoned breadcrumbs
parsley for color
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350°.

Saute first 3 ingredients in olive oil until tender. Combine zucchini mixture, rice, sour cream, cheddar cheese, 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, breadcrumbs, salt, pepper, and eggs in a bowl; stir gently. Spoon zucchini mixture into a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray; sprinkle with 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until bubbly.


dmv note:  I halved the recipe, used yellow squash and cubed brie it was quite tasty.


Mushroom Noodle Pudding


2 tbsp butter or vegetable oil
2 scallions, minced
1 small onion, minced
16 ounces firm, fresh mushrooms, stemmed, halved, and sliced
1/4 cup mushroom broth or white wine
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 cup cottage cheese
½ cup sour cream
1/4 c. mild cheese, grated
2 large eggs, beaten
pinch paprika
pinch dill
4 c. cooked cooked pasta, penne or ziti or regular noodles
2 tbsp. chopped parsley

Preheat oven to 350ºF.

Heat butter or oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add onion and scallions, sauté 10 minutes or until very tender. Add mushrooms, salt, pepper,  sauté 10 minutes until mushrooms are tender and limp. If liquid remains in pan, cook over high heat, stirring, 2 minutes until it evaporates.   Add broth or wine and simmer for 5 min.

Cook noodles uncovered in a large pan of boiling salted water over high heat 4 minutes or until nearly tender but firmer than usual. Transfer to a large bowl.

In mixing bowl add beat eggs, cottage cheese, sour cream and cheese, transfer mushroom mixture to bowl. Stir in paprika, dill, parsley and noodles.

Grease an 8″  baking dish and add noodle mixture. Bake until firm and golden brown, about 45 minutes. Makes 4 to 6 servings.


Cod en Cocotte with tomatoes and olives from


  • 2 medium Yukon Gold potatoes (12 ounces/350 g total)
  • 6 plum tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped
  • 1 1/2 ounces (45 g) Spanish chorizo, cut into 1/8-inch (3-mm) dice (OMIT)
  • 12 small black olives, such as Niçoise, pitted
  • 1 large garlic clove, chopped
  • Four 4- to 5-ounce (125- to 150-g) skinned cod fillets
  • 4 thyme sprigs
  • 1/4 cup (8 g) chopped parsley
  • 4 tablespoons (60 g) unsalted butter, sliced
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
 Heat the oven to 350°F (175°C). In a medium saucepan of boiling water, cook the potatoes until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain and let cool slightly, then peel and cut into slices 1/4 inch (6 mm) thick.

In a medium enameled cast-iron casserole, spread the potato slices, tomatoes, chorizo, olives, and garlic. Set the fish on top and add the thyme, parsley, butter, oil, and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and bring to a simmer on the stove, then transfer the pot to the oven and cook until the fish is just opaque throughout, 10 to 15 minutes. Serve directly from the casserole.

Make Ahead
The casserole can be assembled and refrigerated for up to 4 hours before baking.


Cheesy Scalloped Potato Casserole from the food network


  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 medium onion minced
  • 2 gloves garlic minced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons table salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 1/2lbs russet potatoes peeled and sliced into about 1/8″ thick rounds
  • 1 cup veggie broth
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  1. Preheat oven to 425F
  2. Melt butter in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat until the foaming subsides.
  3. Add onion and cook while stirring occasionally until lightly browned and soft (about 4 minutes).
  4. Add garlic, thyme, salt, and pepper. Cook for about another 30 seconds.
  5. Add potatoes, chicken broth, cream, and bay leaves. Bring to a simmer.
  6. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer for about 10 minutes. discard bay leaves.
  7. Transfer the mixture to an 8″x8″ baking dish and press into an even layer.
  8. Sprinkle the top evenly with cheese.
  9. Bake in oven about 16 minutes until the cream is bubbling around the edges and the top is golden brown.
  10. Let cool 10 minutes before serving.
  11. Enjoy!


