Potato Ravioli with Bolognese Sauce
In the leather district of Florence, there was an out of the way osteria that my husband and I ate at a couple times and fell in love with. The food was extremely simple but more delicious than just about anything I’ve ever had. This recipe is inspired from a similar dish I had there. Enjoy!
4 medium golden potatoes peeled and quartered
⅓ cup cream
2 tablespoons butter
Salt to taste
1 jar good marinara Sauce
1 Pound hamburger
1 onion diced
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
¼ tsp cracked black pepper
Salt to taste
For sauce, heat olive oil in a sauce pan and saute onions until translucent. Add hamburger and cook until the meat is fully browned. Add marinara sauce and stir. Add in cayenne and pepper. Taste and add more of the spices if you like it a bit spicier. Salt to taste. Set aside and simmer while making ravioli’s.
For filling, boil potatoes until soft. Drain and then put back into pot. Using a hand mixer combined butter and cream. Salt to taste.
Take out a wonton wrapper and brush two edges on one side with egg whites using your finger. Place filling in the middle of the wrapper and fold over to seal the opposing sides together. Make sure to press the edges completely so that the filling doesn’t seep out when cooking. Repeat until you have approximately 24 ravioli’s made.
Boil a large pot of water and add ravioli’s in batches of 6 at a time. Take out ravioli’s gently with a slotted spoon and put in a colander to drain. Repeat until all ravioli’s are cooked. Arrange 6 ravioli’s on a plate and top with a small amount of sauce. Only put enough sauce to slightly cover ravioli’s. Don’t over do it with the sauce or it will mask the delicate flavor of the potato filling. Top with fresh shaved parmesan and serve. Enjoy!
Crispy Brussel Sprouts with a Garlic Aioli
Brussel sprouts have a really delicious flavor and are almost like a more flavorful mini cabbage. This recipe can be served as an appetizer (think updated artichoke) OR as a vegetable side. You can omit the aioli if serving as a vegetable side or you can offer it separate and your guests can spoon it over the top. I made this with pork chops the other night and my husband freaked out it was so good. He’s so sweet.
Also, you might be wondering why I’m using canola oil instead of olive oil. The reason is because brussel sprouts have such a unique and bold flavor and I didn’t want it to compete with the olive oil. Canola oil also seems to crisp things up a little better too. I hope you enjoy!
For Brussel Sprouts:
20 Brussel Sprouts cut into wedges
Salt & Pepper
6 tbs mayonnaise
1/4 tsp garlic minced fine
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tbs flat leaf parsley chopped fine
For Brussel Sprouts:
Place brussel sprouts on a baking sheet and drizzle with canola oil. Crack some fresh salt & pepper to taste. Mix around brussel sprouts on pan to ensure they all get nicely coated in the oil. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes or until golden brown on at least one side.
Mix together mayonnaise, garlic, parsley and lemon juice. Serve in a ramekin.
Place ramekin of aioli on a plate and surround with brussel sprouts. If serving as an appetizer, put some toothpicks on the side for your guests. Enjoy!
My Grandpa came up with this recipe after eating something similar at a restaurant on Melrose Ave in Los Angeles. He constantly revising it so I’m not sure at what stage this recipe was written down but its delicious nonetheless. Grandpa LOVES food and is where I think I inherited my same love for the culinary arts. This recipe is hardy and comforting and I love to eat it when I’m hungry and in the mood for something fortifying. I added the ground turkey to the recipe to make it stick to your bones that much more.
My husband is NOT one for reheating already prepared dinners. Its funny because there will be all sorts of delicious already prepared meals in the fridge but he’ll just eat cereal or some bread with cheddar cheese melted on top in the microwave. (Don’t ask). But when I made this ratatouille he actually would return to the fridge for seconds, thirds, fourths etc. He cracks me up. If I take something out of the fridge, say leftover lasagna, and heat it up for him – he’ll eat it. Otherwise its too daunting. So basically this recipe is good enough to overcome the exhausting task of reheating food! Enjoy!
