Last week I posted my recipe for Fresh Rosemary Garlic Fettuccine. The fresh fettuccine pairs well with this recipe of grilled chicken and fresh vegetables in a cream sauce. Did I say … it’s deliciously decadent? It is … rich, creamy and delicious. After making the broccoli cheddar soup and this I think it’s time to go back to some healthy lower fat eating! Enjoy … you can splurge once in a while.
Grilled Chicken & Fresh Vegetables in a Cream Sauce
- Fresh Garlic Rosemary Fettuccine Noodles
- 2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
- 1 cup sliced green onions
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 cup white wine or chicken broth
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup water
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 2 cups cubed grilled chicken
- 1 Orange or Red Pepper
- 2 Cups Broccoli florets
- 1/2 cup shredded fresh parmesan cheese
- Grape tomatoes – halved
- 2 tablespoons capers, drained
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
- Shredded Parmesan cheese
- Cook pasta until al dente. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, saute mushrooms and onions in butter for 4-5 minutes or until tender. Add wine or broth and garlic. Bring to a boil; cook until liquid is reduced by half, about 5 minutes.
- Combine flour and water until smooth; gradually add to mushroom mixture. Bring to a boil. Add broccoli, peppers and grape tomatoes. Reduce heat; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Stir in cream. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 4-5 minutes or until heated through.
- Drain pasta. Add the pasta, chicken, parmesan cheese, capers, salt and pepper to cream sauce. Cook for 3-4 minutes or until heated through. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese if desired. Yield: 5 servings.
Adapted from: Taste of Home
Homemade pasta is so versatile in terms of colors and taste. One of my favorite variations is lemon pasta. Lemon pasta goes so well with numerous dishes and adds a wonderful fresh burst of lemon without being overpowering. Enjoy!
Lemon Fettuccine Noodles
- 2-1/4 Cups Flour
- 3 Eggs
- 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
- 1-2 Tablespoons Water (if necessary)
- 1 Lemon
- Dash of Salt
Combine flour and salt in mixing bowl. Make a well in the middle of the flour.
In a small bowl put eggs, zest of 1 lemon, juice of 1 lemon and whisk lightly.
Add to the middle well of flour the egg mixture, olive oil, and water (if necessary). Add flour or extra water to dough as needed – consistency should not be sticky. With beater attachment, beat on low for 1 minute. Switch to dough hook and mix for 6 minutes. Take dough and cover in plastic wrap and let rest for at least 10 minutes. Make pasta into desired shape and be prepared for a taste sensation.
I did something yesterday that I do not normally do – and that is not much of anything. My weekends are usually very busy. It is a rare occurrence that finds me plopped down in a chair and reading on a weekend. Yesterday was that rare occurrence – there I was in my chair reading my camera manual in between jumping up and trying some more food shots and then some more and more and more. I never photographed food until I started my blog. To say it is challenging for me is an understatement. Food staging and photography may as well be a different language as far as I am concerned. One of the biggest hurdles I am facing is lighting, lol notice that I say ONE OF my biggest hurdles. Most of my cooking occurs at night and if you are a food blogger you know the challenges presented by lighting or lack of. My husband, sensing my escalating frustration, said to me “You weren’t born walking, you didn’t take fantastic nature shots right away, you can’t expect to be great right away with food photography; you have to start somewhere. For now I guess I have to be patient and learn and allow the process to unfold and one day I will be happy with the results of my photos; one day my photo will be accepted by Food Gawker or Taste Spotting … until then I will be plopping down in a chair more often reading a lot and practicing, practicing, practicing.
Fortunately I didn’t have a big, time-consuming dinner planned since that took up a greater part of my afternoon. I made a Caesars salad and took some homemade sausage stuffed ravioli out of the freezer, heated up some sauce and dinner was ready quickly with little preparation and great results. Sigh … at least dinner was great!
Sausage Ravioli Filling (Source: Better Homes & Gardens)
Makes: 6 servings Yield: 1 cup filling (enough for 6 servings)
- 4 ounces bulk Italian sausage
- 3/4 cup packed fresh spinach leaves
- 1 egg yolk, lightly beaten
- 1/3 cup ricotta cheese
- 1 teaspoon snipped fresh sage or 1/4 teaspoon dried sage, crushed
- 1/8 teaspoon grated whole nutmeg
1. In a large skillet, cook sausage over medium-high heat until brown, using a wooden spoon to break up sausage as it cooks. Stir in spinach; cook and stir until wilted. Drain off fat. If mixture is too coarse to stuff ravioli, transfer to a food processor or blender; cover and process or blend with several on/off pulses until chopped.
2. In a medium bowl, combine egg yolk, ricotta cheese, sage, and nutmeg. Stir in sausage mixture. Cover and chill until needed.
I hadn’t made lasagna in a long time and I wanted to try it with homemade noodles. This turned out to be the best lasagna I’ve ever had!
- 1 lb. Ricotta (drained*)
- 1 Egg beaten
- 1/2 Cup Parmigiano Reggiano
- 1/4 Cup Italian Parsley, Chopped
- Sea Salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Freshly ground nutmeg**
*Put your Ricotta in a strainer over a bowl and let sit for approximately 1 hour – you will be amazed at how much liquid drains out. This produces a lasagna that is not runny!
**Fresh nutmeg is fantastic – this adds a great taste to your ricotta filling!
Mix all ingredients together well, allow to rest in the fridge for 20 minutes to set up.
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 small onions, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2 stalks celery, finely chopped
- 2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 (32-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes
- 2 dried bay leaves
- 1/2 lb. sausage & 1/2 lb. ground beef*
In a large casserole pot, heat the oil over a medium-high flame. Add the onions and garlic and saute until the onions are translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the celery, carrots, and 1/2 teaspoon of each salt and pepper. Saute until all the vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes and bay leaves, and simmer uncovered over low heat until the sauce thickens, about 1 hour. Remove and discard the bay leaf. Season the sauce with more salt and pepper, to taste. (The sauce can be made 1 day ahead. Cool, then cover and refrigerate. Rewarm over medium heat before using.)
* I made this sauce over the summer with fresh tomatoes and froze quite a few containers as it can be used as a base for many recipes. For this lasagna I added sausage and beef to the marinara recipe. I browned the sausage and beef together and added to my sauce.
Homemade Lasagna Noodles
For the noodles I used my “go to” pasta dough recipe. I rolled out my dough and cut my noodles to measure in wide strips. Boil water and add noodles 2 – 3 at a time and cook for approximately 1 minute (fresh pasta cooks up fast and you don’t want your noodles overcooked). Repeat the process until all noodles have been cooked.
Spread a small amount of sauce on the bottom of a lasagna pan. Place 3 noodles over sauce. Spread sauce mixture over noodles along with Ricotta filling and top with 3 more noodles. Repeat until all noodles have been used, ending with noodles on top, spreading with a small amount of sauce on top of the noodles. You can do 3 or 4 layers of noodles.
Bake in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for approximately 1 hour and let sit, covered in foil for approximately 15 minutes before serving. Cut into serving sizes and be prepared for a wonderful taste sensation!