Pappardelle with Chicken and Mushrooms

Fettucine with Chicken and Mushrooms

When I was growing up, our next-door neighbor Mike had an amazing Italian specialty shop in town called Gracie’s Ravioli, named after his mother. Gracie’s was devoted to selling authentic and delicious Italian ingredients and deli items. In high school, my dad and I used to go there to pick up sandwiches before every Yankees game we went to (which used to be a lot when we were season ticket holders!), and we all loved the shop’s roasted artichokes, delicious panini, and of course, their homemade ravioli.

Although Gracie’s closed a few years ago, Mike still maintains the legacy of his mom and his passion for Italian wine and cuisine through his blog, the eponymous Gracie’s Ravioli. He has tons of great recipes and wine recommendations over there, in addition to a few e-books I mentioned a while back that are definitely worth checking out.

Fettucine with Chicken and Mushrooms

I found this recipe from Mike’s blog that really stood out to me as having the potential to be seriously delizioso. Braised chicken, tomatoes, and mushrooms combine to make a sumptuous almost stew-like sauce that pairs perfectly with al dente pasta. Now the first thing you’ll probably be thinking is- wait a second, the above image clearly does NOT show pappardelle! Alas, our local store did not have any in stock, so we had to go with fettucine- which worked great, but if you want the authentic experience, try and find the pappardelle!

Check out the recipe below, e tutti a tavola a mangiare (did you know I spent a summer studying in Italy during college? Fun fact.)!

Pappardelle with Chicken and Mushrooms
 
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Author:
Serves: 6

Ingredients
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 small can (6 oz) tomato paste
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 1 large can (28 oz) diced tomatoes
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh basil
  • salt and pepper
  • ½ lb sliced mushrooms
  • fresh parsley (for garnish)
  • 1 lb pappardelle pasta

Instructions
  1. In a large heavy-bottomed pot (I used a dutch oven), heat the oil over medium-high heat. Pat dry the chicken breasts with a paper towel to eliminate excess moisture, then carefully place in the pot. Allow chicken to brown, then remove to a plate. When cooled, shred with two forks and set aside.
  2. In the same pot, add the onions and garlic and reduce heat to medium. Allow onions to soften, stirring every so often about 3-5 minutes. Add the tomato paste, wine and water, and stir to combine. Add the canned diced tomatoes, basil, shredded chicken, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir, and bring everything to a boil over high heat.
  3. Once boiling, cover the pot and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 30-45 minutes, then remove cover, add the mushrooms, and continue to cook for an additional 15 minutes.
  4. While the sauce is cooking, prepare pasta according to the box’s instructions. Ideally, use pappardelle for your base, but if your store doesn’t have that, fettucine or another wide long pasta is great too.
  5. Serve pasta in bowls and top with the chicken and mushroom sauce. Garnish with parsley and enjoy!

Fettucine with Chicken and Mushrooms

My fiance and I loved this, so much so we went back for seconds (and maybe thirds)… and as a bonus, this definitely makes enough for leftovers!

Happy Eating, and Happy Fourth! What are your plans for the holiday weekend?

mally

Simple Meaty Lasagna

lasagna-7

They say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. Well, if that’s the case, then I got my man by the aorta with this lasagna.

Cheesy, meaty, tomato-y goodness, all in one delicious dish… what a perfect meal to make on Sunday and enjoy the leftovers for days to come! (If you have any leftovers, that is…)

lasagna-1

Let’s talk about the components of a great lasagna. First we have the sauce- it’s gotta be good. This one starts out with the classic base of onions and garlic, gets a nice dose of ground beef and pork, and is rounded out by a splash of heavy cream and a combination of both diced and pureed tomatoes.

Next, we have the noodles- I don’t know about you, but I think no-boil lasagna noodles are the best thing since, well, regular-boil lasagna noodles. And they’re a heck of a lot easier to handle. I used Barilla no-boil noodles based on a recommendation from America’s Test Kitchen (where this recipe comes from), and they worked perfectly.

