Manicotti from foodnetwork.com

1 pound fresh spinach, stems trimmed and well washed or a 10-oz package frozen spinach, thawed
Kosher salt, plus 1/2 teaspoon
12 manicotti shells
3 cups marinara sauce, recipe follows
1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese (about 1 pound)
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (about 4 ounces)

Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat, and season generously with salt. Fill a medium bowl with ice water and season with salt, as well. Boil the spinach, uncovered, until tender, about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon, (do not drain), and immediately plunge the spinach into the ice water. Drain and squeeze the excess water from the spinach, and finely chop. Alternatively, if using thawed spinach, simply squeeze, and finely chop.

In the same large pot of boiling water, cook the pasta shells until al dente, tender but still slightly firm. Drain and pat dry.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Cover the bottom of a 9- x 13-inch ovenproof baking dish with 1 cup of the marinara sauce. In a medium mixing bowl, evenly combine the ricotta, mozzarella, and 1/3 cup of the Parmesan, the eggs, and the spinach. Season with the 1/2 teaspoon salt, nutmeg, and pepper to taste. Spoon the cheese mixture into the manicotti shell and line them up in the baking dish. Cover with the remaining sauce. Scatter the remaining cheese on top and dot with the butter. Bake for 30 minutes. Serve immediately.

MARINARA SAUCE

Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Saute the onion and garlic, stirring, until lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes and the herb sprigs and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes.

Remove and discard the herb sprigs. Stir in the salt and season with pepper to taste. Use now, or store covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to 2 months.

Yield: 3 1/2 cups

Jo’s Tuna Pasta from splendidtable.org

1 lb 2 oz penne, fusilli
3 1/2 fl oz extra-virgin olive oil
1 white onion, finely diced
3 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 oz good-quality tinned anchovies in oil
6 1/2 oz good-quality tinned tuna in oil
freshly grated parmesan cheese, to serve

 

 

Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil, add the pasta and cook according to the packet instructions until al dente. Drain the pasta over a bowl, reserving the cooking water, return to the pan and set aside.

Heat the oil in a separate saucepan over a medium heat, add the onion and cook for 3–5 minutes until softened. Add the tomato paste, vincotto and anchovies together with the oil from the tuna tin, reduce the heat to low and cook gently for 5–8 minutes, until the onions are nicely caramelised. Add the tuna and a few splashes of the reserved pasta cooking water, increase the heat to high and cook for 10–15 minutes, adding extra splashes of the pasta water as you go, until the sauce has a thin paste-like consistency.

Tip the sauce into the pan with the pasta and toss together thoroughly to coat. Divide among bowls and scatter over lots of grated parmesan. Serve.

Easy Butternut Squash Ravioli from tasty.co

Squash filling
2 cups butternut squash, peeled and chopped
½ onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, peeled
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt & pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 oz grated parmesan cheese

Fish pasta
2 cups flour
4 eggs
1 tablespoon olive oil

Hazelnut brown butter sauce
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
¼ cup roasted hazelnut, chopped
10 leaves fresh sage
salt, to taste
1 lemon, juiced
1 oz grated parmesan cheese

  1. Preheat oven to 425˚F.
  2. Add the diced butternut squash, chopped onion, whole garlic cloves, olive oil, salt, and pepper to a baking sheet, tossing until fully coated.
  3. Bake until the squash is golden brown and tender, about 30 minutes.
  4. While the squash is in the oven, make the dough.
  5. When the squash is finished cooking, add it to the food processor along with the brown sugar and Parmesan cheese. Pulse until it becomes smooth. Set aside to chill.
  6. Rinse the bowl of the food processor.
  7. To the bowl of a food processor, add the flour, eggs, and olive oil, and pulse until the dough comes together into a large ball and swirls around the processor.
  8. Removethe dough, wrap in plastic wrap, and rest it the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  9. Cut 2 ounces of pasta dough from the ball and roll out into large, wide, thin sheets of pasta.
  10. Lay a sheet over an empty ice cube tray, and press the dough down gently into each of the holes.
  11. Fill each hole with a tablespoon of the butternut squash filling. Place a second sheet on top of the ice cube tray. Press down on all the sides of the raviolis. Flip the ice cup tray over to release the pasta and cut off any excess dough.
  12. Separate each ravioli with a knife or cutting tool.
  13. Gently place a few raviolis into boiling salted water and cook until the raviolis float and firm up slightly, 2-3 minutes. Scoop out the ravioli and set aside briefly to cook a new batch or dump out the water and start the hazelnut brown butter sauce.
  14. In a pan, add 3 tablespoons of the butter, sage leaves, and hazelnuts. Cook until the butter browns deeply, the nuts are heated through, and the sage is fried and crispy. Turn off the heat and add the lemon juice and season to taste.
  15. Swirl in 2 more tablespoons more of chilled butter, to thicken the sauce. Add the cooked raviolis back in and toss gently to coat the pasta.
  16. Serve the pasta with brown butter sauce.
  17. Enjoy!

