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Main Dish

Bolognese Penne Pasta

Bolognese is another name for a meat sauce with milk or cream. This recipe develops flavor by reducing the milk and wine while leaving all the flavor. If you turn the heat up and stir constantly, it does not take long and well worth the flavor imparted. I have included two types of pasta; one using regular penne pasta and another low calorie option of pasta made with zucchini and a Veggetti. Topping with Parmesan cheese packs a lot of flavor in one tablespoon. Both are delicious and nice to have as options when trying to reduce calories. Enjoy!

Bolognese over Pasta
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Bolognese Meat Sauce

Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Keyword heavy cream, meat sauce, pasta
Servings 4
Author Sarah Stevens

Equipment

  • Veggetti for making squash pasta

Ingredients

  • 1 small yellow onion chopped
  • 1 lb. lean ground beef
  • Black pepper ground fresh from mill
  • ½ tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup skim milk
  • ½ cup red wine
  • 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 T pesto or Italian Seasonings to taste
  • 1 packet of Truvia Sweetner or 1 T sugar
  • Cooked Zucchini Pasta or regular cooked spaghetti
  • Grated Parmesan Cheese

Instructions

  • Brown beef and onion on high in heavy bottom pot. Stir until brown and meat begins to stick and brown on sides of pot. Add pepper, red pepper and a pinch of salt.
  • Add the milk and let it simmer until it has evaporated completely. Stir frequently.
  • Add the wine and simmer until evaporated. Stir frequently. Add the tomatoes and stir well. Add pesto and sweetener and salt to taste. When the sauce begins to bubble, turn down heat and simmer for at least 30 minutes or up to 3 hours to develop flavor. Add ½ cup water if necessary to prevent sticking.
  • Serve over Penne Pasta or Zucchini Pasta made with a Veggeti and topped with Parmesan Cheese

Zucchini Pasta

  • Make zucchini pasta with Veggetti using one zucchini per person.
  • Place in pasta bowl and microwave for one minute or until desired doneness.
  • Serve Bolognese Sauce over zucchini.

Notes

Notes: Milk protects from acidic bite of tomatoes.
Evaporating the wine retains the flavor but not the alcohol. Can substitute cooking wine but be sure to reduce salt.

This site contains affiliate links to products. I may receive a commission for purchases made through these links, at no cost to you. Products are examples of what I own or what I recommend in order to help you make the best choice for you. Thank you for your support.

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    Taco Soup

    My dear friend, Bootsie, gave me this recipe. There are many Taco Soup recipes, but this one does not have the preservatives of packaged taco seasoning. The recipe calls for several canned ingredients making it fast and easy, but the fresh onions, bell pepper and seasonings give this recipe its fresh flavor. Enjoy!

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    Taco Soup

    Course Main Course
    Cuisine Mexican
    Keyword cherry tomatoes, corn meal, ground beef, Ranch Beans, Veg-All
    Author Bootsie Eakin

    Ingredients

    • 2 to 3 pounds ground beef
    • 1 large onion chopped
    • 1 large green pepper chopped
    • 3 tablespoons chili powder
    • salt and pepper to taste
    • 1 14 oz. Can cream style corn
    • 1 14 oz. Can Ranch Style Beans
    • 1 28 oz. Can tomatoes
    • 2 14 oz. Can Veg-All Mixed Vegetables

    Instructions

    • Brown ground beef, onion and pepper. Add remaining ingredients and simmer until ready to serve. (If in a pinch, you can serve immediately, but it is best to simmer 1 hour.)

      Roasted Cherry Tomatoes with Pasta

      If you have ever planted Cherry Tomatoes, you know how prolific they can be. I bought my plants from a young guy at the Farmer’s Market. I thought I was getting San Marzanos for tomato sauce, instead I got about a dozen Sun Golds and another cherry tomato! With lemons you make lemonade, with tomatoes, you make sauce!