On top of that, we have the cheeeeeese- a combo of ricotta, parmesan, fresh basil and mozzarella, with an egg for a creamy consistency- that lends lasagna its signature luscious flavor.

lasagna-16

I feel a little weird copying a recipe verbatim from a source that charges for their content, so I encourage you to definitely check out the recipe for this delicious lasagna over at America’s Test Kitchen. If you aren’t a member, don’t worry- you can sign up for a free 14-day trial and you can access all of their content including recipes, product taste tests, and videos. I don’t think it’s all that much for a year’s subscription, so if you’re like me and constantly seeking their recommendations for products and recipes, it might be worth the cost!

lasagna-14

Other notes… we said yes to the dress this weekend! The flower girl’s dress, that is… so much fun seeing our little flower girl in teensy cute white dresses. I also picked up some more materials for the invitations and for our upcoming engagement photo shoot on Sunday… eeek! This Saturday I’m also trying on my own white dress for the first fitting… I cannot wait!

By the way, did anyone catch the Super Moon last night? That was some crazy stuff. Gotta love nature.

Happy Eating 🙂
mally

P.S. I am in no-way compensated by America’s Test Kitchen- I just love their content and wanted to share a really great recipe from them!

Roasted Asparagus with Tomatoes and Garlic

Roasted Asparagus with Tomatoes and Garlic

Happy days are here again- it’s just about SUMMER TIME BABY!

What a crazy few weeks I have going on. I just got back on Monday from a quick 48-hour trip to Atlanta to visit my grandmother with Paul- what a relaxing and lovely way to spend the holiday weekend. Atlanta is such an awesome place to visit- people are just nicer there, ya know? Plus, it doesn’t hurt when your Argentine grandmother makes you 4 dozen empanadas to chow down on just because she loves you so much. YUM.

Tomorrow, I’m heading to Chicago for another long weekend, to visit one of my best friends from college. I’ll be back on Monday, but we’ve already planned most of our trip around which amazing restaurants we’re going to eat at. Any recommendations? 🙂

And oh yeah, the weekend after that, I’ll be SPEAKING at the BlogHer Food ’13 conference in Austin, TX! I can’t freakin wait, but I’m also super nervous. If any of you are going to BlogHer Food next week, please say hi (and don’t boo at my workshop!).

But for this very moment, I’m home in Jersey City and couldn’t be happier.

Roasted Asparagus with Tomatoes and Garlic

Once again, we’re on our farmer’s market flow- one of the best things about Jersey City is the abundance of farmer’s markets and local produce. I saw these locally grown fat asparagus (asparagi?) and knew I had to have them for my very own! Along with some fresh Jersey tomatoes and a healthy dose of garlic, this makes a perfect side dish for your next barbecue.

Roasted Asparagus with Tomatoes and Garlic
 
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Ingredients
  • 1 bunch asparagus (8-10 stalks)
  • 3 fat cloves of garlic, sliced thinly into chips
  • 1 large tomato, sliced into rounds
  • olive oil (about 2-3 tbsp)
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • fresh lemon juice (for serving)

Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Rinse and clean your asparagus. Using your fingers, snap off the tough ends on each stalk- the asparagus will break naturally where those tough parts end.
  3. In an oven-proof dish, add the asparagus and coat with the olive oil. Rest a few tomato slices and the garlic on top, and season liberally with salt and pepper.
  4. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until asparagus is tender when pierced with a fork. If desired, squeeze fresh lemon over top for serving. Enjoy!

Roasted Asparagus with Tomatoes and Garlic

This is an awesome side dish to any summertime entree- or perfect as a light snack on it’s own! I made a big batch and have been snacking on it throughout the week. Yum!

Happy Eating 🙂
mally

Five-Minute Fried Rice for One

Five-Minute Fried Rice

Looking for a super quick and easy lunch or dinner? Look no further- this recipe is not only great for cleaning out all the random vegetables in your fridge, but also is such a cinch to throw together you’ll be making it all the time when time is tight.

I’ve taken traditional fried rice, a greasy takeout staple, and tried to healthify it just a bit… using brown rice instead of white, overloading on the vegetables, using high quality coconut oil, and using low-sodium soy sauce. The result is a speedy meal you can feel good about, without any sticker shock or complicated recipes.

