Skip to content

Category: Recipes

Family Lasagna

2.5-3 pounds lean ground beef
1 pound Italian sausage or ground pork
2 cups chopped onions
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 cans (28 oz.) crushed tomatoes
2 cans (15 oz.) tomato sauce
3 tablespoons dried parsley
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper

1 carton (2 lbs.) Ricotta
1/2 cup grated Parmesan Cheese
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 tablespoon parsley flakes
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried oregano

8 oz. Lasagna noodles, no-bake or cooked and well drained
1 pound mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/2 cup grated Parmesan Cheese

Cook ground beef, pork, onions, and garlic in heavy Dutch oven until meat is browned and onion is tender. Drain off excess fat.

Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, 3 Tblsp. parsley flakes, 2 Tblsp. brown sugar, 2 tsp. salt, 2 tsp. basil, 1 tsp. oregano and 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer uncovered for one hour or until sauce resembles good thick spaghetti sauce; stirring occasionally. Half of the sauce will go in the lasagna, and the other half reserved for serving.

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Mix the cottage cheese, 1/2 cup of Parmesan Cheese, the egg, 1 Tblsp. parsley flakes, 1 tsp. salt, and 1 tsp. oregano.

In a 9×13-inch baking dish, spread enough sauce to cover the bottom. Layer noodles, sauce, mozzarella cheese, and cottage cheese in layers (repeat these layers 2-3 times) reserving enough sauce for a thin top layer. Spread sauce over top, sprinkle with 1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese. Bake uncovered for 45 to 55 minutes or until cheese is bubbly in center. Let stand for 10-15 minutes after removing from oven. Serves 8.

Chicken Spiedies

3/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
6 cloves garlic
4 teaspoons white sugar
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 pounds boneless skinless chicken, cut into bite-size pieces

6 skewers
6 Italian-style hoagie buns

Combine vinegar, olive oil, lemon juice, mint, garlic, sugar, oregano, basil, salt, red pepper flakes, and black pepper in a blender. Puree until liquefied, about 30 seconds.

Place chicken thighs in a large resealable plastic bag, pour in marinade and massage to coat. Squeeze out excess air and seal the bag. Marinate in the refrigerator for 24 hours, turning occasionally.

Preheat an outdoor grill for high heat and lightly oil the grate.

Remove chicken and place on the skewers. Season with salt. Pour the marinade into a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer and cook until reduced slightly, about 2 minutes.

Place skewers on the preheated grill and cook for 5 to 6 minutes, turn and cook until the chicken is no longer pink in the center and the juices run clear, 5 to 6 more minutes. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read at least 165 degrees F (74 degrees C). Remove from grill and rest the meat for a few minutes.

Toast hoagie rolls and spread each with some of the reserved marinade. Place a skewer on each roll and carefully remove the skewer, leaving the chicken in the bun.


8 ½ ounces (1 1/4 cups) green or brown lentils, picked over and rinsed
Salt and pepper
1 ¼ cups basmati rice

2 pounds yellow onions, halved and sliced crosswise
2 teaspoons salt
1½ cups vegetable oil

3 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground allspice
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon sugar
3 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro

Bring lentils, 4 cups water, and 1 teaspoon salt to boil in medium saucepan over high heat. Reduce heat to low and cook until lentils are tender, 15 to 17 minutes. Drain and set aside. While lentils cook, place rice in medium bowl and cover by 2 inches with hot tap water; let stand for 15 minutes.

Toss onions and salt together in a large bowl. Microwave for 5 minutes. Rinse thoroughly, transfer to a paper towel-lined baking sheet, and dry well.

Heat onions and oil in Dutch oven over high heat, stirring frequently, until onions are golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes. Drain onions in a colander set in large bowl, reserving the oil. Transfer the onions to a paper towel-lined baking sheet to drain. Set oil aside.

Using your hands, gently swish rice grains to release excess starch. Carefully pour off the water, leaving rice in the bowl. Add cold tap water to rice and pour off the water. Repeat adding and pouring off cold tap water 4 to 5 times, until water runs almost clear. Drain rice in a fine-mesh strainer.

Heat reserved onion oil, garlic, coriander, cumin, cinnamon, allspice, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and cayenne in a Dutch oven over medium heat until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add rice and cook, stirring occasionally, until edges of rice begin to turn translucent, about 3 minutes. Add 2 1/4 cups water, sugar, and 1 teaspoon salt and bring to boil. Stir in lentils, reduce heat to low, cover, and cook until all liquid is absorbed about 12 minutes.

Off heat, remove lid, fold dish towel in half, and place over pot; replace lid. Let stand for 10 minutes. Fluff rice and lentils with fork and stir in cilantro and half of crispy onions. Transfer to serving platter, top with remaining crispy onions, and serve.