      As good as they are, I get tired of eating them plain. So I roasted them with garlic and onion, then added them to cooked pasta along with Asiago Cheese, Parmesan and fresh basil. The fresh roasted Sun Gold Tomatoes made a sweet sauce for the pasta. Change up the ingredients, and make this recipe yours. Add a salad and you have a meal. Enjoy!

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      Roasted Cherry Tomatoes with Pasta

      Course Main Course
      Cuisine Italian
      Keyword cheese, cherry tomatoes, pasta
      Total Time 30 minutes
      Servings 4
      Author Sarah Stevens

      Equipment

      • sheet pan
      • pasta pan

      Ingredients

      • 4 cups cherry tomatoes
      • 1/2 onion chopped
      • 1 clove garlic minced
      • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes optional or may use a shake
      • olive oil
      • salt and pepper to taste
      • 1 pound pasta I used rotini
      • 1 tablespoon salt
      • 8 leaves fresh basil chopped
      • 1 cup Asiago cheese grated
      • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese grated

      Instructions

      • Cover a sheet pan with foil. Add tomatoes, onion, garlic, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Add a swirl of olive oil and toss. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
      • Start a pot of water with 1 tablespoon of salt to boil for pasta.
      • Place tomatoes in oven to roast while cooking pasta. Chop basil and grate cheeses.
      • When pasta water is boiling, add pasta and cook for 9 minutes.
      • When pasta is done, drain and add to bowl. Take roasted tomatoes out of oven and add to pasta. Add cheese and basil. Toss lightly and serve.

      This site contains affiliate links to products that I use or similar to the ones I use. I may receive a commission for purchases made through these links, at no cost to you. Thanks for supporting my blog.

        Chicken Cacciatore

        Teaching a Foods Lab in one hour is a hard task, so I was always looking for recipes that could be made in two lab days. Chicken Cacciatore fit the bill. The sauce could be made one day and stored. Then it could be reheated while the pasta was cooking and then served. The recipe calls for chicken breasts or tenders, but when I first started teaching we used a whole chicken in this recipe and I even taught students how to cut up a chicken! My how times have changed.

        Do not fail to add the cooking wine. It is the key ingredient for flavor. You can use white wine but in class, we used cooking wine which has salt added. A little story about that- salt was added to cooking wine to keep the cooks from drinking and getting drunk! Enjoy.

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        Chicken Cacciatore

        Inspired by Betty Crocker Cookbook
        Course Main Course
        Cuisine Italian
        Keyword chicken, cooking wine, Parmesan cheese, pasta, tomatoes
        Servings 4 servings
        Author stevens1951

        Equipment

        • large skillet with lid
        • pasta pot

        Ingredients

        • 1 1/2 lbs. Chicken breasts or tenders
        • 1/4 cup olive oil
        • 1/2 cup flour
        • 2 cups thinly sliced onion rings
        • 1/2 cup green pepper
        • 2 cloves garlic crushed
        • 1 14 ounce can diced tomatoes
        • 1 8 oz can Tomato sauce
        • 1 teaspoon salt
        • 1/4 teaspoon oregano
        • 1/4 cup white cooking wine

        Instructions

        • Heat oil in large skillet. Coat chicken pieces with flour and cook in oil over medium heat 15 minutes until light brown. Remove chicken; set aside.
        • Add onion rings, green pepper and garlic to skillet; cook and stir over medium heat until onion and pepper are tender. Stir in remaining ingredients except wine. Add chicken to sauce. Cover tightly; simmer 20-30 minutes or until tender. Add cooking wine last 15 minutes of cooking. Serve over shell pasta. Sprinkle with fresh Parmesan. 4 servings.

        This site contains affiliate links to products. I may receive a commission for purchases made through these links, at no cost to you. Products are examples of what I own or what I recommend in order to help you make the best choice for you. Thank you for your support.

