All posts filed under: easy weeknight dinner

Ottolenghi’s Meatballs with Fava Beans & Lemon

This recipe is from the “Jerusalem” cookbook – a fantastic volume I reach for again and again. There are many great recipes, but also many entrancing photographs that highlight the diversity of cultures and flavors in this great city. 4 1/2 tbsp olive oil 2 1/3 cups fava beans, fresh or frozen 4 whole thyme sprigs 6 garlic cloves, sliced 8 spring onions, cut at an angle into 3/4 inch segments 2½ tbsp lemon juice 2 cups chicken stock salt and black pepper 1 1/2 tsp chopped flat-leaf parsley, mint, dill and cilantro, to finish for the meatballs 10 oz ground beef 5 oz ground lamb 1 medium onion, finely chopped 1 cup breadcrumbs 2 tbsp each chopped flat-leaf parsley, mint, dill and cilantro, plus ½ tbsp extra of each to finish 2 large garlic cloves, crushed 4 tsp baharat spice mix 4 tsp ground cumin 2 tsp capers, chopped 1 egg, beaten Put all the ingredients for the meatballs in a large bowl. Add 3/4 of a teaspoon of salt and plenty of black pepper and mix well with your hands. …

Easy Weeknight Lasagne

Delicious, easy and quick enough to make on a busy weeknight. Double the recipe to feed a crowd. The secret is using ready-made tomato sauce (click here for link) – I make mine on Sundays and always have a couple of jars in the fridge. The only store bought sauce I like is Rao’s. Ingredients 3 tbsp olive oil 1 medium onion, chopped 3 garlic gloves, minced 1 lb fresh, lean ground turkey (93/7) 32 oz jar of tomato sauce 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped 1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped salt and pepper to taste 1/2 lb lasagne noodles (I always use Barilla) 15 oz low-fat ricotta cheese 1 egg 3/4 cup good quality grated Pecorino Romano 1 lb good quality fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a large skillet heat olive oil, add onion and cook until translucent – about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook a few minutes more. Add the ground turkey and season to taste with salt and pepper (I use 1/2 tsp of kosher salt …

Easy Summer Pasta: Campanelle with Wild Mushrooms & Corn

This pasta tastes like a mix between wild mushroom lasagne and corn chowder. Perfect for the summer – it can be enjoyed hot or at room temperature. Omit the turkey bacon for a vegetarian version. 1 1/2 cups corn (from 2 ears) 1/2 cup chicken stock 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 2 cups assorted wild mushrooms 4 oz sliced turkey bacon, chopped 3 tablespoons unsalted butter 1 jalapeño chile, finely chopped kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste 1 pound campanelle, cooked until al dente (1 cup cooking water reserved) 4 scallions, white and pale-green parts only, thinly sliced 2 cups baby arugula shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano to taste In a blender puree 1 cup corn and the chicken stock. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook bacon and mushrooms until well browned, about 10 minutes. Add corn puree, remaining corn kernels, 2 tablespoons butter, and the jalapeño. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until corn is soft, about 5 minutes. Toss in pasta, reserved cooking water, and remaining 1 tablespoon butter. Cook until sauce is creamy, about 3 minutes. Toss in scallions and arugula. Garnish …

Chicken Piccata

A very simple dish to prepare, but bursting with lemon flavor! 2 split (1 whole) boneless, skinless chicken breasts Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 1/2 cup all-purpose flour 1 extra-large egg 1/2 tablespoon water 3/4 cup seasoned dry bread crumbs Good olive oil 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature, divided 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons), lemon halves reserved 1/2 cup dry white wine Sliced lemon, for serving Chopped fresh parsley leaves, for serving Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Place each chicken breast between 2 sheets of parchment paper or plastic wrap and pound out to 1/4-inch thick. Sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper. Mix the flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper in a shallow plate. In a second plate, beat the egg and 1/2 tablespoon of water together. Place the bread crumbs on a third plate. Dip each chicken breast first in the flour, shake off the excess, and then dip in the egg and bread crumb …

Schwäbische Pfannkuchen (German Pancakes)

My parents are visiting from Germany and my mom made pancakes for dinner. It might sounds funny, but where I come from in Germany, it is a very popular dish for dinner. They taste a little bit like Chinese scallion pancakes, but they are very thin and have the texture of a crepe. 1 lb all-purpose flour 6 large eggs 3 cups of whole milk 1 tsp kosher salt 1/4 tsp nutmeg 2 tbsp fresh chives, finely chopped or any combination of herbs In a large bowl mix all ingredients with a wooden spoon and set aside for 1/2 hour, stir every 10 minutes. At this point the dough can sit for another 1/2 hour or  you can use it right away. Heat a nonstick pan over medium heat and add 1/2 tsp of vegetable oil. Pour a small amount of batter (roughly a 1/4 cup) onto hot skillet, pick up skillet and turn to spread batter. The dough should cover the entire bottom of the pan in a thin, even layer. Cook until set – about …

Asparagus Salad with Scallion and Eggs

Here is a great use for those leftover hardboiled eggs! This salad is even better the next day for lunch. 2 lbs fresh asparagus, cleaned and trimmed 6 scallions, cleaned and trimmed 1 1/2 tps kosher salt 3 tbsp olive oil 2 tbsp red wine vinegar 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper 4-6 hardboiled eggs, cut into quarters Bring  a pot of salted water to a boil, add asparagus and scallions and cook for about 6 minutes or until desired doneness. They should be tender, but not too mushy. Lift out and rinse under very cold water or dip in ice bath. Drain and spread out on a paper towel; pat dry. Slice asparagus and scallions on a diagonal into 2 inch lengths; toss well with salt, pepper, olive oil and vinegar. Arrange salad on a serving plate and garnish with quartered eggs. Serves 6

Monday dinner: Fresh, homemade Tagliatelle with Quick Tomato Sauce

Making fresh pasta is so easy and rewarding! I use a basic, old-fashioned recipe from the book “Savoring Italy” by Robert Freson – a pioneer of “culinary landscape” photographic cookbooks. The sauce can be made while the water for the pasta is heating up. Buon appetito! Basic Egg Pasta  2 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour 1/2 cup semolina flour 4 large eggs Place flour on work surface (marble, pastry board, granite, wooden board); make a well in the center of the flour and crack the eggs into the well. Using a fork, beat the eggs, drawing the flour into the eggs a little at a time. When dough begins to hold together and the eggs are completely absorbed, it is ready to be kneaded. Flour hands lightly and work dough until it forms a ball. Discard any extra bits of flour or dough that have not been absorbed. Knead for 5 minutes by folding dough towards you and then pressing it down and away from you with the heel of your hands. After you have …