Green Goddess Pasta Primavera

Green Goddess Pasta Primavera

Pasta Primavera is a spring dish full of green vegetables. Fresh asparagus, string beans, peas and linguine are tossed together in a light sauce with Parmesan, garlic and lemon. The emphasis is on the vegetables. The ratio is almost equal – the vegetables might even be winning.

They’re surely the main attractions with just a smattering of other ingredients to help it come together. The sauce is made from a little half & half combined with some of the starchy pasta cooking water along with Parmesan cheese and lemon zest. A sprinkle of pine nuts at the end gives it a soft crunch and a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil adds a dash of luxury…. 

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Meatball Muffins

Meatball Muffins

To make these meatball “muffins” ricotta meatballs are nestled in a savory, biscuit-like muffin batter and baked in a muffin pan. They’re just as tasty at room temperature as they are warm, making for a great appetizer or lunchbox treat and are best served with marinara sauce on the side for a little dunking action, … 

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Chicken, Spinach and Artichoke Calzones (Personal Size)

Chicken Spinach Artichoke Calzones

Pizza dough wraps around a tasty filling of chicken, artichokes, spinach, ricotta and mozzarella cheese in these personal-sized calzones or pizza pockets. If you took a pizza and folded it in half – stuffed with extra toppings – you’d have a calzone. Calzone = more. More of all the things you love in a pizza.

These take longer than pizza to make so I bought my dough from a bakery to save time. If you have leftover chicken that helps too. You only need a cup and a half of cooked chicken so you can plan ahead and cook extra.

The artichokes are sautéed with garlic, onions and Italian seasonings before being mixed with the rest of the ingredients. Sometimes calzones are layered starting with the ricotta then topped with the fillings and mozzarella. I mixed everything together so assembling them would go faster, plus it was easier to fold the dough over without random pieces of cheese and whatnot splaying everywhere.

They bake up hot and bubbly, irresistible, with a chewy, golden crust. The filling has the distinctively tangy bite of artichokes tempered with creamy cheese, baby spinach and tender pieces of chicken.

So much more than pizza.

Artichoke Spinach and Chicken Calzones

Chicken, Spinach and Artichoke Calzones

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 4 personal sized calzones

Chicken, Spinach and Artichoke Calzones

Pizza dough wraps around a tasty filling of chicken, artichokes, spinach, ricotta and mozzarella cheese in these personal-sized calzones or pizza pockets.

INGREDIENTS:

2 - 3 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small yellow onion, diced
1 (14 ounce) can artichoke hearts, rinsed in a colander, patted dry and chopped
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
coarse salt and fresh black pepper
red pepper flakes, optional
3 cups fresh baby spinach leaves
1 pound pizza dough
1 + 1/2 cups cooked chicken, cubed
1 + 1/2 cups ricotta cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
flour, for dusting
1 egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon water
Parmesan cheese, for sprinkling on top
pizza sauce, for serving

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet or frying pan over medium heat. Add the garlic, onion, artichokes, Italian seasoning, a couple pinches each of salt and pepper and red pepper flakes, if using. Cook about ten minutes, stirring often until the artichokes are soft with some golden color to them. Turn off the heat and lay the spinach leaves on top. Let cool.
  2. Meanwhile divide the dough into four pieces as equal as you can make them. Roll them out on a floured surface to about an 8-inch roundish oval. If the dough is hard to work with let it rest 5 - 10 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or grease it well with olive oil.
  4. Once the artichoke mixture is mostly cooled mix in the chicken, ricotta and mozzarella - it will be thick. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Scoop up a quarter of the chicken filling and place it on one half of one of the dough rounds, leaving a small border. Brush the edges all the way around with egg and then fold the dough over the filling, pinch the ends or roll it up over itself and crimp with a fork.
  6. Brush it lightly all over with egg, make a slit in the top with a knife then sprinkle sea salt and Parmesan on the top.
  7. Use a big spatula to gently scoop it up and place it on the baking sheet. Repeat until all the calzones are made.
  8. Bake 26 - 30 minutes until golden brown and bubbly in the center. Let set 5 - 10 minutes before serving with warm sauce for dipping.