Grandpa’s Ratatouille with Ground Turkey
2 Cloves Garlic Minced
1 Pound Ground Turkey
2 Medium Zucchini
2 Medium Yellow Crooked Neck
½ Large Green Bell Peppers
½ Large Red Bell Pepper
2 Medium Yellow Onions
1 Tsp Basil
1 Tsp Oregano
½ Tsp Cayenne Pepper
Salt & Pepper
1 Large Can Diced Tomatoes
Heat large skillet with 2 Tbsp of oil. Add minced garlic cloves and add to oil sauteing briefly. Add ground turkey and saute with garlic until turkey is cooked. Take off heat and set aside.
Slice all vegetables into bite size pieces but not too small. Add two Tbs olive oil to a large pot and heat on medium high – add vegetables. Add 1 Tsp basil, 1 tsp oregano. Stir all together and cook until slightly tender. Add large can chopped tomatoes and stir. Add turkey mixture including all pan juices. Add 1 Tbs Salt, a ½ Tsp Cayenne and Pepper to taste. Cover with lid and simmer until tender. Serve on toasted French Bread with parmesan. Enjoy!
My idea for this salad came from wanting to put all the toppings of a salad INSIDE a fried ball of goat cheese. So I did it! This has dried cranberries and pecans inside the ball of cheese and its quite delectable. I mean, anything fried can’t be that bad, right? And if you want you could make these a little smaller and and put a toothpick in them for a tasty appetizer. OR you could just take the goat cheese mixture and put it out at a party for your guests to spread over a cracker etc. So many options….
Salad with Fried Goat Cheese
11 oz Goat Cheese
¼ cup dried organic cranberries
¼ cup chopped toasted pecans
1 cup dried bread crumbs
1 egg beaten
Vegetable Oil (to cover 2 inches high in pot)
⅓ Organic Oil Oil
1/3 Champagne Vinegar
1 Cloves Garlic Minced
Juice ½ Lemon
4 tsp sugar
¼ tsp mustard
¼ tsp fresh oregano
⅔ cup sour cream
In a food processor fitted with a blade pulse goat cheese with cranberries and pecans until combined (but don’t over blend )and scrape down sides as necessary. Using 1 rounded teaspoon of cheese for each, form the cheese into 18 (1-inch) balls. Working in batches, coat the balls with the egg then with the bread crumbs. Repeat coating the balls in the egg and bread crumbs. Arrange the balls on a small baking sheet. Cover and refrigerate until cold, at least 2 hours or overnight.
For the dressing, pulse all ingredients in food processor until blended. Refrigerate mixture in serving vessel of your choosing.
Add enough oil to a heavy small saucepan to come 2 inches up the sides of the pan. Heat the oil over medium heat. At this point, remove the refrigerated Goat Cheese balls from the refrigerator. Working in batches, add the cold balls to the hot oil and fry just until golden brown, about 20 seconds. (It is essential that the Goat Cheese balls be cold when they go into the oil, otherwise they will fall apart in the oil. If they start to warm up at any point, return them to the refrigerator to firm back up.) Using a slotted spoon, transfer the fried balls to paper towels to drain.
Place spring mix in a salad bowl. Place Goat Cheese balls on top and drizzle with vinaigrette. Enjoy!
When I was growing up my Mom would make potato soup A LOT. This is not her exact recipe (I’m not sure she really has a recipe per-se) but I seem to be able to make a million different versions of potato soup because its part of my physical makeup. This soup has potatoes done three ways: pureed, chunky and roasted and is super duper yummy. Thanks Mom for nourishing me heart, soul and tummy! xoxo
Roasted Potato Soup
3 Pounds Golden Potatoes Chopped
6 Cloves Garlic Chopped Coarsely
1 Large Onion Chopped
1 Cups Cream
32 oz Vegetable Stock
Pepper to taste
2 Teaspoons Salt
Saute onions in olive oil on medium heat until translucent. Add garlic and cook until fragrant and just starting to brown. Add stock and potatoes and bring to a soft boil. Boil for 10-15 minutes until potatoes are tender when pricked with a fork. Transfer half the mixture to a blender and mix until smooth. Return blended mixture back into pot and stir. Add cream, salt and pepper.
