Crepe Cannelloni’s with Panchetta and Spinach

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Michael and I love Paris and eating crepes (and Coca Lite!) off a cart in that beautiful city are some of my most fond memories. I make crepes all the time for at home for breakfast or dessert and fill them with sweet things like jam or nutella.I decided to try this recipe because I love savory foods and wanted to try an Italian spin with a crepe as the “pasta”. I tested it on my family and it was a huge success. Enjoy!

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Crepe Cannelloni with Panchetta and Spinach:

Crepe Recipe:

2 cups all-purpose flour

4 eggs

1 cup milk

1 cup water

½ teaspoon salt

4 tablespoons butter, melted

Filling:

2 cloves garlic minced

½ large onion diced

1 Tbs chopped fresh parsley

15 oz ricotta cheese

¾ cup grated parmesan cheese for filling

¾ cup grated parmesan cheese for topping

3 oz Prosciutto chopped

1 cup loosely packed coarsely chopped spinach leaves

1 recipe marinara (or 1 16 oz jar prepared marinara with ½ cup cream added)

Preheat Oven to 375 degree’s.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour and the eggs. Gradually add in the milk and water, stirring to combine. Add the salt and butter; beat until smooth. Heat a frying pan over medium high heat and spray with cooking spray. Pour ⅓ cup of batter onto the pan. Tilt the pan with a circular motion so that the batter coats the surface evenly.  Cook the crepe until the bottom is light brown. Loosen with a spatula, turn and cook the other side briefly. Set aside. Repeat until batter is gone.

Sauté onions with olive oil until translucent. Add garlic and continue cooking for another few minutes. Take off heat and set aside. In a mixing bowl combine ricotta, parmesan, parsley, prosciutto, onion & garlic mixture & spinach. Season with salt & pepper to taste. Add egg and combine thoroughly. If the filling is slightly thick, thin out with a tablespoon of water so the consistency is soft enough to easily scoop out.

Spray a 13×9 glass casserole dish with cooking spray. Take a crepe and fill with approximately 2-3 heaping tablespoons of filling. Roll and place in pan. Repeat until all crepes are filled and rolled.

Pour marinara over cannelloni’s. (If using prepared marinara, warm in a pan and mix in ½ cup cream before pouring over cannelloni’s) Taking a spoon spread out the sauce so it covers all the cannelloni’s evenly. Top with mozzarella and parmesan cheese.

Bake uncovered for 20-25 minutes or until bubbly and cheese is lightly browned. Serve hot.

Fettuccine with Homemade Marinara and Buffalo Mozzarella

This pasta is so freaking good. O.M.G. I’m writing this at 8:42 in the morning and now I’m hungry for this dish. The marinara is from scratch but don’t be fooled, its not difficult to make. Instead of buying a jar of pasta sauce, just walk across the isle and grab a can of crushed tomatoes instead. Get a log of goat cheese (or you can use cream cheese) and as long as you have some staples in your cupboard you should be pretty much covered. And I don’t know why but there is something soooooo good about having a few slices of buffalo mozzarella on top drizzled with olive oil and some cracked sea salt and pepper. My husband isn’t usually a big fan of marinara in pasta but he really loves this recipe. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

¾ lbs fettuccine

2 tbs olive oil

2 garlic cloves minced

1 24 oz can crushed tomatoes

¼ cup red wine

1 tbs sugar

1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

2 tsp salt

¼ tsp pepper

1 tsp dried oregano

2 tbs tomato paste

2 oz herbed goat cheese

8 oz buffalo mozzarella ball

fresh basil (optional)

Directions:

Boil a large pot of water. Drizzle some olive oil and salt in the water before adding the fettuccine. While the pasta is cooking make sauce.

Heat a pan to medium high and add 2 tbs olive oil. Add minced garlic and sauté until fragrant about a minute. Add crushed tomatoes & tomato paste. Add wine, sugar, cayenne pepper, salt & pepper and oregano. (Crush oregano between your palms to release the oils before adding).  Simmer for 5 minutes and then add goat cheese. Let the goat cheese melt and mix it into the sauce completely. Taste and correct seasoning.

Drain pasta and immediately add pasta into the sauté pan and toss in marinara. Once combined transfer to individual plates or a platter and put slices of the mozzarella on top. Crack some sea salt & pepper and drizzle a little more olive oil on top. Garnish with fresh basil if desired. Enjoy!

Pasta Puttanesca with Buffalo Mozzarella

The first time I had this dish was at my sister-in-law Jen’s house. I had never tried anything like it and was pleasantly surprised to find that capers and olives were great in pasta.  I love the bite that you get from anything pickled… I added a little twist to this recipe by putting in some buffalo mozzarella balls at the end. I feel like this gives the dish that little creaminess without it taking away from the essence of what a puttanesca is. This is a great recipe to have as an emergency dinner because you can have most the ingredients sitting on your pantry shelves. Even if you omit the mozzarella its still great. ;) Enjoy!

Recipe:

3/4 lbs spaghetti

2 cloves garlic minced

2 tbs olive oil

16 oz jar good past sauce such as Rao’s

1/4 cup capers

1/2 cup sliced green olives pitted

red pepper flakes to taste

1/4 cup fresh shredded parmesan

16 oz buffalo mozzarella balls drained

Directions:

Boil a large pot of water and add pasta.

While the pasta is boiling, heat olive oil in a sauté pan and add garlic. Cook for about a minute until fragrant. Add pasta sauce and stir until simmering. Add capers and olives. Add red pepper a little at a time to determine how much spice you like.  Drain pasta and add to sauce. (Add the pasta to the sauce little by little to be sure the ratio of pasta to sauce isn’t too much or too little.) Once pasta is combined with sauce thoroughly, fold in buffalo mozzarella gently. Top with parmesan and serve. Enjoy!

California Asian Pasta Salad

California Asian Pasta Salad

My sister Sarah (everyone in the family calls this recipe “Sarah’s Salad”) gave me a version of this recipe that she got from her mother-in-law. Her mother-in-law had gotten it from a friend who had gotten it from a friend and on and on. Its like the game telephone but with a recipe! Its one of those dishes that you eat at a party and just HAVE to get the recipe because its so tasty. Its become a regular fixture at our Fourth of July celebration and  everyone gets excited every time its made. I’ve made a few changes to the original recipe to make it mine so I hope you enjoy!

3 Cups Dice Avocado (squeeze some lemon juice over the avocado to prevent it from browning!)

½ Bunch Chopped Parsley

¼ cup toasted sesame seeds

16 oz package Corkscrew pasta

½ bunch chopped green onions

2 Cups spinach cut in strips

1 cup toasted slivered almonds

Sauce:

½ Cup Soy Sauce

¾ Cup Vegetable Oil

¼ cup mango chutney

¾ cup Raspberry Vinaigrette

1/8 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper

Whisk together sauce ingredients. Set aside.

Cook pasta. Drain and run until cold water to stop the cooking. Once cooled and drained, place pasta into a large salad bowl and add in parsley, toasted sesame seeds, green onions, spinach and toasted almonds. Toss together with sauce. Refrigerate until cold or overnight. Top with avocado right before serving and crack some salt and pepper over the avocado to taste. Enjoy!

Potato Ravioli with Bolognese Sauce

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!

Ravioli:

Wonton Wrappers

4 medium golden potatoes peeled and quartered

⅓ cup cream

2 tablespoons butter

Salt to taste

Sauce:

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!