Delicious Home-made Italian food. I dedicate my recipe blog to my loving Children Stefana, Gina, Giuseppe and their families. I wanted a Recipe Site that family and friends can easily locate and enjoy cooking my special meals. I hope your family dinners will hold wonderful memories that last for many generations as mine have. Buon Apetite!!! Gina !!
Sausage cooked and chopped 4 links
Tomatoes chopped or sundried tomatoes
Garlic Sliced- 3 cloves
Red bell peppers chopped 1/2
Mushrooms Chopped 4 pcs
Chicken Broth college inn 1 or 2 cans
White Wine 1 tbs
Penne Pasta cooked 1 lb
The time consuming part of this dish is cleaning the Broccoli Rabe.
I cook about 4+ bunches of Broccoli Rabe at a time. Need a commerical 14 qt size pot to do this. Lay them straight in a roasting pan to cool off, cut them into pieces and then freeze portions in a ziploc bag. So, when I want to use a recipe with Broccoli Rabe I can prepare it in a few minutes.
Or of course, you can cook 1 bunch at a time.
Fill large pot with water little bit of salt and boil water. While you are waiting for the water to boil.
Broccoli Rabe: Cut off ends of stalk and peel off outer layer. As you can see in picture once you cut off end and peel back it comes off easily.
Place in large bowl and rinse in cold water.
STEPS BELOW IMPORTANT so that you don't over cook the Broccoli Rabe. Put all the Broccoli Rabe into the boiling water.
When water boils over again. Take off Cover. Cook for 3 minutes.
Then strain out into a collander into another pot. to save water to cook pasta in. Pasta will have better flavor cooked with the broccoli Rabe water. or you can put another pot of water with alittle salt for your pasta.
Cook Pasta aldente and strain into collander and rinse with cold water so they won't stick together. Leave Pasta on side for later use.
Cooking the Broccoli Rabe this way won't make it soooo bitter . If you like it very bitter than steam them.
Sautee sausage and chop. leave on side.
Fry chopped garlic in a little bit of olive oil to lightly golden brown. (can use oil left from frying sausage for nice flavor and just add more oil if needed as you cook.)
Add in chopped red bell peppers and chopped tomatoes or sundried tomatoes. Stir and Cook for 3 minutes.
Add in sliced mushroom. Stir and Cook for 1 minute.
Add cooked and chopped sausage. Stir and cook another minute.
Add Broccoli Rabe 3- 4 inch lengths and White Wine
Then add Chicken Broth. Once that comes to a boil --
Add in cooked pasta, grated cheese and stir for 1 minute.
Instead of Sausage you can use:
cooked sliced Chicken Cutlet, or
cooked shrimp (cook the shrimp with olive oil, salt and garlic powder. Add to mixture right before pasta) Instead of Tomatoes add sundried tomato (sliced)
2 can whole peeled tomatoe
1 large onion
1 container of portabella mushrooms
1 red bell pepper
1/2 bag of red potatoes
Place Chicken in skillet with little bit of olive oil. Sautee both sides until golden brown. (chicken will still be raw)
You can also just put the chicken in the roasting pan without sauteing them, but it will taste like boiled chicken, so I like to crisp it up a bit by sauteing them.
Place chicken in roasting pan.
Whole peeled tomatoes; slice tomatoes into chunks. Keep the xtra liquid that is in the can separate. Tomatoes are juicy so slice them up in a dish and then place into bowl with the liquid.
Stir in: 1/2 teaspoon salt, black pepper, garlic powder.
1 tsp of sugar, 2 leaves basil chopped and a pinch of oregano.
1 Large Onion; sliced
Put in frying pan with olive oil and sautee until golden brown.
Don’t forget to look below.I will have other variations or added ingredients to enhance the taste to the basic recipe.
To easily open clams. Buy Clams in advance.Put them in a bowl/pot and wash the shell. (Rub with your hands to make sure all sand are off of them.)Once outside shell is cleaned put them into the freezer for atleast 1 day.Once frozen, fill the pot with very hot water and leave the clams in there for a few minutes.This forces them to open up and then it is much easier to slide the clam knive in and spread them open. (Clams can also stay frozen for many months.)
When you open the clams and it smells bad, throw that one out! Clams should not have a bad stinky smell to them.
·While opening them place your hand over a empty bowl so any juice from the clams can drop into their first. (you don’t want any bad clam [juice or clam] to mix with the good ones.If ruins the whole thing.)
·If clam is good then place that juice into another bowl.I use a small sauce pot with a small pasta strainer on top.This way when I open the clam and it smells good then I just place it in the strainer.The clam stays on top and the juice of the clam drips to the bottom of the sauce pan.