Notes:

Copyright ©2014 Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice by Reeni Pisano All Rights Reserved

http://www.cinnamonspiceandeverythingnice.com/chicken-spinach-and-artichoke-calzones-personal-size/

Chicken Calzones

Chicken, Spinach and Artichoke Calzones

Italian Apple Cake

Italian Apple Cake

Apples play a starring role in this lemon and vanilla infused cake. They’re in the batter and on top for a pretty presentation, filling every bite with their tart, sweet flavor.

This is a single layer cake cooked in a springform pan. It’s buttery and moist with soft, tender apples that melt in your mouth. It’s perfect with just a sprinkle of powdered sugar but can also be dressed up with whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

It comes together easily once you get the most time-consuming task done, the slicing of the apples. Now, I know, it’s not apple season, but apples are one of those fruits I eat all year-long.

When I see a piece of fruit the first thing I usually think of is what can I bake with it? I can always find beautiful organic ones and aside from eating them with a little lot of cinnamon sprinkled over them I love a good apple cake. One that makes you want to put the teapot on to boil.

Like, every time you pass the kitchen.

Apple Cake

Italian Apple Cake

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: PT60 - 70M

Yield: 1 (8 or 9-inch) cake

Italian Apple Cake

Apples play a starring role in this lemon and vanilla infused cake. They're in the batter and on top for a pretty presentation, filling every bite with their tart, sweet flavor.

INGREDIENTS:

5 - 6 medium organic golden delicious or gala apples
1 lemon, zested and juiced
8 tablespoons butter, divided
1/3 cup milk
1 + 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar, plus more for sprinkling on top
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
confectioners' sugar to sprinkle on top
whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, for serving, optional

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line the bottom of an 8 or 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper and butter and flour the sides.
  2. Peel, core and cut the apples into 1/4-1/3-inch slices. Place in a large bowl and toss them with the lemon juice to prevent browning.
  3. In a small saucepan set over low heat melt 7 tablespoons of the butter. Remove from heat and add the milk.
  4. In a small bowl sift the flour, salt, baking powder and cinnamon together.
  5. In a separate large bowl on low speed beat the eggs and sugar together until yellow and creamy 2 - 3 minutes. Beat in the zest and vanilla.
  6. Beat in the flour slowly, 1/3 at a time. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat in the butter/milk mixture just until a smooth batter forms; don't over beat.
  7. Gently fold in half the apple slices. Spread the batter in the prepared pan and shake the pan gently to level it.
  8. Arrange the remaining apples slices over the top in a circular pattern with the edges slightly overlapping. Sprinkle them with about 2 tablespoons of sugar and dot with the remaining tablespoon butter.
  9. Bake 60 to 70 minutes until the cake starts to pull away from the center of the pan and the top is golden - a toothpick from the center should come out with crumbs but no wet batter.
  10. Cool on wire rack for 25 - 30 minutes then remove the sides from the springform pan and cool completely.
  11. Dust with confectioners' sugar and serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream if desired.

Notes:

Adapted from Live Well Network

Copyright ©2013 Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice by Reeni Pisano All Rights Reserved

http://www.cinnamonspiceandeverythingnice.com/italian-apple-cake/

Italian Cake with Apples

Cheese Tortellini with Spinach Feta Alfredo Sauce

Cheese Tortellini with Spinach Feta Alfredo

Cheese tortellini smothered in a rich, creamy spinach and feta alfredo sauce. The entire dish comes together in about twenty minutes making for a great anytime meal but especially fitting when you don’t have a lot of time but need something hot and comforting. Something that tastes like you fussed.

The sauce is made in the time it takes to boil the tortellini. It starts with red pepper, garlic and fresh baby spinach followed by a healthy dose of Parmesan cheese, half & half and crumbled feta. The tortellini gets tossed in along with a little of the pasta water to help thicken it and form a silky sauce. The outcome is pure decadence.

This is one of my favorite go to meals – you can switch up the pasta, the vegetables, add in shrimp or cooked chicken. It’s highly customizable and … always delicious.

