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Recipe: Orecchiette with Sausage & Spinach

Recipe: Orecchiette with Sausage & Spinach

Ingredients

1 lb Orecchiette, cooked to package directions
1 lb ground sausage (breakfast, sweet Italian or Andouille)
1 tbsp olive oil
½ chopped red onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
4 cups baby spinach
1 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
splash dry white wine
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
3 oz high quality crumbled feta (I prefer sheep feta for it’s deep, tangy flavor)

Directions

Cook the pasta to package directions in plenty of salted water. Drain and return the pasta back to the cooking pot, set on the counter.

While the pasta is cooking make the sauce. Heat a 10 inch cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the ground sausage and break apart with a wooden spoon. Cook until no pink remains, about 7-10 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer the sausage to a bowl.

Reduce the heat to medium and add the olive oil and onions to the skillet. No need to rinse the skillet, leave a small amount of sausage grease in the pan to enhance the flavor of the onions. Cook the onions for about 5 minutes, until fragrant and translucent. Add the garlic at the last 30 seconds of cooking the onion. Add the spinach, wine and lemon juice to the skillet. Cook a few minutes until the spinach is wilted. Transfer the sausage back into the skillet. Cook until all is hot, season to taste with salt and pepper.

Transfer the sausage mixture into the pasta and toss to combine. Transfer to a large serving dish and top with crumbled feta cheese.

~ Marla Meridith

Recipe: Grilled Brie with Tomatoes and Basil

Recipe: Grilled Brie with Tomatoes and Basil

Ingredients

2 wedges brie cheese, or 1 large round
1 pt grape tomatoes, quartered or 1 pound ripe tomatoes diced
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
¾ tsp salt and more to taste
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup chopped basil ribbons, chiffonade
1 loaf sliced rustic baguette or pita chips
balsamic glaze and shaved parmesan for topping

Directions

Tomato Basil Salad

Combine the tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, balsamic vinegar, salt pepper and basil in a large bowl.

Grilled Brie

Line a 10 inch cast iron skillet or griddle with foil (this makes for an easier clean up.) Place the brie in the center of the skillet. Grill over a campfire or hot grill for 15-20 minutes or until the brie softens and bubbles.

Baked Brie

This is easy to make in your kitchen too! Simply preheat oven to 375˚F with the rack in the middle.

Line a 10 inch cast iron skillet or griddle with foil (this makes for an easier clean up.) Place the brie in the center of the skillet. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until the brie softens and bubbles.

Serving

Top the melted brie with the tomato basil mixture. Top with a drizzle of balsamic glaze and shaved parmesan. Serve with baguette.

~ Marla Meridith

Recipe: One-Pot Beefy Lasagna Soup

Recipe: One-Pot Beefy Lasagna Soup

Ingredients

2 tbsp olive oil
1 lb lean ground beef
1 large yellow onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
5 cups (40 oz) chicken broth
1 can (14.5 oz) petit diced tomatoes
1 can (14.5 oz) can crushed tomatoes
½ cup (4 oz) dry white wine
2 tbsp tomato paste
¼ cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
1 tbsp chopped fresh basil
¾ tsp dried oregano
10 dry lasagna noodles, broken into pieces
salt and pepper to taste
8 oz whole milk ricotta cheese
½ cup finely shredded parmesan cheese
extra chopped fresh parsley for serving

Directions

Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large Dutch Oven or soup pot. Once the oil is hot, add the onion and crumble in the ground beef, stir occasionally. Cook for 7-10 minutes or until the meat is browned. Season with some salt & pepper. Mix in the garlic.

Add the chicken broth, diced & crushed tomatoes, puree, wine and herbs. Bring to a boil. Add the lasagna noodles. Reduce heat to a simmer and place the lid on. Continue to cook for about 20 minutes or until the noodles are cooked to your liking.

While the soup is cooking combine the ricotta and parmesan. Slice the mozzarella.

Spoon portions of soup into oven safe bowls. Top with a dollop of the ricotta mixture and mozzarella. Broil for 3 minutes or until browned to your liking. Serve hot, topped with parsley and basil.

~ Marla Meridith

Recipe: Quick Spaghetti with Fresh Tomato Sauce

Recipe: Quick Spaghetti with Fresh Tomato Sauce

Ingredients

1 ½ lbs ripe tomatoes
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp sugar
freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ lb whole wheat spaghetti
¼ cup chopped fresh basil, plus more for topping
freshly grated parmesan for serving

Directions

While the pasta is cooking. Roughly chop 2/3 of the tomatoes. Over a large bowl, grate the rest of the tomatoes using the large holes of a box grater.

