Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Ricotta Gnocchi in a Quick Tomato Sauce

If I can make this meal during a busy week, so can you.
With 4 dogs, weeknights can be hectic before I even begin to think about dinner. They are walked as soon as I get home, then I spend who knows how long cleaning the mess they've made during their "work" day, then I feed them. During those 5 minutes of peace and quiet while they're eating, I take a shot of tequila and run around the house nude. 
(drops mic) 
(waits for everyone to laugh)


Someone broke into the house and went through the garbage! I know right, we thought the same thing. You are lucky we were here to chase them away, after they made the mess of course.
And just because I look sad and super guilty, I'm not.
(takes another shot of tequila)

But for real, if I haven't gone shopping or planned a meal for dinner, it's during this time that I do. I look in the fridge and see what needs to be used, check the pantry to see what else I might have, scan my brain for recipes I can make using what I have. Sometimes, this leads to a delicious meal and sometimes this leads to ordering take-out.

Last night, it was a delicious meal. I had eggs & ricotta cheese that needed to be used and I knew I had the ingredients for a quick tomato sauce in the pantry. I didn't follow a recipe, so the one I am posting here is from my memory.  I used my judgement on how the dough should look and feel. If it's your first time making gnocchi, or cooking for that matter, follow a recipe. Use mine or this one here!

Gnocchi Ingredients
1 1/2 cups Ricotta Cheese
1 cup Flour (plus 1 cup)
1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese
2 Eggs
Salt & Pepper

Quick Tomato Sauce Ingredients
1 can (28oz) Crushed Tomatoes
1/2 Onion, chopped
2 cloves Garlic, chopped
Salt & Pepper
Olive Oil
Fresh Basil

Fresh Basil
Parmesan Cheese


In a large bowl, crack in 2 Eggs, season with Salt & Pepper. Whisk to combine.

Add in the Ricotta & Parmesan Cheese. 

Stir to combine. I like to mix this before adding the flour, it helps add some volume to the Ricotta Cheese.

Add in the Flour. 

Fold in the flour until incorporated. The mixture should be slightly sticky, but able to form into a ball.

Place the sticky mixture onto a floured surface. 

Knead until the mixture forms a ball that is no longer sticky. It will be soft, but should be easy to handle.

Cut the ball into 4 sections. Add more flour to the surface if needed.

Roll the sections into long longs, about 1" in thickness.

Cut the log into 1" pieces.

They resemble little pillows. Little pillows of deliciousness!!

Place the gnocchi onto a tray and place in the fridge to set. Since you have been using your hands, the eggs and cheese in the gnocchi should cool down a bit so they can handle the boiling water bath they will soon be taking.

During this time while the gnocchi sets, make the tomato sauce.

In a saucepan, heat Olive Oil over medium heat. Add in the Onions, season with Salt & Pepper. Saute for 5 minutes, or until the onions are translucent.

Add in the Garlic, stir to combine. Cook for 2-3 more minutes, but be careful not to let the garlic burn.

Add in the can of Crushed Tomatoes.

Stir to combine. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
Add in the fresh basil after 15 minutes.

Now back to the Gnocchi.

While the sauce is simmering, bring a large pot of water to a boil. 
Once the water is at a boil, season with Salt. Drop in the gnocchi, one at a time.
When the gnocchi float to the top, they are done.

Little pillows floating away, saying "take me" "no, take me" "no, take me, i love you the most".
Take a sip of wine to get your brain back in order.

It's best to have the sauce simmering next to the boiling water, so as soon as the gnocchi are done, you can place them into the sauce. 

Work in batches until all the gnocchi are cooked. Turn the tomato sauce off after all the gnocchi have been added. 

GENTLY, let me stress that again, gently toss the gnocchi in the sauce. They are supposed to be very soft, which makes them so delicious, but it also makes them easy to break apart.

Serve the gnocchi in tomato sauce, top with fresh basil.

Hello beautiful!

Or add some parmesan cheese, because cheese makes everything better.

Heavenly, beautiful and seriously delicious. 
From start to finish, this took me about 30 minutes.
Now go add a filter to the image and post that bitch.

You are so lucky you have us watching over this house. 
Who knows the trouble that happen if we weren't here to protect it.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Spaghetti Squash Parmesan

Meatless Monday might have been ignored with week due to Memorial Day, so why not have Meatless Tuesday? Plus, a healthy meal might be required for all the beer, chips, burgers and whatever the hell else you consumed over the holiday weekend.

