Mushroom Tortellini

As much as I love making pasta, my huge Achilles heel had always been the stuffed variety. I’ve had way more raviolis explode on me than I feel comfortable admitting. But I knew within this mushroom series I’ve been working on I had to do some form of pasta, and since I’d already made a fettuccine/tagliatelle type of deal it was time to put the big girl panties on.

I spent hours watching online tutorials of how to properly fold tortellinis in preparation of this. But what’s cool is that tortellinis are actually shockingly easy to achieve! Between how simple they were and how delicious they were I legit almost cried tasting these. Don’t even get me started on the mushroom, thyme, balsamic, and red wine filling with just a bit of ricotta to give that creamy texture we know and love in our filled noodles. The recipe below feeds 2 for a main. 10/10 would tortellini again.

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Duck Marsala

Most of my recipes in the last several months have been inspired by fresh, home grown produce. I have one friend who’s garden I raided all summer to the point that I could be called Peter Rabbit. Through the fall my main inspiration has come from a friend’s farm that has had an amazingly consistent and diverse array of beautiful mushrooms. With the last batch I received I had originally thought of making a chicken marsala. But as I sat and thought about it I decided it was time to step my game up and give this Italian-American classic a major upgrade.

15 Minute Cacio E Pepe Biscuits

Within the last couple of years cacio e pepe has become such a culinary buzzword. Every pasta-driven instagram posts it almost on a daily basis. I’ve seen people say cacio e pepe is the new alfredo, whatever that means.

Like any hot trend there has been some elitism that has rode alongside it. From arguing the pronunciation to claiming if you don’t have pecorino made with milk from a virgin sheep that is then processed by the spirit of nonnas past then you’re doing it wrong.

While you do want to make everything right and perfect as possible, here’s the deal. Cacio e pepe=cheese and pepper. That’s the literal translation. You know what tastes great with cheese and pepper? That’s right, mother-hecking buttermilk biscuits!

The true beauty of this drop biscuit recipe is there isn’t an intense amount of work to it. Once your oven’s preheated the whole thing takes about 15 minutes. What could be better???

P.S. this is a small batch recipe that makes about 6-8 biscuits. Feel free to multiply for more goodness!

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Double Mushroom Risotto

I have a friend who’s been tending to a pretty massive farm. She recently posted on Facebook asking if anyone wanted to buy some beautiful mushrooms that popped up from a super bloom she had. Words can’t describe how quickly I hopped on getting a pound of fresh mixed ones and a few ounces of dried hen of the woods. Half of the fresh went to a steak dinner. For the other half there was only one way to go: risotto.

I posted before about the concept of a double mushroom dish in my double mushroom pasta. The concept is to have the mushrooms not just on top or stirred in, but also within the liquid the starch is cooked in to create a reinforced mushroom flavor. This time instead of mushroom pasta water I’m using a mushroom stock for the risotto stirring.

Risotto is a top tier comfort food for me anyway, but with all this shroomy goodness I’m feeling good!

Alfredo Mashed Cauliflower

During most of my day to day life I like super simple, clean cooking. But I have a special tradition I like to call “fuck it Friday.” It’s a similar concept to a cheat day, but without the gross guilty connotation, and it allows me to set it on a schedule.

One of my big go tos for this moment is some kind of alfredo pasta. But what happens when I feel the need to be sneaky during the week, or on the other hand slide a vegetable into my Fridays? The answer is simple, why not both? Enter alfredo mashed cauliflower.

It’s super rich and decadent. But making cauliflower the base at least lets me pretend I’m being somewhat healthful. I’m a huge believer in the magic of cauliflower, and if you weren’t before then there’s nothing a little parmesan won’t solve.

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Chocolate Pasta with Balsamic and Raspberry Sauce

Back in I want to say sometime between 1999-2001 I lived for when my parents would let me stay up late so I could watch the original Japanese Iron Chef. The drama, the chefs being themed on nationality, my dear sweet Chairman Kaga, and that fortune teller judge. What a time to be alive.

Those late (to a six-year-old) nights were pretty much my crash course in getting wild and creative. I remember they made ice cream out of EVERYTHING, namely squid ink, which I didn’t even know was a thing you eat, but now I adore. But this story leads to one place. And that is my first ever love/hero, Masahiko Kobe aka “Iron Chef Italian.” This dude made ravioli with chocolate pasta dough.

My. World. Was. Rocked. I went borderline rabid asking how is that possible, and if my mom would make it for me. She looked like I grew two heads.

Fast forward about 10 years. I’m a junior in high school. My mom, brother and I took a trip to Asheville, North Carolina. We stopped in a fancy chocolate shop. And there it was…a bag of chocolate fettuccine. I immediately flashed back to my Iron Chef days and tried to do everything to get that bag to go home with me, to no avail.

But guess what, mom? I’m an adult now and can make my own damn chocolate pasta! (I’m sorry mom, I love you.)

The biggest challenge was figuring out what sauce to make with it. I thought creamy, I thought mascarpone, and then I thought nah. I decided I wanted something that felt fresh to go with it. So I landed on raspberries and mint for freshness, with a punch of balsamic vinegar for intrigue.

This dish creates a bright, fresh, fun feeling that will have you asking if you’re eating chocolate for dinner, or pasta for dessert. Either way I promise you never had one like this before. Continue reading “Chocolate Pasta with Balsamic and Raspberry Sauce”

Turkey Sausage and Veggie Frittata Muffins

Lately my life has been about the hunt for convenience. Between a new job, studying for my second licensing exam for my new job, housework, and making more time for the gym I need grab and go food anywhere I can get it.

That being said one of my biggest weaknesses going about my day is making sure I eat breakfast, let alone a balanced one.

Enter: frittata muffins. It’s so simple it’s genius and stupid at the same time. All you do is cook off some veggies/meat, mix it with eggs and cheese, and then pour into cupcake tins and bake. I’m kinda kicking myself I didn’t do it sooner.

For my cupcake tin’s maiden voyage I decided to go with turkey sausage and a vaguely French inspired veggie mix and spinach, (see the previously mentioned attempt at being healthier), and some mascarpone and parmesan because we love ourselves.

The result is packed with meatiness and flavor. Plus the fact they’re adorable and not so bad on the waistline is a huge plus! Continue reading “Turkey Sausage and Veggie Frittata Muffins”

Brown Butter Risotto

risotto

Normally when people think about Italian food the first thing they think about is pasta. Honestly I can’t blame them; pasta is versatile and delicious in all its forms. Something not thought about as much in a world of Olive Gardens and Pinterest dinners, however, is risotto. Much like pasta risotto typically delivers cheesy, carby goodness, with a wide variety of flavor combinations, but in the form of lovingly sauteed rice instead of noodles.

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Double Mushroom pasta

mushroom pasta

In case you hadn’t noticed, in a very large percent of the world it is extremely cold out right now. Currently I live in Chicago and we have the kind of cold where a hot coffee can freeze on the walk to the train, salt solutions make cars and every clothing item you own look gross, and you see me at peak crankiness. When it comes to winters like this all I want to do is live in a blanket fort and sustain myself on pizza and hot cocoa.

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Slow Cooker Roasted Garlic and Parmesan Meatballs and Marinara

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In the town I grew up in there is a pizza place. When I was little every time my family would get takeout from there my dad and I both had to get their spaghetti and meatballs. I’m not even sure why because it was actually incredibly mediocre. You could tell it was frozen and the sauce tasted like water, but that was my and my dad’s thing.

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