Tag Archives: basil

Risotto Stuffed Tomatoes: Heaven!

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As mini me gets older, I find our closest times are almost always in the kitchen, or at the kitchen table. As a young girl I dreamed of that mother-child connection, especially over a family meal. Having my girl gave me that long awaited opportunity.
I take every chance to spend time in the kitchen with her, teaching her a new culinary skill. Nothing makes me feel more like a woman than preparing a meal and passing along tradition.

Tomatoes, in all forms are one of our favorite summer treats. Roma, yellow, green, tomatillos, beef, cherry; you name it, we love them all. When I am not stewing and pressing tomatoes for our homemade sauce I use them as little baskets to hold a gluttonous treat. What better way to push the envelope than to nest a creamy risotto inside their walls.

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An Italian Fall

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Being in the kitchen is heaven to me. If I have one regret it is that I did not go to culinary school and share my passion for food with the world. But, for now, it is a family affair!

Me and mini have wrestled with time lately, but one area we never let slip away is our meals! This week I showed her how I make one of many different variations of our Sicilian meatballs. Our sauce was our own, and made with crushed tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, basil leaves, half a cup of wine and a roasted red pepper puree. I make a lot and freeze it so it is ready to go.

These meatballs are a little different, and I adore anything out of the norm. I use veal , pork, chicken and beef. Then we dipped three pieces of bread in milk, wrung them out, tore them up and added the to the meat. We needed two eggs. Then, about a cup of romano cheese, a tablespoon of brown sugar, crushed red pepper, and chopped currants or raisins. Yes, raisins! ( No one will know they are there..you need to chop them very fine). We minced 4 cloves of garlic and grated half of a red onion into the mix. I always use a coarse sea salt, fresh pepper and dried basil.

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Pasta Pomodoro!

My recent ventures to some local and not-so-local markets has had me  and mini me eating well ! A well fed body and heart is all we  really need. Check, I have both covered! I made sure to pick up some fresh pasta from a small family eatery this weekend. Me and mini me do roll our own pasta, but we need to really try to infuse our variety. These new flavors have us inspired!20140523-233333.jpg

This week, I experimented with a red pepper cappellini, spinach fettuccini, and garlic-chive spaghetti .. so many possibilities. These fresh rolled bundles balance perfectly together.  Like the yin and yang of love, the flavors complement and enhance the fabulous union!

The art of bringing out their uniqueness, without masking their qualities can be challenging. When I want to enhance and not cloak..I turn to my homemade lemon-olive oil. I use a rich extra virgin olive oil  and 6 meyer lemons to create an oil that quickly infuses flavor without overdoing it. I store bottles of it and use it for skin care and culinary exploits.

I cooked 6 roma tomatoes, 3 cloves of garlic, a shallot, sea salt, crushed red pepper and a handful of capers in about 4 tablespoons of the oil. Once the tomatoes started to cook down, I added 8 torn basil leaves and 1/4 cup of fresh Romano.  When mixed together, I used tongs to create little nests of each flavor.  With some simple grilled chicken and a lemon vinaigrette, it was heaven. Close to it anyway!
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Siracha In My Pasta?

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This week I tried a habanero latte, which may have been even too spicy even for my palette. But with a new fire in my life, I feel brave enough to try it all. Today was no different, I stumbled upon an open market. It is my favorite way to break in a Saturday morning. Well, ALMOST my favorite way but that is another story. 🙂 Amidst the foodie trucks, the indie booths and students was the silent roar of canons were booming in the background; you can get an idea of the region I am at for the moment. For a foodie, this town can be lackluster at best. But I lucked out today.
Amidst the usual finds, I found a fresh pasta stand that offered more than your typical fare. I love making my own pasta, especially egg varieties like
tagliatelle. Me and mini have not made any in a while, and I want to make more time for what I love. While pasta is getting a bad rap for carb haters..healthy carbs in certain portions are a vital energy source. They prevent your body from stealing energy from muscles and needed proteins. No one in my opinion should be kicking HEALTHY carbs in healthy portions out of their diet entirely.
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