TUSCAN CHICKEN PASTA

TUSCAN CHICKEN PASTA serves 4

2 cups rotisserie chicken breast pieces
8 ounces spiral pasta (I didn’t have enough so I used half rotini and half penne)
3/4 + 1/2 cups chicken bone broth
2 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup WHOLE milk
4 ounces cream cheese, cubed
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
3 cups fresh baby spinach
1 cup FRESH grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes
2 tablespoons chopped FRESH basil
3-4 slices bacon, diced – browned, drained of ALL fat and crisp
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper

  • Add sun-dried tomatoes to 3/4 cup homemade chicken bone broth to re-hydrate for 1 hour. This can also be done 24-48 hours ahead of time.
  • Prepare pasta per package instructions.
  • While pasta is boiling, melt butter in skillet over medium high heat.
  • Add onions, sauteing 1 minutes or so.
  • Add the milk, cream cheese, remaining 1/2 cup chicken bone broth and garlic powder, cooking and stirring 3-5 minutes until cream cheese is melted and mixture is a smooth consistency.
  • Stir in 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, basil, spinach, salt and pepper cooking and stirring until spinach is wilted.
  • Serve immediately with garlic bread.
  • Garnish with additional basil, bacon bits and remaining FRESH grated Parmesan cheese.

NOTE: Leftovers can be placed in a casserole dish, topped with Mozzarella cheese. Bake 25 minutes until casserole is cooked though, cheese is melted and browned and serve as a new meal.

MUSHY PEA RICOTTA STUFFED SHELLS

MUSHY PEA RICOTTA STUFFED SHELLS

These mushy pea and ricotta stuffed shells are a TRUE comfort food for a crisp fall evening!

18 to 20 JUMBO shells
1-2 tablespoons avocado oil
3/4 cup mushy peas – from leftovers preferably
1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese
1/4 cup grated pecorino cheese + extra for garnish
2 LARGE garlic cloves, minced
1/2 pound QUALITY sweet Italian sausage
1/2 pound LEAN ground beef
3-4 green onions, sliced thin
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
3/4 teaspoon sea salt, more for the pasta water
FRESH ground sea salt & black pepper, to taste
2 cups homemade tomato marinara sauce (you can use jarred sauce, but we prefer homemade from the garden)

  • Preheat the oven to 425°.
  • In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook the pasta shells for 10 minutes, until al dente. Drain and drizzle with a little avocado oil to keep them from sticking together.
  • Brown sweet Italian sausage, ground beef and green onions until meat is cooked through and crumbly. Drain off grease well!
  • In a large bowl, combine the mushy peas with the ricotta, pecorino, garlic, oregano, lemon zest, red pepper flakes, salt, FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper.
  • Spread the marinara in the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish.
  • Stuff each shell with the filling and place in the dish.
  • Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes.
  • Uncover and bake 5 minutes more until cheese is browned and bubbly.
  • Serve with more marinara on the side.

NOTE: This recipe freezes well for an easy weeknight meal!

  • After assembling the shells in the baking dish, cover tightly and freeze.
  • To thaw, transfer the dish to the fridge about 10 hours before you plan to serve it.
  • Remove from the fridge and let sit at room temp while the oven preheats.
  • Bake, covered, for 30 minutes, or until thawed and warmed through.

CHICKEN CAPRESE PASTA BOWLS

CHICKEN CAPRESE PASTA serves 8

12 ounces dry penne pasta
1 cup prepared alfredo sauce (homemade or store bought – your choice)
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
2 tablespoons FRESH chopped basil

1/2 – 1 cup arugula
1/2 cup shaved Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup FINELY chopped sweet red pepper
1 cup mozzarella balls
2 cups cooked shredded rotisserie chicken breast for a quick meal OR 1 breaded chicken cutlet that’s been pan seared for the best flavor if you have the time

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Lightly spray a baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.

  • Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and place in a large skillet over warm heat.

  • Stir in pasta sauce, rotisserie chicken pieces, tomatoes, basil pieces, Parmesan cheese and pepper pieces. If using a breaded chicken cutlet prepare it so that it is ready to be sliced just as the baking dish comes out of the oven.
  • Transfer pasta mixture to prepared baking dish and top evenly with Mozzarella balls.
  • Bake for 20-30 minutes until cheese is melted.

  • Toss with arugula and a squeeze of lemon JUST before serving.