Instant Pot Baked Ziti

2 tablespoons olive oil
8 ounces uncooked Italian sausage, casings removed
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 cups water, divided
1 (24-ounce) jar marinara sauce
8 ounces dried ziti or penne pasta
8 ounces ricotta cheese
1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

Turn on an electric pressure cooker or Instant Pot to sauté. Once heated, add the olive oil, followed by the sausage. Break up the sausage into large pieces with a wooden spoon and season with the salt. Cook, stirring and breaking the sausage into smaller and smaller pieces, until cooked through and no longer pink, about 5 minutes.

Turn the pressure cooker off. Add 1/2 cup of the water and scrape the bottom of the pot to loosen any browned bits. Add the marinara and stir to combine well. Scatter the pasta over the sauce-sausage mixture in an even layer. Do not stir from this point on.

Rinse the pasta sauce jar with the remaining 1 cup water (pour the water into the jar, cover, and shake gently) and then pour the water over the pasta. Remember — no stirring here.

Seal the pressure cooker. Use the manual setting to set the pressure cooker to cook for 8 minutes under HIGH pressure. It will take 10 to 12 minutes to come up to pressure.

When the cook time is done, immediately do a quick release of the pressure. Turn the pressure cooker off. Open it, add the ricotta, and stir quickly to combine. Sprinkle with the mozzarella. Cover the pressure cooker again and let sit for 3 minutes for the cheese to melt and the sauce to thicken. Serve immediately.

Southern Cornbread

Makes one 8″ skillet of cornbread. Double this for a 10″ skillet.

1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon melted butter (or 4 tsp bacon drippings)
1 cup cornmeal
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup boiling water
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 egg, lightly beaten

Adjust oven rack to lower middle position and heat oven to 450°. Place 8″ cast iron skillet with oil & butter (or drippings) in heating oven.

If you use butter, you will need to keep a close eye on it or it will burn even with the oil tempering. You can also just add the butter to the skillet right when you take it out of the oven to put the batter in.

Measure 1/3 cup cornmeal into a medium bowl. Mix remaining 2/3 cup cornmeal, sugar, salt, baking powder, and baking soda in a small bowl; set aside.

Pour boiling water all at once into the bowl with 1/3 cup cornmeal; stir to make a stiff mush. Whisk in the buttermilk gradually, breaking up lumps, until smooth. Whisk in the beaten egg.

When the oven is preheated and skillet very hot, stir dry ingredients into the mush mixture until just moistened. Carefully remove skillet from the oven. Pour hot butter/fat from the skillet into the batter and stir to incorporate, then quickly pour batter back into the heated skillet.

Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and instantly turn cornbread onto a wire rack and cool for 5 minutes.

Winter Minestrone

2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 ounces pancetta, diced
1 onion, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped (about 1 ½ cups)
2 carrots, chopped (about 1 ½ cups)
2 cups butternut squash, chopped (½ inch cubes)
1½ tablespoons minced garlic (4 cloves)
¼ to ½ cup dry white wine
28 ounces canned chopped/crushed tomatoes
6 to 8 cups chicken stock (beef broth works very well too)
1 (1-ounce) Parmesan rind
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon basil
1 fresh rosemary sprigs (or Italian seasoning)
1 bay leaf
15-ounce can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
¾ cup dry tube pasta, like macaroni or ditalini, cooked & drained (about 1 ½ cups cooked)
6-8 ounces baby spinach
1 cup (4 ounces) grated Parmesan cheese
Fresh chopped parsley.

Note: This works well with heartier greens, like Swiss Chard. Trim the stems and leaves sliced. Add these greens earlier in the soup, when you add the tomatoes.

Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat in a large, heavy pot or Dutch oven. Add the pancetta and cook over medium-low heat for 6 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned. Add the onions, carrots, celery, squash, garlic, and thyme and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes, until the vegetables begin to soften. Add wine and scrape the bottom of the pan.

Optional: Add half of the tomatoes, half of the beans, and 1 cup of stock to a blender and puree.

Add the tomatoes, 6 cups of the chicken stock, the bay leaf, parmesan rind, salt & pepper, crushed red pepper, and herbs to the pot. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.

Discard the bay leaf, rosemary stems, and rind. Add the beans and cooked pasta and heat through, about 2 minutes. This is a thick soup, but if too thick adjust with extra stock. Just before serving, stir in the spinach and cook just until the leaves are wilted. Check for salt and pepper seasoning. Serve with grated Parmigiano cheese and parsley.

Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad

1 pound Brussels sprouts
1/2 cup toasted hazelnuts or walnuts
3 tablespoons finely grated Pecorino Romano cheese
1 lemon (zest and juice)
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Thinly slice leaves of Brussels sprouts into a medium bowl with a mandolin (a food processor slicing blade works well too). Add nuts and grated cheese. Finely grate lemon rind into bowl; halve lemon, and squeeze juice into bowl. Drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper, and toss to combine. You can make the salad up to 20 minutes in advance.

