Baked Three Cheese Lemon Pepper Pasta

I have a new love in my life. You might know him.

He goes by the name Lemon Pepper.

Not the fake imposter. The one premixed in a plastic shaker at the market.

I’m talking the real deal. As in fresh lemon meet my pepper mill…. 

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Spinach and Sun-dried Tomato Penne Pasta

A quick and easy penne pasta tossed in a creamy sauce packed with the flavors of sun-dried tomatoes and spinach. I can’t help but love a recipe where the sauce can be made in the same time it takes the pasta to cook! Especially on a night when you want need good food fast but don’t have time to spend in the kitchen…. 

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Mini Meatball and Ravioli Soup

Mini Meatball and Ravioli Soup

Everything about this soup is mini, except the flavor! Packed with mini meatballs and bite-size cheese ravioli that are the perfect size for your soup spoon, it’s brimming with roasted red peppers, tomatoes, garlic, onion, and fresh spinach. It’s stick-to-your ribs, hearty, warming and filling. A soup that eats like a meal.

The soup comes together fairly quickly and doesn’t take long to cook. The meatballs have the most delicious flavor, tender but sturdy enough to hold up to the soup and cooked to the point where they want to fall apart but don’t. The next time you’re craving meatballs and pasta maybe you’ll consider something a little different, a change from the norm that’s every bit as delicious and satisfying.

Mini Meatball and Ravioli Soup

Mini Meatball and Ravioli Soup
(by Reeni)
Soup:
1 large yellow onion, diced
1 roasted red pepper or green bell pepper, diced
olive oil, for sauteing
sea salt and fresh black pepper
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon dried thyme
2 (14 ounce) cans chicken broth (4 + 1/2 cups)
1 (14 ounce) can diced tomatoes
14 ounces bite size cheese ravioli
3 cups fresh Spinach leaves, rough chopped
Parmesan or Romano cheese, grated for serving
Meatballs:
1 + 1/4 pound ground beef or turkey
1/4 cup yellow onion, finely diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
3/4 teaspoon sea or kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup seasoned Italian bread crumbs
2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, grated

1. In a large soup pot saute the onion and bell pepper in 2-3 tablespoons olive oil until soft and tender, over medium low heat seasoning well with salt and pepper. Add the garlic, saute until fragrant. Add the bay leaf, Italian seasoning, thyme, chicken broth, tomatoes and season well with salt and pepper. Bring slowly up to a simmer. In the meantime make the meatballs.

2. Combine all the meatball ingredients in a large bowl. Form into 1-inch meatballs.

3. Once the soup is boiling carefully drop the meatballs into the pot. Bring back up to a slow simmer and cook for 20 minutes. Taste and season again with salt and pepper or Italian seasoning if needed.

4. Cook ravioli separately according to package directions. Add spinach to soup and cook for 10 minutes or until spinach is wilted. You can mix the ravioli into the soup or serve by spooning a few ravioli into each bowl and spooning soup over top. Remove bay leaf before serving with plenty of grated cheese.


Mini Meatball and Ravioli Soup

I’m sending this to Deb of Kahakai Kitchen for Souper (Soup, Salad and Sammie) Sundays!

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Spinach and Cannellini Bean Dip with Homemade Tortilla Chips

Spinach and Cannellini Bean Dip with Homemade Tortilla Chips

To fully appreciate this dip a true love for spinach is an absolute requirement. I’m talking Popeye here. I adapted the recipe from Giada and cut the recommended amount of spinach in half which still resulted in a very strong spinach flavor. The cannellini beans add bulk and creaminess but not much else, being they’re such a mild bean they absorb the essence of the spinach right up.

Homemade tortilla or pita chips are the perfect vessel for scooping up all this vibrant, green-goddess-goodness. They’re a cinch to make too: cut corn tortillas or pita bread into quarters, brush lightly with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and bake until lightly golden. If you’re looking for something a little healthier to balance out your Superbowl snacks then this will do the trick.

Spinach and Cannellini Bean Dip
(adapted from Giada DeLaurentiis)
olive oil, for sauteing
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (6-ounce) bag baby spinach
3 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more if needed
1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar, optional
1 teaspoon sea or kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1. In a large skillet, heat a tablespoon of oil over medium-low heat. Add the garlic, cook until fragrant, about 1 minute, add 1/2 of the spinach and cook until wilted, repeat with remaining spinach. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

2. Place extra-virgin olive oil, spinach, cannellini beans, lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper in the bowl of a food processor. Blend until smooth, adding more olive oil as needed until it reaches a consistency you’re happy with. Taste and season with additional lemon, vinegar salt and/or pepper if needed.

3. Serve with tortilla or pita chips, endive spears or crostini.

Printable Recipe

Baked Tortilla Chips

Corn tortillas
olive oil
sea or kosher salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Brush tortillas lightly with olive oil, stack and cut into quarters. Spread out in one layer on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and bake 12-15 minutes until lightly golden.

Printable Recipe 

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