Orecchiette with Roasted Butternut Squash, Kale, and Caramelized Red Onion food 52


large butternut squash, cut into small cubes, divided
tablespoons olive oil, divided
Salt and pepper, for seasoning
pinch cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
red onion, sliced thinly
1/2 pound orecchiette
1 or 2 large cloves garlic, minced

cups veggie broth, divided
bunch kale
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup heavy cream
ounce goat cheese, optional
tablespoon chopped sage
Parmesan cheese, to serve

  1. Preheat oven to 425° F. Toss all but 1 cup of the butternut squash with 1 tablespoon olive oil, salt, pepper, a pinch of cayenne pepper, and the nutmeg. Roast until butternut squash pieces are tender and caramelized, about 30 minutes. Set aside.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a medium saucepan over low heat. Cook sliced red onions until caramelized, about 30 minutes. Set aside.
  3. Heat a pot of water over high heat until boiling. Salt water generously. Cook orecchiette according to package instructions until al dente.
  4. Meanwhile, heat another tablespoon of olive oil in a heavy pan over medium-high heat. Cook the remaining cup of butternut squash for approximately 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook for another minute. Add 1/2 cup of the chicken broth and cook until broth is almost completely absorbed.
  5. Remove the middle stems from the kale and roughly chop the leaves. Add kale to butternut squash and stir until kale has softened. Add caramelized red onions.
  6. Add white wine and cook for 2 minutes. Add remaining chicken broth and reduce, about 10 minutes.
  7. Turn heat to low and add the heavy cream. When the pasta is al dente, add it to the pan with the sauce. Add the roasted butternut squash.
  8. Loosen sauce with pasta water if needed. Sprinkle with goat cheese (optional), sage, and Parmesan cheese.  Serves 4

Bulgur, Spinach and Tomato Casserole, NY Times

1 cup coarse (#3) bulgur
Salt to taste
1 28-ounce can chopped tomatoes with juice
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 plump garlic cloves, minced
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice or cinnamon (to taste)
Freshly ground pepper
1 12-ounce bunch spinach, stemmed and washed thoroughly in 2 changes of water, or 2 6-ounce bags baby spinach
2 teaspoons dried mint or 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas (1 can, drained and rinsed) (optional)
2 ounces Gruyère, or 1 ounce each Gruyère and Parmesan, grated (1/2 cup)

1. Bring 2 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add the bulgur and salt to taste, reduce the heat, cover and simmer 15 to 20 minutes, until the water is absorbed. Remove from the heat, uncover and place a clean dish towel over the pan, then replace the lid. Allow to sit undisturbed for 10 minutes or longer. Transfer to a large bowl.

2. Pulse the tomatoes with their juice in a food processor. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium heat in a large, wide skillet or a shallow 3-quart saucepan and add the garlic. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds, and add the tomatoes, sugar, salt to taste, and allspice or cinnamon. Bring to a simmer, reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer until the tomatoes have cooked down to a fragrant sauce, about 20 minutes. Taste, adjust salt and add freshly ground pepper.

3. Steam the spinach until it wilts, 1 to 2 minutes, rinse briefly with cold water and squeeze out excess water. Do this by the handful to get out all the water. Chop coarsely. Add to the bulgur. Add the mint and the chickpeas if using, 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1/2 cup of the tomato sauce and toss together.

4. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Oil a 2-quart gratin or baking dish. Spread the bulgur mixture in the dish in an even layer. Top with the remaining tomato sauce. Sprinkle on the cheese. Drizzle on the last tablespoon of olive oil. Bake 30 minutes, or until the top is lightly browned. Remove from the heat and allow to sit for 10 minutes before serving.  Yield: Serves 6

Variation: Substitute feta for the Gruyère.


Green Bean Casserole with Crispy Onions from smitten kitchen

Adapted a little from Alton Brown and a little from trial-and-error








Crispy Onions
2 medium yellow onions, halved and thinly sliced
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons panko or plain breadcrumbs
1/2 teaspoon table salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Canola, safflower, peanut or other high-heat oil, for deep-frying

Mushroom Sauce
3 tablespoons butter
12 ounces mushrooms, thinly sliced or coarsely chopped
Few gratings fresh nutmeg (optional)
Freshly ground black pepper
3/4 teaspoon table salt
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
1/2 cup heavy cream

1 to 1 1/2 pounds green beans, trimmed and halved (see note about volume)

Make the crispy onions: Toss onion with flour, breadcrumbs, salt and pepper. Heat a 1/2-inch or so of oil in a 12-inch cast iron skillet until a drop of water flicked into it will hiss and sputter. Add onions, just a handful at a time in something close to a single layer, and fry until a light golden brown (they’ll get more color in the oven; I overcooked mine a bit, forgetting this). Remove with a spider or large slotted spoon, let oil drip off a little, back into the skillet, then spread onions out on paper towels to drain. Repeat with remaining onions. Set aside until needed; this makes a lot.