Spinach Alfredo Cheese Tortellini

Cheese Tortellini with Spinach Feta Alfredo Sauce

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 3 - 4 servings

Cheese Tortellini with Spinach Feta Alfredo Sauce

Cheese tortellini smothered in a rich, creamy spinach and feta alfredo sauce. The entire dish comes together in about twenty minutes making it a great meal without a lot of fuss.

INGREDIENTS:

12 ounces tortellini (preferably fresh)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 roasted or fresh red bell pepper, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
coarse salt and fresh black pepper
5 cups fresh baby spinach
1 cup half & half
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
1/2 cup crumbled feta

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Cook the tortellini in plenty of salted water to al dente according to package directions.
  2. Meanwhile, in a medium frying pan heat the oil over medium-low heat and cook the pepper and garlic 4 - 5 minutes stirring often.
  3. Turn heat up to medium and add the spinach. When it begins to wilt add the half & half. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring often 3 minutes.
  4. Add the Parmesan cheese, about 1/2 cup of the water from the pasta pot and the cooked tortellini. Stir gently to coat the pasta until a sauce forms about 2 minutes.
  5. Stir in the feta and remove from heat. Let it sit a couple of minutes for the sauce to thicken up. Serve with more Parmesan.

Notes:

Copyright ©2013 Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice by Reeni Pisano All Rights Reserved

http://www.cinnamonspiceandeverythingnice.com/cheese-tortellini-with-spinach-feta-alfredo/

Pepperoni Pizza Bread

Pepperoni Pizza Bread

This easy quick bread is filled with pizza flavors! Bites of pepperoni run throughout the entire loaf alongside mozzarella cheese and a ribbon of pizza sauce. The top is crusted with more sauce and Parmesan cheese.

The best thing is how easy it is to make! No yeast means no waiting while you wonder if it’s even going to rise. Instead, everything is mixed together, plopped into a loaf pan and baked right away for immediate gratification.

There’s buttermilk and olive oil in the mix too making for a soft, tender crumb that doesn’t have a chance to be dry and crumbly. If you don’t have buttermilk on hand you can easily make a substitute using lemon juice or vinegar. Add one tablespoon to a 1 cup measure and fill with milk. Let it sit 5 – 10 minutes then use in it’s place. It’s not exactly the same because it doesn’t have cultures. For that reason I like to keep Saco dry buttermilk powder on hand. It’s convenient to mix it up as needed and has the same cultures of liquid buttermilk. The ones that make your bread bake up fluffy with great flavor.

I throw around the word ‘love’ a lot. Just saying I ‘like’ something doesn’t have the same impact. Sometimes I mean it more than others. When I say I love pizza, I really do love pizza and can’t resist anything that revolves around those flavors.

With chewy pieces of pepperoni, gooey mozzarella cheese, spicy pizza sauce and a crispy Parmesan topping this is the next best thing.

Pepperoni Pizza Quickbread

Pepperoni Pizza Bread

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 55 minutes

Yield: 1 loaf

Pepperoni Pizza Bread

This easy quick bread is filled with pizza flavors! Bites of pepperoni run throughout the entire loaf alongside mozzarella cheese and a ribbon of pizza sauce. The top is crusted with more sauce and Parmesan cheese.

INGREDIENTS:

2 cups (10 oz) all-purpose flour
1 + 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 cup fresh shredded mozzarella cheese
3 ounces pepperoni slices, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 cup (8 ounces) *buttermilk (I like Saco )
1 large egg
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup cup pizza sauce, divided
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Heat oven to 350° F. Grease or spray with nonstick cooking spray a standard 9x5 loaf pan
  2. In a medium bowl whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and oregano together. Add the cheese and pepperoni, toss until coated with the flour mixture.
  3. In a separate bowl whisk the buttermilk, egg and oil together. Pour over the dry ingredients. Gently stir and fold together just until combined; don't overmix.
  4. Spoon half the batter into the prepared pan and spread from corner to corner. Dollop 2/3 cup of the sauce over the batter and spread from edge to edge. Spoon the remaining batter into the pan and spread over the sauce.
  5. Drop the remaining sauce by the spoonful over the top then sprinkle with the parmesan cheese.
  6. Bake for 50 - 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with no wet batter stuck to it. Let the loaf cool in the pan 20 minutes or so then turn out and cool completely on a wire rack.
  7. Store tightly covered up to 3 days in a cool, dry place.