2 Whole Spaghetti Squash
1 Whole Onion, quartered
5-6 Roma Tomatoes, quartered
3 Gloves Garlic, chopped
8oz Fresh Mozzarella
Fresh Basil
Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Drizzle the Squash with Olive Oil, season with Salt and Pepper. Place the squash cut side down on baking sheet. Cook for 45 minutes, or until the squash is tender. Using a fork, scrape into the squash to create "spaghetti" strands.

While the squash is in the oven, prepare the tomato sauce. In a large saucepan, heat Olive Oil over medium heat. Add in the Garlic, Onions and Tomatoes, season with Salt and Pepper. Stir to combine and cook until the tomatoes begin to break down, about 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Using an immersion (hand-held) blender, blend the sauce until smooth. You can also use a food processor, working in batches. 
*I removed the onions and set aside before blending.

Top the squash with the cooked onions.

Cover with tomato sauce.

Top with 2-3 slices of fresh Mozzarella and fresh Basil.
Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes, or until the cheese has melted.

While dinner is finishing in the oven, take a snuggle/kissy break with your doggie.

Serve and enjoy!!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Vegetable Curry over Rice

If you are a vegan or a vegetarian, this recipe is for you!
And if you're not, this recipe is still for you, because its absolutely delicious and super healthy too.

My husband is not. First question I heard when unpacking the groceries, "where's the meat?".
I ignored the question as if I didn't hear it.  Again he asks.  I simply say "just wait till you try it, you'll love it, I promise!"

And you will too.
Unless you're allergic to vegetables. And deliciousness.

2 cups Yukon Potatoes, cubed 
2 cups Butternut Squash, cubed 
2 cups Zucchini, 1/4" slices
2 Tomatoes, seeded, quartered
1 Onion, thinly sliced
8oz Shitake Mushrooms, thinly sliced
2 cloves Garlic, minced
1 Red Chili Pepper, thinly sliced
2 cups Chicken Stock (or Veggie stock)
3 tbsp Fresh Basil, chopped
4 tbsp Olive Oil
2 tsp Sesame Oil
Salt & Pepper
My Curry Powder: Ground Mustard, Paprika, Adobo Seasoning,
Ground Cumin, Ground Coriander, Ground Turmeric (2 tbsp), Saffron, Salt & Pepper (to taste) - *about 1 tbsp of each
Fresh Lime Juice
Jasmine Rice

1. Preheat the oven to 400 Degrees. Toss the Potatoes & Butternut Squash in 1 tbsp Olive Oil,  Salt & Pepper. Arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake for about 20 minutes or until the edges start to turn brown.

2. Toss the Zucchini and Tomatoes in 1 tbsp Olive Oil,  Salt & Pepper. Move the potatoes and squash to one side of the sheet, turning over so the other side browns and arrange in a single layer.
Bake for an additional 20 minutes, turning the zucchini over halfway through.

I noticed the Tomatoes were cooking to quick, so I pulled them at about 10 minutes and added them to the saute pan. Here are the roasted veggies after cooking.

3. While the veggies are roasting in the oven, you can prepare the rest of the ingredients.
Heat 2 tbsp Olive Oil in a pan over medium high heat. Saute the Onions and Mushrooms for about 5 minutes, season with Salt & Pepper.

4. They should become translucent. If there are any bits that begin sticking to the bottom of the pan, don't worry, this is where the flavor is. Reduce the heat to medium or even medium low. Add in some stock or water and scrap up anything stuck to the pan. And if you get to this stage, you are doing it right! 
See the brown bits? I added in some stock at this point

5. Add in the Chili Peppers and Garlic. Cook for an additional 5 minutes, but keep an eye on this to ensure the garlic doesn't burn. Again, if you feel its cooking to fast, reduce the heat and add in some liquid. It slows down the cooking process and at the same time, picks up all the flavors from the pan.

6. Add in the Curry Powder Blend & Sesame Oil, toss to combine and cook for 1 minute to allow the spices to get nice and toasty.
The line up

7. Add in the Chicken Stock, reduce the heat to medium, cover and cook for 10 minutes. During this time, prepare your preference of Rice. I had a 90 second one in my pantry. No shame.

8. Add the roasted veggies to the pan, toss to combine. Turn off the heat and stir in the Fresh Basil.

9. Don't forget the optional toppings, Fresh Lime Juice, Scallions and Chili Peppers
And of course, Wine. It's not optional in my kitchen. It's always on the ingredient list.

10. Serve over Rice and enjoy!!

11. Catch up on Netflix shows, but get too distracted by your adorable sleeping dog. 
Take 1,000 pictures that look exactly like this. 
Wonder why you never have enough storage on your phone.