Thursday, August 30, 2012

Lasagna Toss

Our streamlined version clocks in at just 30 minutes from saucepot to pasta bowl, without losing any of the robust flavors of the original.


·         1 package (16-ounce) lasagna noodles
·         2 tablespoons olive oil
·         1 pound lean ground beef
·         1/2 cup dry red wine
·         1 jar (24-ounce) marinara sauce
·         1/3 cup whole milk
·         3/4 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
·         1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
·         1/4 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese
·         Pepper
·         1/3 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese


1.       Heat large covered saucepot of water to boiling. Add lasagna noodles, and cook as label directs, increasing cooking time by 2 to 3 minutes or until al dente.

2.       Meanwhile, in 12-inch skillet, heat oil on medium-high. Add meat and cook until no longer pink, breaking it up with spoon, about 3 minutes. (If using meatloaf mix, drain off fat before adding wine.) Add wine; cook 2 to 3 minutes or until almost evaporated. Stir in marinara; heat to boiling. Simmer on low 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in milk; simmer 5 minutes.

3.       In bowl, stir ricotta with basil, Romano, and 1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper; set aside.

4.       Drain noodles; return to saucepot. Add meat sauce and mozzarella; toss well. Spoon onto 6 warm plates; top with dollops of ricotta mixture.

Happy Cooking

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Patty’s Portobello and Beef Patty Melt.

This diner classic may not look healthy, but it's made with a mixture of lean ground beef and finely chopped Portobello mushrooms. You'll get all of the flavour with less fat!

This diner classic gets a makeover by replacing some of the ground beef with finely chopped Portobello mushrooms, which add moisture and flavour. We like a smear of pickle relish on top, but you could try chutney, mustard or hot pepper relish in its place. 


·         12 ounces -lean ground beef
·         1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
·         2 cups (about 2) finely chopped Portobello mushroom caps, gills removed
·         4 slices rye bread
·         3 tablespoons plain dry breadcrumbs
·         1 clove garlic, peeled
·         1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
·         8 teaspoons pickle relish
·         1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme, or 1/2 teaspoon dried
·         4 (2 ounces) slices Swiss cheese
·         1/4 teaspoon salt


1.       Position rack in upper third of oven; preheat broiler. Line a broiler pan with foil.
2.      Gently mix beef, mushrooms, breadcrumbs, Worcestershire, thyme, salt and pepper in a medium bowl until combined. Shape into 4 patties and place on the prepared pan. Broil until cooked through, 4 to 6 minutes per side.
3.       Meanwhile, toast bread. Rub each slice of toast with garlic.
4.      Place 1 patty on each piece of toast, top each with 2 teaspoons relish and cover with a slice of cheese. Remove foil and place the sandwiches on the pan; broil until the cheese is just melted, 30 to 60 seconds.

Happy Cooking 

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Micky’s Cheese-Stuffed Meatballs

These oval meatballs on a stick are both totally fun for kids to eat and incredibly delicious. Don't assume that only children will go nuts for these, because once adults get a taste, they'll want a share, too. If you like, serve with a dish of warm marinara or pizza sauce for dipping.


·         1 pound ground beef
·         Olive oil
·         12 bamboo skewers
·         1/4 cup grated Parmesan
·         1/2 cup breadcrumbs
·         1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
·         1 egg, lightly beaten
·         1/4 cup milk
·         6 mozzarella string-cheese sticks
·         1 small yellow onion


1.       Soak the skewers in lukewarm water for 20 minutes while you prepare the meatballs, and preheat a gas grill (or burn down the coals) to medium heat.

2.       Put the breadcrumbs, egg and milk in a bowl and stir. Let soak for 5 minutes to allow breadcrumbs to absorb the liquid, and then add beef, onion, Parmesan and Italian seasoning. Mix well to combine. (This job is easier when you use your clean hands.