TUSCAN STYLE HERB CHICKEN

TUSCAN STYLE HERB CHICKEN
1 cup chicken bone broth
1 tablespoon melted butter
2 LARGE russet or 6 Yukon gold potatoes, diced bite size
1 cup peeled and sliced carrots
3/4 cup frozen peas
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 can diced tomatoes with herbs, drained WELL
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
1 tablespoon Garden Gourmet Italian herbs

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Whisk Italian herbs and butter into the chicken broth.
  • Season to taste with FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper.
  • Arrange potatoes, carrots, peas and tomatoes into the bottom of a baking dish. I like to use my enameled cast iron for even baking.
  • Nestle chicken pieces into veggies.
  • Pour broth mixture over and around chicken and veggies stirring gently to coat well.
  • Bake 35-40 minutes until potatoes and carrots are tender and chicken is cooked through.

ITALIAN BOLOGNESE STUFFED PEPPERS

ITALIAN BOLOGNESE STUFFED PEPPERS
2 EXTRA LARGE red or orange peppers, halved
1 pound ground beef
2 shallots, diced SMALL
2 cloves garlic, minced
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
2 tablespoons Garden Gourmet Italian herbs
1 1/2 – 2 cups marinara sauce
2 cups prepared dilitani or small shell pasta
4 slices mozzarella cheese

  • Preheat oven to 375°.
  • Coat baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Halve peppers tip to root. Clean out seeds and ribs.
  • Brown ground beef and onion together. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Drain off grease returning meat to pan.
  • Add garlic, Italian herbs and marinara sauce, simmering 5-10 minutes.
  • Stuff pepper halves with meat mixture.
  • Layer remaining meat mixture into the baking dish.
  • Arrange peppers on top of meat mixture in baking dish.
  • Top each pepper with mozzarella cheese.
  • Coat one side of a piece of foil with non-stick cooking spray. Cover baking dish.
  • Bake 35-40 minutes until tender and hot. Remove foil during the last 10 minutes.

NOTE: This prepares well in advance of baking making it a great weeknight meal.

INDIVIDUAL STUFFED MEATBALL PIES

INDIVIDUAL STUFFED MEATBALL PIES serves 4 adapted from TASTY
1/2 pound pizza dough, divided
1 tablespoon avocado oil
3 cloves garlic, minced, divided
FRESH ground sea salt and trim-colored pepper
1 1/2 cups tomato puree
1/2 tablespoon FRESH chopped basil
1/2 tablespoon FRESH chopped oregano
6 ounces tomato paste
1/2 pound mozzarella slices
1 pound SMALL meatballs
1 cup caramelized onions
1 cup bell peppers (red, green and yellow), chopped and sauteed
Parmesan, to serve

  • Preheat oven to 450°.
  • Cut pizza dough in half and roll out 4 medium discs of dough.
  • Spray the inside of 4 small springform pans with cooking spray and lay in one of the dough discs.
  • Press the dough into the corners.
  • Lightly rub the dough with avocado oil, some of the minced garlic, salt and pepper on the dough and brush to cover the surface.
  • Air the bottom of the dough with a fork.
  • Bake until the dough is cooked and lightly golden brown, 10-15 minutes.
  • Mix together the tomato puree, basil, the remainder of minced garlic, oregano and tomato paste in a bowl.
  • Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Into the partially cooked bottom layer of pizza dough, shingle a layer of mozzarella slices and then a layer of the homemade marinara sauce.
  • Spiral the meatballs in the dish as tightly as possible. Cover with more marinara sauce.
  • Add a layer of caramelized onions, and more sliced mozzarella.
  • Add the peppers on top of the mozzarella.
  • Cut the second piece of dough into strips to form into a lattice pattern on top of the pie.
  • Brush with more of the oil, FINELY minced garlic, and kosher salt.
  • Bake for 40 minutes or until the dough on top is browned and the sauce, meatballs, and cheese are heated through.
  • Plate the pies, serve with extra marinara sauce and grated Parmesan.
  • Enjoy!

MELT IN YOUR MOUTH CHICKEN PARMESAN CASSEROLE

I made this tonight with thighs and sans fried shallots, but definitely prefer it with breasts and the fried shallots. I’ll get a better picture the next time I make it with the breasts.