Notes:

*Buttermilk substitute: Add 1 tablespoon lemon juice to a 1 cup measure and fill with milk, let sit 5 - 10 before using.

Adapted from The Kitchn

Copyright ©2013 Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice by Reeni Pisano All Rights Reserved

http://www.cinnamonspiceandeverythingnice.com/pepperoni-pizza-bread/

Pizza Bread

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Baked Chicken Ziti Stuffed Peppers

Baked Chicken Ziti Stuffed Peppers

Colorful bell peppers stuffed with a skillet chicken ziti for a delicious twist that brings two classics together in a new way. The stuffing is made of diced tomato sauce, ricotta and mozzarella with vegetable rotini pasta and bites of tender chicken.

The filling comes together in a skillet and then gets stuffed into the peppers and baked. For ease you can use leftover or rotisserie chicken but if you don’t have either on hand it’s simple to bake up the chicken while you’re making the sauce and pasta.

If you’re looking for a way to shake up your baked ziti routine then this is a great way to do it. The natural sweetness of the peppers and the acidic tomatoes balance each other out and are perfect with the chicken and chewy pasta. Stuffing peppers is becoming routine in my house.

I love reinventing them.

Chicken Ziti Stuffed Peppers

Baked Chicken Ziti Stuffed Peppers

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 6 servings

Baked Chicken Ziti Stuffed Peppers

Colorful bell peppers stuffed with a skillet chicken ziti for a delicious twist that brings two classics together in a new way. The stuffing is made of diced tomatoes, ricotta and mozzarella with vegetable rotini pasta and bites of tender chicken.

INGREDIENTS:

1 + 1/4 pounds chicken breast (about 2 + 1/2 cups cooked & chopped)
coarse salt and fresh black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small yellow onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 (14 ounce) cans petite-diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning, crushed between fingertips
6 ounces vegetable rotini pasta (or any medium-sized pasta)
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 + 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese, divided
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup half & half
6 bell peppers, sliced in half lengthwise or with the tops cut off, seeds removed

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Season the chicken well with salt and pepper and bake until cooked through.
  2. Meanwhile in a large saucepan heat the oil over medium-low heat and saute the onion and garlic until softened. Add the tomatoes, Italian seasoning, about a teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon black pepper. Bring to a simmer and stir often.
  3. Meanwhile, cook the pasta to al dente according to package directions.
  4. On a cutting board slice the chicken into bite-sized pieces.
  5. Turn off the sauce and remove about 3/4 cup of it - set it aside. Mix the ricotta, 1 cup mozzarella, Parmesan and half & half into the sauce. Stir in the chicken and cooked pasta.
  6. Lightly grease the bottom of a deep-sided roasting pan and spread the cup of sauce in the bottom. Spoon the filling into the peppers and set them in the roasting pan, if they're touching that's ok.
  7. Cover with foil and bake 25 - 30 minutes. Remove the foil and sprinkle the tops with mozzarella. Bake 10 - 15 more minutes.

Notes:

Copyright ©2013 Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice by Reeni Pisano All Rights Reserved

http://www.cinnamonspiceandeverythingnice.com/baked-chicken-ziti-stuffed-peppers/

Butternut Squash Lasagna with Parmesan Spinach Sauce

Butternut Squash Lasagna with Parmesan Spinach Sauce

Lasagna takes on a unique twist with butternut squash and a Parmesan spinach sauce. I hope the vegetables won’t turn you off because it’s everything you would expect from a traditional lasagna and more with layers of gooey cheese and carb-laden noodles. Even vegetable haters will like it, if you can convince them to give it a chance.

The butternut squash finds its way into the filling along with a trio of vegetables including onion, roasted red pepper and garlic. There’s also the requisite ricotta cheese, mozzarella, fresh parsley, Italian seasoning and a couple pinches of nutmeg.