3.       Cut each cheese stick in half so that you have 12 short pieces. Carefully thread each piece lengthwise onto the tip of a skewer, pushing it down gently so that you have about 1 inch of skewer showing at the tip. (Don’t push too hard or fast or the cheese sticks might break into strings.)

4.       Carefully mold 2 to 3 tablespoons of the meat mixture around piece of cheese to make an elongated, oval meatball. Try to cover the cheese completely, but don’t make your meatball too thick.

5.       Grill over direct heat for about 10 minutes, turning several times to prevent charring.

Happy Cooking

Megan’s Meat Sauce Supreme

Made with lean ground beef, prosciutto, tomatoes and plenty of Italian herbs and spices, this isn't your everyday meat sauce.

There is nothing subtle about this sauce. It’s all about the deep, savoury flavours. The only way to make it more intense would be to add hot sauce or hot peppers.


·         1 1⁄4 pounds lean ground beef
·         2 tablespoons olive oil
·         1⁄2 pound prosciutto, finely chopped
·         4 cloves garlic, minced
·         28-ounce can diced tomatoes, with juices
·         1 medium yellow onion, diced
·         3 tablespoons tomato paste
·         1⁄2 teaspoon paprika
·         2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
·         1 teaspoon dried basil
·         16 ounces pasta spirals
·         1 teaspoon dried oregano
·         1⁄2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra to serve
·         Salt and black pepper, to taste



1.       In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the olive oil, garlic, onion, paprika, basil, and oregano. Sauté until the onion is tender and the seasonings are fragrant, about 5 minutes.

2.       Add the ground beef and prosciutto. Sauté, breaking up clumps of beef, until the beef is cooked through, about 8 minutes. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, and vinegar, and then simmer on low.

3.       Meanwhile, heat a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to package directions. Drain and return it to the pot

4.       Stir the Parmesan into the sauce, then season with salt and pepper. Serve the pasta topped with the sauce and additional Parmesan.

Happy Cooking

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Lito’s Lasagna Al Forno

Love your lasagna with lots of meat? This recipe, made with ground beef and pancetta (Italian bacon), will hit the spot.


·         1 lb. ground beef round
·         1 tbsp. olive oil
·         1/4 cup all-purpose flour
·         1 large onion, chopped
·         2 1/4 cups whole milk
·         2 celery ribs, chopped
·         3/4 cup ricotta
·         1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
·         freshly ground black pepper
·         2 oz. pancetta, diced
·         1/4 tsp. freshly ground nutmeg
·         8 oz. (12 sheets) no-boil lasagna
·         1 14.5 oz. (411 g) can chopped tomatoes with their juices
·         1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
·         1 tsp. dried oregano
·         1/3 cup hearty red wine
·         4 tbsp. butter


1.       To make the ragu sauce, heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, carrot, and pancetta and cook for 5 minutes, until softened. Add the beef and cook, breaking up with a spoon, about 10 minutes, until browned.

2.       Add the tomatoes with their juices, the wine, and the oregano. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer for at least 40 minutes and up to 2 1/2 hours.

3.       Meanwhile, make the white sauce. Melt the butter in a saucepan over low heat, whisk in the flour, and cook for 1 minute. Whisk in the milk. Cook, whisking often, until the sauce boils. Stir in the ricotta cheese and season with salt and pepper and nutmeg. Remove from heat.

4.       Preheat the oven to 375F. Oil a large rectangular (9 x 13 in) baking dish and spread 1/4 cup of the white sauce on the bottom. Arrange 3 lasagna sheets in the dish and top with one third of the ragu and 1/2 cup of the white sauce. Repeat layers twice more. Top with 3 lasagna sheets, the remaining white sauce, and the Parmesan cheese.

5.       Bake for 45 minutes, until the top is golden and bubbling. Let stand 10 minutes, then serve hot.

Happy Cooking

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Canadian Chop Suey

Fast, easy and OOOOh so yummy!