Basic Recipe:4 people
6 clams per person.Best size is Top necks.Using the clam knive to scrape clams out of shell into a bowl. As suggested above.If defrosted you can squeeze the yucky part out. (The black part)Or if frozen cut it out with a knife.Or you can leave it because that has flavor too. But, some people like to clean it out.(If clams are still frozen, keep the juice.It looks like a chunk of crushed ice) that will become the clam broth.
1/4 cup Olive Oil
4 gloves of Garlic Large Pinch of:Basil,Oregano, Parsley (fresh whenever possibly or dry) Garlic powder and Black Pepper. Do NOT add SALT.Clams are alreadysalty.
1.Chop Clams in chunks.Not too small.The scallop piece (the clams piece that is stuck to the shell) must be sliced opposite the grain and small.It is a tougher piece.Set aside.
2.Sautee in sauce pan [Med/ High heat] olive Oil and Garlic to lightly golden brown.
3.Add Clams juice and spices. [Med high heat] Stir.
4. Cover and Bring juice to a boil.BE CAREFUL the juice in the pot willoverflow so watch out.
5.Place Clams in boiled juice and cover, bring to first boil, remove lid, count about 15 seconds and remove pot from heat.(You don’t want them to boil/cook to long otherwise they will become hard.
That’s it.Now,Place over cooked Linquini.
Red Clam Sauce.Even easier.Look under my recipes for Marinara or Whole plum tomato.
2.Add just Cleaned chopped clams, ½ amount of the juice and cover.No spices, since they are all ready in the sauce. (If you like it spicy add a spec of hot pepper flakes.)
3.Bring Covered Clams to first boil, remove lid, count about 15 seconds and remove pot from heat.(You don’t want them to boil/cook to long otherwise they will become hard.}
Done. Put over pasta.
With Red or White Clam Sauce you can add at the same time as when you put in clams:
Shrimp (peeled and cleaned),Finely Chopped Red Pepper and Celery, ¼ cup Sour cream orany one of these separately.
You can also add whole shelled baby clams.Once clams shell opens it is cooked.Don’t eat unopened clams.
Steamed Clams or Mussels.
Place baby shelled clams in pot with butter, garlic powder, black pepper, and a little bit of water. (1/4 cup water enough so the butter doesn’t fry the clams.Cover and cook.When all the shells are opened it is done. The juice is from the butter, water and juices inside the clams.
For Mussels use Green kiwi mussels (farmed raised) they are large and clean.No bad ones.Most fish markets sell them in boxes.They come opened. Just rinse and clean outside of shell before you cook them. Can be Steamed or cooked with Marinara Sauce/ Whole Chopped Tomato Sauce. Same as above instructions.
Marinara Sauce Recipe.Cook sauce for5 minutes then add ingredients below and cook for10 more minutes or until cooked.A pinch of dry red pepper flakes.Cook over Medium heat.Sauce has a small boil to it.
Clams – shell washed (COOKED WHEN SHELL OPENS UP) Also if you don’t want clams in shell then just put some whole clams in there. I like to cut them up into 4 pcs.
Shrimp –peeled and cleaned(COOKED WHEN SHRIMP TURN PINK)
Kiwi mussels – rinse shell( COOKS IN MINUTES )
Calamari –cleaned and sliced(COOKED WHEN WHITE AND FIRM)
Recipe for cooking sauce & meatballs are on this blog.
2 lbs of Ziti per large catering tray.
In deep pan.
Put sauce on bottom of trays. About an inch.
Put 1/2 the cooked Ziti in the tin. Cooled off Ziti if you will be baking it tomorrow.
On top of the Ziti over the whole pan: In this order>
1. Sprinkle grated cheese.
2. Tsp of Ricotta (make like a checker board)
3. Sliced Meatballs or mashed Meatballs
4. Mozzarella (shouldn't be able to see ziti)
5. Drizzle cooking sauce. (not to much: you should still be able to see the cheese)
6. Add the rest of the Ziti. Make sure you leave enough room to add ingredients again.
7. Again add: Grated Cheese, Ricotta, sliced Meatballs,
But, now add the Cooking Sauce (more than you did on # 5) then add the mozzarella cheese.
8. Cover with Aluminium foil or better yet with aluminium lid. Don't Push Down on Top or Double Stack in fridge if baking it the next day.
When ready to bake:
Oven on 450- 500 degrees. with cover on.
(if you put in fridge for the next day. take off cover and reapply. making sure cover is not touching cheese otherwise all the cheese will be stuck to the lid/foil.
Bake for approx. 30 minutes.
When cheese is melted the Baked Ziti should be done.
If you like it crispy (as my family does) then take off the cover and cook for another few minutes but watch it closely. at 500 degrees the cheese will crispy quickly.