The spinach sauce is crazy-easy to make and so moreish you could pour it right into a bowl and eat it straightaway with a spoon. Or a straw.

Running down the short list of ingredients you may not get the impression that the total sum of their parts could be so delicious. All you do is whiz together chicken broth, fresh baby spinach and sour cream in a food processor then stir in Parmesan cheese and a touch of red pepper flakes for an optional albeit subtle kick of heat. That’s it. Use as is. No cooking needed, it will thicken up all on its own as it bakes.

Butternut Squash Lasagna

Let’s talk noodles. There’s three different types: fresh, oven-ready and dried. I prefer to use fresh ones. There’s no worries over whether they’re cooked enough like with oven-ready noodles. The dried noodles add extra time to an already time-consuming recipe plus you have to deal with breakage and noodles sticking together. The fresh ones are the easiest to work with and, I think, the best tasting. Plus, they’re time savers because you can use them straight from the package. Look for them in the refrigerated section where the fresh tortellini and ravioli are found.

The squash gives it a subtle sweetness that is well-balanced by all the savory goodness of the gooey cheese and the creamy, spicy spinach sauce that helps brighten everything up.

Truth be known, if this were to replace the traditional lasagna I’ve eaten my entire life, from here on out, I might not miss it at all.

Don’t tell my Mom.

Butternut Squash & Spinach Lasagna

Butternut Squash Lasagna with Parmesan Spinach Sauce

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Yield: 8 servings

Butternut Squash Lasagna with Parmesan Spinach Sauce

Butternut squash lasagna with a creamy Parmesan spinach sauce. I hope the vegetables won't turn you off, it's everything you would expect from a traditional lasagna and more with layers of gooey cheese and carb-laden noodles.

INGREDIENTS:

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small yellow onion, diced
1 roasted red pepper, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
salt and fresh black pepper
butter, for greasing the pan
3 cups firm cooked butternut squash, diced small or lightly mashed
15 ounces ricotta cheese
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley
1/8 teaspoon of fresh grated nutmeg or ground cinnamon
1 pound mozzarella cheese, shredded, divided
12 ounces fresh lasagna noodles (or 9-10 ounce oven ready - no cook noodles)
Sauce:
1 can (14 ounces) reduced sodium chicken broth
3 cups fresh, uncooked baby spinach leaves
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional
1/2 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. In a medium skillet or saute pan heat the oil over medium low heat and cook the onion, pepper, garlic and Italian seasoning until soft, seasoning well with salt and pepper and stirring often. Allow to cool.
  2. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. and butter a 9x13 lasagna or casserole pan with deep sides.
  3. Meanwhile, make the sauce:
  4. Add the broth, spinach, sour cream and red pepper flakes to the bowl of a food processor or blender. Pulse until smooth with some flecks of spinach. Stir in the Parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. In a medium bowl mix the squash, eggs, ricotta, parsley, nutmeg, the sauteed onion mixture, and a 1/2 cup of the mozzarella together with a couple dashes of salt and pepper.
  6. Cover the bottom of the pan with a thin layer of the sauce then cover with noodles. Spoon half the squash mixture over the noodles and spread out evenly with the back of the spoon. Cover generously with a layer of sauce. Sprinkle with a third of the mozzarella.
  7. Repeat the layering - start with a layer of noodles, the remaining squash mixture, more sauce and another third of the cheese.
  8. To finish top with another layer of noodles, a generous layer of sauce and the remaining mozzarella. You may have a little sauce left, you can simmer that in a small saucepan for five minutes to serve with the lasagna.
  9. Cover with aluminum foil and bake 50 - 60 minutes until piping hot in the center. Remove the foil 20-25 minutes into the cooking time so the top can brown. Allow to set for 10 minutes before cutting. Slice into squares and serve with a ladle of sauce if you have any leftover and fresh grated Parmesan cheese.

Notes:

Copyright ©2013 Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice by Reeni Pisano All Rights Reserved

http://www.cinnamonspiceandeverythingnice.com/butternut-squash-lasagna-parmesan-spinach-sauce/