Crispy Potato Topping
3-4 Golden Potatoes cut in long wedges
6 Cloves Garlic Minced
1 Tablespoons chopped Rosemary
4 Tablespoons Butter
½ Teaspoons Salt
Pepper to Taste
Melt butter in a pan. Add rosemary and garlic. Drizzle over wedged potatoes and mix thoroughly. Place potatoes on a pan uniformly so each side touches the pan and is able to brown.
Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes on one side. Take out and flip potatoes over. Continue cooking for an additional 10 minutes on the other side. Once cool enough chop wedges into small pieces and sprinkle on top of soup. Enjoy!
Chocolate Mousse Pie with Lavender Icing
So…I’m sort of a choco-holic and I love this recipe because its so chocolatey delicious! It will impress your friends because it seems like its hard to make but its actually easy. Just tonight we were at a friends for dinner and the hostess was reminiscing about a previous dinner that we had where I made this pie.
The icing on top is lavender flavored (not colored) and gives it that extra depth of flavor that is surprising and satisfying. Enjoy!
2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips
2 cups Whipping Cream
2 Tbs Sugar
15 Sandwich Cookies
4 Tbs Butter
1 Cup Shortening
1 Pound Confectioners Sugar (or 3 & ¾ cup)
1 tsp Meringue Powder
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp lavender flavoring (or substitue a different flavor or more vanilla)
3 ½ Tbs water
Place sandwich cookies in a plastic freezer bag. Mash them with a meat tenderizer until fine or pulse in a food processor. Heat butter in a pan and mix cookies in with the butter until thoroughly mixed. With a large spoon press cookie mixture into a 9inch spring form pan coated with nonstick cooking spray. Make sure its evenly distributed and firmly pressed. Set aside in refrigerator to cool while making mousse.
Meanwhile, melt chocolate in a microwave safe bowl starting for 30 seconds. Stir and then repeat until chocolate is just melted. Set aside and allow to cool slighty. (Note: The melted chocolate will melt the whipping cream if not cooled down. But if its cooled too much it will start to re-harden. Dip your finger in the chocolate and if its warm but not scalding then your good to go. It should measure between 105-110 with an instant read thermometer.) As the chocolate is cooling, whip up your whipping cream. Pour cooled chocolate into whipped cream and mix until combined. Pour mousse into springform pan with crust. Let refrigerate over night covered.
Icing: Combine sugar & meringue powder together. In a stand up mixer combine shortening, vanilla, lavender flavoring and water. Slowly add in sugar mixture until combined. If too thick add water – if too running add more sugar. Spread on top of pie or pipe your choice of decoration through a icing bag. Enjoy!
Anna Costa is an event and food photographer who uses her photographic skills to inspire her audience to try her original recipes. Her blog, “Costa Kitchen” features California Comfort food and is inspired by the exquisite events Anna shoots in her resort town of Santa Barbara. Featuring food with light and bright flavors Anna’s recipes reflect her passion for a good meal that is often accidentally healthy. Anna’s recipes have been featured in such places as the Huffington Post, Fox News Magazine, Food Gawker, Taste Spotting and several other blogs. Anna’s event and food images have been seen in such publications as The Knot, Las Vegas Bride, Santa Barbara Magazine, C Magazine as well as blogs such as Santa Barbara Chic and Style Me Pretty. Anna has won multiple awards for her photography from Wedding and Portrait Photographers International and has appeared on TV in such shows as Platinum Weddings and Whose Wedding is this Anyways. Anna loves to play with her 19 month old baby and husband and enjoys entertaining (surprise!) in her home. Her last name means “coast” which is fitting as she lives by the sea.