Chunky Eggplant Sauce from washingtonpost.com


¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
One 12-ounce eggplant (unpeeled), cut into ¼ -inch by ¼ -inch by 3-inch strips
2 tablespoons plus ½ teaspoon salt, or more as needed
⅛ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or more as needed
1 pound ripe tomatoes, peeled and diced (see NOTE)
1 teaspoon minced fresh oregano, or more as needed
12 basil leaves, torn
1 pound dried bucatini (or substitute penne rigate, rigatoni or orecchiette)

½ cup freshly grated pecorino Romano cheese, for serving

Heat the oil in a wide, deep-sided saute pan over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and cook, 30 seconds, then add the eggplant, ½ teaspoon of the salt and the pepper. Partially cover and cook for 25 minutes, stirring often, or until soft, allowing the liquid from the lid to drip into the eggplant if it seems dry.

Use a fork to crush the eggplant in the pan to a chunky consistency, then add the tomatoes and the teaspoon of fresh oregano. Increase the heat to medium; cook uncovered for 10 to 20 minutes, until the sauce is thick (the cooking time will depend on how juicy your tomatoes are). Stir in the basil and keep the sauce warm.

Meanwhile, bring 5 quarts of water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the bucatini and the remaining 2 tablespoons of salt. Cook according to the package directions (al dente), about 8 minutes. Drain, reserving ½ cup of the pasta cooking water.

Add the drained pasta to the sauce in the pan, and add just enough of the reserved pasta cooking water to create a sauce that coats the bucatini. Taste, and add more salt and/or pepper and oregano, as needed.

Serve hot, dusted with the cheese.

4 to 6 servings (makes about 1⅔ cups sauce, enough for 1 pound of pasta)

NOTE: To peel the tomatoes, use a sharp knife to score a large X on the bottom of each one. Drop into a bowl of just-boiled water and let sit for a few minutes, until you see the peel curling back from the edges of the X. Drain and let cool, then peel and discard the loosened skin.

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Pizzoccheri Gratin from Jonathon Sawyer

original-201212-r-pizzoccheri-gratin.jpgIn Northern Italy, pizzoccheri are short, flat buckwheat noodles cooked with cabbage and potatoes and layered with cheese.You may need to use fresh lasagna sheets cut into noodles (buckwheat noodles can be hard to find) and bake them in a gratin dish with a crispy bread crumb topping.

Step 1 Preheat the oven to 350°. In a small skillet, melt 6 tablespoons of the butter with the sage, poppy seeds and caraway seeds and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until nutty and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.

Step 2  Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the potato and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the potato to a bowl. Add the pasta to the pot and cook, stirring, until al dente, about 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pasta to a colander. Add the cabbage to the pot and cook until just wilted, about 3 minutes. Drain the cabbage and shake out the excess water. Pour off the water and return the cabbage to the pot, along with the pasta and potato. Add the browned butter, season with salt and pepper and toss well. Stir in 1 cup of the Fontina and half of the Parmigiano and transfer the mixture to a 9-by-13-inch baking dish.

Step 3  In the small skillet, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Add the bread crumbs and parsley and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until golden and toasted, 3 minutes. Stir in the remaining Fontina and Parmigiano and sprinkle over the pasta. Bake for 35 minutes, or until golden brown on top. Serve hot.  Serves : 8

Make Ahead

The unbaked gratin can be refrigerated overnight. Bring to room temperature before baking.

