Category Archives: Italian

Beef and Tomato Macaroni Soup

Beef and Tomato Macaroni Soup 2

For week night meals, I like to make a big pot of something tasty on Sunday to last me several days into the week. This is a great recipe for week night meals. It’s easy to throw together and the leftovers are just as good as the first day. The soup comes fully loaded with ground beef, elbow macaroni and the flavors of veggies, tomatoes and fresh herbs. This recipe calls for fresh thyme and marjoram, and I would recommend picking up some of the fresh stuff instead of the dried. It does impart way more flavor than dried herbs can. The combination of the fresh herbs with Worcestershire, tomatoes and ground beef were delicious. Garnish with a little grated parmesan and thyme springs and serve with some crusty french bread. As always with soups that have pasta, the noodles tend to soak up all the tasty broth if you add them in all at once. Make small batches and add a serving of noodles to each bowl so that none of the broth gets wasted.
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Homemade Roasted Tomato Sauce

Homemade Tomato Sauce

Who doesn’t love fresh tomato sauce? It takes a bit longer than opening up a jar or a can but the results are totally worth it. It’s hard to even call the stuff out of a jar and freshly made sauce even the same thing. When the sauce is the highlight of a dish it’s especially important to get the most flavor out of the tomatoes. To get that intense flavor, I roasted the tomatoes on the broil setting until the skins were well charred. This helps to concentrate the flavor of the tomatoes. While broiling the tomatoes, I added in some garlic cloves to get that amazing roasted garlic flavor into the sauce. Remember to remove the skins before pureeing because they tend to roll up into tiny little tomato skin skewers.

The recipe makes a lot so I was able to freeze it in batches so it should last a while. It works great for pretty much any pasta recipe that requires a red sauce and it’s especially good for lasagna or eggplant parmesan since you can tailor the water content to be thicker and less watery than conventional pasta sauces.
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White Bean, Sausage & Cabbage Soup

Sausage, White Bean and Cabbage Soup

Happy New Years! We have officially arrived in January, the doldrums of winter and in my opinion, the year’s worst month. January has the coldest weather and by now I’m missing the holiday cheer. The one thing to look forward to is the days getting longer and more excuses to eat hearty soups! This soup is great for the “mean month” and helps chase away the winter chill. The soup is loaded with spicy sausage, beans, fresh veggies and herbs. Make it with homemade chicken stock and you have a nutrient rich broth to stave off the flu and common cold (no, the old wive’s tale is not a myth; it does give your immune system a boost). Serve it up with crusty french bread for dunking and plenty of sliced parmigiano reggiano!
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Classic Minestrone Soup

Classic Minestrone Soup

There are so many different variations of Minestrone soup; it can be somewhat difficult in choosing which recipe to follow. This recipe is more traditional and borrows from several recipes with elements that I liked in particular. I was interested in the idea of using the rind from parmigiano reggiano, as I heard it enhances the flavor. I tried it out and it turns out the rind does add more depth of flavor to the broth. I chose a simple bean medley of red kidney beans and great northern beans, both found in many Minestrone recipes. To get the freshest flavor I roasted Roma tomatoes in the oven and then pureed them for the diced tomatoes. It made a big difference due to the roasting process which concentrates and enhances their flavor. Many recipes do not require any meat as part of the base but I added sliced pancetta for richness and complexity. Everything came together great and it was a perfect transition meal from Summer to Fall! I garnished the soup with extra parmesan and basil and served it with crusty french bread.
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Lasagna Soup

Lasagna Soup

Say hello to your new favorite soup recipe–lasagna in a bowl! This recipe takes all the elements of traditional lasagna and transforms them into an easy and delicious soup. I used elbow pasta for the noodles along with hot Italian sausage and fire roasted diced tomatoes for added savoriness. I couldn’t believe how easy this was to throw together! A mixture of ricotta, parmesan and romano are added to the top which is the pièce de résistance of each bowl! Since it doesn’t take long to put together it makes a great weeknight meal.
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Italian Sausage Soup with Roasted Cauliflower and Yellow Squash

Italian Sausage Soup with Roasted Cauliflower

This soup is perfect for rainy summer nights or chilly fall days. It combines roasted cauliflower, yellow squash, red potatoes with fresh fennel and thyme. You start off the soup by broiling the cauliflower until just charred. I used homemade chicken stock which lends the best flavor to the recipe. I couldn’t get enough of these flavors combined! The spicy sausage combined with the charred flavor from the cauliflower with the fresh herbs really took this soup to the next level. Serve this soup with some fresh parsley, grated parmesan cheese and a crusty baguette.
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Italian Chicken Parmesan Soup

Italian Chicken Parmesan Soup

Italian food excels at using great ingredients to elevate humble meals. This couldn’t be more true with a recipe like this soup. It combines a whole roasted chicken, seasoned with only sea salt and pepper, shredded in a savory tomato based broth with beans and veggies. The soup is peasant style with zucchini, great northern beans, fresh herbs and rotelli noodles. I used homemade chicken stock for added flavor and nutrients. Since the noodles tend to absorb a lot of the broth I don’t add them into the soup beforehand. Instead, I cook them separately and add a handful to each bowl. I would recommend using only fresh herbs since it made a big difference in the flavor of the broth. Add a big handful of parmigiano reggiano or romano cheese to each bowl for melted cheesy goodness! I served the soup with a warm crusty baguette and garnished each bowl with fresh basil.
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Roasted Tomato Soup with Italian Sausage

Roasted Tomato Soup

I’ve never really considered making tomato soup until recently. This recipe is full of roasted garlic and tomato flavor along with the savory spiciness of the Italian sausage. This tomato soup recipe is anything but boring! For the roasting I place the garlic on top of the cut side of the tomatoes. Placing it there helps the garlic roast and allows that flavor to become better infused into the tomato. Call me crazy but it really works! I pan roasted the sausage and you can either blend it into the soup after or finely mince by hand. The soup comes together easily and it has quickly become a staple dinner recipe.

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Chicken Piccata

Chicken Piccata is a classic Italian pasta dish served with chicken in a lemon, butter and caper sauce. The chicken is pounded thin, lightly breaded and browned in a pan. Pounding the chicken thin is an important step because it helps cook the chicken more evenly. The drippings from the chicken are used to make the savory pan sauce which, in my opinion, is the highlight of the dish. The sauce is a simple combination of white wine, butter, lemon, and capers. Making everything only takes about half hour so this is a great meal when you’re short on time for dinner!

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Roasted Winter Vegetable and Ricotta Pizza

This recipe is a perfect and easy pizza for cold winter nights! The roasted vegetables are a mix of red potatoes, butternut squash, onions and carrots baked in the oven until tender. The mozzarella and ricotta go very well with the veggies. The vegetables are seasoned simply with fresh rosemary and garlic. I like to pre-bake the pizza dough crust before adding any of the other ingredients just to ensure that the crust is cooked through and not too soggy. I really liked how all the veggies worked so well together so I will definitely be having this again sometime!

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