          Shrimp and Okra Gumbo

          Proud to see my former Culinary Arts student, Omar, working the oyster bar at Tia Juanita’s Fish Camp. I like to order Shrimp Gumbo to see if it’s anything like what I make. To my surprise, the roux tasted exactly like mine! I will order it again along with the Oysters Royale that Omar so generously shared. I’m glad he did, after watching him make them I was ready to order them for dessert. In honor of Omar, I’m sharing the Shrimp Okra Gumbo Recipe by Chef Paul Prudhomme. Enjoy!

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          Shrimp and Okra Gumbo

          Inspired by The Prudhomme Family Cookbook, 1987, page 194
          Course Main Course
          Cuisine Cajun
          Keyword hot, okra, rice, roux, shrimp
          Servings 12 main dish servings

          Equipment

          • shrimp peeler/ de-veiner
          • heavy stock pot
          • Cast-iron Dutch oven

          Ingredients

          • 3 pounds small shrimp peeled and shrimp shells used to make stock
          • 1 tablespoon salt
          • 2 1/4 teaspoons salt
          • 1 teaspoon ground red pepper may use more
          • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
          • 2 cups finely chopped onion in all
          • 2 cups finely chopped bell peppers
          • 1 cup vegetable oil in all
          • 1 cup all purpose flour
          • 1 1/2 pounds okra, sliced 1/4 inch (about 6 cups) can use frozen
          • 1 1/2 cups tomatoes peeled and chopped
          • 3 quarts Seafood Stock in all
          • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic finely chopped
          • 1 cup chopped green onions tops only

          Instructions

          • Place shrimp shells in large pot and cover with 3 quarts of water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until stock is needed.
          • Place the shrimp in a large bowl. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoon of the salt, 1/2 teaspoon red pepper, and the garlic powder. Stir well, cover, and refrigerate until ready to use.
          • In a medium size bowl, combine 1 cup of the onions with the bell peppers and set aside.
          • Heat 1/2 cup oil in a 2 quart cast-iron Dutch oven over high heat until oil is hot and just short of smoking, about 4 minutes. Using a long -handled metal whisk or wooden spoon, very gradually stir the flour into the hot oil. Cook, whisking constantly or stirring briskly, until roux is medium red-brown, 3 to 4 minutes, being careful not to let mixture scorch or splash on your skin. Reduce heat to low and cook until roux is dark red-brown, 1 to 2 minutes more, whisking or stirring constantly. Remove from heat and immediately add the onion and bell pepper mixture, stirring with a wooden spoon until well mixed. Continue stirring until roux stops getting darker, about 2 minutes more. Set aside.
          • In a 6-quart saucepan or large Dutch oven, combine the remaining 1/2 cup oil with the okra, tomatoes, 1 1/4 teaspoons of the salt, the remaining 1 cup onions, and 1/2 teaspoon red pepper. Place over high heat and cook about 20 minutes, until sticking is excessive, stirring frequently (almost constantly toward end of cooking time) and scraping pan bottom well each time. Add 1/2 cup of the stock and cook and stir about 5 minutes more. (The procedure of stirring and scraping the pan bottom is a major factor in making this dish so good!)
          • Remove the shrimp shells from the stock. Add 3 1/2 cups of the stock to the okra tomato mixture and stir until all sediment on pan bottom is dissolved. Bring mixture to a boil, then add the roux by spoonfuls to the boiling stock, stirring until roux is blended in before adding more. Add the remaining 2 quarts stock, the chopped garlic, and the remaining 1 teaspoon salt, and return mixture to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer about 40 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the green onions and cook about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
          • Now turn heat to high, stir in the shrimp; cook just until gumbo comes to a simmer and shrimp are pink and plump, stirring occasionally. Do not overcook shrimp. Remove from heat and serve immediately.
          • Serve 1 1/2 cups gumbo over cooked rice.

          Notes

          This recipe is best made with fresh gulf shrimp.  If not available, buy Texas Gulf Shrimp with peel on the in the frozen case.  i never buy farm raised or from any foreign country, only Gulf shrimp will do. 

          This post includes affiliate links where I may get a small commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. These are the exact same stock pot and peeler I use. The Dutch oven is similar, They work just fine. Thanks for your support.

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