MELT IN YOUR MOUTH CHICKEN PARMESAN CASSEROLE adapted from The Cookin’ Chicks

serves 6
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
________________
Total Time 45 minutes

6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, diced (in a pinch thighs work pretty well too)
3/4 cup QUALITY mayonnaise
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 shallots, sliced thin
WONDRA flour for dredging

  • Preheat oven to 375°.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, 3/4 cup of the Parmesan cheese, garlic powder, FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper.
  • Place diced chicken into a greased 9×13 baking dish.
  • Spread mayonnaise mixture evenly on top of the chicken pieces.
  • Evenly sprinkle remaining Parmesan cheese on top of mayonnaise mixture.
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes.
  • While chicken is baking melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium high heat in a large skillet.
  • Dredge shallots lightly with WONDRA flour.
  • Add shallots to hot skillet, stirring regularly until crispy.
  • Remove chicken pieces from oven.
  • Serve over prepared pasta topped with homemade marinara and fried shallots.

BROKEN aka SKILLET aka C.O.R.N. LASAGNA

BROKEN aka SKILLET aka C.O.R.N. LASAGNA
12 ounces of your favorite pasta or tortellini or a combo of both
2 tablespoons avocado oil
1 pound lean ground beef
1-2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken pieces
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
1 medium onion, diced
2 large carrots, FINELY diced
3 garlic cloves, FINELY minced
1 cup beef or chicken broth
2 cups marinara homemade sauce (jar sauce is good in a pinch)
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
1 cup FRESH grated mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup FRESH grated QUALITY Parmesan cheese
12-15 basil leaves, chiffonaded

  • Prepare pasta and/or tortellini per package directions.
  • In a LARGE skillet or saute pan heat the oil to sizzling.
  • Add hamburger and brown to ALMOST done.
  • Add carrots and onions, continuing to saute until browned and carrots are soft. Drain off any excess fat as necessary.
  • Add garlic and saute a minute or two more.
  • Season with FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper to taste.
  • Add red pepper flakes.
  • Add broth, marinara sauce and chicken pieces. Simmer 10-15 minutes until the sauce slightly reduces to your desired consistency.
  • Fold in ricotta cheese, mozzarella, basil and pasta, heating through 2-3 minutes more.
  • Toss to combine.
  • Garnish with Parmesan cheese and some basil.

NOTE: This is the perfect dish to clean out your crisper drawer and/or pasta bins.

PINK ALFREDO PRIMAVERA MEATBALLS

PINK ALFREDO PRIMAVERA MEATBALLS
MEATBALLS
1/2 pound ground sirloin
1/2 pound ground pork
1/2 pound sweet Italian sausage
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 SMALL onion, FINELY chopped
2 LARGE cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons avocado oil

  • In a large bowl mix together ground meats, seasonings, chopped onion and garlic until well blended.
  • Form into golf ball sized meatballs.
  • Heat oil in cast iron skillet over medium heat.
  • Sear meatballs, turning often, until browned.
  • Transfer to paper towels to drain.

PINK ALFREDO SAUCE
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon minced garlic, jar
1 tablespoon Classico sun-dried tomato paste
1 egg yolk, beaten
1/4 teaspoon thyme
salt and pepper to taste
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

  • Melt butter in a saucepan.
  • Add garlic and saute until fragrant.
  • Gradually add heavy cream, stirring constantly. Stir in salt, pepper and grated Parmesan cheese and stir constantly until melted.
  • Whisk in egg quickly and heat through.

VEGETABLES
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon avocado oil
1/2 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2 inch pieces
2 carrots, peeled and cut into 2 inch matchsticks
1/2 cup frozen petite peas, thawed

  • Melt butter and oil in a large sauce pan.
  • Add carrots, sauteing 3-5 minutes until begin to soften.
  • Add asparagus pieces, sauteing a couple minutes more.
  • Fold in peas.

ASSEMBLY
1 /2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

  • Spread half the sauce on the bottom of your baking dish.
  • Arrange meatballs on sauce.
  • Arrange vegetables around meatballs.
  • Pour remaining sauce over top.
  • Top with cheese.
  • Bake 10-15 minutes until heated through and cheese is melted.

CHICKEN MADEIRA

This makes for a perfect fancy dinner and it is extremely easy to prepare. Make it for company and they’ll think you worked on it ALL day.