Heat oven to 400 degrees F.

Prepare the beans: Bring a large pot of salted water to boil and boil greens for 5 minutes (for standard green beans) or 2 to 3 minutes (for haricot vert, or skinny ones). Drain beans, then plunge them into ice water to full stop them from cooking. Drain again, and set aside. (If you are adamant about only using one pot, you can boil them in your 12-inch cast iron skillet that you use for the other steps. But a saucepan can be easier.)

Make the mushroom sauce: Over medium-high heat, melt butter in the bottom of a 12-inch cast iron skillet. Add the mushrooms, salt and pepper and saute them until they start releasing their liquid, anywhere from 3 to 5 minutes, depending on how they were chopped. Add the garlic and saute one minute more. Add the flour and stir it until it fully coats the mushrooms. Add the broth, 1/4 cup at a time, stirring the whole time. Simmer mixture for 1 minute, then add cream and bring back to a simmer, cooking until the sauce thickens a bit, about 5 to 6 minutes, stirring frequently.

Assemble and bake: Add cooked greens beans to sauce and stir until they are coated. Sprinkle crispy onions over the top. Bake for 15 minutes, or until sauce is bubbling and onions are a shade darker. Eat at once.

Do ahead, a few ways: Onions can be made long in advance (up to a day) and keep at room temperature, loosely wrapped (they’d get soggy in an airtight container). Green beans can be cooked and kept in fridge until needed, at least one day. Green beans can also be combined with mushroom sauce and kept refrigerated for up to a day. Add onions and bake shortly before serving. Finally, it’s less ideal, but the entire dish can be cooked, loosely wrapped (so the crispy top doesn’t get soggy) and then rewarmed in a low oven before serving. Just keep an eye on the topping so it doesn’t get too brown while reheating.

A few notes:

  • I made a half-recipe of this dish (in a 9-inch skillet) as there are only three of us. Yours will be bigger. It was so good, we wished we had more.
  • I recommend a range of quantities for the green beans; if you like your casserole to be heavier on sauce and lighter on vegetables, use the lower amount. If you’d like a more vegetable-heavy dish, light-to-moderately coated with the sauce (as mine is in the photos), use the higher amount.
  • This makes a loooot of crispy onions. We didn’t mind. But you could probably stretch half the onion volume more thinly over your whole casserole (saving the other half for snacking/sandwiches), or you could just say, “It’s Thanksgiving. Let’s do this,” and use them all. Either way, you win.
  • [Apologies, this was originally in the recipe and I’d meant to make it a footnote due to the unevenness of the results.] If you’d like to bake the onions instead of frying them, Alton Brown recommends spreading them on 1 to 2 oiled baking sheets (but I’d use parchment paper next time) and baking them at 475 (but I might try a lower temperature) for approximately 30 minutes (though I’d check it at 20 minutes), tossing them around a few times to ensure even cooking. However, I found this a little pesky — it’s much harder to get them crisp and golden and they’re prone to getting too dark before most of them are cooked. I ended up deep-frying the rest and have zero regrets. It’s Thanksgiving. Let’s do this properly.
  • About the sauce thickness: Alton’s original sauce was on the thin side (2T butter for 2T flour). I thickened it when I made it so that it is a moderately thick sauce — it coats the beans (as you can see in the photos) but it does drape a little bit once baked (i.e. there will be more on the lower half of the pan than the top half when it comes out of the oven). If you’re nervous and want to make sure that your sauce is definitely very thick, you can do so by using 1 extra tablespoon butter and 1 extra tablespoon flour in the sauce — i.e. more roux makes thicker sauces. Draining your green beans well and even patting them out on towels will help ensure they don’t “liquefy” the sauce too much.