Five-Minute Fried Rice

Five-Minute Fried Rice for One
 
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Serves: 1

Ingredients
  • 1 tbsp canola oil, coconut oil, or other vegetable oil
  • ½ cup kale leaves, chopped
  • 5-6 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 stalks celery, sliced into C’s
  • ¼ cup frozen corn
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 cup cooked rice (I used brown, but any will do)
  • 1 egg, cracked into a small bowl and lightly whisked with a fork
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • scallions, sliced thinly on the bias (for garnish)

Instructions
  1. Heat the oil in a wok or frying pan over medium high heat. When nice and hot, add the kale, tomatoes, celery, corn and garlic, and allow to cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring to keep the vegetables from burning.
  2. Add the rice, and stir to coat in the oil and vegetables.
  3. Using a wooden spoon or spatula, clear a circle in the bottom of the pan. Pour the whisked egg into the circle and allow to cook, untouched, for about 2 minutes or until the egg is opaque and cooked through.
  4. Stir the egg into the rice mixture, making sure to break up the egg and getting everything incorporated.
  5. Add soy sauce and sesame oil to the pan, and stir again. Remove pan from heat, serve in a bowl, and garnish with scallions. Enjoy!

Five-Minute Fried Rice

While this is by no means a traditional fried rice, I really love all the flavors. It’s also a great introduction to cooking with coconut oil if you never have before. Coconut oil can reduce cholesterol, boosts thyroid function (think a faster metabolism), is an antioxidant, and has a multitude of uses, from cooking, to baking, to homemade hair conditioner and skin moisturizer. Good stuff!

What’s your favorite fast-food “healthy renovation” you’ve made?

Happy Eating 🙂
mally

My Favorite Salad

My Favorite Salad

Lunchtime for a working girl can be a dangerous activity.

Having worked in Manhattan for the last 5 years, I’ve eaten from a lot of subpar delis, overpriced salad bars, and super-salty “ramen” during my favorite mealtime of the day. Sure, occasionally you find the absolutely amazing hole-in-the-wall burrito joint, but it’s usually just a few too many avenues away to be convenient, or costs a few too many dollars than you’re willing to let go of, or, let’s face it, contains a few too many calories to ever be deemed a responsible choice.

(Side note: I might have made a spreadsheet to catalog all of the “good” places around my office. If you work near Times Square/Hell’s Kitchen, hit me up and I’ll send you the Google spreadsheet.)

I’m ashamed to say I often pick up and buy my lunch somewhere around my office rather than bringing it from home, and frankly, it’s been taking a toll on my wallet and on my waistline.

It’s just that I have a lot of expectations when it comes to lunch, and microwaved leftovers (especially microwaved meat… EWW!) just don’t cut it. So, because I’m still on the Standard Process Cleanse and most of the take-out options around here do NOT fall into anything I should be eating, I’ve had to innovate and come up with some kickass ideas in order to stay healthy and happy with my food choices.

Enter this salad- not just any salad, but my FAVORITE salad. Like, of all time.

It combines some of my favorite flavors (lemon, kalamata olives, cherry tomatoes), with some nutrition powerhouses (kale/arugula, quinoa, avocado) and turns into something so much greater than the sum of it’s parts.

The best part is… it is filling, delicious, and so much better than anything I can find around Midtown!

My Favorite Salad

 

5.0 from 3 reviews

My Favorite Salad
 
Ingredients
  • 2 cups greens (I prefer kale, arugula, or a mix), chopped
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut into quarters
  • ½ cup cooked quinoa
  • ½ avocado, diced
  • 6-8 kalamata olives, chopped roughly
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 lemon slice
Optional additions:
  • ¼ cup celery, sliced
  • ½ cup carrots, chopped
  • ¼ cup roasted salmon, flaked

Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and toss to combine. Sprinkle with juice from the lemon slice, toss again, and serve!

Tip: An easy way to dice an avocado is to make hash marks in the avocado while it’s still in the peel, then scoop it out with a spoon:

My Favorite Salad

Need some other good and healthy lunch ideas? Lentil soup is one thing I don’t mind re-heating in the microwave, and is so yummy. Another favorite is lentil saladgrilled corn salad (accompanied by some grilled chicken or flaked salmon), or carnitas tacos. (I seriously have a phobia of microwaved meat, so I usually just toast up the tortillas in the office kitchen instead, then add the meat and toast some more to heat through).

What are your favorite bring-from-home lunch options?

Happy Lunching 🙂
mally