Black Bean and Sausage Soup

1 tablespoon olive oil
3/4 pound smoked pork sausage, such as andouille, sliced into half moons
1 medium yellow onion, diced
2 medium stalks celery, diced
2 medium carrots, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
4 medium cloves garlic, crushed
4 cups (1.5L) low-sodium chicken broth, or water
3 (16 ounce) cans black beans, drained
2 while chipotle peppers, minced, plus 1 Tbsp of sauce
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon oregano
2 teaspoons ground cumin

In a large pot, heat oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add sausage and continue to cook, stirring frequently, for 6 minutes or until nicely browned. Add onion, celery, carrot, pepper, and garlic and cook, stirring, until softened and lightly browned, about 6-8 minutes.

Add chicken stock, beans, remaining herbs & spices and stir well. Season with salt and pepper.

Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 30-45 minutes. Discard bay leaf. Place 1-2 cups (depending on desired thickness) of soup in a blender. Blend on high until completely smooth, about 1 minute. Stir mixture back into pot. Serve with rice, cilantro, avocado, green onions, lime wedges, etc.

Fried Rice with Kale and Shiitake

2 tablespoon coconut oil or vegetable oil
1/4 cup diced pancetta, prosciutto, or bacon
4 oz cooked pork or poultry, diced
1-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and minced
6 scallions, thinly sliced (greens and whites separated)
1 shallot, mined
1 green bell pepper, finely diced
1/2 cup corn kernels
2-4 oz (about 1 cup) shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, caps sliced
3 cups kale, coarsely chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups cooked rice (day-old or air-dried)
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons oyster sauce

In a wok or very large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of oil. Of moderately high hear Add the ginger, scallion whites, shallot, peppers, pancetta, and cooked meat. Cook over, stirring constantly, until veggies are tender, about 2 minutes. Add the sliced shiitakes and corn, sprinkle with a little soy sauce, and cook, stirring frequently, until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the kale and stir-fry until wilted, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Add the cooked rice and stir-fry until heated through, about 3 minutes.

Make a well in the rice and add the sesame oil then the eggs. Cook without stirring until the eggs begin to set at the edge. Using a spatula, scramble the eggs until just set. Stir the eggs into the rice along with the vinegar, soy sauce, oyster sauce, and sesame oil. Top with green scallions. Serve immediately.

Weeknight Bolognese

1 pound 93% lean ground beef
2 Tbsp water
1/4 tsp baking soda
salt and pepper
4 cups beef broth
OR 4 tsp Better than Bouillon Roasted Beef Base + 2 cups water
6 ounces pancetta, chopped course
1 onion, chopped coarse
1 large carrot, peeled and chopped coarse
1 celery rib, copped coarse
2 garlic cloves, smashed
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 Tbsp tomato paste
1 cup dry red wine
1 ounce Parmesan cheese, grated (1/2 cup)
1 pound tagliatelle
* less than 1/8 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
* basil
* 1/4 tsp thyme
* 1/4 tsp oregano

Toss beef with water, baking soda and 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper until thoroughly combined.

(Note: If using bouillon + water, this step can be skipped) Bring broth to a boil over high heat in large pot (this will be used to cook pasta later) and cook until reduced to 2 cups, about 15 minutes. Set aside.

Pulse pancetta in food processor until finely chopped, 15 to 20 pulses. Add onion, carrot, celery, and garlic and pulse until vegetables are finely chopped and mixture has paste-like consistency, 12 to 15 pulses, scraping down the bowl as needed.

Heat butter and oil in large dutch oven over medium-high heat until shimmering. When foaming subsides, add pancetta-vegetable mixture and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid has evaporated, about 8 minutes. Spread mixture in even layer in bottom of pot and continue to cook, stirring every couple minutes, until very dark browned bits form on bottom of pot, 7 to 12 minutes longer. Stir in tomato paste and cook until paste is rust-colored and bottom of pan is dark brown, 1 to 2 minutes.

Reduce heat to medium, add beef, and cook, using wooden spoons to break meat into pieces no larger than 1/4 inch, until beef has just lost raw pink color, 4 to 7 minutes. Stir in wine, scraping up and browned bits, and begin to simmer. Cook until wine has evaporated and sauce has thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir in broth and Parmesan. Return sauce to simmer; cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper to taste. Sauce will look thin at this point.

Rinse pot that held broth. While sauce simmers, bring 4 quarts water to boil in now-empty pot. Add pasta and 1 tablespoon salt and cook until al dente. Reserve 1/4 cup cooking water, then drain pasta. Add pasta to pot with sauce and toss to combine. Adjust sauce consistency with reserved cooking water as needed.