Posts tagged: Italian

Eggplant Marinara Bruschetta

By , January 1, 2011 at 9:15 pm

If you like eggplant or have always wanted to try it, this is a very simple recipe and pretty filling believe it or not.

Eggplant Marinara Bruschetta

Active time: 30 minutes
Total time: 45 minutes

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large eggplant (cut into 1/3- to 1/2-inch-thick rounds)
  • 1 loaf Italian bread (cut into 1/3 to 1/2-inch thick rounds)
  • 1/2 jar of marinara sauce (about 1 1/4 cups)
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh basil plus 6 whole leaves (for garnish)- optional
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese (about 4 ounces)

Preheat oven to 400°F. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle eggplant with salt and pepper. Place in skillet. Cover. Cook until tender, turning, 5 minutes on each side. Transfer to plate. Brush one side of each slice of bread with oil. Cook in skillet, cut side down, until golden, 1 minute.  (I find that toasting the bread really isn’t necessary, but I suppose it is suppose to prevent the sauce from soaking into the bread.  This set is optional for me, depending on how much time I have).

Place bread, toasted side up, on baking sheet. Spread spoonful of sauce on each slice.  Sprinkle with chopped basil. Top with eggplant. Mound mozzarella cheese on eggplant; spoon remaining sauce over cheese.

Bake bread until topping is hot and crust is crisp, about 12 minutes. Garnish with basil leaves.

Adapted from: Bon Appétit | October 2010

Italian Sausage Penne Bake

By , May 18, 2009 at 9:16 am

1 (12 ounce) package dry penne pasta
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 pound mild Italian sausage
1 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chicken stock
1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes with garlic
1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. basil
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/8 tsp. pepper
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup pepper jack cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain.

Put sausage and onion in skillet and cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Drain excess fat. Pour in chicken stock, and cook for 1 minute, stirring, to deglaze the pan. Stir in tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, oregano, basil, garlic and pepper. Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Toss with cooked pasta, and place in a 9×13 inch baking dish. Sprinkle top with pepper jack cheese and then mozzarella on top.
Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until cheese is melted.

Adapted from Allrecipes

Fresh Tomato Pasta Toss

By , March 15, 2009 at 2:42 pm

TIME: Prep/Total Time: 30 min.

3 pounds ripe fresh tomatoes
1 package (16 ounces) uncooked penne pasta
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley or 1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
1 tablespoon minced fresh basil or 1 teaspoon dried basil
2 teaspoons minced fresh oregano or 3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan or Romano cheese

To remove peels from tomatoes, fill a large saucepan with water and bring to a boil. Place tomatoes, one at a time, in boiling water for 30 seconds. Immediately plunge in ice water. Peel skins with a sharp paring knife and discard. Chop pulp; set aside.

Cook pasta according to package directions. In a large skillet, cook garlic in oil over medium heat until golden. Add the parsley, basil, oregano, salt, sugar, pepper and reserved tomato pulp; mix well. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Add cream; heat through.

Drain pasta and transfer to a serving bowl. Pour tomato sauce over pasta and toss to coat. Sprinkle with cheese. Yield: 8 servings.

Instead of the fresh tomatoes, I put in 2 14oz cans of Italian diced tomatoes and brought that to a boil before putting in the cream. Turned out wonderful. Was a quick, delicious meal.

Nutrition Facts

One serving:(prepared with Parmesan cheese)
Calories: 277
Fat:7 g
Saturated Fat:0 g
Cholesterol:13 mg
Sodium:244 mg
Carbohydrate:46 g
Fiber:0 g
Protein:9 g
Diabetic Exchange:2-1/2 starch, 1-1/2 fat, 1 vegetable.


Creamy Basil Parmasean Chicken & Pasta

By , December 17, 2008 at 1:56 pm

Most of these box dinners aren’t my favorite, but this one really works. All you have to do is add chicken. If you can find this at your super market, I’d recommend it. Super easy and tasty.

Lavosh Margarita Pizza

By , September 7, 2008 at 1:05 pm

So the story goes that the first Margarita pizza was presented in the 1500’s to Queen Margarite, an Italian monarch indulging on the first tomato-based pizza, a new innovation stemming from the tomato’s recent maiden voyage back to the Old World from the New. Today the Margarita pizza is still on menus everywhere featuring a simple recipe of tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, and basil. With a slight Armenian twist, I’ve adapted my own version of the Margarita pizza that puts old world tastes with a fusion of new. Credit goes to Chester’s, a new restaurant in our little town of Rochester, MN that I mimicked this recipe from. If you’re ever there try to Lavash Portabella and Chicken Pizza that reflects some of the basis of this recipe

Lavosh Margarita Pizza

1 Large Lavosh Cracker (Dry)
3-5 Large Vine Ripened Tomatoes
1 Large Ball of fresh Mozzarella Cheese
Fresh Sweet Basil

Directions: (Preparation time 30 minutes)
1. Cut tomatoes to smaller pieces skin on, blend in blender until pureed
2. Transfer into a sauce pan and simmer tomato puree until thickened (about 1/2 the volume)
3. Spread the tomato puree evenly over the dry Lavosh cracker
4. Slice the mozzarella thinly and place on Lavosh
5. Chop fresh sweet basil leaves and sprinkle over the mozzarella
6. Broil in the oven until the mozzarella is slightly browned (about 10 minutes)

Variations: Try other toppings for more variety, or substitute shredded cheese or cheese blends for more American flavors.



Bruschetta Chicken Bake

By , August 6, 2008 at 6:27 pm

1 can (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 pkg. (6 oz.) Stove Top Stuffing Mix for Chicken
1/2 cup hot water
2 cloves garlic, minced
1-1/2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
1 tsp. dried basil leaves
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place tomatoes with their liquid in medium bowl. Add stuffing mix, 1/2 cup hot water and the garlic; stir just until stuffing mix is moistened. Set aside.
2. Place chicken in 13×9-inch baking dish; sprinkle with the basil and cheese. Top with the stuffing mixture.
3. Bake 3o minutes or until chicken is cooked through.

(I used a can of Italian diced tomatoes; nixed the garlic; used 2 chicken breasts cut into strips, and Colby/Monterrey Jack cheese. It turned out great).

Stove Top Recipe

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