·         1 lb. ground beef
·         3 tablespoons olive oil
·         1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
·         1 green pepper, seeded and finely chopped
·         2 teaspoons garlic powder
·         2 teaspoons onion powder
·         1 teaspoon paprika
·         2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
·         1 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes
·         2 15-ounce cans tomato sauce
·         2 tablespoons tomato paste
·         1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
·         1 lb. box “Large Elbow” macaroni
·         Salt and pepper, to taste
·         Grated Parmesan cheese, to garnish


1.       Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and green pepper, and cook until just softened, about 8 minutes.
2.       Add ground beef, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, red pepper flakes, and salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about five minutes.
3.       Add whole tomatoes (and juice), crushing the tomatoes with your hands as you add them. Add the tomato sauce, tomato paste, sugar,  and stir well. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until sauce thickens, about an hour.
4.       While sauce cooks, cook pasta according to package directions, reducing the cooking time by two minutes. Drain pasta, and rinse with cold water. Transfer macaroni to pot of sauce, and stir. Adjust salt and pepper, and cook everything together until flavors combine, about 10 more minutes.

       Serve with grated Parmesan cheese.

Happy Cooking

Friday, August 3, 2012

Beef Stroganoff Patties

So good you can cut with a fork!


·         2 pounds ground beef
·         1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
·         Salt and pepper
·         1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
·         1/4 cup finely chopped chives
·         1/4 cup finely chopped dill
·         2 tablespoons Olive Oil, divided
·         3 tablespoons butter, divided
·         1/2 pound white mushrooms, thinly sliced
·         1 small onion, chopped
·         1 large clove garlic, chopped
·         2 tablespoons flour
·         1/2 cup dry white wine
·         2 cups beef stock
·         1/2 cup sour cream


1.       In a bowl, combine meat with Worcestershire, salt, pepper and herbs. Divide the mixture into 4 portions then form each portion into patties, making them thinner at the center for even cooking. Drizzle burgers with 1 tablespoon olive oil. 

2.       Heat a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Cook burgers 10 minutes for medium-rare and up to 16 minutes for medium-well, turning them once halfway through. 

3.       Meanwhile, in a saucepan heat 1 tablespoon olive oil and 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Add mushrooms and cook 7-8 minutes. Add onions and garlic, and cook 7-8 minutes more, until tender. Season with salt and pepper, stir in flour, cook 1 minute then stir in wine and stock. Bring to a bubble, reduce heat and let thicken. Stir in sour cream and turn off heat.

To serve, set burger on plate then spoon the Stroganoff sauce down over top.  Sprinkle parsley on top.

Happy Cooking

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Maggie’s Quick and Easy Meatloaf Muffins

These easy meatloaf muffins took less time to bake in the oven than the traditional method of baking in a loaf pan or cast iron skillet.


·         1 1/2 to 2 pounds lean ground beef
·         3/4 cup crushed crackers
·         1 packet instant onion soup mix
·         1 egg
·         3/4 cup water
·         1/3 cup ketchup


1.       HEAT the oven to 350ºF (180ºC) degrees.

2.       Place 12-15 saltine crackers in a one cup food processor and pulse into rough crumbs.

3.       Place the meat, onion soup mix, cracker crumbs, egg, water and ketchup in a large mixing bowl. Mix well with hands, but try not to mash the meat together.

              VERY IMPORTANT FOR EASY CLEAN UP LATER:  Grease the muffin pan.

4.       Fill each muffin cup with about 1/2 cup of the meat mixture. Do not pack it down, but gently press the top flat.

5.       Add an extra dollop of ketchup to the tops and spread it evenly with the back of a spoon.

6.       BAKE for 30-40 minutes, until meatloaf muffins pull away from the sides. While the muffins are baking, you'll have plenty of time to make home cooked mashed potatoes. Transfer hot meatloaf muffins to a large serving bowl and you're ready to eat!

Happy Cooking
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...