Combine the chopped and grated tomatoes, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, sugar, garlic and pepper in the large bowl. Let rest 10 minutes for the flavors to combine.

Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain reserving 1/4 cup cooking liquid. Immediately place the pasta back into the pasta pot.

Add the tomato sauce into the pasta with the 1/4 cup reserved cooking liquid. Cook over medium heat until hot and the cooking liquid is absorbed. Mix in the 1/4 cup chopped basil during the last minute.

Serve immediately with more basil and parmesan cheese.

~ Marla Meridith

Recipe: Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta Salad

Recipe: Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta Salad

Ingredients

12 oz Cavatappi, macaroni or bow tie pastacook to package directions, rinse in cold water when done
1 (8.4 oz) pitted Kalamata olives, chopped
1 (8 oz) jar sun-dried tomatoes in oil, no need to drain the oil
1 cup chopped red onion
1 yellow or red bell pepper, chopped
2 cups baby spinach
2 tbsp freshly chopped basil
2 tbsp freshly chopped Italian parsley
5 oz shaved parmesan cheese
Champagne Vinaigrette
cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup Champagne vinegar
1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp dried oregano
½ tsp ground black pepper
1 pinch granulated sugar
salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Cook pasta to package directions. Drain and toss with cold water. Set aside.

Whisk together the vinaigrette ingredients.

Toss everything together in a very large serving bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

~ Marla Meridith

Recipe: Southwest Shrimp and Chorizo Pasta

Recipe: Southwest Shrimp and Chorizo Pasta

Ingredients

1 lb cleaned and deveined shrimp, 45 count
8 oz linguini
8 oz ground chorizo sausage
2 tbsp unsalted butter
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups 1/2 each yellow, red & orange bell peppers, diced
olive oil
chopped chives

Directions

Cook pasta to package directions. Rinse & toss with olive oil.

Cook chorizo in a large saucepan until cooked through, chop it up with a spatula. Remove Chorizo from pan.
Leave chorizo oil in pan, melt butter. Add peppers & garlic, Saute over medium high heat until softened, slightly browned & fragrant about 5 minutes.

Toss shrimp with southwest seasoning. Add shrimp to pan. Cook another 5 minutes. Add chorizo & stir. Add pasta into pan. Toss well & serve hot. Top with chives.

~ Marla Meridith

Recipe: Shrimp Scampi with Linguine

Recipe: Shrimp Scampi with Linguine

Ingredients

1 lb linguine, cooked to package directions
1 lb large shrimp, cleaned, peeled (leaving tails) and slightly butterflied
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 tbsp chopped fresh Italian parsley
½ cup dry white wine
¼ fl oz olive oil
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 pinch red pepper (or more to taste)
a few pinches salt and pepper
3 tbsp unsalted , divided

Directions

Clean and peel the shrimp. Make the marinade. Combine the onion, garlic, olive oil, wine, lemon juice, parsley and seasonings in a large bowl. Place the shrimp in the bowl and marinate for 20-30 minutes.

While the shrimp is marinating. Cook pasta to package directions. Toss with olive oil.

Preheat the flat top grill or skillet on medium high. Melt 1 tbsp of the butter on the grill then place the shrimp and marinade on top. Cook for 2 minutes then flip the shrimp and cook for another minute or until cooked through. Toss with the rest of the butter.

Serve on top of the linguine. Top with more parsley.

~ Marla Meridith

Recipe: One-Pot Tuscan Chicken aka: Marry Me Chicken

Recipe: One-Pot Tuscan Chicken aka: Marry Me Chicken

Ingredients

1 tbsp olive oil
34 large chicken breasts
Kosher salt
ground pepper
For the sauce
1 tbsp unsalted butter
1 small yellow onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp dried thyme
1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, sliced in half
2 cups baby spinach
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 cup marinated artichoke hearts, chopped
½ cup sun-dried tomatoes in oil, chopped
¼ cup capers
1 ½ cups heavy cream
¾ cup chicken or vegetable broth
splash dry white wine
1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste
freshly chopped basil

Directions

Heat the oil in a 12 inch cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Season both sides of the chicken with salt and pepper. Add the chicken to the skillet and cook 4 minutes on each side, until golden brown. Transfer to a clean plate.

In the same skillet, reduce the heat to medium add the butter. Sauté the onion for 3 minutes. Add the garlic, sauté for 2 minutes. Mix in the thyme and oregano.