Zucchini, onion and ricotta pie (sorta salata di zucchine e cipolle) from saver.com

14 cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 shallot, thinly sliced
6 medium zucchini, thinly sliced
12 cup grated pecorino
12 cup ricotta
12 cup roughly chopped parsley
4 eggs, beaten
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 tbsp. unsalted butter
3 tbsp. bread crumbs

Instructions

Heat oil in a 6-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook garlic and shallot until golden, 4–6 minutes. Add zucchini; cook, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a bowl; let cool. Stir in pecorino, ricotta, parsley, eggs, salt, and pepper.
Heat oven to 350°. Grease a 10″ pie plate with butter; coat with bread crumbs. Spread zucchini mixture evenly over top; bake until golden on top and slightly puffed, 40–45 minutes. Serve hot or at room temperature.

italian tortellini salad from delightfulemade.com/

10 oz. small or medium cheese tortellini pasta (tri-color or regular)
1 c. cherry tomatoes (red and/or yellow), quartered
1 (3.8 oz.) can, black olives, drained
1/2 c. red onion, diced
1/2 c. jarred mild yellow banana peppers, chopped or peppers
1 c fresh mozz pearls
1 c. Italian salad dressing
1 c. shredded Parmesan cheese

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water. Let set to cool.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, add the tomatoes, olives, red onion, and banana peppers. Toss with the cooled tortellini pasta. Add the dressing and cheese and toss all ingredients to coat. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving. Serve chilled.
  3. Store in an air-tight container for up to 1 week.

 

Bread and Tomato Soup (Pappa al Pomodoro) from saveur.com

12 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped

2 leeks, white and light green parts only, washed and finely chopped
9 cups puréed peeled Italian tomatoes
3  cups veggie stock
9 slices (¾”-thick) stale, unsalted Tuscan bread (about 1 lb.), halved
2 tbsp. chopped basil leaves
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Heat ⅓ cup of the oil in a large wide pot over medium heat. Add garlic and cook until light golden, about 2 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low, add leeks, and cook, stirring often, until very soft but not browned, 15–20 minutes. Add the tomatoes and chicken and beef stocks and stir to mix well. Increase heat to medium-high and bring soup to a boil. Then reduce heat to medium-low to maintain a simmer and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes.
Remove the pot from the heat. Add the bread, pushing it into the soup with a wooden spoon until each piece is submerged. Add the basil and stir gently to combine. Cover the pot and set it aside to let the bread soak until completely softened, about 30 minutes.
Uncover the pot and whisk the soup vigorously until the bread breaks down and the soup resembles porridge, 4–5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Gently reheat soup over medium heat. Ladle the soup into warm bowls and drizzle with remaining olive oil.

 

Easy Italian Spaghetti Pasta Salad from foodiecrush.com

  • 1 pound thin spaghetti
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 cucumbers, quartered and sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • ½ red onion, thinly sliced
  • 10 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 4-ounce can sliced black olives, drained
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese or pecorino romano
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 garlic clove, pressed or finely minced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  1. Cook the spaghetti according to the package directions in boiling water seasoned with 2 tablespoons of kosher salt. Drain, rinse and cool. Add the spaghetti to a large bowl with the cucumbers, red bell pepper, red onion, cherry tomatoes, black olives and parmesan cheese. In a pint jar with a lid, add the olive oil, red wine vinegar, Italian seasoning, sugar, garlic clove, kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Shake well and pour over the spaghetti mixture and toss to coat. Add more parmesan cheese and salt and pepper to taste. Chill for 30 minutes up to overnight.

Spaghetti alla Puttanesca from gearpatrol.com

Half box dried spaghetti (8 ounces)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 whole clove garlic
3 anchovy fillets, canned in olive oil
1 teaspoon red chili flakes
1 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup preferred olives (i.e. Kalamata), pitted
1 1/2 tablespoons capers, drained
2 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley, chopped

1. Start cooking spaghetti by following instructions on the box. Drain two minutes before ready, and be sure to reserve half a cup of cooking liquid for later step.

2. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add clove of garlic, and cook until brown, about 1–2 minutes; then discard. Add anchovies to the pan and smear with a spatula until it forms a paste with the olive oil. Sprinkle red chili flakes, cook for about 10 seconds, then add tomatoes. Simmer for about 8–9 minutes, or until the sauce starts to thicken.

3. Lower the heat, and toss in capers and olives. Fold in the cooked spaghetti, and stir to coat. Cook for an additional minute or two until preferred doneness. If the sauce is too thick, use the reserved pasta water to help coat the spaghetti.

4. Plate, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with parsley.