Linguica and Ricotta Frittata

Linguica is something I didn’t know anything about until meeting my husband.  Coming from a small town south of Boston, he grew up on this Portuguese meat.  Whenever we are back East, no visit is complete until he has a linguica and cheese omelette at least once.  When I was at the Paulina Meat Market the other day I noticed some homemade linguica sausage in the window, I knew I couldn’t pass it up.  The day I got the sausage we had half of a link thinly sliced with cheddar cheese and bread as a pre-dinner snack.  The next morning I decided to make a breakfast frittata, as I know that I will never be able to make an omelette that compares with what the diners in New Bedford make.

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Ingredients:

– 8 eggs, beaten

– 1/4 onion, diced

– 1/2 jalapeno, diced

– 1/2 cup linguica sausage, diced

– 1 medium tomato, diced

– 1/8 cup of red wine

– 1 Tbsp fresh thyme, center stem removed.  More for garnish.

– Red pepper flakes

– Salt and pepper

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Ricotta ingredients:

-1/2 cup of ricotta cheese

– 1 pad of butter

– 1/2 tsp minced garlic

– 6-8 shiitake mushrooms, sliced thin

Directions:

1. Make ricotta cheese: Sauté over medium heat in heavy skillet mushrooms and garlic in butter for 5 minutes.  Remove from heat and stir into ricotta cheese.

2. In large oven safe heavy skillet, sauté onions and jalapeno with thyme, a dash of red pepper flakes, and salt/pepper to taste for 5 minutes.  Add red wine and cook.

3. Add linguica and sauté an additional 5 minutes before adding tomatoes.

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4. Turn heat off to skillet and spread linguica and onion mixture evenly on bottom, pour eggs into skillet.

5. Dollop ricotta cheese mixture onto eggs throughout.

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6. Cook in oven at 350 for 20 minutes until cooked through and golden brown.

2013-09-28 10.25.12Enjoy!

 

Tomato Cooked Chicken with Shiitake Ricotta Topping

For dinner tonight I wanted to make something that had a lot of flavor as well as used up some random vegetables and ingredients I had in the fridge.  The dish turned out even better than I thought it would, so much flavor and depth.  My husband was pretty reluctant to let me put kalamata olives in it, but it really brought the dish to a new level.  If you are really opposed to the olives, you can add some capers to enhance the flavor or skip altogether.  To serve I roasted some vegetables on the side, but it would go great over a bed of rice or roasted spaghetti squash.

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Ingredients:

– 4 chicken breasts

– 1/2 cup white wine

-2 Tbsp fresh garlic, minced

– 1 Tbsp fresh ginger, minced

– 1/2 onion, diced

– 1 hungarian or green pepper, diced

– 2 roma tomatoes

– 1 8oz can of diced tomatoes, with juice

– 5-6 sprigs fresh thyme, center stem removed

– 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

– 8-10 kalamata olives, sliced

– 1 cup ricotta cheese

– 10-12 shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced

-salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

1. Brown the chicken breasts in a hot skillet coated with olive oil about 4 minutes on each side, remove and set aside.

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2. Add garlic, ginger, and thyme to pan and saute a few minutes, add white wine and de-glaze the skillet.  Simmer for a few minutes to cook off the wine.

3. Add onions and peppers to skillet with a 1/2 tbsp of butter and saute with red pepper flakes.

2013-09-26 19.47.464. Add diced tomatoes and can of diced tomatoes with olives, stir and simmer until heated through.

5. Place chicken back in skillet and reduce heat to low, simmer for 10 minutes flipping once.

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6. While the chicken is simmering make the ricotta topping.  Heat small cast iron skillet and saute 1 tsp minced garlic and shiitake mushrooms with a pad of butter.  Simmer for 5 minutes before removing from heat.

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7. Mix mushroom mixture with ricotta cheese and dollop on top of chicken.

8. To finish dish, put skillet in the oven on broil to heat the ricotta for a few minutes, garnish with fresh thyme.

2013-09-26 20.31.03The mushroom and ricotta cheese topping was a complete after-thought.  I wanted to put the mushrooms in the red sauce, but forgot about them.  Turns out mushrooms, garlic, butter, and cheese is delicious,  I will definitely use this again in other dishes.

Enjoy!

Meaty Lasagna

I make lasagna not because I love it, but because it is my husband’s favorite meal.  If we are ever out at an Italian restaurant and lasagna is an option, he will order it 8 times out of 10.  The remaining 20% of the time he will order a spicy seafood pasta.  I like to keep the lasagna simple but fresh, so I followed the recipe I grew up on with only minimal changes.  I did make this extra meaty, which you may or may not appreciate.  You will have extra sauce for serving and you can cut back on the meat as you see fit if 2 pounds of meat seems excessive to you.

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Ingredients:

– 9-11 Lasagna noodles

– 2 1/2 cups Ricotta cheese

– 1 1/2 cups mozzarella-shredded

– 1/4 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese

– 2 eggs-beaten

– 1 lb ground beef

– 1 lb hot sausage

– 1 tsp oregano (dried since I didn’t have fresh)

– 2 Tbsp fresh basil, chopped

– 5 leaves of fresh sage, chopped

– 5 sprigs fresh thyme, center stem removed and chopped.

– 2 tsp fresh parsley, chopped

– 5 cloves garlic, minced

– 1 large onion, diced

– 1 red pepper, diced

– 1 green pepper, diced

– 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

– 1/2 cup red wine

– salt and pepper to taste

– 2-3 28 oz cans tomato sauce (use 2 cans if you want thick sauce, use a half can or a full 3rd can if you want it a little more saucy)

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Directions

1. Make Sauce: In sauce pan, brown ground beef and sausage then drain.  Remove the meat and add a little olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan to saute the onions and peppers.  When they look a little sweaty, add oregano, garlic, red pepper flakes, sage, parsley, thyme, salt, pepper, and simmer in the red wine.

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Add meat and tomato sauce, heat through simmering at least 30 minutes to develop flavor.

2. Preheat oven to 350 F

3. Cook lasagna noodles al dente and set aside.  Better yet, buy the “no cook” version!

4. Make filling: combine ricotta, mozzarella, Parmesan, and eggs.  For an added touch I folded in the 2 Tbsp of fresh chopped basil.

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5. In 9×13 pan alternate layers of noodles, sauce, and filling starting with sauce on the bottom.  Top with extra cheese.

6. Bake 40 minutes.

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I have to say with all the fresh herbs I was pretty excited for this dinner.  It was fresh and filling with good depth overall.  I did find it best to add extra sauce as the no-cook noodles probably absorbed a bit of moisture and the sauce was extra thick and meaty to start with.  Adding the red wine to the sauce really does a lot to develop flavor in a short amount of time.  You can add a little sugar to improve the depth of the sauce of you don’t have red wine available.  We picked a deep red and drank the rest with dinner, complimented the meal wonderfully.

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