Mix in the tomatoes, sauté for 4 minutes. Mix in the spinach, cook 2 minutes until wilted. Add the mushrooms, cook for 2 minutes. Mix in the artichokes, sun-dried tomatoes and capers. Cook for 3 minutes.

Mix in the cream, broth and wine. Bring the sauce to a boil then to a simmer. Simmer for 7 minutes. In the last 2 minutes, mix in the parmesan. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Add the chicken into the sauce. Simmer for about 10 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. Top with fresh basil and any extra sun-dried tomatoes and capers. Serve immediately with pasta, rice, garlic bread or baguette.

~ Marla Meridith

Recipe: Very Veggie Lasagna

Recipe: Very Veggie Lasagna

Ingredients

1 lb brown rice lasagna pasta
1 (10 oz) package frozen, chopped spinach
1 (16 oz) container 4% milkfat cottage cheese
1 (15 oz) container ricotta cheese (non fat or whole milk)
2 tbsp olive oil
½ yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 yellow zucchini, sliced into 1/2 inch pieces
1 green zucchini, sliced into 1/2 inch pieces
1 bell pepper (any color)
25 oz whole white mushrooms, sliced
1 32 oz jar your favorite tomato sauce
Kosher salt & pepper
1 chopped fresh Italian parsley, divided
2 cups shredded mozzarela and cheddar cheese

Directions

Cook pasta to package directions. Drain then rinse in cold water.

Thaw the spinach in the microwave. Squeeze out excess water and place in a large bowl. Mix with the ricotta and cottage cheese. Season with some salt and pepper.

Add olive oil to a large skillet. Sauté the onions and garlic over medium heat for 3 minutes. Add the zucchini and bell peppers. Cook for 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms, cook for 5 minutes or until the veggies soften. Mix the veggies as they cook. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper.

Stir the tomato sauce into the skillet and 1/4 cup parsley. Bring to a boil then simmer for 10 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 375˚ Fahrenheit with the rack in the middle.

Start with a thin layer of sauce in a 9X13 inch casserole baking dish. Add a layer of cooked lasagna noodles. On top of the pasta add a layer of the ricotta/cottage cheese mixture, then a layer of sauce and the noodles again. Continue layering finishing with a layer of the pasta then finally the sauce. Sprinkle the mozzarella and cheddar cheese over the sauce.

Bake the lasagna for 35 minutes then broil on low for 5 minutes, or until cheese is golden brown. Top with 1/4 cup chopped parsley. Serve while hot.

~ Marla Meridith

One-Pot Creamy Broccoli Pasta

One-Pot Creamy Broccoli Pasta

Ingredients

12 oz spaghetti or linguinie
½ cup chopped red onion
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 cups bite sized pieces broccoli florets
2 cups vegetable broth
1 ¼ cups whole milk
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Kosher salt to taste
ground black pepper to taste
Toppings
chopped fresh Italian parsley
sliced green onion

Directions

Heat the oil over medium heat in a 12 inch cast iron cast iron skillet.

Sauté the onion for 5 minutes, until soft and fragrant. Add the garlic. Cook 2 minutes. Mix in the lemon juice.

Add the broth, milk and broccoli. Bring to a boil. Add the pasta making sure it’s all submerged in the cooking liquid.

Cover the skillet and simmer the pasta for 8 minutes. Remove the lid, stir and continue to cook 8-10 minutes or until the pasta is done to your liking. Mix in the cheddar cheese in the last two minutes of cooking. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Top with parsley and green onion. Serve immediately.

~ Marla Meridith

Recipe: Quick & Easy Spaghetti and Meatballs

Recipe: Quick & Easy Spaghetti and Meatballs

Ingredients

1 lb spaghetti or any pasta
1 lb ground beef
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp onion powder
½ tsp ground black pepper
½ tsp Kosher salt
2 tsp dried basil
24 fl oz (1 jar) canned tomato sauce
grated or shaved parmesan cheese for topping

Directions

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Line a baking tray with tin foil.

Place the ground beef in a large bowl.
Season with the garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper salt and basil. With clean hands combine well.

Roll into 1 inch meatballs. Place the meatballs onto the lined baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes.

While the meatballs are baking, cook the pasta to package directions.
Drain the pasta when it’s done cooking.

Heat the sauce in a skillet. Season to taste with the garlic powder, onion powder etc. if you want it to have more profound flavors.

Top the cooked pasta with the sauce, meatballs and some Parmesan cheese.

~ Marla Meridith

Recipe: Spaghetti with Prosciutto and Brie

Ingredients

Directions

~ Marla Meridith