CHICKEN MADEIRA
2-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 pound asparagus, trimmed
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
2 tablespoons avocado oil, divided
16 ounces button mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 LARGE bunch green onions, sliced
1 shallot, thinly sliced
2-4 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons FRESH Italian parsley, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups Madeira Wine (Marsala works in a pinch)
1 1/2 cups beef stock
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1 cup mozzarella cheese shredded

  • Fill a medium pot with 6 cups water, bring to a boil and add 1 tablespoon salt.
  • Add asparagus and boil uncovered until crisp tender and bright green, 2-3 minutes then remove immediately from hot water, quickly submerge into cool water to stop the cooking and set aside to drain.
  • Place a large heavy (oven-safe) pan over medium-high heat and melt in 2 tablespoons butter and 1 tablespoon of the oil.
  • Add sliced mushrooms and cook 5 minutes until soft.
  • Stir in shallots and onion and cook 3 minutes.
  • Add minced garlic cloves then season with salt and black pepper to taste.
  • Add parsley, cooking another 2 minutes then remove mixture to a plate and wipe skillet clean with wet paper towel.
  • Slice chicken breasts in half lengthwise and pound each cutlet between plastic wrap until no more than 1/4″ thick.
  • Season chicken breasts all over with salt and pepper.
  • Place same pan over medium high heat and add 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon oil.
  • When butter is finished foaming, add chicken breasts and saute 3 to 4 minutes per side or until golden brown and JUST cooked through.
  • Remove chicken from pan to the same plate as mushrooms. KEEP WARM.
  • Add Madeira wine and bring to a SLOW boil, cooking until reduced by half, 5 minutes of vigorous boiling, scraping the bottom of the pan to deglaze as you go.
  • Add beef broth and SLOW boil again until 2/3 cup liquid remains.
  • Reduce heat to medium, add heavy cream and simmer 2 minutes until sauce thickens.
  • Season sauce to taste with salt and pepper and turn off heat.
  • Return chicken to the pan, turning it to coat in the sauce.
  • Top with mushrooms, asparagus and sprinkle 1 cup of mozzarella cheese over the top. I sometimes use sliced mozza.
  • Broil 3-4 minutes or until cheese is melted.
  • Remove from oven, garnish with fresh parsley.

CRISPY BAKED LEMON GARLIC PARMESAN CHICKEN with ROASTED VEGGIES

CRISPY BAKED LEMON GARLIC PARMESAN CHICKEN with ROASTED VEGGIES adapted from CAFE DELITES

CHICKEN
1 LARGE egg
Juice of 1 LARGE lemon
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tablespoon FRESH chopped Italian parsley
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
1/2 cup FINELY ground breadcrumbs
1/3 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
Thin mozzarella slices

VEGGIES
1 1/2 pounds baby potatoes, quartered
4-5 carrots, peeled and rustic chopped
1/2 cup butter, melted
2 cloves garlic, minced
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
1/2 pound green beans, trimmed

  • Preheat oven to 400°.
  • Lightly grease a baking sheet with non-stick spray and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the egg, lemon juice, garlic, most of the parsley, salt and pepper.
  • Dip chicken into egg mixture, cover and marinate in the refrigerator for an hour.

  • In another bowl, combine the breadcrumbs with the Parmesan cheese.
  • Dredge the egg coated chicken in the breadcrumb/Parmesan mixture, lightly pressing to evenly coat.
  • Place chicken onto the baking sheet and LIGHTLY spray chicken with cooking oil spray also.
  • Mix together the melted butter, garlic and salt to taste, and pour half of the butter mixture over the potatoes. Toss to evenly coat.
  • Arrange the potatoes and carrots around the chicken in a single layer.
  • Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes.
  • Remove baking tray from the oven and carefully flip each chicken breast.
  • Move the potatoes and carrots to one side and place the green beans around the chicken on the other side of the baking sheet.
  • Pour the remaining garlic butter over top and return to the oven for 10 minutes more, or until chicken is golden and crisp, and potatoes are cooked through.
  • Top with cheese if you choose.
  • Sprinkle with fresh chopped parsley and serve immediately.

GARLIC and LEMON CACIO E PEPE

GARLIC & LEMON CACIO E PEPE
8-10 ounces thin spaghetti, uncooked
1/2 cup butter
FRESH sea salt
1 1/2 teaspoon FRESH ground black pepper
1 tablespoon lemon zest
Juice of 1 LARGE lemon
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup pasta water
1 1/2 cups FINELY grated Parmesan cheese

  • Prepare pasta al dente per package directions in a large pot of salted water.
  • Reserve 1 cup of pasta water.
  • Melt butter in large skillet.
  • Add pepper and sizzle in butter for a minute.
  • Add garlic and lemon zest, sautéing 30 seconds or so until fragrant.
  • Add pasta 1/2 cup of pasta water and cooked pasta, tossing to coat.
  • Add most of the Parmesan cheese, tossing to combine.
  • Add more pasta water as necessary to make a creamy butter sauce.
  • Stir in lemon juice and season with FRESH ground sea salt to taste.
  • Garnish with reserved Parmesan cheese.